Tuesday, November 18, 2014


If the mountain .    .


I have been trying, unsuccessfully, for some time to buy netTALK's DUO WiFi VoIP adapter via the company's online order form.

I tried a number of different ways to contact Customer Support - phone, web mail, trouble ticket, Chat - all to no avail.

It turns out that netTALK's operation in Miami Gardens, FL, is just a little more than 10 miles from my home in Hollywood FL. It's probably closer as that proverbial crow flies, but my Hyundai is neither a crow nor a helicopter.

Into the flivver, turn on the GPS (to supplement my written directions), and off to the netTALK "mountain."

The netTALK-in-Florida operation is bare bones; absolutely nothing fancy.

netTALK's Florida Operation

I was greeted, after ringing the doorbell (Windsor chimes if anyone cares) by a businesslike woman who challenged me, albeit politely, with "What do you want?"

I need to see someone in Marketing or Customer Service.

With that I was ushered inside and the Keeper of the Door went off in search of a customer support person. What seemed like a l_o_n_g few minutes later a fellow came around the corner and introduced himself as Customer Service. (I never did get the guy's name; in keeping with the barebones operation he lacked a business card.)

I handed him a written history of my attempts to buy netTALK's DUO WiFi.

Mr. Customer Service conceded there have been some communications hiccups lately, adding that a glitch between Discover and netTALK had prevented me from completing my order on line. He said I was not the only one who had problems using a Discover card for a netTALK transaction.

He took the card information to the order entry person who tried to enter the order using the Discover information; she had no better luck than this scrivener.

Interestingly enough, the card works fine with other vendors.

In the end, I bought the DUO WiFi with a different card (since this no longer was an "over-the-Internet" purchase and I had slightly fewer security concerns) and now I await its arrival in two or three days. (Apparently the warehouse and the building I visited are two separate locations.)

All my exchanges with netTALK's Technical Support folks, save for the last when I asked them to forward a message to Customer Support - I guess Customer Support hides from them, too - and my face-to-face with Mr. Customer Support today makes me feel better about the company and the product.

It is the only affordable VoIP option - and as far as I know the only WiFi option - that allows me to use all three of the home phones: two Uniden cordless (base and extension) and one corded phone. Since the VoIP adapter is wireless, the modem and router can stay in the home office along with the wireless extension, the wireless base can remain in the kitchen, and the corded phone can, connected to the WiFi device, stay in the bedroom. I'll have to forego connection to the telco, but I have a cell phone available if the power goes off (rare, Florida Power & Light is really pretty good) or if the ISP hiccups (as it sometimes does then it rains cats, dogs, and small elephants here in otherwise sunny South Florida.

One other benefit of my trip to the "mountain": I collected email addresses of the company's top executives as well as support@nettalk.com It's nice to know you can contact people who (ought to) care.

Will it work as I intend? Stay tuned.

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