A while ago I wrote about my plans of dropping BellSouth for a VoIP provider called Lingo. At that time I also wrote that I would come back and write a review about it. Well, this is not a real review –I really do not know how to write one– but it contains my experiences with Lingo voice over IP (VoIP) service, so far.
When something works fine there is very little to tell. The “installation” was as advertised: simply connect it, wait a minute and you have got a go. Calls are very clear even though you could hear some delay or noise at times (1 to 15 ratio).
Reaching their customer support, as I said, it is quite difficult. Most of the time you will get some message taker on the other side of the world and calls will not get returned. But if you insist and keep calling their technical support line and finally get a technician your problem will be resolved, unless it is something that is affecting everyone. I had to call twice –well, three times–, first call was my mistake, I did not see how to change the number of rings until the voicemail kicks in on the web interface (duh!), but the guy did it for me nevertheless. The second, I realized that the voicemail timestamps were on GMT, so they change it to EST and the third was because I was loosing the dial tone (VoIP light will go off and the only way to get it back was by hard resetting the gateway). On this third one they acknowledged it, they were aware of the problem and were working to get it fixed –which it happened the next day.
Overall I am very happy with the service (quality and reliability) but unhappy with their technical support, since they are very difficult to reach. Their message taking in India is nothing good and their hold message when you call is very annoying. There are other VoIP providers out there, with more joining quite soon (AT&T, for example), but none offers all the features Lingo does and all are at least twice more expensive.
About the Gateway
A little technical information here, if you are using the service. If you want to reset the device to its defaults, unplug it, then when you see the power led come on enter the following on the telephone connected to it: *#26845#. Your gateway will then recycle. Also, if you want to access your gateway through its web interface, point your browser to 172.25.25.1 and use user/ph3taswe as the username and password.
I certainly recommend Lingo. It is a relatively new company on the VoIP market, you may have ups and downs but it is, overall, very good. If you need to relay on your phone lines for mission critical operations, of course, the service is not for you. It’s requirements add more point of failure to your phone communications, since you also need Internet connectivity and power to make phone calls.