Monday, July 30, 2007

SunRocket Backstabs Customers

Why is it many geeks tend to mistrust the suits? The recent cut-and-run action of VoIP company Sunrocket could be a perfect illustration of why.

In case you missed the news, Sunrocket, Inc., the second largest VoIP provider, closed its doors, even shutting down customer service lines without even notifying customer service employees, and left over 200,000 customers hanging without a dial tone. Many of these customers had paid for a year in advance, so not only were they phoneless, but they were robbed as well.

According to the Sunrocket website, the company has "agreements" with two other VoIP companies which are accepting Sunrocket customers at a discount. The site lists a phone number to call. The only thing you get when calling the number, however, is a recording with the information of how to get in touch with the two "preferred" companies, Packet8 and TeleBlend. Sounds reasonable, yes?

Well, think again. All reports I've gotten about Packet8 service have been that the service is crappy, but even worse, TeleBlend is a brand new company that seems to have been started on the exact same day Sunrocket closed down, July 17th, and is suspected to be run by several former Sunrocket execs (scroll down to the bottom of that page). Evidently owned and operated by a Singapore based company named Unified Communications Corp., in fact when you go to the TeleBlend website and click the "About Us" link, it says nothing about Unified Communications. The only evidence that it is the parent company is at the bottom of the page, in the tiny print copyright statement. All very questionable at best.

So, from at least circumstantial evidence, it seems we have a company that took many thousands of customers payments for a year service in advance, which then without any warning shut down in bankruptcy, and all its monetary assets seemingly vanished. An almost identical company that started the same day the former company closed and is possibly run by the same weasels now offers the screwed Sunrocket customers the same deal all over again. So far, no one has gone to jail, and the money seems to be flowing along nicely. Is this a great country or what?

Now, what was the question again? Why do many geeks mistrust the business suits? :::shrug:::


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