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A byproduct of venture capitalist funding, Cbeyond was initially formed in 1999 by Jim Geiger as a provider of managed IT services to the Atlanta, GA area which took off in 2001. Over the next few years, they expanded to several other markets until the company went public in 2005. It was around this time the company began offering SIP-based VoIP service which is now one of the primary focuses of the company.
On July 21st 2014, the acquisition of CBeyond by Birch Communications was completed.
Today, Cbeyond focuses heavily on VoIP services but still stays true to the roots on which the company was founded by offering managed IT services and beyond. Their TotalAssist program is an IT monitoring system broken into several categories that can monitor most hosted services and on premise devices. They also offer cloud infrastructure as part of their TotalCloud system that can migrate and host your existing systems or can be utilized to build new servers and desktops as part of a hybrid solution.
The TotalVoice service is part of their TotalCloud Phone System (TCPS) that is much like many other hosted cloud VoIP solutions. There are a wide variety of features like a virtual receptionist, customizable hunt groups (call routing to specified employees) that integrates with direct inward dialing (DID – simply means you can dial an extension for an internal number), voicemail and other features you would expect from a hosted provider. All the features are included so there are no additional fees for a feature that some other providers may consider ala carte.
They can integrate analog phones or Ethernet phones which is helpful for businesses that are not currently using IP phones, and though some may not work, virtually all Cisco devices will work with their service. You can buy any phones you need through them also. Like other hosted services, there is a web portal so the system can be managed from a web browser. They offer their own toolbar for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox which is nice for companies who are jumping ship to Linux since the demise of Windows XP.
Call forwarding is one of the included features which is good for mobile users. There is also a mobile app available for Android, iOS and Blackberry. This integrates with the company directory which can pull contacts from applications like Microsoft Exchange, meaning you can easily access contacts on the go.
Technical support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Like some other cloud based VoIP providers, the language used in the Cbeyond web page is somewhat vague. It required contacting customer service via a chat application to uncover costs. The customer service professional was very prompt in replying and as informative as possible. However, the range for pricing was quite broad as services per line are said to range from $15 to $40 depending on the selected package. Also, the site claims to offer "plenty of long distance minutes" which is not ideal for a consumer simply looking to uncover base pricing. As they do offer full mobile solutions and Internet service, it is understandable that pricing can vary depending on the amount of services selected.
Other information was also difficult to uncover such as mobile application availability. The data sheet mentions compatibility with iOS and Android but fails to mention that BlackBerry is supported as well. You also will not find their video conferencing solution mentioned in conjunction with VoIP, rather it is found under another section labeled applications. When one is looking to purchase a full Unified Communications solution, this is important to feature alongside calling services.
Historically, sites like Yelp, ConsumerAffairs and even WhichVoIP have a great number of negative remarks from past and present customers. Most are very specific making the reviews seem very credible, while positive reviews seem quite generic. However, this may be a small percentage of the 60,000 users they claim to service.
The biggest problem with Cbeyond are the predominantly negative reviews found on various sites across the web. Of course, people are more likely to report negative experiences and considering the company claims to have served 60,000 customers, it may be a very small percentage of clients who experience actual dissatisfaction. In the very least, employee reviews are mixed.
It is difficult as an IT provider to give exact measures of the effectiveness of any application or process unless offering comprehensive service. This is difficult for the consumer to process which is common when there is lack in depth of IT comprehension. It seems that if you are a customer in a fully supported service area, you will have a positive experience with Cbeyond as most that have complained only used one or two products or services from the company.
Author: Mike Bragg
WhichVoIP started receiving reviews for CBeyond in 2008 and they have been primarily negative in nature unfortunately, indicating poor customer service as a common reason for complaint. However, the sample size is relatively small so always do your own due dilligence when choosing a provider.
CBeyond reviews are listed in chronological order.
#16 : JUN 27th, 2014 : Jonathan
We were a customer of a company called Aretta, which was unfortunately purchased by CBeyond. Once CBeyond took over our account the customer service went out the window. Chronic outages with our SIP trunks and hosted PBX. It was the worst experience with CBeyond ever. No matter how loud you scream, no one at CBeyond cares about their customers. All in all we had more downtime with CBeyond than uptime.
#15 : MAR 13th, 2014 : Uri
The worst provider ever. I was made promises and was misled by the entire Cbyond team. Our internet speed had dropped, we loose calls, they did not deliver the fiber service that was promised, and I was over billed.
Andy (Apr 8th, 2014) : My advice to anyone considering Cbeyond for any type of phone or computer service is to save yourself time and frustration, use someone else. This was the worst business experience I have had in 30 years. Their lack of response to any problem is just part of continuing issues and lack of support. The initial sales team basically lied about what we were to receive and efforts to correct the situation have been non existent.
#14 : JAN 27th, 2014 : Philip
The worst service ever. Our phone and data completely cut out. I called (4pm) and they said it was priority one and they would have someone there within 2 hours. Two hours later I called and they told me they had bumped my ticket to the next day (never bothered to call me and tell me). I explained that they had crippled my business and they didn't seem to care. Asked to speak to a manager and was told there was not one working that, that they would call one. Still waiting.......tomorrow I cancel my contract and move on. These guys have the worst customer service.
Jim (Jan 28th, 2014) : I agree with every negative comment posted! In addition, if one is lucky enough to complete a "contract", beware of their subtle, continuing, and harmful retribution for not extending.
#13 : NOV 8th, 2013 : Randall
Bad FAX: For the past month, CBeyond's internet FAX service has been sporadic. When I first called a month ago, they blamed the sender (a hospital), but they did open a ticket and promise to call back. They never called back and they never sent a customer rating survey. Next, a potential client called and said our FAX didn't work. Luckily, we had a physical FAX machine (non-CBeyond) avaialble. We also sent a FAX from the physical machine to the CBeyond internet FAX and received a busy signal. When I called in to complain, I was told that they closed the ticket because the issue was resolved. He kept trying to end the call with a promise that someone would call back. I wouldn't let him. After an hour, he finally connected me to his supervisor. After the supervisor reviewed something for ten minutes, he also tried to put me off with a promise of a call back. I again refused, so he left me on hold for 1/2 hour till I hung up.
#12 : MAY 29th, 2013 : Srm
I have been a business customer of CBEYOND for 4 years. The first 3 year contract saw worsening service on a monthly basis, rediculously long wait times and usually I am left to my own devices to trouble shoot or hire outside help to come in. Contract service promised (and paid for) included hosting my web site. They were never able to assist in transfering my web site to their after countless staff hours wasted, we finally just gave up. While they did credit a portion of my contract they were of virtually no help. I reluctantly renewed the contract ONLY and ONLY because there simply was not adequate competitive service in my area. I WILL NOT REPEAT THE MISTAKE AGAIN!!!
NM (12/3/2013) : Horrible experience with this company. Their sales team and marketing is excellent, however their actual service is horrible. Failed promises, hidden charges and horrible customer service. I cannot wait until my contract expires next year. Do not make the mistake of signing up with this company for business purposes.
#11 : AUG 18th, 2012 : Neuropsychological
I have used Cbeyond for the last 6 months and I will pay the penalty for dropping this crappy service. They say they're faster and better than AT&T, but the service is unpredictable, slow, and problematic. I've had 3 service calls (from contract techs they expected me to pay) because certain computers wouldn't connect, laptops were always offline, and the anti-virus is a joke. Because they use contractors YOU will end up paying for repairs. The service is not worth the rates they charge. There are services that they charge extra for but don't tell you (i.e., conference calls) and the minutes can be restricted with each contract so read carefully!!! How do you restrict a business w/ minute limits? That's ridiculous! Even my cell (not provided by Cbeyond) is unlimited! I feel dooped by the sales reps, b/c they will say anything to get a sale. I had to call 3 times to get the rebates I was promised. I have never been more disappointed with any service used for my business of 5 years. Buyer beware. I am switching back to AT&T Monday morning.
#10 : APR 25th, 2012 : David
Signed up 3 weeks ago because of the virtual receptionist and the sales team doing a great job promising how much "faster and more reliable" Cbeyond would be. It did not take long to realize that they grossly misled our business. We went from 15 meg download speed to 1.3 meg download. Our entire business relies on the internet. Wanted out of the contract and we were told NO, and was directed to the fine print that does not promise better service. The sales rep no longer returns my calls. Now I have to reinstall comcast for internet and pay double for that service. Also, after Cbeyond did the initial install, my fax stopped working. We were told that they had nothing to do with it. I guess it's a coincidence that it worked for 11 years just fine. I have learned a big lesson. I would not be surprised at a class action lawsuit if they continue this blatant deceptive trade practice. I am extremely suspicious of any positive reviews as these are problably shills. Buyer beware!
#9 : FEB 28th, 2012 : Craig
I rarely submit reviews unless service is exceptional, either good or bad. Their customer service is horrible. It is impossible to call and speak with someone - you either end up in a someone's voicemail box or get stuck in a auto-attendant loop. Shortly after signing up for their service I was unable to get a support call back for 4 days and emailed everyone there that I had dealt with up to that point, letting them know that I was getting ready to cancel their service due to poor support and even that did not goad them into action. Stay away - they clearly do not care about their customers!
#8 : NOV 10th, 2011 : Julia
We have had a great experience with CBeyond. We have been with this company for about 3 months now and we had a smooth transition with no problems so far. Our sales rep was great and professional and I would definitley recommend their servces. I know from past experiences of switching phone companies that our wiring set up contributed to alot of our problems. CBeyond was awesome at trouble shooting that problem and fixed everything! The savings for our data and security back up along with consloidating our services has been very helpful and we run more efficiently now! Thumbs up!
Ellen (Jan 22nd, 2014) : You must be an employee trying to hang on to his/her job!
#7 : NOV 7th, 2011 : Brian
They just will not fix problems. My phones have not worked properly in 3 weeks and No matter how many times I call in And I have called in over 20. They will not resolve the issue. They have never not once in 20 calls begging them to call me and update me on progress call me. Do not use these people what ever you do.
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