The below provides a quick overview of the user submitted reviews for magicJack.
Use the tabs below to navigate to user reviews and user questions and answers sections.
This section provides an overall summary of our review of the magicJack Plus phone service. Scroll down to read the complete review, including ordering, installation, using the service and returning.
The GoodThe magicJack Plus is very simple to acquire, setup and also has three (3) different ways to utilize the service (computer, home phone, and mobile). The biggest plus is the low cost of service, a fraction of a typical landline cost. This device and service lends itself very well for a cheap second line or for people who are not that reliant on a home phone line (e.g. someone who uses their cell phone for most conversations).
The BadThere is no customer support to call if you have issues but they do have online chat and a knowledgebase. This would be more of a concern for less tech savvy people who like the comfort of knowing that help is just a phone call away. The feature set is minimal compared with other VoIP services available. There are also a few annoying points with the magicJack mobile application.
The Bottom Line
Overall ThoughtsOverlooking the nuances about the magicJack Plus, it is actually quite a neat product. Setting up the device is a little obnoxious but after you survive the deluge of ads, what lies beneath is an acceptable calling solution. Worth considering if you are comfortable with technology and cost is a major driving factor over anything else.
Our Ratings for the magicJack Plus
A lot of easy-to-use VoIP calling solutions have made their way to the market. A variety of solutions have surfaced both as an attempt to meet the needs of the everyday consumer as well as enterprises. These simple devices and applications allow people with an Internet connection the ability to make a voice call without an actual landline. One very low cost solution is the magicJack Plus.
MagicJack first hit the market in 2007. The original version was a small USB device that plugged directly into a Personal Computer (PC) and allowed a standard telephone to be plugged into the device. It utilizes Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, allowing users to make internet-based phone calls. MagicJack Plus was introduced in 2011 to remove the requirement of connecting directly to a PC, instead connecting directly to an available internet port (modem, router etc).
The company behind the MagicJack products is YMAX Communications Corporation, who provide the transfer of the phone calls made with these products. Many people have heard of MagicJack as it is promoted through commercials on television. It is a very low cost option, with a small annual charge, for making unlimited calls in USA and Canada (note that certain fee type codes and some area codes may require prepaid minutes to be purchased though). A 30-day money back guarantee is offered for those who want to try it out with no risk.
We decided to take the magicJack Plus for a test drive to see how it performs, including ordering, setting up, using it, trying customer support and returning the device.
Though you can find the magicJack Plus in many consumer electronics stores, we went ahead and purchased the device through the company's website. We selected the expedited shipping option for an additional $8.95 so the device would arrive between 3 to 5 business days. However, the device arrived 9 days (7 business days) after ordering, causing us to deduct a star.
If you are someone who is easily offended by "up selling" tactics, I would avoid ordering the device online. After you register for your free trial, magicJack bombards you with a deluge of add-ons for your order. Some of the offers do make some sense though if you were planning on keeping the service. However, it still feels like a high pressure sales situation so we knocked a star off for these tactics. The below image shows an example of some of the ads.
The cost for the magicJack Plus device is $49.95 and this includes six (6) months of service free (unlimited calling to the USA and Canada). They also promote a 30 day money back guarantee, excluding shipping fees. Like any phone solution, VoIP or landline, additional fees apply to make international calls. Unless you are calling another magicJack subscriber, you are subject to certain fees for numbers outside of the coverage area (including some national area codes). Fortunately, their rates are fairly low (it differs by country.) These fees can only be circumvented if a person you are calling in another country is also using magicJack. If you're really trying to beat the system, you can also assign a local number to a unit and send it to someone over seas.
Here is an image of the package once it arrived.
There are three (3) main ways that the magicJack Plus device and service can be used, as follows. However, option 1 below is required to configure your service before you can make phone calls.
No matter how you use it, you have the ability to access voicemail. Fortunately, you don't have to fine tune anything (nor do you have the ability) as you simply plug in the device, provide requested information and you're good to go. Next, lets look at the different ways to use it as introduced above.
Installation can be a pain point for some users who are not technology comfortable so we will walk through this. The device utilizes a USB 2.0 connection to interface with a computer. Since Windows commands a majority of operating systems in the market, we installed and tested the device on a computer utilizing the Windows 7 64 bit operating system.
When you plug the magicJack into a USB port on your computer the driver automatically installs. One quick note here is that the device includes two additional USB ports which can be very useful as the device depth means it can cover multiple ports on your computer device. If you have not already registered the device you will need to now. You have to work through a few web forms to setup the device and register a valid phone number. Be prepared: the same offers you encounter when ordering the device come back for a second round of promotional assault. The below image shows the device connected to one of our laptops.
You can request an area code for anywhere in the US or Canada which is a free feature of magicJack Plus. Additionally, it is possible to port an existing number to the service or you can optionally create a vanity number (subject to availability, of course) both for an additional fee of $20 plus $10 a year annually. Note: we typically recommend not porting your existing phone number initially until at least you have used the service and are happy with it. We recommend this for any VoIP service you may be considering. Once you have named your device, selected a valid number and shuffled through all the promo's, you are ready to make calls. The below image shows the phone dialer on the computer screen.
The magicJack application you see above is the softphone you can utilize to initiate phone calls. If you dont have a phone connected to the device then you will need a headset or microphone/speakers combo as mentioned previously. Just like every phone since the rotary phone went to the wayside, you will see a familiar number layout. You use this dialpad to dial the phone number you want to call and click on the "send" button. To end the call you simply click on the "end" button.
You can also connect your existing home phone to the magicJack Plus device in this configuration. Connecting a phone to the device is just as simple as connecting a phone to any other RJ-11 socket in your home or business. If you're using an actual phone, you can also use it's number pad like any other phone, just pick it up and dial the number you want to call. We made a few test calls with this set up and found the sound quality as good as a landline, with no noticeable hum, echo, or static noises in the background.
Depending on how you plan on using the magicJack device, this option works OK but it is somewhat clunky and space consuming, especially when using a laptop. It also requires the computer device to be on and running for the phone service to work. Fortunately, the Plus device includes other ways to use the service as well.
Another way to use the magicJack Plus is by plugging the device directly into an Internet modem or a router Internet port. The device includes an adaptor for the USB connector to plug into a 120V mains socket to power the Plus device (similar to a smartphone power adaptor). Your analog phone will plug into the RJ-11 port just like when using the device with a computer. Then you will use the phone in the same way as if it were a landline. The below images shows the magicJack Plus device connected to a mains outlet and then a cable connected to a router and a cable connected to the phone (3 connections in total).
The device will protrude if connecting directly to a mains outlet, so it is best to avoid plugging it into a socket in a high traffic area. Alternatively, the device does include a USB-power extension cable. This setup is likely the most commonly used. However, when performing an initial setup it is probably simpler to start with the device connected directly to your computer and then move to this setup once complete.
We recommend setting up 911 service as soon as you can, which must be configured through a separate verification process, especially if this will be your main home number.
This magicJack application is one more way you can utilize this service. For someone with limited minutes on a carrier plan, this is the perfect way to add virtually unlimited minutes to your cell calling plan. It works over both Wi-Fi and 3G or higher mobile data networks. The image below gives you an idea of what the app looks like on a smartphone.
Though the magicJack application is a great a value add-on, we did notice a couple of minor issues we should mention. The first one was that when going to download the app the icon presented is a green square with the words "Talk Free" in white. This App icon looks nothing like the rest of their branding and we almost didn't download the App as we were not sure it was truly for magicJack.
The second issue we encountered with the application has to do with the contact integration. For Android, after selecting a contact in the magicJack application, you are taken to the actual phone's contact database. If you attempt to make a call from here, you will simply utilize your actual phone and not the magicJack application (so using your phone minutes rather than free calling). Many VoIP App's, for example Skype, integrate further into the Android OS such that they appear in a prompt that allows you to select your phone, Skype or another application to call the number you select - magicJack does not.
Though the magicJack app has some flaws, it is a nice add-on feature and does work for making phone calls. The sound quality was no worse than a typical phone call made from your cell phone. The 4G network in the area where we tested the phone App is very good so that would have helped.
As a VoIP product and service, the magicJack Plus is considerably light on features. The included call features are voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding and call waiting. They do also boast free 411 calling. However, these are basic features when compared to many other VoIP services available today (some with 40+ features). As mentioned previously they do allow number porting, but at an additional fee to switch ($20) and then annually to maintain ($10). A fee for porting your existing number is common though (due to "paperwork" involved).
The customer service options are detailed in the tabbed section above titled "Customer Support". This is a very low cost service so it's not surprising that there is NO phone support. They do have a knowledgebase on their website which includes some "how-to" videos and frequently asked questions, as well as a live chat option.
We reached out to magicJack's tech support with a hypothetical issue that we considered uncommon to test out the persons knowledge. Here is the live chat:
This is the meat of the conversation - the rest of the unseen messages primarily consist of profuse appreciative statements from the live chat person. We were also presented with a link to claim a 5 year contract extension for a grand total of about $70. In a nutshell, the live chat person was able to provide an answer even though it was a somewhat obscure request. This is just an example and of course does not cover all scenarios so is not necessarily a true representation of their support as a whole.
The only remaining item to test was returning the device. This can be an important step for those who decide it is not for them during the trial period. Returning the product was straight forward and simple we are glad to say. It consisted of entering in a little information, confirming that indeed we wanted to cancel and then getting an RMA authorization to include in the return shipment.
Overall, we had a positive experience with the magicJack Plus device and phone service. The sound quality was acceptable during our testing, although it must be noted we have a high quality Internet connection. The main strength and attraction is quite clearly the low cost. If cost is your only priority then this service is worth considering. The weaknesses include no customer service phone line and the reduced feature set compared with typical VoIP services in the market today. There are also some quirks with the mobile App, although it is a nice feature to have and does work.
Based on it's low cost we would certainly recommend this device to anyone who was looking for a second phone line that was not for critical use. If you are considering this option for your main home phone line then we recommend you consider what is important to you most (cost, customer service, features etc) and to also look through the user submitted reviews before making your decision.
Author: Mike Bragg
From the over 40 user submitted reviews below since 2008 you can see a mixed reaction of experiences. One of the biggest complaints is related to customer service, which is only available through live chat on the website (click on the customer service tab for more information). However, for the very low annual fee its hard to see how CS could be extended without adding more cost to the end user. Overall, the user's average rating is "OK". Please browse through the reviews below or add your own based on your experience.
...Overall, the service is at a good price. Customer service is at the bottom of any telecom service I have used so far...
...Very happy with it for the price, but if you don't have the patience or minimum knowledge to connect it reliably, I would recommend something easier with better customer service....
magicJack reviews are listed in chronological order.
#62 : AUG 19th, 2014 : Freddie
Lots of dropped calls. Poor sound quality. Really bad customer service. After 3 years they double billed me for the annual charge and shut off my phone for disputing the extra charge on my credit card. I was then without a phone but they insisted that I call customer service. I emailed them and told them I had no phone, thank you. Then I went to Costco and bought an OOMA system. (Love it so far)
#61 : JUL 23rd, 2014 : Tessa
The customer service is HORRIBLE. When you finally get a customer service rep by FINDING the number 561-594-9925, they are extremely rude, abrupt, cut you off and repeat the same scripted spiel without even thinking. It's as if you are talking to a broken record. AND it's nearly impossible to port the number over if you want to go to another carrier. Last point, while you think you might be saving money by using the service the sound quality is not good, it's breaks up a lot.
#60 : JUL 10th, 2014 : Michael
Had Comcast VOIP for over two years but decided to drop Comcast, so I needed a new provider. Got MJ at Walmart and set it up. Included ethernet cable did not work with the system, so I used a cable from elsewhere. Worked OK, but noisy. After a month of working OK, I changed internet providers to DSL, ported my home phone, AND NOTHING WORKED. Got on a chat line with MJ and spent hours downloading info to my computer. Their tech support wanted me to allow MJ to take over my computer remotely. I bought basic talk, set it up and it was a breeze. MJ is trying to charge me $20 to port my phone number, then $10/yr, and now is trying to charge me $30 to port my number to basictalk. I hope this company goes out of business.
Steve (July 15th, 2014) : Not only does MagicJack NOT support FAX connections, they will not tell you when your subscription is due for renewal and when you are ready to port your number to another provider, they will charge you $30 PLUS an administration fee as a ransom. I, too, hope they go out of business; it is the worst phone service I've ever experienced.
#59 : JUN 23rd, 2014 : Henry
If you have networking experience its a slam dunk for setup. We had to
replace older cordless phones that were not VoIP friendly but found a cheap
VTECH models that works great with magicJack an have a voice mail button to
retrieve calls. Had older Motorola and ATT cordless units that did not work
right (had sound and ringer issues), so be prepared to spend $30 to swap out
the handsets if you have this issue, service is working very well now with
the new cordless which appears made specifically for VoIP use.
As for customer service, it's all automated and online so that's the only real drawback from what we can see, but that keeps costs down, once you setup your service you really should not have any problems or need them (never had to call ATT about phone in over 20+ years with them so don't see this as a show stopper), just don't forget to renew ON TIME so you don't loose your ported number. Where magicJack makes money is on EXTRAS but we didn't need these and it does cost to port your number and to move it back if you leave, but over a year's time it's still cheaper than the closest $9.95 VoIP competitor.
If all you need is local and basic long distance then it's a good trade-off from a full service VoIP at 4x the yearly cost of magicJack. Some people are complaining of blocked exchanges out in the middle of nowhere, for use that not an issue as most of our calls are metro area to metro area. If we did run into an issue we can always use our cell phones for that connection and the savings more than makes up for the rare inconvenience.
The main reason we went with magicJack was we wanted to consolidate some physical landline phones at several residences and have the flexibility to take them with us anywhere and only needed basic voice mail and no fancy calling features. It's a good fit for us and we understand it's limitations.
PROS: COST, BASIC SERVICE, PORTABILITY, PLUG AND PLAY
CONS: EXTRAS COST LIKE PORTING A NUMBER, ONLINE HELP ONLY, OLDER PHONES MAY NEED REPLACING
#58 : MAR 26th, 2014 : Frank
At my business, POTS is not available. We first tried Verizon - DSL was the only service available. The VOIP was terrible, so we terminated the service. Brought in Comcast (cable) and the MagicJack worked just fine. This was the most cost effective solution for us.
#57 : MAR 14th, 2014 : David
I was with MJ for a couple of years and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. Suddenly, my system did not work. I did an online chat and was informed that my account was being reviewed and the problem would be resolved quickly. I was paid up on my account and was dumbfounded by this action. This went on for several months. I made many chat calls and always got the same response. Your account was being reviewed and would be resolved soon. It never was. So, I fired them. MJ is a joke but is hard to laugh at.
#56 : MAR 14th, 2014 : J. Barry
Customer service is terrible, they have a so called review committee, that is untouchable, and if you get flagged as the saying goes, it is hopeless to resolve a problem. I was charged $200.00 and they will not allow me to set up the MJ+ and will not give me my money back, over 2 years now! I agree with all the other negative comments, without having to repeat them.
#55 : MAR 14th, 2014 : Jim
We originally had T-Mobile's VoIP and kept it for many years until we changed our Mobile Plan. By doing that, we lost our VoIP (apparently T-Mobile wanted to get rid of it and we were grandfathered in). I was VERY HAPPY with T-Mobile's. So we moved to MagicJack. Big mistake. Not only was it a pain to set up, but every little thing cost us more and more money. The quality of sound was bad, no customer support, constantly being charged for something, and when we left and wanted to take our number with us, they charged us like $50!! It was a really horrible experience. We are now with Vonage and the only complaint I have is the cost. Still looking though...
#54 : FEB 11th, 2014 : Aza
The "Free Trial" requires you to take one of MagicJack's free phone numbers. But once you have it you have to pay an additional extra fee to not use it. Weird. So if you try the system and like it there is an extra $10 fee in addition to $20 to import your phone number and $10 per year to keep your phone number and $30 if you ever want to recover your phone number. It just seems shifty. I have to admit the four calls i placed had fairly good audio quality. However it's a company with an "our way or the highway" attitude. It is hard to imagine anyone trusting MagicJack with their phone number and over the long haul.
#53 : JAN 8th, 2014 : David
No Pros Cons: Incoming quality ok ,outgoing was poor. Customer service was less responsive than talking to a wall. I currently have a billing error that they can't or won't understand. I am in process of choosing a new provider.
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Disclaimer: The opinions, views and ratings expressed in these VoIP Reviews are those solely of the reviewer who submitted the review. Whichvoip.com does not necessarily agree with any of the expressed opinions, view or ratings.
MagicJack phone service has received some mixed feedback regarding customer service, from users who have submitted feedback to WhichVoIP. The table below summarizes the existing options for MagicJack users to get either self help from the MagicJack website, or support from the customer service department.
Please contact us if there is any information in the table below that you believe should be updated.
|Customer Service Feature||Availability||Details|
|Live Chat||Mon-Sat (9am-11pm EST)
Sun (10am-7pm EST)
via Magic Jack site
|24x7 Phone Support||Not Available on Website
|Talk to a real person||Not Available|
|USA based phone support||No details available|
|Online form / Email Support||No details available
|Self Help Articles / Tutorials||Magic Jack Articles|
|Self Help Videos||Magic jack Videos|
|Support Forums||Not Available|
|Twitter/Facebook Support||Magic Jack Facebook Page|
|Contact number for Cancelation||Returns Possible within 30days
via Magic Jack returns page
|Request a call back||Not Available|
|Money back guarantee||No but there is a 30 day Free Trial|
#68 : Posted by Julie on August 21st, 2014:
Can I use MagicJack with NetZero broadband? If so would I have to carry a regular phone to use it?
-> Response: Is it wireless or DSL service you have with NetZero? I would recommend running our VoIP test as this will help determine if NetZero is good enough for a VoIP service, such as MagicJack.
Yes you can use a regular phone with the MagicJack+ device, you don't have to use a computer.
#67 : Posted by Mike Scott on August 4th, 2014:
I have virtually no cellphone service in my home due to it being in a remote location. Could I use Magic Jack to receive and place calls when at home using my cellphone number. I have comcast cable basic internet. Would my laptop have to be turned on to facilitate this?
-> Response: You can use MJ by connecting it to your Internet service and assuming you buy a MJ+, no you would not need your laptop on to make and receive calls.
However, you would not be able to use the same number as your cell phone. It sounds like your real issue is the poor cell service at home. If I were you I would look at a new smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 for the simple reason it can make and receive calls via WiFi. This means you could use your smartphone at home even without good cellular service. If you also need a home phone service you could use MJ or another provider you can find on our site.
#66 : Posted by Dan Davidson on July 3rd, 2014:
I also have had BAD reception with Magic Jack. I like the cost but the headache that occurs when I receive a call and the person hears a lot of static and/or garble is frustrating to him/her and to me. I am looking for another option.
-> Response: Sorry to hear you have had issues with MagicJack service. You can find alternatives via our residential VoIP section (use Nav bar at top of page).
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