The below provides a quick overview of the user submitted reviews for magicJack.
|Service Provider||Average User Rating||Total Reviews||Users Who Recommend|
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.
#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.
#52 : JAN 6th, 2014 : Fred
I have now bought/installed/used three MagicJack devices. First I used the original one that had to run through an always-on computer, but after a year or so I upgraded to the newer MagicJack Plus that operates stand-alone through the router. Then I purchased a second MagicJack Plus to install in our guest house to provide our guests with a separate phone number. I bought the original unit at Radio Shack, purchased the upgrade unit through a MagicJack online offer, and the additional MagicJack Plus at Radio Shack. Easy purchases both ways. I discarded the original MagicJack when I upgraded to the Plus unit, and they transferred my unexpired longterm service from the old unit to the new as well as adding in the year of service that came with the new one. They also transferred my phone number to the new unit. No setup problems with any of the three units. The service was excellent when I called to do the change-over - simple and courteous. We winter in Florida where we own a vacation home. In the spring I pack up the MagicJack and install it one the router in our summer home in Canada, which means our friends and maintenance people in Florida can call our local Florida number and it rings on my desk in Canada with no longdistance charges to anyone. This also allows me to call anyone in Canada or The USA from our Canadian home without longdistance charges. Calls to our family in England cost $1.32 per hour whether calling from Canada or the USA - just unbeatable. In three years of constant use (we have cancelled our landlines in Florida) I think we may have had 3 or 4 dropped calls - that is better than my experience with cell phones. I would love to be able to get a local MagicJack number in Canada to use on another unit so I could cancel our landline service there - but our area is too remote for magicJack to offer a local number, so when I am up there I have both phone services running, but the Florida-based MagicJack means I have no longdistance charges on my Canadian Bell landline. Our guests in Florida appreciate having a unique phone number at our guest house and the fact that they can call home to Canada for free. HIGHLY recommend.
#51 : DEC 31st, 2013 : Warren
Customer service is horrible. My telephone would not ring and there was no one who had a clue how to fix it. Cancelled service and had to pay $35 to export my phone number. Magic Jack nickles and dimes you to death. Original wouldn't work but I had to pay $15 for a replacement! Save yourself a major headache and choose another service. If it's too good to be true....it probably isn't.
#50 : DEC 31st, 2013 : Gordon
I have been using MJ on a trial basis for over a year. I have been distressed by low speaker volume through a phone. I looked on the net and found many references to the low volume problem but no real fixes. I decided to give the chat process one more try. It seems it is now fixed by a reload of the MJ software. I discovered that while I downloaded the software I had not installed it (install screen was buried under the browser screen). It now seems as though the volume settings (menu/volume) stay set to high between computer reboots. Now I need to try it while connected to a router. The MJ also seems to automatically disconnect you if you if you talk to long. More research required on this issue.
#49 : NOV 20th, 2013 : Judy
Though I have had no problems using the device itself and it is great value - any customer service issues are nightmares to deal with and there is no satisfactory resolution. It is also impossible to actually speak with a live person and live chats seem be dealt with in a "black and white", follow the script manner.
November 2013 - the following is a transcript of a Customer Service chat with Magic Jack. I have been a customer of MagicJack for many years and had renewed my service until 2016. When I upgraded to the Plus device in July 2013, I thought it would be easy? Today, I was going to renew my number (in Canada we have to renew our number every year as well as pay for yearly service) and noticed that instead of transferring my pre-paid service to the new device, they were both still listed (customer and agent's names masked for privacy reasons). This represents MagicJack's customer service:
Please wait for a site operator to respond. You are now chatting with Agent1 Your Issue ID for this chat is XXXXXX
Agent1: Hello, how may I help you?
Agent1: Hello J***.
J***: I need to renew my Canadian phone number. In July 2013, I upgraded my previous magicjack to a magicjack plus. I was told that my years of service would be transferred over and the "old" account would be deleted. I notice that both magicjack's continue to show in my account and both are noted to be renewed. I don't know which is the active account that needs renewal.
Agent1: Glad to assist you with that.
J***: yes, I don't want to make payment on the wrong one and have my service discontinued.
Agent1: Is this you magicJack phone number XXX-XXX-XXXX?
J***: yes, but that number is listed for two devices in my account.
Agent1: Thank you for that information.
Agent1: Please wait while I check that for you
J***: there should be only one device listed - with magicjack service good until 2016 and Canadian number renewal due in December 2013.
Agent1: Thank you for waiting.
Agent1: I see here that you have the Standard magicJack device and the Plus device.
J***: I replaced the standard one with the Plus device in July 2013.
Agent1: You wanted to transfer the service to the plus device which you weren't able to do upon registration. However both of your devices are still active now and we can no longer transfer the service since we cannot transfer services from different devices.
J***: When I called to register the Plus device I was assured at that time that my PREPAID Service would be transferred. As you can see - it would not be possible to use two devices With THE SAME NUMBER on the same computer. This is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE - a mistake by your representatives should not result in a loss to me!! I want to speak with someone who has the authority to realize this and do something about it - This is why magicjack has such a bad reputation for customer service!
Agent1: One moment please...
Agent1: I am transferring you to one of our top 10% agents as rated by our customers. Please hold while I transfer you. Please wait while I transfer the chat to the best suited site operator.
You are now chatting with 'Agent2'
Your Issue ID for this chat is XXXXXX
Agent2: Welcome to the higher level of support! This is Agent2 and I will be assisting you today.
Agent2: Let me read your chat with your previous operator so that I can assist you right away. Thank you.
J***: I was assured, more than once, when I registered my new device in July 2013, that my prepaid years would be transferred to the new device. The call logs on the old device stop in July 2013, confirming that the device was not in use after the registration of the new device. The call logs for the new device are not available in my account screen - they come up blank, yet I have been using the Plus device since 26 July 2013.
Agent2: Hi there.
Agent2: As I have checked the previous chat yes, you can transfer the service of the old magicjack to your new magicjack plus. However, during the registration you did not select to replace the old magicjack instead you registered the new magicjack device under a new service with the same phone number. I have all the records of your chat here from my agent and she just instructed you correctly.
J***: No, that is not correct - I did SPECIFICALLY ask that it be REPLACED and my prepaid service be allocated to the new device. There would be absolutely no reason for me to do otherwise. Again, I direct you to the call logs which confirm my intention to replace the device as the "old" one has not been used since the registration of the Plus device occurred.
Agent2: During the registration you did not select to replace the old magicjack with the new magicjack plus. That is why the service of the old magicjack was not transferred
J***: I have been a customer for a long time - this is akin to robbery. Explain why you can't see that the registration was not a replacement - why would I register a new service for the same number and not want to use my pre-paid service?
Agent2: You have all the prompts to follow during the registration but you selected to register the MJ plus as a new device.
Agent2: You are the one who did the registration
J***: Agent2, please help me with this - I spoke with an agent who confirmed this would be transferred.
Agent2: Yes, but you are the one who register the magicjack plus and you did not select to transfer the service instead you registered it as a new device
J***: I did the registration with prompting from a live agent - I followed instructions.
J***: so - you are unwilling to help, even though the history on the account is clearly visible and reflects no usage of the "old" device - this is how you treat loyal customers??
Agent2: That is not true. At the time you chatted previously, you said that you are not yet ready for to do it, and you just asked for instructions
Agent2: We cannot redo the registration once done.
Agent2: I believe that I have already provided you all the information needed. I would like to ask permission to end this conversation with you. Thank you. Since we haven't heard from you, we must release this chat. Please click here should you need further assistance: magicJack.com/techchat
NOTE: the chat was ended immediately without giving me time to grant permission for it to be ended. Thanks Magic Jack - now I have three years of prepaid service on a device I no longer own.
Mikey (Dec 3rd 2013) - I have had the MagicJack since 2011. Started with the original MJ and then upgraded to the MJ-Plus in late 2011. In Dec-2012, I paid for 5-years until Dec-2017, and I continue to enjoy unlimited calling in the US and Canada for $20/year with no problems.
Marlene (Dec 5th 2013): I just went through the same thing and then when you start to get frustrated or irritated they give you to the 10% top reps, who turns out to be a total douchebag. I told him CANCEL MY ENTIRE ACCOUNT. If worse comes to worse I will buy a new one and set up an entirely new account. I was trying to get the same GOLD account that you were. They even somehow got my sons credit card and charged him. I also mentioned that they changed their entire format without informing customers and there's an option of automatic payment that was in the new format that defaults to ON - therefore they are just taking the money without notice of permission. Plus I wanted the better VOICE QUALITY because it cuts in and out and the voice quality sucks, if they have better voice quality then we should have gotten it with the first device. GOES IN MY TOP WORSE CUSTOMER SERVICE ALONG WITH SPRINT.
fdeister (Dec 21st 2013) : This absolutely mirrors my experience to a T. If I didn't already have an account, I would have cancelled immediately. The only thing is that it is very reasonably priced and I don't have many problems other then when I try to deal with the infamous "CUSTOMER SERVICE MINIONS". I don't know where they get them from!
#48 : OCT 16th, 2013 : Bob
Very poor tech support. Extremely unreliable. Very poor website. Weak sound levels. Frequent drop-outs. Need a computer to set up & use.
#47 : SEP 24th, 2013 : Gh
Magic Jacks works just fine when newly ordered. But, if you need customer service, you will realize what a rat hole you are in. Repetitive instructions without resolving the issue. I used MagicJack for 4 or 5 years, but when I needed help, the support line was truly useless. Cheap product, yields cheaper support.
#46 : SEP 18th, 2013 : Walter
Have had service for two years and no problems. Would not recommend as a land line replacement. But, with limited cell phone minutes it is great for multiple hour calls to family and friend. Great for the money. for $30 per year, what do you want?
Comment by Luther on 9/22/2013: The worst possible experience with MagicJack. Cannot talk to a living breathing human about problems. I had problems with operation of phone - stopped working, impossible to contact to resolve problems and their refusal to release my phone number after repeated attempts to return back to original provider. I would never recommend them to anyone.
#45 : AUG 23rd, 2013 : Shawn
MagicJack receives an unfortunate number of negative reviews... and that may be partially their fault due to their laziness in doing little to educate their customers, their poorly designed website, and relatively poor support (they do have occasionally decent chat though). But the service...or voice quality is pretty good and consistently good. If that isn't (or was not) your experience, either you were having a bad day or you are doing it wrong (hint: look at your Internet service before blaming mJ).
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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|
#61 : Posted by Joseph on February 13th, 2014:
Can I use Magic Jack on my cell phone?
-> Response: Yes there is a MagicJack app for the iphone and Android based cell phones.
#60 : Posted by Walter on January 20th, 2014:
Having problems both ways, computer and wall outlet. Cannot get a dial tone, only a message that says error-contact support. Cannot get to support as they are not accepting any more calls. Have been trying to resolve the problem for three days to no avail.
#59 : Posted by Jon on January 19th, 2014:
I have used magicJack VOIP for a few years. I bought and used 3 different phone lines. I caution anyone who uses MJ to buy and pay for ONLY 12 months service at a time. I bought the original 12 month service plan for each of 3 lines and then stupidly paid for 5 additional years service on each line. Near the end of first 12 months on each of the 3 service plans my prepaid service was "erased" from the magicJack server computer record. I have spent hours every 30 days to get magicJack to reinstate my prepaid service. I even printed a copy of each MasterCard account statement with the 3 different records identified and the amount paid and snail-mailed it to the magicJack CEO. I have been without a telephone for 4 months and each time I contact magicJack I get customer service technicians that are dumber than rocks. They tell me to wait for the proper people to resolve my issue. I think customer service should be able to resolve their errors in 4 months but magicJack is so inept they have done nothing but steal my money. Don't ever buy more than a 12 month service plan because I can assure you that magicJack will steal your money. It has happened to me 3 times.
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