iTalkBB

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iTalkBB (2.4)
98 Reviews
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iTalkBB Review by WhichVoIP

iTalkBB is a predominantly Chinese-American focused VoIP and television service provider based out of China with multiple retails stores across North America. Despite the current criticism against iTalkBB's service, iTalk Global Communications, the parent company of iTalkBB, currently holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The Good

Cheap international rates make the service a good replacement for complicated phone cards, especially for students studying abroad or who frequently travel to and from China.

Each plan includes standard features such as caller ID, call forwarding, three- way calling, E911 support and voicemail.

Additional local numbers can be purchased for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

Mobile support is also available and minutes can be shared between multiple phones.

The website has different sections for English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. English and Chinese customer support is available via phone 24/7 and toll free.

The Bad

Many users have complained of difficulty receiving refunds despite the fact that users who cancel the service within the trial period or within 30 days after purchasing the service are entitled to a refund of unused services according to iTalkBB's Terms and Conditions. Users who terminate service within the month are liable to pay for the remainder of that month regardless of use of service.

iTalkBB states that monthly usage above 30% of the residential average use is considered abuse of the service and will lead to the termination of service. However, it is not clearly stated what reasonable use is.

User can incur large costs to discontinue service, particularly when compared to other providers.

Customer support has been noted as generally unreliable across user reviews.

Call quality has been reported to be below average.

The mobile app for iOS and Android has received mixed reviews, with many users complaining of non-functionality on specific mobile devices, including some popular models.

The English website is littered with misspellings and typos. Be aware of the possibility of miscommunication between user and provider. iTalkBB's main website hasn't been updated in a few years. Some links are not active, and some pages are not translated into English, which is obviously a significant problem for users who aren't fluent in Chinese.

The Bottom Line

iTalkBB offers two plans that each include their standard set of features.

  • Global Unlimited Plan: ($24.99 per month) New accounts with 2 year contracts receive the first 6 months for an introductory rate of $9.99 per month. A free 'China Local Number' can also be applied to an account for 12 months, which will not incur any international calling charges.
  • Residential Economic Plan: ($4.99 per month) Requires a one-year contract. A free China Local Number can be applied to accounts for 6 months, and enables users to call to the U.S.A. without international charges.
  • Global Unlimited Annual Plan: ($299.00 per year) Essentially the same plan as the Global Unlimited Plan, with the addition of 500 minutes to share across 2 mobile phones supported through the iTalk Freedom service. There is no contract required with this plan, so any unused monthly charges will be refunded if a user decides to cancel within the year of full service.

Additional Fees:

  • Activation fee: ($29.99)
  • Hardware Shipping Fee: ($9.99)
  • Plan Change Fee: ($29.99) Charged when a user changes from their current plan to a plan that costs at least $10.00 per month.
  • Deactivation Fee: ($59.99)
  • Early Termination Fee: ($69.99) charged when cancelling an account within an active contract.
  • iTalkBB can be purchased at a reduced price if purchased in a bundle with iTalk's Chinese television service.

Overall Thoughts

Currently, iTalkBB holds a very low recommendation rate on WhichVoIP.com. With a good amount of competing VoIP services available, it may be beneficial to browse other services to compare rates and features. Read through the user reviews to get a better grasp on the general consensus of those who have spent time and money on the service before committing to a lengthy contract. Though it is a very reasonably priced service, the frequency of complaints and the larger than average amount of fees may be more of a hassle than the service is worth.

Being a service that caters to those with family and friends in East Asia and North America, iTalkBB is obviously best suited for those expecting to make regular calls between the two regions. The ability to bundle with iTalk's Chinese language TV service may also appeal to this demographic. However, it should be noted that there are multiple other VoIP services that feature reduced international call rates and include East Asia in their service area.


iTalkBB Overview

With over 80 user submitted reviews dating back to 2006 there is a good sample size to help anyone considering iTalkBB service. Unfortunately a large percentage of the reviews are negative, resulting in a "Poor to OK" average rating and a very low recommended percentage score. We still recommend looking through the comments and different rating aspects to make your own conclusions. Also, ask friends/colleagues that may have used this service for their opinions. If you have used this service then we would love to get your feedback, just click on one of the available links below or opposite.

Average phone service, horibble customer service & forget about porting out your number.

All User Reviews (Page 1 of 10)

Total Number 98 5 Stars 9
Thumbs Up 15 4 Stars 8
Thumbs Down 82 3 Stars 20
Average Rating 2.4 2 Stars 40
More Providers 1 Star 21

iTalkBB reviews are listed in chronological order.

Run away from iTalkBB!

Overall rating (1)

#98 : JUN 16th, 2017 :

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iTalkBB should feel honored to receive one star! Because they deserve a zero star! I have been in the US for more than 17 years. I have to say iTalkBB has been the worst company I have ever dealt with. They gave you the warmest welcome when you sign up. But you will expect the most greedy goodbye experiences when you cancel. I transferred my number to Verizon in 4/18 2017, and thought iTalkBB service will be automatically canceled. However, just to confirm, I called them on 4/20 to confirm. They tried every method for me to stay with their services. After they realized I will definitely go, they changed. I insisted that they don't charge me any more. They agreed. Two months later, I found they have charged my credit card for $29.97 for the service of 4/20 - 5/19. I called them, they said you called at the first day of the billing cycle, we have to charge the whole month! I said my number was already transferred to Verizon on 4/18, how did you provide the service for me for 4/20-5/19? They refuse to refund! To all those who want to sign up with them: Please, not only is their service really bad but also you have much better options.

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Please think twice before signning up

Overall rating (2.1)

#97 : FEB 23rd, 2017 :

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I have been using iTalkBB's phone service since 2007 and I recently cancelled my service. Here is what happened to me since 2 years ago: every time my parents made an international call, the call will be cut off at random times. I called iTalkBB service and they did something on their backend to try to make things better. Things did not get better. I asked if they should provide a more updated box to me because the one I have been using is 8 years old already..... I was told that since I have bought the box (it was the only option in 2007) they would not be able to ship me the new box. I would have to buy another box. I have to say, their customer service was OK. They told me what they have done in the back end. As an IT person, it made sense. After that phone call, my parents told me the calls did not get cut off as frequently but the quality went down and there was static noise. Recently, we finally decided that we want to get out of iTalkBB phone service and just use Google Voice instead. After all, Google Voice is cheaper, more flexible, and a lot higher quality. And here is how things went south: iTalkBB tried their best to keep me on their service, which I can totally understand. Our mind is made up, we are switching. So, I patiently told them again, again and again that I just want to cancel. Finally, they gave up. But then they told me that the phone box belongs to them and I had to ship it back to them within 15 days or they will charge me $59.99. I was like, what? I own the phone box, that is why you would not give me a new one 2 years ago. They told me there must be a mistake because they should be able to give me a new one. I said "OK. That was 2 years ago. The fact is they told me no. So, let's not focus on the past. The issue we have now is you asked me to return the box that I have paid for." Then the iTalkBB person, said they have reimbursed me a monthly base from 2008-2009. My answer to her was "I paid for the box. you decided to reimburse me, that is iTalkBB's decision. It does not change the fact that I bought the box. It is like you go shopping, and bought a skirt. Then the company told you they will pay you back for the skirt for some reason. You accepted it. But then you found out the skirt doesn't fit you so you go return it, but come to find out you need to pay the company back for the skirt if you are returning it. That doesn't even make sense." Then that person went on to try to rationalize iTalkBB's behavior. And here is the kicker. They want original condition of their equipment, including the Internet cable. I almost laughed my butt off. It has been 10 years in my case. I moved 3 times in the past 10 years. An Internet cable is an Internet cable. No one cares about original or not as long as it works. Not to mention that the cable may not work anymore after 10 years. At the end, I simply told her "Look, it will only cost me around $5 to ship you back this 10 year old equipment that I have no use for. I would simply take it to the electronic center and recycle it. If you want this junk back, I WILL ship this junk back to you. Please note that our conversation has taught me that I will never ever return to iTalkBB anymore because they simply do not have any integrity. This $5 will also earn iTalkBB my honest opinion on all the possible online review websites I can find. I am not upset at you. You are just following what was given to you. The problem lies in the whole philosophy and culture of iTalkBB. I will not trust them and I will not give a penny to them moving forward. Again, I am sorry you will have to take the blunt comments from me. If you do not truly believe iTalkBB's way of doing business. I don't think you are happy in what you are doing. If that is the case, I hope you find a better job soon. Your patience to me and your insistence for keeping customers will earn you a much better job in a much better company. You are too good for iTalkBB". I mean it. She was a good customer service representative, she was caught between a rock and a hard place. I hope this review is candid and honest. I tried to be as objective as possible.

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Very Poor Customer Service

Overall rating (2)

#96 : JAN 31st, 2017 :

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I called a dozen times trying to cancel the service, they either transferred me to automatic service or offered call back but never happened. They don't provide an equipment return service. Seems like ITALKBB is really going down after the new owner took over.

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Difficulty in porting phone number out

Overall rating (1)

#95 : JAN 6th, 2016 :

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italkbb gave me the run around by not providing a standard Customer Service Record (CSR) to the recipient company and also not providing italkbb's correct address during the process. Thereby preventing the porting of my telephone number for three months, despite of 450 minutes on the phone with italkbb and recipient company (many times with conference call among all three parties - the two companies and myself). Both companies had phone and computer records of the numerous phone calls that I had with them. I provided an email sent by italkbb regarding my customer service record. I forwarded this email to the recipient company, on December 20, 2015 and the porting process was still denied by italkbb. The porting process started in October, 2015 and experienced denial by italkbb at least 3 times. After I called the 9th time on 1/4 and 1/6, italkbb sent me an email saying the problem that I experienced was due to the wrong address that italkbb provided in their "CSR" previously. I seriously doubt italkbb's claim. Can they make the same "mistakes" 8 consecutive times over three months? italkbb just want me to keep paying them!

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Bad service, do not waste your money

Overall rating (1.6)

#94 : NOV 24th, 2015 :

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I have been using ITalkBB for near 10 years. ITalkBB customer support has been terrible; but I was just patient and tolerant because I did not have time to look at other companies. Recently, I can not tolerate ITalkBB anymore and did my research to choose another company. I noticed Ooma and made the switch. I am extremely happy with them and save money (from $30 to $5 monthly). I wish that I had done my research earlier.

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Not good service, don't waste your money

Overall rating (1.9)

#93 : SEP 1st, 2015 :

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Unreliable connection, congested traffic, and poor quality of sound and picture (actually no sound, just noise today).

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Please avoid this company at all costs

Overall rating (1)

#92 : MAY 8th, 2015 :

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I signed up for ItalkBB Internet service because they promised me to provide us with reliable service at a competitive price. The installation and activation date was set up on April 11th, 2015 between 8:00 am to 12:00am. My Internet service was never activated. I called italkBB numerous times, explained my situation as I have set up appointment with my home alarm company on Monday, and need my Internet installed before they can do the installation. They first promised me to have my Internet fixed by Saturday afternoon, then Sunday am, and I got a call on Sunday and they promised me the Internet will be activated by Monday, and then Tuesday! On Thursday of the second week, I called them again and over the phone they told me they have to resend a technician to do the installation, and have no idea when that would happen. The only solution they ever provided to me was to WAIT! In the meantime, I am suffering the home insurance loss as my home security system was not installed because there is no Internet and that caused my home insurance premium to go up. In addition, as we purchased the bundle products from ItalkBB and their telephone service is also running on Internet, we don't have telephone and Internet at my residence until I finally had enough and decided to switch to another Internet provider. Even though I have never used ItalkBB's Internet service for a single day, they still charged me for more than $100 for the activation and monthly fee. I made several complaints over the phone, and again they promised to refund the monthly fee and compensate for my insurance lost and the cost to reschedule the home alarm company to redo the installation, but more than 3 weeks have gone by, no one from ItalkBB contacted me for the refund and compensation. Again, the solution they gave me is YOU HAVE TO WAIT, and they don't even know when they are going to contact me!

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Don't use them!

Overall rating (1.7)

#91 : APR 25th, 2015 :

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I wish I could give zero stars. Incredibly spotty service - my Internet uptime for the past week has been less than an hour at a time. Customer service is unhelpful as expected, with comments such as "reset your router", or "we will look into it and call you back". If you're looking for a good connection, this is not it.

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Poor service

Overall rating (2.9)

#90 : NOV 26th, 2014 :

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Service was good 1 year ago, but in recent months the quality of calls has been poor and calls are constantly dropping. The person on the other end of my call hears a delay.

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No problems...

Overall rating (4.1)

#89 : FEB 2nd, 2014 :

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I have been using iTalkBB VoIP for over 4 years now and have not had any major problems. The sound quality is decent, I can't remember the last dropped call, and the features: free calls across Canada, emailed voicemail messages, local access numbers across Canada, detailed billing, caller id, call forwarding etc..etc.. for ONLY $9/month.. which easily would cost $50/month with Bell. The only negative that I can think of is their customer support. I cannot understand their phone support people and their email support always starts with "It's my honor to reply your letter"...and then a reply to something different from what I asked. BUT, the service works fine, my last complaint was over 2 years ago (I wanted to know why there are only 6 months of billing info on their web site). I have read so many complaints about iTalkBB, that I felt compelled to offer a positive experience (before iTalkBB I used Comwave, which was a real disaster!!).

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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.

Summary

Total Number 98 5 Stars 9
Thumbs Up 15 4 Stars 8
Thumbs Down 82 3 Stars 20
Average Rating 2.4 2 Stars 40
More Providers 1 Star 21

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