netTALK Issues Terse Response to magicJack Criticism

nettalk-boxIt’s on! Or is it? In response to magicJack founder Dan Borislow’s sharply-worded comments last week, competitor netTALK has issued a very measured response, defending the credentials of its executives and highlighting the benefits of its TK6000 product, without mentioning its chief rival by name.

While declining our request for a phone interview, netTALK CEO Anastasios “Takis” Kyriakides sent us the following statement via e-mail:

We, at netTALK, would like to respond to the comments made about our company and our product, the TK6000, as of late. Contrary to comments made, our company is founded and run by a staff of seasoned executives with decades of experience who firmly attests to and stands behind the high quality of netTALK’s policies, customer service practices, network and product development activities. Unlike others on the market, the TK6000 works independent of a computer, offering more convenience, flexibility and functionality to the end user – not to mention cost and energy savings. Because the TK6000 is flexible enough to not require the use of a fully powered computer to make and receive calls like other units, our customers are able to save time, energy and money. We developed the TK6000 by reviewing the current leading products in the category and focusing on the best attributes from each, resulting in a product we, and our loyal customers, feel is a best-of-all-worlds communication device.


On Wednesday, magicJack’s Borislow wasn’t nearly as diplomatic when he ripped into netTALK, whose TK6000 device, like the magicJack, offers customers the opportunity to make unlimited domestic voice calls using their Internet connections. When asked about his rival, Borislow said:

It’s a piece of sh*t. It has static. The call quality is pathetic. There’s no phone numbers available, and it’s run by a bunch of fly-by-nights with no assets. They’ll be bankrupt soon. We’re a real company with the best network and best software.

netTALK’s longevity seems to be the cause of some speculation.In addition to Borislow’s prediction that “they’ll be bankrupt soon,” BusinessWeek.com’s stock section has a news update from December 14, 2009 that reads:

Net Talk.Com Inc. filed its 10-K on December 14, 2009 for the period ending September 30, 2009. In this report its auditor, KBL, LLP, gave an unqualified opinion expressing doubt that the company can continue as a going concern.

However, the very same 10-K statement says:

Prior to  our fiscal year ended September 30, 2009, we were in our development stage.  Commencing with the fourth quarter of our year ended September
30, 2009, we concluded that we have substantially established our operating architecture and have commenced revenue producing activities sufficient to
emerge from the development stage of operations.

Prior to  our fiscal year ended September 30, 2009, we were in our development stage.  Commencing with the fourth quarter of our year ended September 30, 2009, we concluded that we have substantially established our operating architecture and have commenced revenue producing activities sufficient to emerge from the development stage of operations.

Now that it is past the development stage, the company’s future likely hinges on the success of  its TK6000 product, which is built on a solid, but not innovative concept. Being able to connect a phone device directly to the router rather than the computer is a huge convenience, but Vonage has been offering a similar service for years now and many cable companies offer their own phone service via VoIP boxes as well.  The key, in netTALK’s case is that it offers the device and service for a one-time-only fee of $99 while Vonage typically charges $24.99 a month and most cable companies charge a lot more than that (Time Warner here in New York charges $45/month).

We haven’t had a chance to test the TK6000 yet, but we’re expecting to get in a review unit in the near future and put Kyriakides’ claims to the test. If it lives up to its claims and the company stays afloat, magicJack could be in for a challenge.

AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. steve Says:

    at least they show some class!

  2. Kosherdog Says:

    Laptop failed to point out that the TK6000 is innovative in that it will work either way, like Vonage via a router, or like the other company via the USB port. This really does give the user the ability to go either way.

  3. Eric Says:

    Laptop also failed to note that Nettalks owner and Shark Tanks Kevin Harrington are partners and they are also partners with OmniReliant. In business, we are taught to follow the money. Bottom line, expect the truth to hurt Nettalk.

  4. mike garcia Says:

    Vonage is just like another plain ol’ telephone company…going to make the switch

  5. William Walker Says:

    WARNING

    My Magic Jack took out the 5V power supply for the USB ports on the right side of my Compaq Presario. Contacted HP. Tech I talked to said they have received a lot of calls on this. Supposedly the Magic Jack draws too much current and takes out the power supply. Can’t be fixed by replacing a fuse — need to completely replace the mother board to fix. Tech said HP doesn’t recommend using a Magic Jack with any of their laptops.

  6. Lorichum Says:

    I have an HP laptop and after reading William Walker’s 3-8-2010 comment that the HP Tech does not recommend using Magic Jack with any of their laptops, I am delaying installing my Magic Jack installation.

    I have the 2-piece equipment USB extension cord and the Phone Jack/USB Plug. I want to port my existing U-Verse telephone number when I switch over to Magic Jack and I would rather connect through the router so that I don’t need to leave my laptop on constantly. I don’t mind plugging the phone into the router because the purpose of a laptop rather than a desktop is the portability of the laptop!

  7. Dave Roberts Says:

    I implemented NetTalk this past weekend. I have been on a host of conference calls since then and absolutely love the call quality! Folks should remember that Internet speed is likely a key factor in call quality. But who in they day and age don’t have a broadband connection? What some might want to do is obtain a Google Voice (GV) number – share your new number with friends and family, then have GV ring simultaneously to your office line, cell phone, etc. What I find advantageous to this is that I don’t have to give out my real office or cell phone number, which in my case, has changed a few times over the last several years. The real test will be whether or not NetTalk holds firm on its annual price point for service. If they do, and if they maintain a solid, redundant network backbone, I will be a loyal customer for years to come!

  8. warren waage Says:

    i tried net talk duo, but magic jack is far more superior in voice quality i think this has to do with with the usb port having more power, another feature that i like about magic jack is that i can feed the phone line into the wall jack so i can pick up any phone in the house.(but first disconnect the incoming phone line from the street) the duo does not have the power to support this, something they need to beef up.. it does not have call blocking but neither does magic jack, but magic jack is working on this feature……

  9. Barry Howard Says:

    This service into the Vancouver area of Canada is terrible (dropped calls, 3 second drop-outs during calls, etc). Wait times are 90 minutes to speak with a Tech (should tell you something about the number of problems) so after spending 17 hours trying to reach them or speaking to them I completed a “ticket”. Carlos will not reply to me anymore and the Customer Service Manager told me that it isn’t Nettalk’s responsibility to ensure I have a proper telephone service; I should speak to the Retailer about this. How the Retailer can fix technical non service issues is beyond my comprehension. This would be like Verizon, Telus, Bell or Rogers washing their hands of non service. Nettalk has washed their hands of me; I can’t be the only one

  10. Mrs Scott Says:

    I was a magicjack user for about 3yrs. My subscription was up again and I was going to renew, when I decided to do some research on the upgraded version, the Magicjack Plus. I was tired of having to leave my computer on 24/7. This is when I learned about the Nettalk Duo. I purchased the Duo and have been using it, for about 4 months now. I travel alot and have used the Duo with at least five different modems & wireless routers. I have to say that as long as you use one of the modems/routers in the list that works well with the Duo, and not one of the ones in the list that doesnt work well with the Duo, THE CALL QUALITY IS MUCH MUCH BETTER than that of the Magicjack.

    I do not have dropped calls, nor do I have any of the issues that I have seen others complain about. You may have to log into your modem/router and make sure that the firmware is updated, but the only issue I have ever had with my duo, was when I used a router in the BAD LIST, or every now and then during a call, it sounds as if a button was being pushed, and I had to hang up and call the person back. Most of the time, they didnt even hear it, and it was actually a rare occurrence. It seemed to happen when I had been on the phone for 4-5 hours or more on one phone call. There is a 5,000 minute limit per month, but I am not sure if that is total calls or just outgoing calls. I have not yet had any issues with passing the limit (83.3333 hours per month)

    I would DEFINITELY recommend the Nettalk Duo. I would say to try the Nettalk Duo WIFI, because it also gives you the option of using it at hotels, airports, friends homes, where you are not able to connect your Duo directly to a router. I HAVE NOT YET TRIED THE WIFI, but I will be purchasing one soon. I have plenty of family who could use these. After paying $20-$30/yr for nationwide phone service, I cant ever seeing going back to landline or Vonage type services. I actually didnt have a home phone for a long time because of the high cost and opted for unlimited cell usage instead, WHICH I STILL HAVE. :-)

    PS. There are features such as *98 from your Nettalk Duo phone to listen to your voicemail. They still do not have the option to setup your voicemail with your own recording, but they do offer voicemail that you can listen to via your account on Nettalk’s website, via email, or via your Nettalk Duo phone. They also offer call forwarding, with a priority or multi-ring feature (sorta like find me, follow me). You can turn your voicemail on or off. I HOPE THIS HELPS….

  11. Mike Garcia Says:

    Their fraudulent activity is finally coming to an end. It is about time. Class action lawsuits have been filed: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/pomerantz-law-firm-has-filed-a-class-action-against-magicjack-vocaltec-ltd-and-certain-officers—20130118-00698

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