Life with an Orcon Genius - In use
Saturday October 1
I realised yesterday that it is almost two months since I started using the Orcon Genius. The fact that I have written little about it in that time, and that I haven't really noticed I've been living with the system, speaks volumes I think. I've been with Orcon for some time, but I don't know if it is the fact I have a new router more or less set up for me by Orcon, or whether that I simply have a new hardware item in the house (although my previous router was great), but I have been very impressed.
That said, there are still some quirks that I have experienced and I think Orcon need to do more for their customers at the time that they first come on board with the Genius. I said early on that in the first email I got confirming my order, there was no detail as to what I had actually signed up for. I commented at the time that I really hated call waiting, and now I suspect I didn't sign up for it...but finding whether that is true or not has been more of a challenge than it should have been. There should have simply been a "Here's what you've ordered" email delivered immediately, followed up by a "Here's how to use each of these things" at the time I went live. Getting a response from Orcon by posting criticism on Twitter isn't a way I like to work (but it gets the response needed) and not how Orcon should be working. Their Help Desk needs to become more responsive!
The only other criticism is a minor one, and that's living with VOIP. I've said previously that I've worked in a couple of organisations with VOIP phones and in those organisations you can really tell the difference in quality between someone calling you on a VOIP phone and someone making a traditional call. I've not experienced any drop in quality with Orcon...in fact I've had some of the clearest phone conversations I have had in a long time. But with all VOIP systems there is that potential for that millisecond of delay between people (especially when you interrupt what the other person is saying) and I do notice that occasionally. I certainly did notice it when a friend called from the UK on another VOIP system. But it's not enough to be frustrating, and it's not enough to make me want to stop using the Genius. I'm saving money and I'm sold on it.
I see they are putting the price up in the next couple of days, so I suspect that if you're interested in the Genius, this weekend is probably a good time to sign up!
What follows is a couple of things I noted down over the past two months...
Wednesday August 24
I had no plans to start writing about the Orcon Genius this early, but I had to laugh when an email came through from Orcon this morning saying "We can see that you are up and running and hope you are enjoying putting your phone calls over the internet". As stated in the last article, the email to let me know the change to the Genius was occurring supposedly failed (it seems others have experienced this also)...yet somehow they managed to send me this one? That's not a major issues, but my point is that there is still a gap between the excellent material prior to set up, and the help and information you receive (I assume) at the time you need to get connected. I had questions at the time I couldn't find the answer for, and that moment (the plugging in of the Genius) is one of the most crucial and needs to be supported well.
The email I received was just a nice reminder about what I would see in my first Orcon Genius bill, which I think is a nice touch.
But now to the good news...I am more than happy with the Genius. Like other reviews, I'm pleased with it mostly because I don't notice it...it's just there, and it's just working. But I have noticed a number of positives. I'm really really impressed with the quality of the audio on VOIP. I've worked in two organisations now who deliver calls over VOIP phones...and you know when someone phones you on one of those. The sound quality is poorer and sometimes there's a miniscule delay that makes conversations frustrating. Audio quality via the Genius has been superb. I've been really, really impressed. On a couple of occasions I've noticed a miniscule delay when interrupting someone (or them talking over me) but that has been rare.
Network performance seems better than I had before. I know that seems odd, given that I was on the same plan, but I am convinced that things download much faster than before.
Sunday September 4
Got around to the folks only to be told by them that they had just phoned me at home and left a message. I thought I'd show off by playing the voicemail on my phone, so checked my email...no message. Rang and left a voicemail at home...again, no message. I got home and phoned my place from my mobile. The voicemail was emailed to me. Phoned a couple of friends and asked them to call and leave messages. They did, but nothing was ever emailed out. Tried my mobile again, and it got sent to me. For some bizarre reason, it seems that voicemail calls from landlines are not being emailed to me. The one saving grace is that at least the phone still reminds me there are messages when I pick up the phone and hear the tone.
I've submitted a support ticket about this issue. I submitted one on 24 August that I've had no response to (other than the email to acknowledge my submission) so at the moment I'm not hopeful. Orcon support seems to be really faltering currently.
Tuesday September 6
I find myself disappointed that the way to get Orcon to respond at the moment seems to be to post a public comment on Twitter and draw the attention of the Orcon PR people. That said, it worked.
After tweeting that I wasn't receiving all my voicemail messages as emails, I was tweeted back asking to provide both Help Desk numbers. I did and they were resolved. In the case of the voicemails, I'm intrigued.
I have my Orcon email account set to automatically forward everything. I don't use my Orcon email account at all. This was the account that was having voicemail notifications sent to it. Orcon replied and said that because I have all my emails emailed to another account, they have now set Orcon Genius to do the same. On testing, it worked.
- How come when I first set up Orcon Genius it did forward all voicemail notifications to my other email address (in other words, it was working)?
- How come calls I made from my mobile phone as a test always came through fine? It was only calls from a landline that failed.
I can't see how any of that relates to what email address I use, so despite the fact it appears to have worked, I remain sceptical as to whether that truly was the issue.