SunRocket Saviors

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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SunRocket Saviors

A college friend of mine, Robert Traphan, was caught up in the SunRocket going down fiasco, so he was asking my advice as to a good replacement for SunRocket. He just received an email from SunRocket which explains different options available to SunRocket customers and which he forwarded to me. Interestingly enough, they negotiated with two providers and are recommending Packet8 and TeleBlend but not the big boy - Vonage. I'm surprised Vonage didn't want to work directly with SunRocket in acquiring their customers.  Sure would be a heck of a lot cheaper customer acquisition than the millions they spend on TV advertising.

What is very interesting is that Teleblend is offering a seamless migration to their service. You can use your existing SunRocket hardware, keep your phone number, and have all the features you did with SunRocket. They are offering the same basic SunRocket deal for $12.95/month for the remaining of your SunRocket time. The email states, "Teleblends has been working behind the scenes already to restore and continue service for all Sun Rocket customers The service works in the same way as SunRocket.s and offers an identical feature set with our Unlimited Transfer Plan." So the big advantage of TeleBlend is $12.95/month, no hassle porting the #, and no hassle setting up a new VoIP device with someone else.

And now, let me put on my conspiracy cap. First, I never heard of TeleBlend. In fact, their whois record says it was created on 18-Jul-2007 - just 2 days ago.  Here's the whois record:
Registrant:
UnCommUn
5 Bragdon Lane
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
US

Domain name: TELEBLEND.NET
Administrative Contact:
CEO, CEO info@teleblend.net
5 Bragdon Lane
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
US
8772524548
Technical Contact:
Null, Dev hostmaster@prexar.com
40 Summer Street
Bangor, Maine 04401
US
207-974-4300 Fax: 207-974-4378

Registration Service Provider:
Prexar, LLC., hostmaster@prexar.com
1-800-288-5072
207-848-3429 (fax)
http://www.prexar.com
Any account modifications (name changes, DNS changes, renewals, etc.)
should be done through Prexar, LLC.

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 19-Jul-2007.
Record expires on 18-Jul-2008.
Record created on 18-Jul-2007.
I wonder if the people running TeleBlend are simply former Sunrocket employees. Maybe they simply switched over to the new company to avoid all their creditors? Think of it. Start a VoIP company, spend millions, get 200,000 customers. Incur lots of debt, claim bankruptcy, then start a new company and try and bring over many of the 200,000 customers as you can. I'm not saying that's what happened. I'd have to look at Teleblend's history and board of directors. but interesting that they are new and they seem to have an "in" with SunRocket in using SunRocket's equipment. When I go to their FAQ page, look at their uber-vague description for "Who are you?"
Who are you?
We are Teleblend, your broadband telephone company. We are offering you new service to ensure that you have uninterrupted phone service. The transition to Teleblend will be totally seamless and your service will continue as it always. All you have to do is go to our web site at http://www.myteleblend.net and sign up.

Uhhh, that doesn't tell me anything about who you are and you want me to trust my phone service with you?

Assuming most SunRocket VoIP hardware's firmware is "locked", which I believe it is, TeleBlend would either need to take over SunRocket's SIP servers or they would need the username and passwords to update the firmware on the various SunRocket devices. If SunRocket has the ability to have others modify the SIP settings in the firmware, why not offer this to big VoIP players like Vonage? Seems mighty suspicious to me.

In any event, here's the SunRocket email if curious and in the meantime I'll see if I can get TeleBlend on the horn.

-------- Original Message --------
 Subject: Important Message from SunRocket
 Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 14:08:43 -0400 (EDT)
 From: sunrocket@sunrocket.com
 To: SunRock@nospam.com

Dear Customers,

After significant effort by the Company to avoid this result, SunRocket is in the process of closing its operations and therefore will no longer be able to provide you with the phone service that you have been accustomed to. However, this email provides you with an opportunity to sign up with select service providers who we believe will offer outstanding replacement service

In order to assist you, we have entered into negotiations with a number of service providers. As a result of those negotiations, we have entered into agreements with 8x8, Inc., provider of the Packet8 service, and Unified Communications Corp., provider of Teleband service to offer you the best options and we are proud to recommend the following alternatives to you. Please make your decision to move to a new service provides immediately as future service is uncertain.


8x8/Packet8
The Packet8 Internet phone service incorporates patent protected technology from 8x8. Inc., a publicly traded company in business for more than 20 years. The service works in the same way as SunRocket.s and offers a virtually identical feature set.

. No Startup Costs
. FREE activation
. FREE equipment
. FREE shipping
. FREE first month of service
. Quickly port your number at no charge

A Savings of over $100!

Copy and paste the following link into your Internet browser: http://getpacket8.packet8.net/sunrocket/ or call 1-800-868-0068 and mention special offer code SUNROCKET

Unified Communications Corp./TeleBlend
The TeleBlend Internet phone service incorporates patent-protected technology from Unified Communications Corp., a privately held company in business to provide outstanding customer service and telephony products. Teleblends has been working behind the scenes already to restore and continue service for all Sun Rocket customers The service works in the same way as SunRocket.s and offers an identical feature set with our Unlimited Transfer Plan.
. No Startup Costs
. FREE activation
. USE your existing hardware
. FREE and Quick transfer of your current number
. No Need to port your number to another provider
. UNLIMITED calling to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico

Copy and paste the following link into your Internet browser: http://www.myteleblend.net

It has been our pleasure to service you at SunRocket!

Update: 1:09pm
Check out these screenshots takes from Sunrocket's and Teleblend's websites. Notice the phone numbers are only different by the last digit? 877-252-4548 vs 877-252-4549
TeleBlend Support Number 

Sunrocket Support number

Here's the links to verify for yourself:
https://www.teleblend.com/Support.aspx
http://www.sunrocket.com/contact/

Even though the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Unified Communications Ltd is now running SunRocket's operations, this still seems a little fishy to me. A little research into Unified Communications Ltd. I came across their website. Their About Us page does mention VoIP, however their News section doesn't mention SunRocket and their last news release was in 2006. That doesn't give me a lot of confidence in a company that doesn't regularly update their website.

They also appear to be traded on the Singapore stock exchange and is currently trading at $0.14 making them a "penny stock". So let me summarize here. They aren't based in the U.S., they are a penny stock, and they haven't updated their website since 2006. Yeah, I'll trust switching to Teleblend all right.


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