Overall Rating3.673.673.673.673.67
Service and Support2.332.332.332.332.33
Setup and Interface3.673.673.673.673.67
Ease of Use3.673.673.673.673.67

magicJack Upgrade

A few days ago, my magicJack lost all its phone numbers. I thought it must be a glitch and rebooted the PC, but no go. I allowed a day to pass, and no go. I finally went to the magicJack website and got this unhelpful text, suggesting that a lot of customers had called them:

IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT CONTACT LIST

We are pleased to announce that magicJack customers have now received our latest magicJack upgrade. This upgrade includes the following benefits:

  • Less bugs
  • Superior call quality
  • Works on Windows and Mac
  • Easy to use
  • and much more

There may be some magicJack users that will no longer have their past contact list available. Please create a new contact list. Our latest upgrade, with advanced features should prevent this from ever happening again. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Agents will not be able to restore contact list.

Ouch. I had only three contacts in my list and I felt for others who might have hundreds. This is an example of magicJack coming across as a very small operation, probably with the owner being the webmaster and tech support, running it from his bedroom.

What’s the next biggest problem for folks like me? Yes, how does one upgrade? Some customers may think “magicJack customers have now received our latest magicJack upgrade” must mean that their devices have been upgraded magically. The above page (URL) doesn’t have a link to any page telling you how to upgrade.

If that is the case, mine wasn’t. How do I know? I had to do a Google search to find it. There was a tip somewhere that you have to go to the FAQ/Knowledgebase page to get the upgrade. The search tool is poor and finally the word “upgrade” led me to the link below.

Downloading the magicJack upgrade

You can download the upgrade program here: magicJack.exe. Yes, it is a 12 MB .exe file dated 15 August 2010 and it worked fine in Windows 7.

Upgrading your magicJack

Run the magicjack.exe file.

Start the upgrade program

The softphone will close and in a few moments the upgrade takes place.

Lucky me, indeed. Lucky I lost just 3 contacts, not 500.

Lucky me, indeed. Lucky I lost just 3 contacts, not 500.

How do you know if your software has been upgraded? Here is the new softphone, with the Menu link having moved to the left and the drop-down menu has some changes.

New softphone

New magicJack softphone

New magicJack softphone showing the menu

Old softphone

Previous magicJack softphone

Previous magicJack softphone

Not surprisingly, there is no way for me to enter my address for the 911 setting, being outside the US. (The previous interface did.) The country dropdown doesn’t have anything other than the US (why bother with a drop-down then). Not even Canada, where the magicJack is also sold.

Disturbingly, as you can see in the drop-down menu, my device is Unregistered. I typed to the tech support agent who said not to worry as long as I could use the device. There was no date available for a more reassuring message to appear there. My subscription expires in 2016, so I shouldn’t worry for the time being. OK.

I also asked the agent whether upgrades are automatically pushed to the devices and he said “Yes”. I asked how long does it take to upgrade all customers and he didn’t have an answer. (Goes to show how much time would be saved if the company bought some marketing advice.)

911 address setup

911 address setup

I guess I will get used to the small-company feel of the magicJack. The price is right and you get what you pay for. I will remember to keep my contacts duplicated in Outlook.

Please add your experience below. Did you lose your contacts? Did the upgrade work on your system?

Ash Nallawalla

Ash Nallawalla reviews products for many publications, notably PC Update. He writes a monthly column for APC Magazine, the largest consumer printed PC magazine in Australia.

12 Customer Reviews of “magicJack Upgrade”

Review by Sam Wexler, August 22, 2010

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Great review! I just installed the upgrade with no problem. Everyone should install it to prevent possible issues in the future.

Review by Linda Gonse, August 23, 2010

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Thank you for the heads-up on the upgrade. It was a very timely review.

In fact, my MagicJack (not yet upgraded) quit working yesterday. After some confusion, I discovered the reason was that the subscription had to be renewed. (It would be great to be notified a week or two before expiration, so the bill could be paid and the service would not be interrupted.)

However, online renewal was available — although not without its problems. For one thing, it wouldn’t accept my credit card. And, it took a very long time to get an online chat with a “tech.” Apparently, the tech was handing several chats at one time and kept coming back and asking “May I assist you?” “Can I assist you?” “How can I assist you?” “Let me assist you.” Even after I’d initially described my problem. Once, the tech took about 4-5 minutes to get back to me after I’d answered a question. So, I typed “Hello?” In a minute or two, the tech typed “Yes?” :-)))) :-))))

Once it was operational again, I upgraded without a problem.

Review by Rajan Shastri, August 23, 2010

Mine upgraded itself. It is a great device and service. A few glitches, so what. Don’t like it…pay the piper. So what if it is a small company? Better lean and mean than fat and ugly!

Review by Rajan Shastri, August 23, 2010

Ah…and one more thing…are people thrilled with Microsoft? CISCO? By the time new technology becomes glitch free, it is time for a new, new thing…like video!

Review by Editor, August 23, 2010

Don’t forget to give it a rating.

Review by Diane, August 30, 2010

Thanks for this review. I haven’t used my Magic Jack in awhile. I would have been very surprised the next time I plugged it in. Very helpful.

Review by Chris Paulsen, August 31, 2010

Ash,

Your review is very helpful. It’s easy to read, has good illustrations, and is to the point. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Chris

Review by larry, September 3, 2010

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MAGICJACK DID EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THEIR RECENT UPGRADE!! Magicjack did not give their users any warning that they were going to be loading new software. Also, they did the load in the middle of the day during high traffic period. Proper procedure is to load systems during low traffic period. To make matters worse they destroyed our data files in the process. What idiots! Totally unprofessional.
So I’m one of the many unlucky ones that Magicjack lost my phone list. It was very time consuming and painstaking to build the list the first time. I probably wont bother with building it again. Probably won’t re-up for the service after it expires either. After this experience I’ve completely lost confidence in Magicjack.
And their customer support is awful. They put the chat session on hold for 5 minutes at a time and then usually they don’t have any answers anyway. Best they can do is say “sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry”. I asked to be compensated for all the trouble and they basically said they really don’t care. They would not take an official complaint from me. I told them I wanted to send a complaint letter but they told me that names and addresses of corporate employees were confidential.

Review by Marty Jackson, December 15, 2010

I have nagicjack for three years and I have had so many problems. I have worked with tech support a hundred times and my magic jack STILL does n ot work right. I can make one call a day then it goes down. This is not even worth $20 a year. I am looking for another phone service.
the customer support people act like robots. You can’t get a straight answer out them they just refer back to their script. Most unprofessional company I have ever done business with.

Review by Ash Nallawalla, December 16, 2010

Yes, this is the classic small company that has chosen to stay small and ignore the customers who aren’t satisfied by their scripted tech support. It is a workable model, as long as enough customers keep buying. A long time ago I was a product manager for a modem company and we found that there are some customers whose problem couldn’t be solved by tech support.

In case the fault lies with your PC, eliminate it by plugging the magicJack into a borrowed PC. A lot of the complaints I can find on forums are 1-2 years old: http://bit.ly/fthNgl

Review by Gloria Archer-Williams, August 1, 2011

My magicjack internet phone is reading “Shutting down, please wait.” What is wrong. I cannot make phone calls. I

Review by Ash Nallawalla, August 1, 2011

Try to uninstall it and reinstall it. If that doesn’t work, call their tech support. This site may also help: http://www.justanswer.com/computer-topics-magic-jack/questions.html