Thursday, August 16, 2007

Good News for Jajah; Bad News for Skype

Considering how much the paths of Skype and Jajah are crossing lately, there was some interesting news about each today - one good and one bad.

First, the bad news, as this is the one that has received the most attention for obvious reasons. Early this morning, a number of bloggers started commenting about an outage of service for Skype, something that hasn't happened before. As I'm writing now at night, it's still down, so this is a pretty big deal for Skype users.

I've been offline most of the day with a head cold, but will steer you to some of the blog coverage to read more - Tom Keating, Andy Abramson, Skype's Heartbeat webpage, and of course, Phil Wolff's ongoing coverage on Skype Journal.

Not the kind of news Skype users - myself included - want to hear, and of course it raises all kinds of questions about reliability, security, quality control, etc. Let's hope it's not serious, but there are certainly parties out there that revel in news like this.

On the upside, Jajah had some news of interest to my home market. It hasn't been widely reported, and it's not cited yet on Jajah's website, but they issued a press release today announcing the availability of Jajah in Canada. Basically, they've reached the point of recognizing Canada is a good market for them, especially in large urban centers like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, which have very cosmopolitan populations and lots of overseas calling to friends and family back home.

Canadians could make Jajah calls before, but now they're catering to our market by allowing callers to pay in Canadian currency. That's nice to see, and I'm sure it will help boost usage of their service. This is good for users of the service, but I have to say it adds complexity and even some risk for Jajah. The Canadian dollar has been very strong lately, and has been close to par with the U.S. With the recent stock market woes, our dollar has been plummeting and will probably be volatile for the foreseeable future. In a world where profits are made and lost on pricing increments of less than a penny, Jajah will have to be more mindful of these currency swings when setting rates for Canadian $ payment. That aside, it's good news for Canada - I just hope the word gets out! I haven't seen much evidence of that yet, but I'm sure the message will get out eventually.

I wasn't planning to say much about this news (even though I'm quoted in the press release), but the confluence of events with Skype's outage on the same day was too good to pass up.

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ipcom said...

Posted by: Frederik Hermann


thanks a lot for your support and this nice post :-) Highly appreciated!

I know that we are late on the blog post, but here it is

Have a great weekend and regards,


ipcom said...

Posted by: adam

Great to have alternatives like www.jajah.coma nd

ipcom said...

Posted by: gardenofwine

Jajah has VERY poor customer service, and have a policy of misleading customers with false pricing.
I will explain:
1) The service called "Jajah direct", is very handy. However, to use it, you must have at least 5$ in your account, or else you cannot initiate a call using your cellphone or landline. That effectively means you are paying a "registration fee" of 5$. Jajah does not tell you this information anywhere on their website.
2) If you use Jajah direct from your cell phone, Jajah will charge you the higher "cell phone" fee, even if you are calling a landline number. That means that as a customer, you pay your cell pone provider for the connectivity to the "Jajah direct" number, and Jajah charges you the higher fee as if it has initiated the call to your cell phone. In some countries, such as Israel (and not in the US), The initiator of the call pays the call to the providers.
3) I have contacted Jajah support many times - but not once did I get an answer explaining any of these obvious discrepancies between the reality and what the pricing advertised in the Jajah website.
Here is an answer I got from one of their customer service representatives:
Daniel Boston wrote me this reply:
"When you use JAJAH Direct, you pay the regular low JAJAH rates to connect to your contact. Since you are making a local call in order to initiate the JAJAH connection, any local fees would be paid to your local or cellular telephone provider. .

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again."
He does not explain at all any of the above issues, and just replies the cookie cutter response. As opposed to what he wrote, I am paying the higher Jajah rates, not the lower Jajah rates.

Irene wrote me this reply:
"Unfortunately, I cannot give you an answer that will be satisfactory to you.

Our policy regarding JAJAH Direct has been explained to you more than once."

Unfortunately, I didn't get an explanation even one time...

Please call Jajah's office and ask for Daniel Boston or Irene or any customer service representative at this number: +1-650-9674357. Its their office number in California, and their office hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm PST time.