I just got an email telling me I could buy the new 2014 magicJack Plus for $30, including six free months of service. It sounds like a good deal, but is it worth it?
After chatting with someone from magicJack chat support, this is what I found:
- You buy the new device for $30. It replaces your existing device and gives you six months to replace the six months of existing service still on your old device.
- Your old device becomes a paperweight.
- The new device will work exactly like the old device until the new firmware comes out. The new firmware will allow the device to use the internet capacity of your home wifi, your ethernet as usual and your G4 phone internet capability through either USB or SDIO port – not sure which, maybe either.
- What you get is a replacement of your existing device for $30. You don’t get six additional months of service – you get six replacement months for those you lose when your existing device becomes useless.
- magicJack rep “Drew” emphatically suggests they will not be offering a competing G4 or G3 or other competing internet service, even though he plainly used language during the chat that suggests they will.
- You don’t have to buy the new device. You can stay with your old device if you’re fine using it.
- Your new device will behave the same way you use your current device until some time before the end of this year. The device will likely be upgraded by firmware to be able to do the new things.
- I found it fairly goofy to suggest I look at the dialpad when the magjcJack plus is almost never connected via USB.
As to whether it’s worth it, I suspect that will be up to you. I was an early adopter of the mJ+, but was not an early adopter of the usb magicJack. The important thing is that you’ve been informed as to exactly what the deal entails.
Here’s the conversation I had with magicJack support. I tried to be thorough. The reward link did not work. It just went to a satisfaction survey.
Please wait for a site operator to respond.
You are now chatting with ‘Drew’
Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK1115304550272X
Drew: Hello, how may I help you?
Drew: Good day Chris, how can I be of help today?
Chris: Drew, where can I get specs about the new magicJack plus 2014? I’m hearing a lot of conflicting information, like number of USB ports, SDIO, and wifi through G4. Where can I find the latest information about what’s really happening?
Drew: We will be updating the new 2014 mj plus through our website soon, Chris. For now, we are just selling it in advance and it will work just like the current mj plus
Chris: I have to laugh, Drew. The website hasn’t really changed in many years. Magic and Jack are probably very old dogs now, and Dan’s daughter is probably in college. Can you answer some of my questions?
Drew: I understand that, the website didn’t indicate the full specifications of the new device yet.
Chris: See here’s the thing Drew. I get this email from Dan saying it’s going to be great, but he’s particularly shy on facts. I understand there’s an SDIO adapter and 2 USB ports. I don’t even know what that’s about, yet they are being offered now. If you’re selling them to me today, why can’t you tell me what’s in the box today?
Drew: The products are being sold in advance, but the new features can’t be used yet as we don’t have the complete details regarding it. For now the new 2014 mj plus will just normally work like the old version of mj plus
Chris: Does it come with additional accessories that work with the SDIO port, or is this something I’ll have to buy at a later time?
Drew: No additional accessories indluded Chris, only additional ports have been added for future use
Chris: And you have no idea what those ports are for?
Chris: Or what they are?
Drew: USB and SDIO slots have been added so that we may offer you the least expensive Internet access in the future and/or WIFI in the future
Chris: If I buy this today, does this mean my existing magicJack plus becomes a paperweight and I’m transferring my account to the new device?
Drew: That is correct sir, and you are still able to keep the same phone number
Chris: And the additional six months is not really an additional six months, but is instead a replacement of the approximately six months I have left on my current device. Is that also correct?
Chris: In other words, I’m not going to get six months on top of the six I have left on my current device.
Drew: You got that right Chris, upon transferring the remaining months, the 6 months free will be forfeited
Chris: So this is really about new hardware, no additional incentive.
Drew: Yes Chris, the device is more about new hardware, and currently no additional incentives
Chris: When does the new offer for “the least expensive Internet access in the future and/or WIFI in the future” actually roll out?
Drew: We don’t have the exact timeframe on that matter yet Chris as we are currently waiting for updates regarding it and this will be usually visible through the dial pad upon its availability
Chris: Through the dialpad… You mean when it’s attached via USB to the computer, rather than directly to the internet like most magicJack pluses?
Drew: Yes Chris, but I was just referring to the advertisement on the dial pad as you will also see the updates through it
Chris: I never have it hooked up to my computer, except when I hear there is a firmware update. Can you at least give me a time frame? this year? next year? late this year? early next year?
Drew: It shall be within the year Chris
Chris: This year?
Chris: And what’s the connection with 4G?
Drew: That will also work through 4G Chris, mostly through smartphones
Chris: So magicJack will not be offering a competitive 4G service, is that correct?
Drew: No not at all Chris
Drew: You are correct.
Drew: I mean to say magicjack will not be offering a competitive 4G service at all
Chris: majicJack will be using existing cell, wifi or ethernet service to complete all its calls. So… I’m completely puzzled because you said magicJack would offer “the least expensive Internet access in the future and/or WIFI in the future”.
Drew: I see, not to worry on this matter Chris, we shall be providing the complete information regarding the new product soon. If I may ask kindly, are you an existing magicjack customer?
Chris: Yes, and I’m happy with my mJ+. I ditched AT&T, I have just two more questions:
Drew: Sure Chris, please go ahead
Chris: 1. If you’re happy with your original hardware, you don’t have to buy the new hardware, correct?
Chris: 2. With the wifi version, will it work out of the box with wifi in cafe hotspots, or will I still need to connect up to my computer via USB to use it in a cafe?
Drew: 1. Yes Chris, you can stay with the current hardware you have.
Drew: 2. Yes it will work through any WiFi spots, no need to connect it to your computer
Chris: That’s actually surprising because most wifi hotspots in town require me to accept a usage policy in a browser, even on my laptop or wifi-tablet. Has magicJack found a way around that?
Drew: I see, we don’t have the exact information about that matter but let me forward this concern of yours to our appropriate department
Chris: Drew, I think you’ve answered all my questions. Thank you for your patience. Chris out.
Drew: My pleasure to help you Chris, I will be highlighting this conversation of ours as well for your comments and suggestions be forwarded to our management. Thank you very much for addressing your concerns as well as for your time chatting with us Chris. Have a great day to you
Drew: To be eligible for your reward, please click here. Your reward instructions will be emailed to you. Thanks again!
2013.12.08 Update: Recently magicJack has been running a cyberweek special that allows you to upgrade your mJ USB or mJ+ 2012 to the mj+ 2014 for 40% off. The deal seems to still be going on as of this update, but one sweet change from the original deal offered to early adopters in Summer of 2013 is that the transfer seems to include 6 months on top of however many months or days you have left when you transfer from your old device to the new device. The old device still becomes a paperweight immediately upon transfer. There is still no word yet about what peripherals the magicJack will use. There is also no word on whether or not this policy will continue after the cyber week special promo is gone, so get one now if you’re interested in upgrading. Thanks to Kevin in the comments below for spurring an update to this article.
2013.08.26 Update: I have since learned that it’s possible to register in such a way that both devices run at the same time. That way, you can decide whether to keep one or the other or both at your own discretion. Check out this post showing the questions I asked prior to registration and the follow-up post and video with the strategy I used to give myself the option of comparing the devices.
2013.08.02 Update: User “Urkel” provided this image in the comment section below, showing that magicJack is offering SMS through iOS and android phones and tablets, but he’s getting the runaround from magicJack support. It’s possible this feature will only be supported when the new firmware becomes available later this year, because, apparently magicJack chat support has not been given any information on SMS, even though the box clearly states it is supported in the app. Anyone who has successfully used the SMS feature, please post in the comments below!