Magic Jack - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Magic Jack

The Magic Jack USB adapter. The Magic Jack USB adapter.
The instruction booklet. The instruction booklet.
Downloading software to accept calls. Downloading software to accept calls.
The simple rules for set up. The simple rules for set up.
You need high speed internet access. You need high speed internet access.

Written by Lauren Keith - bio | email
Edited by Jeff Jumper - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS/KPLC) – The Magic Jack promises huge savings.  It can supposedly reduce your phone bill down to under $20 a year!  You need high speed broadband internet, a USB port and an area code recognized by the company.  More on that in a bit, but first, all we have to do is plug in the Magic Jack to the USB port and go!

I head to Carl Black's Cape Girardeau home to plug this in and see if we really start saving money.

"I have a dial tone already!" says Carl.

Wow, that immediate.  We can make a call out, but can we receive phone calls? Well, here's where we wish the Magic Jack could wave a wand over the amount of time it took to download fully.  Twenty minutes later, Carl finally has a new phone number for any phone he plugs into this Magic Jack.  He can now make and receive phone calls. To see, I call Carl's landline phone using a cell phone with a different area code even.

Sure enough, the phone plugged into the Magic Jack rings and Carl receives my call.  So, can it really be this easy? Well, Carl notes some potential problems.

"If you lose power because of a storm, you don't have 911 available because you don't have a computer," he says.

You might still want an alternate phone to be safe.  Magic Jack warns your local 911 may not work well with this device.  We were unable to test this claim; however, I do need to leave this Magic Jack with Carl for a few weeks.  I want to see if there are any bad connections along the way.  But, I am going to get it back from him before my 30-day free trial is up.  I always question those offers and decided it's time to check that out, too.  I'm happy to tell you the company did give me my money back, but I did have to pay to ship the Magic Jack back to them, as expected.

Back to Carl, who will be making that call to order a Magic Jack!

"I'll probably get a second line using the Magic Jack rather than a regular phone for my son," he says.

He's not exactly sure if he's ready to give up his regular phone. Carl says if you use Magic Jack as your main line, you'll want a cordless phone so you don't always have to just talk at your computer desk.

"I used it on several different computers. It worked really well. The only problem was a little distortion from time to time when the screen saver kicked in," he notes.

Carl also thinks he may have missed a few voicemails here and there, but he's still pleased overall.

"That I think happens with any phone," he says.

Also, you need broadband, high speed internet for this to work.  However,  Dennis McPheron of Johnston City, Illinois had major problems with this phone jack.

"I had this thing for about a week. Out of that, it worked maybe three hours!  I spent at least twelve hours on their chat line trying to get it to work!" he said.

Dennis says he even tried using a different USB port, different phones and even rebooting the program to no avail, unlike Carl's great results.

While Carl was happy with his results, Dennis was more so frustrated. Therefore, because of the conflicting results, we give the Magic Jack a cautious KIND OF for this week's "Does it Work?" test.

Web Extra: Lauren recommends trying the 30-day free trial off by visiting the Magic Jack website.  Just follow the link above.  Lauren reports that a possible reason Dennis may have had some problems with the Magic Jack is that his area code was not included in the area codes available at the time he tested the product.  For the area codes that are available for use, click on the Magic Jack Area Code link above.  Be sure if you do the 30-day free trial to return it before 30 days if you're unhappy with the results.  Lauren has received several emails from local viewers saying it truly did cut their phone bills down to $20 a year and they really like the product. 

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Check out the other products Jeff has tested by clicking here!

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