Friday, February 16, 2007

Too many phone calls? Voipbuster's server on fire

NOTE: After 4 hours of outage everything works fine now.

I just wanted to make a free phone call in Germany, using my prefered voip provider Voipstunt which I like very much for it's free or 1 cent calls to all countries that are important to me. But Voipstunt doesn't work. Their website shows only the test page for the Apache server.

Voipstunt is a company of Betamax. So I went to the websites of their other company Voipbuster. It says:

Due to a fire at our server site we are currently experiencing severe technical problems.

Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused; we are working hard to try and solve the problem as soon as possible.

Due to the severity of the disruption it may however take at least one day before we can offer full service again.

Please try again later.

The same text appears on the websites of the other Betamax voip companies: Sparvoip, Voipcheap, NetAppel, Sipdiscount,, Voipdiscount, Voipcheap, Webcalldirect, Freecall, Lowratevoip and Voipbuster Pro.

It seems to be that all their servers are on fire. Or better said: The server which is hosting all those companies.
How does it come? Too many phone calls?
Well maybe it's not the time for jokes. Since "due to the severity of the disruption it may however take at least one day before we can offer full service again".

I whish them good luck!

Until now they provided me a very good service with their free calls. Some background on the company you can find here:
VoIP costs internationally are dropping at an alarming rate. A few VoIP providers in Europe have taken their marketing activities to the extreme by offering free calls to a wide range of up to 50 international destinations. VoipBuster was the pioneer early 2005 and has since then launched a barrage of sister companies offering exactly the same type of service. Time will tell if this "Free VoIP" campaign has any long term merit.

Maybe in fact it's no fire but they ran out of money?

Now, some minutes later, the first comments arrive on other websites: says:
No doubt this will have very serious effect on the thousands of users relying on their services and at the same time points to an inherent weakness within the group. All of the 13 apparently different websites rely on the same hardware in the backround - if one goes all go

And less nice at Voxilla's forum:

I guess pretty soon we'll see if this company (which has ZERO customer service when they are operating) had a backup / recovery plan.....

And just like Skype's liberal [mis-]use of the English language, if you parse Betamax's English, what at first glance looks like it will be fixed in a day or less is really saying it may take MANY DAYS.....

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