VOIP Provider: Vitelity Support

I thought I’d post a recent chat session with Vitelity. I recently did a lot of checking around to see which VOIP provider I should try - -Vitelity came up fairly often so I decided to give them a go. As I was hunting around I know I would have appreciated reading about other people’s experiences with them so I’ve decided to share my experience.

I’m using the latest distro from Trixbox that includes FreePBX 2.3.0. The issue I am having is that the “IP Trunk Registration” keeps dropping. I’m only making outgoing calls at this time, so I’m not worried about incoming. When I restart asterisk everything works fine – for a while; and then the trunk registration drops and no more outgoing calls make it.

I thought I’d contact Vitelity’s support to see if they couldn’t shed any light on the issue. After ~24 hrs I get a response that seems promising. I respond back that I need some clarification and they decide from that point to close out the ticket and that they can’t help me.

I then start a chat session with one of their reps. Admittedly I was a little ticked at this point, so I could have been a little more friendly.

shawn: I have an asterisk server using FreePBX – I went through your wizard and set everything up exactly as directed. Nothing worked. I then setup a registration in FreePBX – things started to work great after that. Now my problem is that the registration keeps dropping. Whenever it drops I can no longer dial out.

Call accepted by operator vcnmt. Currently in room: vcnmt, shawn.

vcnmt: For freepbx… go to trunk settings

vcnmt: context

vcnmt: context=from-trunk ; (this could be ext-did or from-pstn as well) Try one of the 3 and one of them will work

shawn: Why would one of those changes fix anything? I just made the change to “from-pstn”, and I know it will work for a little while because asterisk gets restarted when changes are saved and reregisters the trunk with your service.

vcnmt: its free pbx… it has issues and theres nothing we can do.

<OK, at this point I’m seeing red…such a cop out…>

shawn: Oh please – don’t give me that kind of crap answer.
shawn: If you don’t know or don’t understand just say so.

vcnmt: Is there anything else I may assist you with

vcnmt: I work with this same issue all day long… There is nothing we can do, the problem is not on our side, if you want more assistance with it then contact the vendor of the pbx

shawn: Do you know what you are talking about - and hence should I believe what you just told me about fixing the trunk issues or will you continue to blame the problem on freePBX. And if I decide to edit the config files directly will you then say, “Oh, its asterisk – it has issues so there is nothing we can do?”

vcnmt has left the conversation. Currently in room: shawn.

So, yes. I understand they can’t support my installation directly. There are lots of systems out there, but they do cater to this market base and in their support section they have example TrixBox configurations. I didn’t think it would be too much of a stretch to offer some technical advice.

you are clearly dealing with a classic chat with $4/hr support people from half way across the world who don’t have any technical knowledge at all. There are providers such as teliax and others who have a live support person who will talk to you and who generally know what is going on. Try them.

Philippe Lindheimer - FreePBX Project Lead
http//freepbx.org - IRC #freepbx

I think there might be more to this story.

Vitelity is actually more of a wholesale provider. Their rates reflect this fact. They expect the user on the other end to have the skills to make their system work. They will sell to end users, but I think they really prefer larger users or system integrators.

When you are dealing with simple ATAs from Sipura, etc, their configuration examples are excellent. I’ve used them for a long time, and they work.

Once you start getting into full blown Asterisk systems (and there are many flavors these days), in addition to the wide variety of other SIP based systems, you quickly get into support overload. As you say, they can’t be expected to support your system.

The reason they can offer such low rates is because they have a low cost structure. The guy you talked to is actually not a low paid third world script reading flunky. He’s been with them for a long time, and I’m sure he’s seen it all.

Regarding your specific situation, I’ve had to make the same changes from the suggested Trixbox example on their website. In my case, it solved my problem. I now use “context=ext-did” and I now have no problems. It was a problem on incoming calls, so maybe you have other problems because you say yours involves outgoing registration. From reading your transcript, I’m not sure he understood you were having outgoing call issues. Did you ever solve your problem?

I have had situations where I’ve had strange problems on my end that I wound up having to fix on my own, but I’ve also been sent in the right direction by the same guy you talked to. I’m sure he’s busy, but everything I’ve been told to do by him has helped. I’m no guru, but I don’t mind tinkering. Lots of times, my tinkering was the problem.

His last suggestion to me was to stop using a DMZ and to start using port forwarding. I always thought DMZ was a surefire way to force something to work (assuming you had proper security on your device), but in my case (a Buffalo router with Tomato firmware), it didn’t do the trick. Port forwarding fixed the problems I was having (intermittent one way audio). He took the time to explain that consumer level routers simply don’t do DMZ well sometimes. I’ve always been treated with courtesy.

I know I’m sounding like a Vitelity fanboy, but they really are, in my opinion, one of the better low cost providers out there. I’ve used them for over two years.

Just keep all the above in mind when you thnk they aren’t providing the support you think you deserve. You can always pay more and possibly get more support from someone else. Just remember you created your own system and are ultimately responsible for it.

I agree that Vitelity support is poor. I have had, at best, surly response to questions. They are not too interested in helping Asterisk users. That said, I use them for inbound and outbound and don’t have the same issues you have encountered. One thing I did was set qualify=yes. I’m running Trix 2303 and have used Vitelity since they bought SixTel. No real issues with them here.