U

Visitor

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6 Messages

Thu, Apr 15, 2021 5:16 PM

voice2go

Why is Voice2go being retired?  I use it daily, by far the most used and most depended upon feature of all  comcast/xfinity features.  I rate this app much higher than your TV, phone, and internet services.  Did anyone ask the customers about their thoughts on this decision?

 

Responses

BruceW

Gold Problem Solver

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22.3K Messages

21 d ago

See https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/xfinity-connect-sunset. Why? To maximize profit. The most complete explanations I've seen are https://forums.xfinity.com/conversations/xfinity-connect-app/voice2go-personal-phone-numbers/6065368825dbf7275ea6d4e5?commentId=6076fc2ef024b802281d1f0e and https://forums.xfinity.com/conversations/xfinity-connect-app/voice2go-personal-phone-numbers/6065368825dbf7275ea6d4e5?commentId=6078560dec79ec7b6268dfc7.

... Did anyone ask the customers about their thoughts on this decision?

Comcast does not care what customers think, only what customers are willing to pay for and how much abuse they are willing to tolerate.

(edited)

Official Employee

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160 Messages

19 d ago

I definitely understand where you are coming from! Before we made the decision to get an additional cell phone for our kid we used an old phone and that Voice to Go with the phone being set up to connect to Xfinity Hot Spots so we could reach him if he wasn't home. We did remove the Connect app as well as the Voice to Go feature to simplify our app ecosystem as there were alternatives to these services such as third party mail clients and advanced call forwarding. 

 

If you were enjoying the Voice to Go I definitely recommend setting up the advanced call forwarding so you can still receive those important calls from your home phone while you are out and about. This link will walk you through how to set that up via our Xfinity website: https://comca.st/3eh6vea. Again I am deeply sorry for any frustration this has caused!

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Visitor

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6 Messages

Your response does not fix anything. I don't want to forward my phone! I know how to access my email, I just wanted the Voice2go features!!!!! 

Visitor

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4 Messages

No, there are no alternatives to what Voice2Go and the xFinity Connect App gave us. Advanced Call Forwarding only allows you to receive calls from your Comcast voice service, but only if your phone can receive its own calls at the time. If, for any reason (insufficient cell service and your carrier offers no voice-over WiFi, a problem with the SIMM chip, a problem with your carrier billing and they’ve suspended your service, etc.) that won’t work. It would before because it was its own VOIP thing.

Maybe you don’t want certain parties to know your mobile number. But now you can’t call them from your landline except from your landline, meaning when you’re at home (or work if it was Business Voice2Go). If you need to call them or even text them (see next thing down) while out and about, they’re going to learn your mobile number.

Before sunsetting the service entirely, Comcast a little over a year ago (Mar. 24, 2020 — right at the start of the pandemic! Bad move, Comcast!) shut down the SMS messaging service that Voice2Go and the xFinity Connect app had. I had people who only knew my landline, yet had received texts from me and sent them, too. Now they couldn’t anymore, and they didn’t know that so they think that I’ve been ignoring their texts when I never saw the texts or even knew they tried to text me! Not all of these people are on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp or other messaging substitutes (many are elderly people for whom new technologies are scary).

In both cases, Comcast’s customer notifications didn’t seem to understand the difference between “on” and “after.” When you get a coupon for groceries or pizza or whatever and it has an expiration date on it, you can still use the coupon on the expiration date. You don’t have to use it before the expiration date. This is what customers have been trained for decades to understand what an expiration date for just about anything means.

Yet Comcast got rid of Voice2Go on April 20, not April 21. If you hadn’t already set up your Advanced Call Forwarding before then, you might miss calls! And before that, they removed the SMS messages and access to download them on the date announced. At midnight on the date announced meaning at the start of that day! Even though they said clearly in their notifications that those messages would no longer be available after the date. So, because you had to download them one contact at a time (instead of all at once which would’ve been very helpful), and a new message might come in after you downloaded that contact forcing you to have to download them again, I decided to wait until the last minute. The night before the announced date of the shutdown (Mar. 23) I downloaded several of my more important contacts, thinking I could do the rest the next day, the day of the shutdown, but when I woke up that morning (Mar. 24) and went to the app, the SMS feature was already gone and so was the ability to download messages from the website! They were just gone! This despite the fact that the last-chance warning Email clearly said, and I quote:

An important reminder regarding the Xfinity text messaging feature

This is a reminder that tomorrow March 24th, we'll be retiring the Xfinity text messaging feature within the Xfinity Connect app and Xfinity Connect website, which includes the textback feature.

Click below to learn more about the retirement of Xfinity text messaging and how to save any messages or content shared while you were using this feature. After March 24th, this content will no longer be available.

If you'd like to pursue other ways to stay connected to friends and family, check-out third-party messaging apps such as Google Hangouts, TextFree Web, WhatsApp, and others.

Voice2Go was the only thing Comcast had that AT&T doesn’t. I can get AT&T Fiber landline, very fast Internet (faster than yours since same speed up and down, and for what I may want to do [remote real-time music jamming among other things] I’d need fast upload speed), and TV (AT&T TV or DirectTV), for a fraction of what I’m currently paying Comcast for Triple Play. So why should I stay with Comcast when it no longer offers me anything that I can’t get better and cheaper with AT&T?

To make matters worse: Advanced Call Forwarding has now quit on me. I don’t know why. It still shows as fine on the configuration page on the website, but calls do not get transferred to my smartphone. I was using that as replacement Caller ID (another great thing Voice2Go gave me — I didn’t need to get a Caller ID box for my old landline phone which has none of its own).

The xFinity Connect app needed some work (bad UX design, sometimes randomly calling a person in your contacts if you answered another call [that could be embarrassing as all heck!]), but those could’ve been fixed.

So why did they get rid of it and the underlying Voice2Go service entirely? Was there some underlying security issue that just plain couldn’t be resolved? Was it being hacked and there was no way to stop the hacking other than to shut it down entirely?

One last thing: you said, “I don’t want to forward my phone!” The difference between regular Standard Call Forwarding and Advanced Call Forwarding is that the latter happens simultaneously with the main number ringing. Up to five total phone numbers (one still being used for Voice2Go, and being the same number as your landline, and you can’t delete either of them) can be set to ring when a call comes in. Basically, your landline rings once, then the other devices also ring but the landline keeps ringing until it reaches the specified Rings count after which it goes to voicemail (for some weird reason that makes no sense, you can set Rings differently for each number, so when does it actually go to voicemail if those are set differently?). Standard Call Forwarding sends the call to the other number alone without the main landline ringing more than once. (There’s also Selective Call Forwarding, but that’s unrelated — it lets you forward calls from certain numbers [up to 25]. You could use that to have a list of callers you’re willing to accept while away, or to send certain annoying people to, say, the National Weather Service or some such.)

So, yeah, using standard call forwarding would be an even worse solution, since you’d have to remember to undo it when you want calls to come to your landline, then redo it when you want them to go to your mobile phone (one possible solution here would be an app that runs in the background and constantly looks for, say, your home WiFi router box, and if found and has the highest signal strength of any nearby routers, it deactivates Standard Call Forwarding, and when the signal strength of that router drops below others or disappears entirely [as in you’ve left your home with your mobile phone on you] it automatically activates it to the number of the mobile phone).

(edited)

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