Category: Uncategorized

Why can’t I connect to my conference call?

One of the most common service issues is that someone is not able to connect to your conference bridge. Why is that and what can we do to fix it? It’s a good question and we’ll try and explain.

Believe it or not, the most likely reason is the person calling in punched in the wrong conference ID number. At TurboBridge, our systems keep track of the action from each caller during a conference down to very minute detail. A caller will declare they’ve trying it multiple times to no avail and yes they’re punching in the right digits. Clearly something must be wrong with our systems? However, all too often when we check our log files, we can see each digit the user depressed and sure enough, they’re entering the wrong code number multiple times.

The reason for this is dialing memory. We think we did one thing, but our fingers did another. It’s a common mistake and it’s most acute where the conference ID has a repeating sequence of numbers (like 63373, the user might type 63733 repeatedly and insist they dialed correctly). We’re all human and these things happen.

Another reason is unfortunately not the fault of the user. We take today’s telephone network for granted. It just works. Or seems to at least. The reality is the phone network was built over 50 years ago and unfortunately suffers in terms of immense complexity and business rules that seem archaic in today’s world of the Internet. When you place a phone call from New York to TurboBridge, your call may go thru 20-30 different switches and 4-5 telephone companies before it lands into our data center.

If along the way, any of these 4-5 telephone companies has an issue, it may well impact the quality of your conference call. Worse, your phone call may go a different way each time you call depending upon traffic & time of day and to make it nearly impossible to fix, we have no idea how your phone call actually go to us.

The good news – this doesn’t happen too often and if you get a bad connection or our system refuses to recognize your conference ID (even if you dialed it correctly). Usually dialing back corrects the problem. But these problems can be nagging and difficult to troubleshoot.

For example, early last year, we noted that some callers had trouble reaching TurboBridge at a specific hour each day. We determined after a great deal of research that a circuit from the mother of all telephone companies, AT&T, was having some issue. We contacted AT&T and a very nice man in their service center told us there was no way the Great AT&T had any problems with their network and if they did, they would already know it since they’ve spent billions on sophisticated equipment to monitor it. Such is our life.

The problems continued and we called the nice man at AT&T every day with more detailed information. He remained quite nice but he failed to reason that AT&T could have a problem.

But we persisted and finally the very nice man at the AT&T service center said he would investigate if for nothing else so we’d stop calling them. After another day passed, the very nice man at AT&T contacted us and sheepishly informed us that they had found a circuit card in their network that was defective. This card was only briefly used each day during heavy traffic periods and for some reason they’re very expensive monitoring systems failed to realize it was broken.

This problem wasn’t just impacting little TurboBridge. No thousands of callers were impacted. But they obviously didn’t challenge AT&T like we did. The long answer was AT&T eventually replaced the card and big surprise, the problem went away.

At TurboBridge, we keen to provide an excellent service with excellent support and want to get to the root cause of any problem or issue, no matter how long it takes.

 

TurboBridge Status

In the box to the right of this posting, you’ll see a new enhancement which shows the status of the TurboBridge systems. ¬†At the time of this posting, all is well, we’re keeping our fingers crossed though!

When we created TurboBridge as a company, we wanted to be upfront in our information, easy to do business and offer a good value on what seems to be a fairly standard business tool, telephone conferencing. However, not many companies are so forthcoming with their information. We decided to be different.

While TurboBridge is built using 100% of our own technology, we’re reliant on a host of other suppliers in our daily operation. This includes various telephone companies to whom we’re directly connected with, large name brand Internet backbone providers who provide connectivity to us and Class “A” data centers (big dark buildings with no windows) that house our servers and provide supposedly uninterrupted power to keep us going. If any one of these suppliers has a problem, it cascades down to us and may ultimately impact service to you.

We monitor vour systems 24 x 7 and generally we’re well aware of an issue long before you notice it. But rather than keep quiet about it, we’re going public with this information. So if you’re a new or prospective customer, we want you to be confident in selecting us for our integrity and honesty. If you’re an existing customer, this is an easy way to check if some problem you’ve encountered is already known by us.

In any event, in this online era, the best, fastest and most reliable way to contact our support staff is via email support (at) turbobridge.com. Have a question, concern, problem or need help — don’t hesitate to contact us.

Welcome HiDef Conferencing customers!

Several previous HiDef Conferencing customers have advised us that they were notified that HiDef Conferencing (which was purchased by Citrix Go2Meeting) will be ceasing their conferencing service in early 2012. We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls and new customers since then and we’d like to welcome these former HiDef Conferencing to TurboBridge!

TurboBridge is unique in that we offer access to your conference bridge via Skype. This is great for people who are traveling international where it may be expensive to call in or also great for those who working away at their computer already. We all know what Skype is and how it works and it’s a comfortable program to use.

TurboBridge offers a host of access methods (and no you don’t need a computer to use TurboBridge). TurboBridge has access telephone numbers throughout the US, Canada and various international locations. Access via our popular TurboPhone (via your Internet Explorer browser) and as well SIP (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry). SIP is for IP telephones and IP-enabled office PBX systems.

HiDef Conferencing was offering Skype access on an unlimited basis and at one point TurboBridge did as well. However, business conditions changed with Skype (which was recently acquired by Microsoft) and as a result, we’ve had to start charging for Skype access to TurboBridge¬† (at a low $0.01 per minute per participant, note there is no charge for the Skype user to reach TurboBridge, sort of like a toll free call). Skype users using the Skypeout service can access TurboBridge using any our normal telephone numbers (in this case, the caller will pay Skype on a per minute basis).

TurboBridge is a great value and our fully automated systems allow us to keep prices low and quality high and while we’d like to offer Skype on an unlimited basis, simple matter Skype’s pricing to us won’t allow that (though we can always hope for a change).

So welcome HiDef Conferencing customers to TurboBridge and we’re happy you found us.