August 30, 2010 at 18:35 PM EDT
Google Voice Is A Hot Mess Right Now
I think I liked Google Voice better back when it was hard to get an invitation. Back then it worked most of the time, and the infrequent outages were tolerable given how useful the service is overall. But over the last week the service has become spotty at best, and unusable at times. Given that I ported my phone number to Google I don't have much choice but to soldier on in the short term - but Google needs to figure this out fast or they'll lose me as a user. What happened? In June Google Voice opened up for anyone to use, and there was clearly a surge of new people trying out the service. For the most part it weathered that storm. But last week Google launched Google Voice for Gmail , allowing users to make and receive calls right from the browser. It's awesome. Truly useful. 1 million calls were made from Gmail in 24 hours. Uh oh. That's when the trouble started. About 30% of my inbound calls have the caller muted - they can hear me but I can't hear them. And outbound calls are worse. In the last 24 hours at least 75% of them failed completely. Either it never starts ringing, or it rings a couple of times and then dies. In fact, I called Google PR to give them a heads up on this story and that call failed too. As did a second attempt.
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