OBi warranty/support package from hell “Buyers paid for Google Voice, now they want more!”

Originally submitted here

We recently started getting emails from clients claiming they can not add Google Voice back to their OBi device thinking Vestalink was at fault, and we are not.

Apparently now if you have an outdated OBi device you are restricted from adding Google Voice to the device without first purchasing a warranty/support package that ranges from $10/yr for newer OBi’s under warranty and $20/yr for older devices outside of warranty.  If your device is connected directly to Vestalink you will not need to pay these gotcha fees.  



There has been absolutely no prior warning from Obihai about this magical change to the Obitalk platform.  But it is true, in order to continue using your OBi with Google voice you must pay the king’s ransom of $10-$20 a year for using a free service with your own login credentials.

Everyone knows that SAAS (software as a service) is the best type of business to be in. The one off OBi pricing model probably was not paying the electric bills at the owner of obihai’s private island (not a joke, he owns an island). I do think this is the first time in history an ATA (or maybe any device) is charging for firmware updates.

Meanwhile at Obihai’s office in California…


If you need an alternative, checkout its ran by Vestalink and its free.

It will allow your OBi to connect to Google Voice without changing its firmware.  Cheers!  -Ryan

Google Voice and OBi calls can’t hear other end or be heard due to no audio

Apparently right now there is an issue reported by some Google Voice users that they cannot be heard or hear the other caller when they place or receive  a call using Google Voice with their OBi device.  Audio packets don’t seem to be making it to or from the OBi devices through Google Voice due to a temporary issue.  This is currently being reported to affect the OBi110 and OBi202

We have not had any reports of this happening with our GV to SIP gateway.   Also our test OBi connected to Google Voice directly is also functioning properly.  It seems this issue is only affecting a few amount of Google Voice accounts.

A response from Obihai support says:

There has been an issue reported on certain Google Voice accounts with the
symptom that you see.
And this has been reported to GV. They are aware of it and looking on
fixing it.
Thanks, – OBi Support

Progress of this report is being tracked here

Google Voice will most likely have this issue fixed very quickly as it seems to be affecting some loyal long term Google Voice/OBi users.  I will update this post with more info as it becomes available.  

Vestalink now supports direct integration with Google Voice



image1_64x64 Free Calls - Make free calls to the US & Canada with Google Voice

image2_64x64.png 911 Calling - Call 911 in the event of an emergency with Vestalink

image3_64x64Transfer your Landline –  Transfer your landline number to Vestalink

Bring your own device
Vestalink is the best home phone service for your VoIP devices. Bring your own VoIP device to start using Vestalink right away.  Your device + Google Voice & Vestalink = Awesome!

Purchase a new device

We recommend purchasing a new Vestalink device from They arrive pre-configured and include 1 year of phone service. Just plug it in!

Setup is easy, just follow these 2 easy steps once you have signed in to your Vestalink account.


OBi Message Waiting Indicator (MWI) Stutter Tone no longer available with Google Voice


A recent firmware update with “Official Support” for Google Voice has broken the MWI light and tone OBi users have used and loved with the Google Voice/OBi landline replacement service.  Since this feature will not be coming back due to the “official support” which just means OBi is now using safer authentication with Google  and not storing your Google password on their servers.  I suggest signing up with Vestalink.

Vestalink can fix your MWI issue for less than $2.50 a month with our current pricing by using our voicemail service.  We offer the same features as Google Voice such as transcription and notifications via email and sms, and best of all we offer MWI and the stutter tone to alert you that there is a message waiting.    Use coupon code “MWI” to get an additional 10% off any subscription plan.   Get started by going to

Why landlines need to disappear and become a thing of the past


Let me start by saying that Vestalink is not a Landline company.   Yes, we might be a replacement for a landline but overall Vestalink is a unified communications company that develops software to manage inbound and outbound phone calls.

I have heard online comments in forums that VoIP companies are “bottom feeders”  and  there is such a negative stigma today around Landlines and it transfers over to any company that appears to be a landline provider such Vestalink.

Cell phones obviously are the new communication method of the future but they are also limited in so many ways by their design.


The cell phone by design is a radio.  It’s meant to be carried around and owned by an individual person.  Think of it as a walkie talkie that can contact one person individually.   The idea behind unified communications is the ability to contact that person or group of people wherever they are.

Vestalink key feature is having the ability to ring up to 10 voip devices, and 6 cell phones simultaneously.  It also allows you to have multiple numbers that you can designate for different purposes.

Already customers have realized that cell phones are limited in their ability to make contact.  The problem lies in the fact you have to have the cell phone with you to receive the phone call.  Granted, cell phones are always getting smaller the fact remains you still have to have the device on your person.

The better way to go is creating multiple avenues of connectivity and this is what Vestalink facilitates.  So now when someone tries to get a hold of you multiple devices ring.

Your house rings, your cell phone rings, your car rings, your computer rings, your tablet rings, your TV rings, etc.

I can’t count the times I didn’t have my cell phone on me but still received the phone call because Vestalink rings all of my devices.

I can’t stop thinking how many people are currently living without this convenience.

So what about you, are you ignoring the convenience of unified communications and just using a cell phone?  Try Vestalink.

Google Talk For Windows is Officially Dead

You may have noticed that your Google talk account does this when you try to login.

Then I immediately got this email from google

Hi Ryan,

We noticed you recently tried using the Google Talk app for Windows. We wanted to let you know that this was discontinued on February 23rd 2015. We recommend giving Hangouts a try so you can chat with all your Google contacts. Hangouts supports people’s favorite features from Google Talk, including text chat, presence, contact lists and status messages. In addition, Hangouts lets you have group video chats, make phone calls, express yourself with emojis and keep your conversations going across Android, iOS, and your computer.

If messaging right from your desktop is important to you, try the Hangouts Chrome app or Hangouts in Gmail. If you’re not ready to make the switch to Hangouts quite yet, you can continue using Google Talk on Windows with a range of compatible third-party chat apps. (Please keep in mind these aren’t Google products, so exercise caution when signing in with your Google account.)

As a loyal Google Talk user, we thank you for your support and we hope you give us the opportunity to provide an even better communications experience with Google Hangouts.

If this sign-in attempt was not made by you, please check details on your Devices and Activity page

Check details

The Google Talk and Hangouts team

Texting is finally a reality with Vestalink v2.0

Many of you have sent me messages over the past few months regarding texting functionality with your landline number. Vestalink is excited to announce that texting is now available on our beta platform and can be used by all of our customers without having to make any changes with your production account. Just go and log in using your username and password then click “Texting Numbers”.

*For a limited time all accounts will be unmetered!* Early adopters can sign up for a 250 lite plan and get unlimited texting through August 2014.

We have also made some other improvements with software version 2.0. We need your help finding the bugs with our software and you can help us by creating a bug tracking account at
Please submit any bugs you find, screenshots are always helpful. Here is the new functionality we need tested.
Changes in software version 2.0

  • Landline Texting, provisioning and setup.
  • Forgot password emails, revamped better transmission that will not get stuck in spam folders
  • New control bar in top right corner of web portal.
  • Number transfers when confirmed will get a voice message via phone call.
  • Minute graphing on billing page, outlining daily, weekly, monthly useage.
  • Included record in call details when re-up minutes added each month.
  • Revamp of RSS feed generator for new voicemail messages
  • New community forum available at
  • Online chat is back available from 8am – 4pm PST Mon-Fri
  • Updated upgrade system, better preview of charges and credits for an account upgrade or change at
  • “Remember Me” option in login that will keep you logged in for an extended amount of time.

Vestalink attracts record number of customers due to the impending changes with Google Voice this Thursday

For Immediate Release – Seattle, WA

Vestalink, the leading provider of BYOD (bring your own device) residential phone services has grown 30 times its size over the past few months due to the impending changes with Google Voice this Thursday.

Google employee Nikhyl Singhal posted on Google+ last year

“Finally, we want to make Google Voice as secure as possible. There are a few third-party applications that provide calling and SMS services by making unauthorized use of Google Voice. These apps violate our Terms of Service and pose a threat to your security, so we’re notifying these app developers that they must stop making unauthorized use of Google Voice to run their services and transition users by May 15, 2014.”

One of the unapproved devices is the Obihai Obi device a landline phone adapter which now makes up 70% of Vestalink’s subscriber base.

“It will be interesting to see what happens this Thursday.   I assume most people will wait until the last minute to find an alternative provider to Google Voice.  Thousands of people still need a solution to this problem and Vestalink will be ready.  We attribute the ability to scale our size quickly because of Amazon’s cloud infrastructure.  One day we could have 20,000 customers and the next day we could have 100,000.  It really doesn’t matter how many new customers sign up this Thursday because the computing power is available to us within minutes.” Said Ryan Tilton, CEO of Vestalink

Vestalink features a 30 day fully functional free trial and will offer free number transfers through the end of May.  Vestalink will also add an unlimited SMS texting plan within the next quarter that will allow subscribers to send and receive text messages via their email, web portal, or the Vestalink smartphone app.  Learn more at

About Vestalink:

Vestalink, a cloud based telecom provider offers an Interconnected VoIP service that features e911 and other enhancements typically not available from a standard cell phone or landline phone provider.    Vestalink offers all inclusive plans that make communications easy and encourages its users to BYOD (bring their own device) to save time and money.

Google Voice and Google+ is a trademark of Google, Inc. Other company names mentioned herein are the registered trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

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