Brring! Service Shutdown

Posted in Announcements, News, Service Status on March 10, 2011 by Team Brring

It is my sad duty to share with you that Brring! will be ceasing operation effective March 14th 2011. After March 14th your Brring! number will no longer forward calls to your private number. Callers to your Brring! number will receive a ‘This number is no longer in service.’ (or similar) message.

All PayPal subscriptions (recurring transactions) have been cancelled and credits have been issued for those folks that were already charged for this month.

Thanks for your support these last 4+ years, it’s been a blast.

Peace,

Brring! Team

Service is down

Posted in Service Status on November 22, 2010 by Team Brring

The Brring service and website are currently unavailable. We are working closely with our hosting provider to remedy the situation quickly.

Update: 2:21P
We have experienced a catastrophic hardware failure in our data center. As luck would have it, it is the only piece of equipment for which we do not have a redundant backup. We are working with our hardware vendor to get a replacement in place as quickly as possible.

Update: 9:00A
A replacement part is on it’s way to the data center (sending positive waves to UPS…). We are also transferring call traffic to our backup phone server. This process takes some time so it will work for some folks sooner than for others. The elves are on it!

Update: 1030A
Call processing: All members have been migrated to the backup server. We are still recovering the customized ringbacks tones from our backups so some callers may not yet be hearing them.

Web Site: Restoring the website was our second priority. Now that the call processing has been restored we’re off to resurrect the website. More later…

Service is down — power failure at datacenter

Posted in Service Status on May 21, 2010 by Team Brring

We have received information from our hosting provider of a power outage at the datacenter where our servers are located. As a result the Brring service, and our website, http://www.brring.com are unavailable.

Our provider has not provided an estimated-time-of-repair (ETR) for this outage. We will post updates here as we learn them.

Thanks for your patience.

UPDATE: You may follow also us on Twitter, @brring, for updates.

UPDATE 2: Power is on and services have been restored. Thanks for your patience.

New Terms of Service, No more ads!

Posted in Announcements on December 9, 2009 by Team Brring

Earlier this year, Brring! introduced several new capabilities and upgrades including:

  • The ability to assign different ringbacks to different callers
  • A public ringback exchange, where you can upload and share ringbacks with the community
  • An improved web interface for managing your account.

At that time we also announced Brring! Plus, a premium option that eliminates ads for callers and includes additional features such as selective call blocking.

In recent months it has became clear that in the current economy an ad-supported version of the service is not sustainable. Therefore, effective December 10, 2009 we will no longer offer the free, basic ad-supported version of the service (Brring! Free) and will only support Brring! Plus.

Current Brring! members that wish to retain their existing Brring! Free number must upgrade to Brring Plus. In recognition of their loyalty, we are offering existing Brring! Free account holders a 25% discount off the monthly price of $2.99. For only $2.25 a month you keep your existing account, your callers will enjoy an ad-free experience, and you will have call blocking capabilities. You can upgrade now by logging into the Brring! website and following this link (www.brring.com/upgrade).

Current Brring! members please note that if you chose to do nothing, existing Brring! Free numbers will expire on December 10.

This is not a path we wanted to take.  We believed that we could offer a compelling and useful service that was completely supported by ad revenue; we were wrong.  We are by no means the only one who made this mistake; anyone who even casually follows the business of online services is keenly aware of the number of companies that have shutdown due to the failure of a ad-supported business model.

We’re just a small group of folks, with families and mortgages, trying to build something cool and useful, who just can’t continue to fund this thing of ours out of our own pockets. Our new pricing model will allow us to continue running the service while we weather the economic storm.

We hope that you find the new ad-free Brring! useful and choose to support us so that we may continue to offer it to you.

Thanks.

Unplanned outage today – already fixed

Posted in Service Status on August 5, 2009 by Team Brring

We  had a short unplanned outage today.  The issue has been resolved and total downtime was ~15 minutes.

Very few calls were affected, perhaps as few as 2.  We apologize if your’s was one of them.

The good news is that our monitoring, alerting and recovery systems worked as designed.  Yippie!

Thanks for using Brring!

Changes to the Brring Service

Posted in Announcements, News on May 27, 2009 by Team Brring

There have been several blog posts in the recent days referring to changes in the Brring service. We’d like to clarify some of the points raised in these posts and in a few rare cases correct factual errors. We promised to show you ‘how we make the sausage’; it isn’t always pretty but it is real.

Brring is indeed discontinuing the ‘free’ numbers supplied by one of our providers. We are taking this action because they have proven to be too expensive to be supported by advertising alone. We are not targeting users with high call volumes, high reward balances or any other metric other than who provides the Brring number they have been assigned. The group does skew towards long-time users of the service simply because we stopped issuing new numbers from this provider several months ago. It does affect a significant percentage of our membership base but is by no means ‘most’ of our members.

All previously redeemed rewards for these accounts will be honored. If a member does not choose to upgrade to a PLUS account any unredeemed rewards will be lost. This is consistent with our policy regarding closed accounts and is not unique to this situation.

We are not discontinuing our free number service. Brring continues to offer a free, advertising supported, service. The only change to this service is that you may no longer indicate a desired area code. We may match Brring numbers to the new user’s area code (and in some cases even the user’s city) if they are available to us but many times they are not. In those cases we randomly assign an available number to the new user. The ability to select a Brring number is one of the value-added features of the new Brring PLUS service.

It has been suggested that Brring offer the PLUS service to those affected members with reward balances. We love this idea and would like to offer this option to anyone who is impacted by this change. If you would like to apply outstanding rewards towards a PLUS account please contact support@brring.com with your account details and we’ll get it set up.  We will extend the conversion deadline (originally today) to allow folks a few days to consider this option. We’ll also send another email to those members affected by the change and inform them of this option.

Brring has paid thousands of dollars in rewards to individual members. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply wrong. It is true that the tap has drawn down to a trickle but for the simple reason that it is more important to keep the service running than to pay individual rewards. If we were to close the service all rewards would be forever lost.

This is not a decision we have made easily or happily, but it was necessary.

Clogging things up…

Posted in Announcements, News on May 22, 2009 by Team Brring

We know how frustrating it can be to not get a response to your questions in a timely manner. We are customers too and we do feel your pain.

We’ve all seen movie scenes where someone is trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak their language; they speak LOUDER. We all know how well that works. Sending multiple emails about the same issue works just as well.

Submitting multiple requests/emails for the same issue will not speed up the resolution of your issue. In fact, quite the opposite happens, it slows down the process dramatically as we have to ‘link’ all those requests together into a single issue – a time consuming process. We’d much rather be addressing your issue than linking 12 identical requests together.

We realize that our response time can be longer than we’d like; no one here is happy about it but we are doing all that we can within our current resource constraints.

We appreciate your patience as we build Brring! into the service that you’ll love.

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