Archive for the Announcements Category

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

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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.

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.

Big Changes at Brring!

Posted in Announcements, News on June 6, 2008 by Team Brring

Those of you that are members of Brring have already seen this but we wanted to share it with the community as a whole. I want to emphasis a few points before jumping into the annoucement:

  • Everyone will be paid for any previously legitimately earned rewards. Let me say this again — ALL LEGITIMATELY EARNED REWARDS WILL BE PAID. Yes, we recognize that it is taking much longer than we would like, and longer than we promised but the simple mechanics of mailing hundreds of $10/$20 checks has turned out to be more daunting than originally planned.
  • We are adding significant new ringback tone functionality. Two of the new features are the ability to assign unique ringback tones to specific callers and to edit your uploaded ringbacks so that you can chose what portion of the file is heard by your callers.
  • Facebook integration. We have developed a Facebook application that will allow Facebook members to call Brring subscribers without having to dial! It also allows Brring members to access their Brring account information directly from Facebook.

We have learned, and continue to learn, a great deal about you want from the Brring service and for that we are grateful. We’ve also learned that some of our economic models needed refinement to keep Brring a healthy company. These changes are a direct result of what we have learned so far.

Please continue to let us know how we can improve the Brring experience for you! So without further ado…

We want Brring users to be the first to hear about new enhancements and changes to the Brring service.

Effective July 1, 2008, we will introduce three new changes.

1. New Ringback Functionality
2. Brring Facebook Application
3. Modified Rewards Policy

New Ringback Functionality

Brring will allow you to use multiple ringback files, instead of just one, and chose different ringbacks for different callers. We will make it easier for you to manage and rate your favorites. Brring will also allow you to upload ringbacks you create and share them with other users!

Brring Facebook Application

The Brring Facebook Application (download here; requires Facebook account) brrings all the functionality of Brring.com into Facebook. Even better, it allows friends to call you right from your Facebook page! Your Brring number does not appear on the page — callers connect with a click of a button. Try it out!

New Rewards Policy

The key change in our reward policy is the elimination of call based rewards. These are the rewards that accrue each time someone calls your Brring number. Standard rewards have been $0.05 per call, with initial call rewards $1.00. We will continue to reward users who invite friends to use Brring and those who help target ads by profiling friends. Those rewards remain unchanged.

Unfortunately during our beta test we have experienced an inordinate number of people flooding the system with fraudulent calls (numbers posted on Craig’s List under false pretexts, setting up multiple accounts, etc.). By eliminating the incentive to do so, we will improve the service for everyone.

We will pay all legitimate call-based rewards, including initial call rewards, earned through June 15, 2008. You do not have to redeem rewards by this date, only earn them. Finally, we will be introducing easier ways to redeem rewards more quickly. Stay tuned for further announcements.

Thank You

Thank you for using Brring during our beta test. We appreciate your patience during our growing pains. Most importantly, thank you for helping us realize what works and doesn’t work, and for helping us shape and improve the service.

Sincerely,

Brring, Inc.

Login Issue

Posted in Announcements, News, Service Status on April 4, 2008 by Team Brring

Over the past day or two, logging into the Brring! website didn’t work for people using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) web browser. We just wanted you to know that the problem has been found and fixed — everything should work as expected now. Sorry about that.

Bad apples

Posted in Announcements on February 26, 2008 by Team Brring

We’re not real big on rules around here, but we do understand that in the absence of rules chaos reigns. So in that spirit here are the rules for this blog:

– Comments must relate to the original post.

– Discussion of specific reward amounts are forbidden.

– Personally identifiable information is forbidden; even if it is yours.

– Links to sites whose content is ‘objectionable’ are forbidden. We define objectionable content as any content which is illegal in any U.S. jurisdiction as well as content that my Mother would find offensive. This includes links embedded in user profiles and/or user avatars.

That’s it. We invite and encourage discussion, debate and criticism (when it is constructive); that’s how we can make Brring better and more valuable to you. What we will not tolerate are personal attacks, threats and other turd slinging.

To prevent the proverbial ‘bad apples’ from ruining the fun for all of us we’ve enabled comment moderation.  It’s not a decision we are happy about because the time we spend approving comments could be spent on improving the service.

We have brains here at Brring, and we are not afraid to use them. We encourage others to do the same.