Archive for the News 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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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.

We are NOT taking a long winters’ nap…

Posted in News on January 14, 2009 by Team Brring

Greetings and welcome to the New Year!  It’s been awhile since we last updated you on the goings on at Brring so with the dawning of a new year we thought it appropriate to let you know what we’ve been working on of late.

The gnomes may be hunkered down for the New England winter but they are making great use of the ‘indoor time’ (ice-induced power outages not withstanding).  The majority of our time is spent developing a entirely redesigned web site.  There are usability and graphical refinements too numerous to mention but the biggest changes are in the area of ringback tone management.  There are TONS of new features including the ability to specify which section of your uploaded track that will become your ringback tone — very slick!

We’ve also made several improvements in the back-end call handling systems.  The latest development is a ‘caller blacklist’ feature.  This tool allows you to block calls from a given phone number, cities or even entire area codes.  We can also use this functionality to block calls to all members from high-volume ‘phone-spam’ telemarketers.  We have not yet built an interface to this feature on the website but if you are being harrased by a particular caller please send an email to support (support at brring dot com) and we’ll put the block in for you.

We’ve also increased the reliability of the system with the addition of a second telco provider.  This improves our ability to complete outgoing calls if our primary provider is down or busy.

There is a plethora of other work being accomplished that contribues to the oprational robustness of the service and the managment of the business issue involved with a survice such as Brring.  They are WAY too boring to mention here but surfice it to say they are necessary for the continued and smooth operation of ‘our thing’.

<channeling Steve Jobs> One more thing…

You can follow the latest juicy Brring tidbits on Twitter.  We’ll be using Twitter to post updates on service issues, alerts to new blog postings, and other significant events from the Brring universe.

Thanks for following along!

Paid Member Rewards pass $10,000

Posted in News on June 17, 2008 by Team Brring

The headline says it all.  Brring has paid out over $10,000 in rewards to it’s members.

Yes, we know we aren’t processing request as quickly as you, or we, believe they should be processed.  At present we are trying to find a bank that will accept an automated feed of payments to be made.  Until then we’ll continue entering them by hand.  <sigh>

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.

Payment status

Posted in News on May 22, 2008 by Team Brring

For those of you that are curious about our payment processing here are some basic stats:

– Redemption requests paid: 456

– Total rewards paid to date:  almost $9,000.00

Our thanks to you who are patiently waiting in queue for redemption request processing.