Sun Rocket’s Dead: Why It Pays to Choose Your Vendors Carefully

I’ve crossed paths with Sun Rocket from time to time at PR events. The telephone company selling prepaid phone service, served over the Internet. Sure, you can save money. But is it worth it to save a few bucks per month, if the phone company goes out of business?
It’s a conundrum. You’re business wants to save every bit of money it can save. But at the same time, you want to make sure you can use the services you pay for.
If you’re going with a relatively new company you really have to have a back up plan and consider what you’ll do if they go out of business or their service is cut off for some reason.
The NY Times writes Start-ups like SunRocket and Vonage, the largest and best known of the group, tend to offer only phone service, and they do not have the ability of the larger companies to ensure quality of service because they do not operate their own telecommunications lines, said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at Pali Research in New York. “They only have one product and they can’t control quality,” Mr. Greenfield said, adding that the business is “extremely challenging.”
Everyone is a startup company at some point and we all would want prospective customers to give us business. However, when the shoe’s on the “other foot” and you have to buy services, you want the best services at a good price.
I went through a similar experience myself in moving from the quite stable and great Constant Contact to Feedblitz’s newsletter service. For now, things are quite fine but I do wonder if Feedblitz is in business for the long haul. It helps that they are owned by Feedburner, which is owned by Google.
So, the next time you are looking for technology – look beyond the low cost. Look at the company behind the low cost and make sure they are BUILT TO LAST.


About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, & Infusionsoft. Full bio at . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • Phil Hollows

    Hi Ramon:
    We had technical problems just as you joined us but (thanks, Mr. Murphy), but we’ve cleared them up and as you said things are on an even keel. Just to clarify however we’re not owned by FeedBurner, we partner with them. FeedBlitz is an independent, privately held firm. Our business model is definitely built to last, with elements of both ad-based and fee-based revenue streams to reduce risk as well as an active investor behind us. We charge for some of our services precisely to ensure that we can and will stay the course.
    As the leading RSS-driven messaging service we’re proud of what we’ve built and the increasing number of publishers who are putting their trust in us. The circulation we deliver to has grown from one million last Fall to two million in April to over three million last month. Our largest publisher has over 200,000 active subscribers.
    Certainly, the challenges for any startup – and any customer thereof – is determining risk. FeedBlitz has been servicing publishers for nearly two years now and is strengthening its position (tech glitches notwithstanding) to better serve current and future publisher needs.
    One way to gauge a newer company is its transparency and openness. We’ve always been transparent (perhaps too much so) about service issues. More importantly for any publisher, however, is that your subscribers can always be exported at any time, directly from our site. No closed gardens, no customer service calls required. If anyone wants to leave they can just download and go. We offer import too, of course, for folks coming the other way.
    But it is this easy out that we give everyone, whether free or premium publishers, that makes FeedBlitz a safe bet and also, from a business perspective, keeps us on our toes. We have to keep innovating in order to make sure that our publishers have no reason to leave. This is the reason we’re the only service of our kind with a fully open (and free) API, for example, or the only one that automatically adds a table of contents to your messages, tracks all links and click-throughs, has broadcast facilities, or lets your subscribers choose whether to subscribe via mail, Skype, AIM, or Twitter.
    Phil HollowsFounder and