Allworx IP Phone Handsets = Less Than Amazing

Several years ago, after checking with a few references, we signed on with Windstream Communications to install and support 3 Allworx IP phone systems.  Everyone we called said they liked the system and they had no major issues with it.  I always treat references with caution, as Windstream is only going to provide references with positive experiences, but at some point you have to take a chance and make a decision.

The install was a difficult, as Windstream botched some phone number porting and ported a cell carrier’s voicemail portal to our location.  In addition to that, some firmware issue on the Adtran switches caused tons of early phone problems.  Those were eventually sorted out and things like this tend to happen when moving between systems.

The systems themselves (48x, 6x) are quite nice and capable, but the handsets they pair with them are prone to issues.  I assume there is some planned obsolescence going on here but I’ve had to return/replace 30-40 phones (under contract but still a problem that a new phone system shouldn’t have) because of the same faulty switch-hook.   Some extensions have had the same problem multiple times.  That is 30-40 phones in an organization with only 150 phones or so.  This issue causes staff to not be able to make calls without using speaker, calls not getting answered without going to speaker and even randomly hanging up on people when the switch-hook decides to suddenly make contact with the circuit board again.  Their techs admitted they get tons of calls regarding this problem and they don’t even ask to troubleshoot this problem anymore.

With both the 9212L and 9204 phones (far more prevalent with the 9204) the switch-hook, which is the little button that detects that the receiver has been picked up, stops working. The spring system is designed to push a soft button onto a contact point on the circuit board inside the phone when the phone is off-hook.  The spring is either too weak/too short to make good contact or the materials that make contact are too soft and weak to be detected.  Either way, it makes for a phone that you’ll spend 50% of your time just un-boxing and returning to Allworx.  I’ve spent hours traveling and troubleshooting these sets while I think I replaced maybe 1-2 phones from an older digital PBX in the previous 7 years.



About JoeDania83

IT Administrator for a three campus non-profit.
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2 Responses to Allworx IP Phone Handsets = Less Than Amazing

  1. Rick says:

    Interesting, what model number was it and who did you buy it from??

    • jrdaly83 says:

      Purchased via contract with Windstream, but a local installer was contracted out to install. They were great, and the system itself is pretty nice, but the handsets have nothing but issues. We have the 48x at our main campus, three 6x at the smaller campuses. Primarily the 9204s are the issue.

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