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Jerk Company of the Month: SunRocket

My colleague Kim Hart's story today describes the strange demise of SunRocket, the Tysons Corner-based Internet-telephony company. SunRocket's financial troubles were not a surprise, but the speed of its demise was.

So was the notice provided to customers: next to none. A friend reported that the only hint he got of SunRocket's imminent implosion was the failure of its voicemail Monday night. His line went dead at 11:45 yesterday morning--about two hours after the last call received on it, from a telemarketer--but was mysteriously back online late last night.

A call to SunRocket's phone line yesterday afternoon yielded a cheery recorded introduction of SunRocket as the "no-gotcha phone company"--followed immediately by another recording declaring that "We are no longer taking customer service or sales calls. Goodbye."

In a word: Gotcha!

But as of 8:50 a.m. today, SunRocket's Web site still doesn't even indicate that this corporation has been fed into the big shredder in the sky. A large ad inviting customers to "Sign Up Now!"--"Act Now! Limited Time Offer!"--dominates the home page. Further within the site, the pledges on a "Member Bill of Rights" page provide some unintentional hilarity:

Dignity & Respect: You will be treated with the utmost dignity and respect in all dealings with SunRocket and company personnel.

Integrity & Trust: We endeavor to fully inform you of available options so you can make timely and informed choices. We will never abuse your trust through deceit, exploitation, neglect, manipulation, or discrimination

Look, it can't be any fun to have your company go under, much less expire so suddenly that a complete shutdown is the only option. But there is such a thing as manners, or at least having somebody update the Web site before turning out the lights.

If you're a SunRocket customer--make that, victim--there is still some support available, courtesy of a couple of blogs. Sunrocket Gizmo Passwords details procedures that may allow you to unlock the phone-adapter hardware issued by SunRocket for use with another VoIP service. Meanwhile, you can find support of the emotional kind at The Crusty Systems Architect, written by an irked, recently fired SunRocket developer.

You can also, of course, vent right here. The comments are yours...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  July 18, 2007; 8:56 AM ET
Categories:  Telecom  
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