Scratch Wireless and AT&T uVerse not happy together

By Ruthe ยท 16 replies
Jun 22, 2015
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  1. Hey all! Last week I heard about Scratch wireless - just what I've been looking for! Free voice, text and data over wireless. You pay for the phone, currently a Coolpad Arise and that's it. You have the option of buying day passes to voice or data over cell.

    So of course I jumped and did minimal research before signing up and sending them my $111. Just some background:
    First problem was that though I had read shipping and whatever was $6 (the phone being $99), the minimum price was $12. And that was NOT to overnight it! Nor two-day delivery. Well, OK. I think I got mine in 4 days.

    Second problem is that you can not edit your profile. Oh sure, you can access it. And it SAYS you can edit it. But when you go to save, the state dropdown is not and can not be populated. AND without that, your profile - full name and who knows what else - is seen from the phone. Maybe posts too. I admit, that could be considered minor. But no screen names? I suppose it keeps us all honest.

    But now for the problem I came to you all for. I received my phone on a Friday. I really like it. Nice heft and feel. (It is a bit slow to respond compared to my Moto X - from Republic Wireless - whom I highly recommend if you're looking for inexpensive wifi with cell backup.) It's an Android and I believe when you do use cell it is a Sprint phone. This Coolpad phone has no problem downloading data over wifi. (You can't send text unless you use the native app. But if you do, it's free over wifi or cell. A very nice bonus.)

    However, I have not been able to make a call over wi-fi. I did manage to email customer service and get a reply before the end of the work week. And he did 'gift' me with a 24 hour pass to use cell for free. Which took me through Saturday evening. It's now Monday evening and I am still waiting for some real help. I feel certain this company is great if you have no or only a minor problem. But this "try one thing at a time", wait for 2 emails per day, and seemingly reading from a knowledge base is aggravating. And they do not offer phone support. The tech support guy has made 3 suggestions/tests so far: download an app, connect to another wifi, test fastboot mode.

    I have an AT&T uVerse router HSI 2W igateway 5031NV SP. I have tried rebooting it. I looked at their forum and though there were several complaints, there was no hint of a solution except that there may be an SIP setting. I looked, I didn't see anything. The router does list this phone in the connected devices list - two Androids and two computers.

    I have tried connecting the phone to other wireless signals to make a call. I can still get data, but no voice. I have tried rebooting the phone several times. I tried fastboot mode. The phone even shows that it IS connected to wifi.

    I can't believe I'm the only person out here trying to use Scratch Wireless with AT&T uVerse. Does anyone else have this combination? And is it working? And did it work from the start? I'm really desperate for help because hell will probably freeze over before the customer service guy comes through.

    Ahead of time, let me apologize for the long-windedness. I like to give a lot of details so that I don't go through the question-answer-question-answer thing. And I think some people reading this might like this company so I wanted to make you all aware since I haven't seen any threads about Scratch. And let me thank you all for any help you can offer.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    HMM; My VoIP is directly connected to the cable modem and I've never heard of or tried placing the phone on the other side of a wifi connection. Did I read you correctly?
  3. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Hey! Thanks for the response. I guess after all that I was NOT clear. Sorry! No. I use the phone as a regular phone. The uVerse router has the wireless signal which my phone is supposed to use.

    I'm hoping someone out there has this combination and can tell me if it's working. The customer support guy seemed to think it's a problem with uVerse blocking the phone's (Scratch) app.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    I can believe that VoIP is a protocol and it has to be supported at both ends (the ISP to which you're connected and the modem you are using).
  5. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Yeah. But I was hoping to speak to anyone who is trying this mix to see if I could - with almost no information! - troubleshoot the problem. I'd like to know definitively if it's just something in the Scratch app - which I'm inclined to believe since Republic Wireless runs just fine.

    Since I can't get a reply to any of my questions from customer no care no service, I thought I'd try here. I don't suppose you'd know what exactly I should be looking for?

    Maybe I should open a new (short form :p) post.
  6. sadman3

    sadman3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 126

    I'm suprised voip is a protocol and cannot be supported by both providers. So one has to go with vpn to do voip. thats like living in the past.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    regular phone vs phone? I think you're saying there's a phone with service but not connected to the modem at all. Then there's another phone you're attempting to use with uVerse and it's wifi? Give me the make/model of the uVerse modem please.
  8. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 70

    I have an AT&T uVerse modem/router - HSI 2W IGATEWAY 5031NV SP.

    Have I said something wrong? I think we're saying the same thing but I don't have the technical terms right. Yes, I have a phone from Scratch and yes I can make cell calls - if I pay for them. But the whole idea is to use a FREE wireless internet signal to make calls.

    I'm inclined to believe it's Scratch's proprietary software on top of the Android OS that is causing the problem. I have tried to complete a call using a wireless signal from various places - stores, restaurants, other uVerse neighbors, and satellite wireless and none work. The phone wants to make a cell signal call.

    I can't tell what Scratch is doing. I get the impression there is no analyst actually working on this. The lastest email request/demand from the customer service guy was for me to activate a 'gift' of 30 days of cell access. I can only hope this is just to give them time to troubleshoot. The company gives you a 30 day money back guarantee - minus shipping of course.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Let's start with some basics: HERE is a typical VoIP setup. Notice the router to the telephone(s) are wired.

    I have one VoIP phone controller connected directly to the modem which has four cordless stations in the house. However, while our cell phone(s) can use the router for surfing, they do not place calls over the VoIP.
  10. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Wow! Cool. My setup is similar. The modem and router is one device from AT&T. I have no PBX server - that I know of. :)

    I used to have the wireless house phones (landlines), an AT&T modem and a Linksys router but I recently decided that paying close to $42 in service and fees and taxes was ridiculous. So I no longer pay for a landline.

    Now, the wireless signal from the modem/router is passed to my cell phones and laptops. Both cell phones are set to prefer making a call over the wireless signal - I believe that's VoIP? Sorta like magicJack or Ooma? But no computer involved. Just wireless signal from modem/router to "cell" phones.


  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    YEP, that's the goal ( and forget the pbx - - that's business stuff).
    that's what I thought.
    Notice, my ViOP is directly connected to the modem, not a wifi connection....

    Make a call over Wi-Fi
    What phones support Wi-Fi Calling?

    Android Devices: To check if your device supports Wi-Fi Calling,
    go to Settings to look for the Wi-Fi Calling option.
    Wi-Fi Calling is also listed on the Key Features tab of the
    phone details page.
    iOS Devices:
    Wi-Fi Calling is only available on iPhone 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus models.
    It requires iOS version 8.3 and the Carrier Version 19.1 or higher.
    To update to iOS 8.3, go to Settings>General>Software Update.
    To update the Carrier Version go to Settings>General>About which will
    trigger the update. Complete this step after the 8.3 Upgrade.

    How do I activate/setup Wi-Fi Calling?

    To activate Wi-Fi Calling, click,
    then find your device. View the Wi-Fi Calling tutorial under the Calls dropdown.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    SO - - the first trick is to get the phone (or any system) to connect to your WiFi
  13. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,670   +413 May be a duplicate of post # 10. I saw the same mentioned on the local news today by Clark Howard & am wondering if its a good idea/deal?
  14. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Cool! Yeah. I looked under Settings, (Wireless and networking) more. Neither the Republic nor the Scratch has any setting here that you would expect. (I compared to a friend of mine's Android who has regular cell) But I didn't know about the Settings, About Phone, Status information. THANKS!

    Interesting that the working phone, the Moto X Android from Republic says the network type is CDMA-eHRPD. The Coolpad Arise Android from Scratch says CDMA - EvDo Rev. A. I know what CDMA is so that's not it anyway. But I don't know about the rest. I think there are other settings that are different too. I'll look. Also, I'll look at those links. I do believe both companies use the Sprint cell infrastructure when using a cell signal.

    Neither is an iPhone and they're not "phones that make wifi calls" per se. They are from two different companies that have added their own software over the Android OS to force the phones to prefer wifi over cell.
  15. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 70

    LearnInMyPC. I read Clark Howard too and that's why I'm here. Expected success rate is not favorable yet either. It's not working now and I can't get a straight answer from the customer support guy I have to deal with over emails (that he may or may not respond to!). So far it hasn't worked over AT&T (DSL) wireless, AT&T uVerse, or satellite wireless. I haven't found a friend that has cable wireless to test over yet. My advice would be to wait a while and see if they can get this working. There are rumors they are going to offer a new phone soon - the ever-popular Moto X - which is very nice. Not to knock the Coolpad, it's a nice phone, but it sold for about $15 in Kroger back in December. If you've been reading along, you'll see I just paid considerably more.

    I liked the idea of ditching my landline and started off a couple of months ago researching. I decided I'd rather have a mobile phone for my home number - though I first looked at Google Voice (see ZDNet's article by David Gewirtz), Ooma, MagicJack, Ting, Republic Wireless (which is working, is inexpensive, is good, and I recommend), Cricket, TextNow, prepaid cells .... If you're interested, you have to Google hard - most of the first page will be the big, expensive wireless carriers; and I had a hard time just identlfying other companies and solutions.

    Another thing I read recently somewhere was that with Scratch, you can't upgrade the OS. What you buy is what you get. I have not verified this yet. Republic, on the other hand, is getting ready to adopt Lollipop.

    So if you can hold on, we should know in the next 20 days if Scratch is actually going to get me an answer or if they're just stringing me along. Because if they don't get back to me you can be sure I'm taking advantage of their 30 day money back guarantee. I'm pretty sure I'll be letting you know one way or another here. :confused:
  16. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,670   +413

    Ok, I myself have a different phone/setup altogether. A friend of mine was interested & so when I saw this on my local news & it was Clark, I figured it might work. Thanks for the info/update :)
  17. Ruthe

    Ruthe TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Last for this post I think. I believe I told you that the customer service rep was less than helpful. It felt like I was an imposition. It may just be that he was bottom of the pecking order in the customer service arena. He did send me a 30 day credit so I could "purchase" cell time. I thought that was so they would have 30 days to figure out the problem. No. It was out of sight, out of mind. So, with about 5 days to go and not having heard ANYTHING from Scratch for two week, I wrote and told them I would be cancelling the service - within the 30 day trial period.

    They sent me a return postage label. (Nice) Thank goodness I had kept the box. I received an email stating I would get a full refund. I think I probably have, but I haven't received my credit card statement yet. So I ended up paying $13 for a 30 day trial (the original postage was not refunded).

    Seems like it would be a good company if everything goes to plan. If there's a quirk (like me), well ......

    I ended up buying another Republic phone and switching my number there. Got the Moto G for $150. The plan for this phone is $5/mo! Not free like Scratch, but darned close. BTW, the Coolpic Arise phone was ok but I'm kinda glad now the service didn't work. It's not very responsive - I think the lag would have been irritating after a while.

    So, that's the end of this saga. Hope you enjoyed reading about it and very much hope it was informative. :)

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