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--- RE: brother's account blocked (http://www1.pbxes.com/forum/threadid.php?threadid=1280268556)

Posted by sbrudenell on 28.07.2010 at 00:09:

brother's account blocked


i'm sorry to post this here. this is a personal issue, not a public one, but i don't believe this is a "support" issue, so the paid personal support seems like an inappropriate channel.

i'm writing on behalf of my brother (his username is "nef"). his free account was blocked. when logging into this account, he sees this message:

"Your account was blocked. Reasons can be failure to make a payment, exceeding minutes quota during a past month or violation of our terms of service for free accounts. If you want us to restore your account please upgrade."

i'm not sure of the reason for this block. i went to lengths to ensure that his account was configured identically to mine, and that we were using it in the same way -- but my account has never been blocked. in the blocked state, he can't access any details of the account (such as the call log) which might indicate the reason for the block.

the terms of service document hasn't been translated into English. but after reading the summary, i think that pbxes.org may have assumed that his account was the same as mine, since i frequently logged into his account from my computer to configure it.

the only intentions we have are to use the free service as advertised (actually, specifically for use with the android app Sipdroid). if there was any other kind of misuse, i assure you that it was due to misconfiguration only.

i simply want to understand the reason for the block, and to get my brother's account back to the same level of service available to new free users. he cannot even register a new account with his same email address. i upgraded my own account for the specific purpose of getting to the bottom of this problem here on the forums -- i hope that the administrators can see this as enough of a good-faith gesture to help me.



Posted by bobmats on 01.08.2010 at 14:50:

RE: brother's account blocked

Welcome to the wonderfull world of pbxes.

You had to read all the terms and they state you can't have 2 free accounts. As you write you don't have 2 free accounts one for you one for your brother but by accessing your borthers account from your ip all alarmbells seem to go off and becau you did that your brothers account is blocked

It's free so you did not obey the rules. pbxes choose to have not support for free accounts, no forum access, no email.

The only way to get it activated to probably to upgrade to soho for your brother also or pay a reconnection free.

But you have to wait for iptel to respond to you and this is all up to him. So welcome to the wonderfull world of pbxes.com :-)

Posted by bazmercer on 02.08.2010 at 09:59:

RE: brother's account blocked

" went to lengths to ensure that his account was configured identically to mine"

Is probably part of the problem. I think having the same trunks etc on several accounts makes a mess of things

Posted by sbrudenell on 02.08.2010 at 18:17:

RE: brother's account blocked

long-winded post, because i see that i can't re-post to a topic until someone replies. if no one ever replies, then i can't clarify myself, or ask a more direct/appropriate question, so i have to make sure i get everything down ...

i should clarify: my brother's account was connected to different trunks (we were both connected to the same free providers in the same way, but with different accounts on each provider), and everything had different passwords.

it's fine if pbxes doesn't want to support free accounts (though i would argue this is ultimately bad for their business, for the resentment it generates), and it's fine to kick them off if they break the rules. but i didn't break the rules, so far as i know.

i don't feel comfortable just paying a fee to reconnect the account: without knowing what was done wrong, i may accidentally step on the rules again and get the account blocked again, which would be a waste of my money. i *need* to know this answer first.

does pbxes think i'm being abusive by asking for an explanation? i'm actually trying to prevent "abuse" by figuring out what went wrong with my brother's account. if pbxes doesn't want people to break the rules they should certainly be more straightforward about what those rules actually are, otherwise i might accidentally break them (again).

i also don't understand how there could be such an aggressive policy of blocking multiple accounts accessed from the same ip address (or browser fingerprint or whatever the method is). if there is no support for free accounts, it seems completely natural that more experienced users (me) would log in directly to the accounts of other free users (my brother). i tried just relaying configuration instructions to him, but pbxes's interface is just too complicated and unintuitive to do this.

i don't even see *why* i would want multiple accounts in the first place. what would my motivation be? pbxes already offers multiple extensions, with enough configuration flexibility as to provide *more* functionality than multiple accounts could provide. are that many people with multiple accounts that a ban-first-ask-questions-later approach is warranted? what do people actually do with multiple accounts?

(of course, i'm not even sure that multiple free accounts was the problem here. my brother's account got blocked, but mine didn't. the usual response of an administrator to someone breaking the rules isn't just to unbreak the rules, it's to make sure the breaker of the rules can't come back)

can someone *please* help me? i'm really trying my best to play by the rules here.

Posted by bobmats on 02.08.2010 at 21:13:

RE: brother's account blocked

I have been using pbxes for several year now and I still don't understand it.

The things i do understand are.

When using a free account ip's seem to be tracked. If the same ip's logs into another free account that could trigger a warning or block. Seems what you have done by settingup your brothers account.

If you ip registers say an extension on 2 free accounts that will trigger a block.

pbxes is a nice system if you know how it works. The help /wiki is very limited. Try google there have been some people settingup a manual by making screenshots.
pbxes does not offer any support for free accounts, free is free so don't complain. There is no access to the forum nor is there any published mailaddress. If pbxes is down (does happen more and more last year) free account are not moved to antoher server, just wait till it starts working again.

pbxes when you pay only means you can access the forum and post your questions or complaints. That said don't expect a fast official answer from iptel who runs it here. If you do get an answer expect it to be short (rude sometimes) or just referring you to another post that should asnwer the question. (which it doesn't most of the time)

If you want to have the account reactivated you will just have to wait wait and wait, sometimes it takes time, sometimes it it faster. If you are lucky you might get an explanation for the reason, if you you would just have to pay.

That said, you and your brother can use the same account, you can seperate the trunks and extensions, You can limit outgoing truks to an extension so really there is no need for 2 accounts and you can even call eachother thru an extension.

Posted by sbrudenell on 02.08.2010 at 22:01:

RE: brother's account blocked

That said, you and your brother can use the same account, you can seperate the trunks and extensions, You can limit outgoing truks to an extension so really there is no need for 2 accounts and you can even call eachother thru an extension.

i'm kind of smacking myself for not thinking of that as a stopgap solution. i should do that.

i don't consider it a real solution, though. it is handy for his personal SIP address to be "nef@pbxes.org", instead of "sbrudenell-300@pbxes.org". i'd really like to have the names, at least, be separate.

at a technical level, tracking account uniqueness by IPs is totally and completely bogus. i really hope bobmats is wrong, that this is not the actual method used. of course my brother and i frequently share an IP on a NAT router. IP addresses do not uniquely identify a person (nor should they, due to address exhaustion). i did use the same browser on the same computer to configure both accounts, so i retain hope that pbxes used browser fingerprinting to figure out that two accounts were the same.

i was about to write an impotent rant here, elaborating on how it's always in the best interest of any company or organization that even its free users are satisfied. but i expect there have been many similar rants on this board, so i wouldn't be contributing anything new.

the only relatively-new information i can offer is to cast my vote for my favorite bit of pbxes.org (the bit that actually keeps me here), which is sipdroid. i'm not quite sure what sipdroid does different with pbxes.org versus any other provider, but in my experience, pbxes.org is completely right to claim that sipdroid+pbxes.org adds no penalty to an android phone's standby battery life.

Posted by i-p-tel on 03.08.2010 at 09:15:

Pfeil RE: brother's account blocked


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