Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FreePBX EndPointManager. Schooze or Scmucks - you decide.

To save you a long read and wasting your money, get the free Endpoint Manager for FreePBX here :

https://github.com/FreePBX/endpointman

If you want to know why I recommend this over the 'Professional' version, read on.

So, I decided to go for FreePBX on Asterisk after my Israeli built (don't want them to get the publicity) PBX was condemned .

Now, I know not a lot about VOIP systems.

I have played with installing Asterisk and FreePBX on top of my Koozali SME servers before.

Now I would have to do it for real.

Fortunately I have some very good friends.

I asked LL the question and he said 'fire me up a Koozali SME v9 VM and I'll bash a system together for you.'

And 15 minutes after the VM was up I had a basic system. He's a god.

My biggest headache (and still is) are Devices vs Users and Dialing Patterns (not to be specifically confused with Dialing Plan).

Anyway, after some running about we got the extensions up, a trunk connected and inbound and outbound routes. We could call extensions, call out, call in, and life was good.

And then that's when my luck ran out.

Two of my nearest and dearest smartarse friends who both run FreePBX and have a lot of experience said 'get End Point Manager from Schmooze' to manage my phones.

Great idea. Looked cool - I don't use much commercial software - mainly opensource - so don't really know the form, but I buy from 'The Big Jungle' easily enough..... how hard can it be ?

Nip over to Schmooze. Uh oh. Register before you can do anything. I hate that. Oh well. Just quickly buy and install (my friends told me it was dead simple).

So I parted with my cash, and that's where the pain REALLY started.

You can't install EPM without ZendGuard. Damn. OK, grab a copy and install.

Next..... ah. sysadmin. No problems - install the module. But you can't without the RPM. OK, download said RPM and install. No you can't as it has dependencies, one of which is apcupsd which I don't really want and is no use on a virtual machine anyway.

OK - rpm --nodeps  - That will fix it. Errrr....... No it won't. That'll fuck it.

 Preparing...                ########################################### [100%]
   1:sysadmin               ########################################### [100%]
no table for root

Ah, but it completes(ish) and starts incrond (which was a dependency I installed) but the terminally stupid fucking install script in the RPM is badly written and dumps errors to /dev/null

# Make sure sysadmin module is installed now
/var/lib/asterisk/bin/module_admin enable sysadmin > /dev/null
/var/lib/asterisk/bin/module_admin download sysadmin > /dev/null
/var/lib/asterisk/bin/module_admin install sysadmin > /dev/null

Is it installed or isn't it installed ? Fucking numpties. No proper error handling if its a fail.

Even WORSE is where is the fucking UNINSTALL script to remove all their crap ?????

So now we have a wedged rpm half in and half out. All their crap software installed but non functional, and the only way to remove it is manually. Great. Overjoyed.

So, I chose to give up on the piece of shit and ask for a refund.

Charming bunch to start with. But then its all all the usual bluff and bollocks:

"it's all on the wiki."
wiki.freepbx.org ?

"Yes"
Didn't go there mate - didn't think I needed to. System works. Why go to the freepbx wiki when you are schmooze and my system works ???? Think I have nothing better to do with my time ?

"Ah, only guaranteed on our own FreePBX distro."

Sorry - had no idea there WAS a special distro (apparently my two friends use it and thought I did, and I had no idea there was a separate distro)

"It's perfectly clear".

No it fucking isn't. It might appear to be because you live and breath it, but I am an outsider who just turned up to buy a widget. Your information is SHIT and downright misleading.

I actually went back to repeat the buying process, and indeed up pops a box saying 'only guaranteed on the Official FreePBX distro'. But I never connected between Distro and Installation. There is a difference, and it's a show stopping one. But as I didn't know there was a complete distro, it was completely meaningless.

"Refund request is rejected as per our ToS all sales are final. Secondly we state everywhere we can that only the FreePBX Distro is supported with Commercial modules. You are using FreePBX in a unsupported manner. You do realize Schmooze runs and maintains FreePBX. "

Oh thanks a bunch, you tossers. No I *didn't* realise the connection.

Have you actually read your own TOS - better known as 'Terms of Shite' - written by overpaid lawyers to try and let thieving bastards stamp all over consumers ?

You buy an 'Outright' licence. But it's only for 25 years, and they own all the rights to everything. So you have a limited use of the software. 'Outright' my arse.



And no you DON'T state EVERYWHERE.  And no I DIDN'T know that Schmucks had anything to do with FreePBX.

Any half decent company would have said 'we're really sorry for the trouble, have your money back'. It's a no brainer. Our company does such things all the time. We are not rich but we do sleep at night and we have lots of happy customers.

Not these thieving bastards.

I then tried to write and follow this up. Eventually I got a reply to say that if I filled in the ssh details etc they would look at it. Great. So I then spent a considerable amount of time accurately describing the problems, and my efforts at a solution in full in the vain hope that they might look at it.

Guess what happened then ? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not a fucking sausage. I emailed every day for more than a week, and got absolutely no response from this bunch of retards.

So with an attitude like that, instead of a frustrating buying experience with a happy ending that I would relate to others (I am sure the module would be perfect for some and I may well have recommended it, with caveats) I am now left foaming at the mouth, and will do my damndest to make sure those thieving bastards never see a penny from me, or anyone else I know, as long as I live. And I'll make sure they know exactly how much that costs them as well.

Funny how $75 can make such a difference isn't it? Piss all to them. A matter of principle to me.

A little sales and customer service tip.

Remember that it takes 100 people to get a good reputation, but only one to get a bad one.

You've just awarded yourself a bad one. And that was a REALLY silly mistake.

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