Zong just does not work

UPDATE: I apparently ran into a very specific problem (read bug) that Zong team has fixed in no time. See thread of comments. Good job, I go on with my testings and come back here for some more feedbacks.

ZongI have tested Zong for one of the blog I am running and I ran into a very unpleasant experience. Zong is a SMS gateway (what is Zong ?) provided by Echovox (based in Geneva) that lets you create your own mobile service for your blog. One of them is an alert system based on the RSS feed (called Z-feed) which seems to be a very good idea (we had worked out something similar at Kaywa for our own blogs). I thought I would give it a try to see how it works and even though I have my ideas for improvement (maybe I’ll come back later on that) it worked fine with my first test: I published something on the blog and a little while afterwards I get a SMS with the title and the content of the post (up to 160 characters of course). Worked fine for the first test but the decond one was a total disaster… I published a post on the blog and after a while I checked my mobile and I get over 40 SMS alerting me of a new post with the very same content. I had to immediately unsubscribe to the alert service as I was still getting SMS. Now this is for me a CHF 10.- experience (CHF 0.20 per SMS) I am not very keen about (not sure how I am going to deal with that yet) but I am glad I tested it before advertising it on the blog. It would be really a pain to deal with the community complaining about all those unwanted SMS they would be charged for.
Too bad the service is not mature. There is nice things to do there… I had already in mind my little RSS hacks to improve the service :-)

Zong - Echovox problems

7 comments

  1. Zong Team

    Thank you for trying our service, we are sorry for the problem you have experienced and we are looking into it as I write this comment.

    We will contact you privately to resolve the SMS charging issue.

  2. Zong Team

    Just to clarify a little more, there was a set of cirumstances with regards to your blog that we had not tested which triggered off this issue. We do have other users using this service without a problem.

  3. jerome

    +1 for zong support and the reaction time.

    I understand there might be some set of circumstances with my blog, but I am using Feedburner and a widely used blogware tool (ie. WordPress) so there might be others that are facing problems.
    Again… luckily I was trying the service and did not have anyone using it. When it comes down to SMS the service has to be really bullet-proof for end user imho. On the other hand if I was trying it it is because somehow I’d like to use it and provide it to my users… so there is definitively some business there :-) let me know when it is fixed and I will try it again (or let me know offline what I should change to make it work).

  4. Zong Team

    Ok. The problem is now fixed. It came from the title of your service, which contained “n°38″. It just didn’t like the “°” character and as this is the 1st time it ever happened we didn’t come across it before your problem.

    Thank you for raising the issue. You can now log back in and enjoy Zong services like our 15,000+ other customers.

    All the best!

  5. Shahzad Ahmed

    Hi,

    I want to add sms gateway to my site, so that users can send sms from my site to any network in Pakistan. can you please help me in this respect.