Today I can hold my head high, for I am finally rid of Vonage. It started back in Jan. ’05. I wasn’t using a landline at my apartment and I saw the need for something other then ye’ ole cell phone. I ordered the service and eagerly awaited the new equipment that was due any day. I got the Linksys PAP phone adapter / router and set it up for it’s maiden voyage…. Vonage.
My first impressions were that the audio quality was not great, but the 20 something dollars a month that included long distance was well worth a few shortcomings. As you may have calculated, I had Vonage for just over 2 years, so no one can accuse me of not giving Vonage a fair trial.
During that two year span I made many calls to many places. There was never any perfect call. Many were perfectly fine, but most were annoying. I always heard an odd hum/hiss on my end, no matter what phone I used. I could also never get used to the frequent lag I experienced. It kinda felt like those IM sessions when you say something and while your waiting for a reply you say something else and next thing you know you are carrying on two conversations at once. Mo matter what I tweaked or tried, the Vonage line just wasn’t cutting it as a landline replacement, I can totally see using Vonage lines for a fax line or something secondary, but for everyday use I think Vonage has a ways to go.
Aside from the quality of the service I need to rant a little bit about the customer service side of things. Two things stand out most in my head on this topic.
First, After a year and a half of service my Linksys Phone Adapter / Router craps out on me. I call Customer Service which is very obviously in India and explain my predicament. I am notified that I need to purchase a new Phone Adapter to get my service back up and running. Now this thing came free when I signed up and free is great, but the replacement Linksys Phone Adapter was full retail price @ about 100 bucks. I wasn’t having any of that. I wasn’t expecting to get a second free one, but I didn’t expect to be charged 100 bucks for it. So I did the next best thing, that’s right, I bought one on eBay. Now, at this point I have spent about two weeks without Vonage service and have in hand my used, but newly purchased Linksys PAP thingamabob. I promptly hook it up and call India to get a little help getting it online. They check some stuff and then let me know that since the device had previously been used for another line, on another account, they needed to have an engineer do some stuff before they can get the phone back online. Great! I think, a few more minutes and problem solved. Hardly. They notify me that the engineer will need 72 hours to complete the task. WHAT!? I accept the only offer given, hang up from India, and wait. 72 hours, plus or minus, later I call back to India and actually am able to get my VOIP back on track. It was a long and tedious process, some of it self inflicted I guess, for a stupid Linksys PAP thingamabob.
After that experience everything went back to normal and I continued using my sub par service. Now fast forward to March 20th 2007. March 20th was the day I called to have the service finally disconnected. Mel and I had moved into the house and Verizon had delivered that sweet, sweet fiber to the side of our abode. We had glass, we didn’t need VOIP. So I call India and break the bad news that I will no longer be needing their services. The CS agent was happy to assist but they pulled something I have never seen before. They notified me that my automatic billing date had just passed, the 18th, and that since I was paid up until April 18th I should hold on to the service until then. I declined and asked that the prorated amount be credited back to my account. They would not do it. DID YOU HEAR ME??? THEY WOULD NOT DO IT!!! WTF!? I didn’t freak out and I kindly insisted that someone at Vonage surely gives refunds for services not used. I mean surely they can’t just bill you and keep the money if you change your mind a day later, can they? Well, I am sad to report that they did. I talked to two or three more people in India and they confirmed that I may not cancel my account and have the remainder of my money back. So I set a reminder and lucky for me I was able to get the account canceled today and they won’t be getting any more of my dang moola!
The moral of the story…….. DON’T USE VONAGE!
By the way…….
I am also glad that I didn’t buy any of their stock at the IPO a while back. I wouldn’t have seen a return on that either!