I checked consumer complaint sites for Vonage posts; guess what I found

I checked consumer complaint sites for Vonage posts; guess what I found

Summary: I spent part of this weekend on some consumer-complaint Web sites, tracking incident reports of "converged home" customer service issues.Although my reason for doing this involved a broader scope of technologies than just IP telephony, I'd like to share some of the VoIP-related complaints I managed to dig up.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Browser
64

I spent part of this weekend on some consumer-complaint Web sites, tracking incident reports of "converged home" customer service issues.

Although my reason for doing this involved a broader scope of technologies than just IP telephony, I'd like to share some of the VoIP-related complaints I managed to dig up.

First, tho, two caveats:

1. You can't please all the people all the time. It's in the nature of some people to complain, and that's how they'll always be.

2. All major VoIP providers will get their day, but I don't want to be too lengthy here. So, let's focus first on Vonage.

On ConsumerAffairs.com, complaints encompass canned customer service responses, long hold times for tech support help, ad too much static during calls.

On Complaints.com, issues raised include a malfunctioning Vonage fax service, to which a user received no response to several email requests to customer service; delays in switching existing phone numbers to the Vonage service; and once again, lengthy times on hold.

No specific Vonage-related feedback yet on Epinions.com or Bizrate. The Better Business Bureau site is actually a disorganized, cobbled-together collection of local bureau sites with varying ways they present complaints. The BBB of New Jersey site handles input about Edison, N.J. Vonage. The only service details I could see were that "complaints (have been) processed concern service and billing issues." Unlike some other BBB sites, there was no information about whether or not these complaints have been resolved.

Have you ever been tempted to go to a complaint Web site and post anything about your IP telephony service? Post a TalkBack and tell us what you'd like to say if you had the chance. And via TalkBack, you do.  

 

 

Topic: Browser

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

64 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • VoIP, the V stands for voice!

    I made the change to Vonage about 3 months ago and it has been wonderful. The cost is great and my service has only been down once. (and that was due to the cleaning lady killing the power to the router). The time my service was down all my calls rolled over to my cell phone as I configured. I wasn't aware of the outage for hours.
    The quality of the line is good. I have not noticed a difference. I have noticed the line sucks when calling support.
    I have but one gripe. I added the fax line and it has been very difficult to get it to work. I noticed from news groups that most folks have a problem in sending faxes but recieving is ok. I had the reverse. The printer/fax/scanner/copier I purchased would not pick up the call. I spoke with Vonage support and they had me reduce the baud rate and turn off ECM. I set the fax to "fax only". I called the fax vendor (HP)and they said using Vonage was not supported. The V stands for voice.
    There is a rumor that an adsl filter put on the line backwards will get the fax working. It does not. Most new faxes provide this filter with the purchase anyway. Don't waste your money or time. If you use the 2-wire cable that comes with the fax then you don't need it.
    Ultimately, I bought the cheapest fax I could find and set it to fax only......pick up all calls. It worked.
    cjk5900
    • Vonage Fax Problem

      http://www.zlk.com/vonagefax.html
      patent15769
  • vonage

    I subscribed to Vonage for their small business services. About one week after I set up my account, their hardware failed. I attempted to email them, and got canned responses with an improperly coded return email address. My next step was to call. Over the ensuing 2 weeks I racked up over 300 minutes of cell phone time trying to talk to someone regarding my problem, no luck. I finally decided to cancel my account. Same problem, I couldn't talk to anyone that could help me; every time I got transferred to billing it was either a busy signal, or the call dropped. I surfed their website and found an online cancellation form, which I filled out. # weeks later I am still receiving vm notifications. I just had to call my bank and cancel my check card so they wouldn't bill me for service. Beware!
    nwapache
  • Vonage Problems

    I signed on with Vonage April 15, 2005. I am waiting for my number to be transfered. I feel it has taken way too long and the problem is that I have to maintain service with 2 providers until this transfer takes place. So 2 bills to pay now. I do not see the savings Vonage suggests we will have by using their service. I have made several calls to customer service and have had to deal with very rude people. Of course they blame the problem on someone else. The poor customer service they provide is still their fault. I have sent several e-mails also but always get the canned e-mail response. Vonage tells me they can justify the monthly charge as they have given me a "virtual" number to use. I cannot see giving this number out to people who need to contact me only to change it again when they finally get my number transfered. One customer service person actually suggested that I connect 1 phone to my SBC line for incoming calls and 1 phone to the internet for incoming calls. I feel I have made a big mistake jumping on the internet phone services until they get the problems worked out. My relationship with Vonage will be short lived.
    ozzieman
    • Vonage Nightmares

      I have had the same troubles, they have given me free service for my troubles (because I demanded it), I have no local number and they are telling me that my number is not transferrable even though their website clearly says it is with the areacode + first three digits. I sent my complaint to all of the email addresses I could find for vonage and got a really nice message from the Executive Response Team by email (quickly too I may add) that they were going to look into this and that I was of highest priority. It's been another month and they still haven't contacted me again. I continue to call almost daily and complain and keep getting things like now they don't have my signatures on the transfer request, my number is not transferrable, etc. I'm going to take them to the state's attorney general as soon as I get a definate NO because I'm getting bombarded by advertisement and it's false advertisement costing me time and money. Still didn't get my $50 rebate on my linksys voip product yet either.
      ardean1
      • Terrible service

        I tried to transfer my pacbel number to vonage December 2004, after 2 months nothing had happened. I called and they asked if I could put my wifes name on the vonage account because the Pacbel account was in her name - ok, did that and stared the transfer again (all the while I'm paying for a second line for this too) - Two months later still nothing. I call to ask about this and Vonage tell me they submitted the wrong phone number! The correct one was then sent - Two months later still nothing. I call again and complain about paying for a service I'm not getting. They refund 2 months out of the 6 and then tell me they can't transfer the number and instruct me to contact Pacbel. Tired of this, I call and ask to reduce my two lines back to one and reduce that from the $25 monthly charge to the $15 fee. The reduced the main line I got, but they never canceled the second line - and after the 8th months of this comedy of errors, They email me and say they are now transferring my pacbel number! AND after I call to stop it, they tell me while they've now canceled the request, the transfer may still go through which we confirmed with Pacbell. My main number with Vonage was also changed as a result of all this. So in the end, I'll loose my pacbel number, I've lost my vonage number and when I called to cancel the service, I was told someone will be calling me back - never happened. I'm now of to the bank to make sure they can't get anymore of my money..
        shoffman3572
  • Vonage Complaints

    I have never made a formal complaint against Vonage, because we've had a plethora of problems with our service and they have basically been non-responsive. When you talk about long wait times, I've called their customer service department and held for over three hours and no one ever came on the line to assist. I finally hung up and sent them an email with my technical problems. I got a call back THREE DAYS LATER, at 11pm at night - my whole family was asleep in bed and they called to troubleshoot our problem. When I explained the late hour and asked if they would simply call back in the morning, I was told that they are open 24 hours a day and they "just" got my email message and this was the time they had to handle my issue. They advised I could either get out of bed and discuss my problem with them then, or they could close out our problem report and I could report it again the next day. Can you believe that? It's the most absurd thing I've ever heard. And despite spending over an hour and half with them on the phone in the middle of the night, they were not able to fix my problem (lots of high frequency beeps that I cannot hear on my end, but that are annoying and can be heard by anyone on the other end of the phone). The main reason I have stayed with them is the lack of digital phone service from any other providers to my area presently. The moment our cable company brings this service to our neighborhood, Vonage is history. Until then, I feel compelled to deal with their POOR customer service and poor phone quality because I am 1500 miles away from my family and this is the most affordable way for me to keep in touch.
    aboulet
    • Better then...

      I had a similar experience with Vonage. I actually never had a chance to actually get connected...
      After the agony of very bad customer service that lasted for 4 days I had enough and started to search for a VoIP that will work in my area...I found it and it's great and much cheaper then Vonage.
      It is: netfone.ca
      I have it since and for $12.95 per month it is the best thing I got in the last few years...
      neboysha9
      • WATCH OUT - NETFONE IS EVIL

        I was setting up an asterisk server/router for my mom to get her voiped up. I saw this ad for CAN approx $13 a month for unlimited calling and a DID + 1 month free service at netfone.ca. That sounded great for her as it works out to be about $10/mo. During my inquiry they learned that I was going to use an ASTERISK server and said that I'd had to subscribe to a business plan for around $40/mo or buy their Linksys ATA Device. Really what difference does that make? It sounds more like a scam to force people to buy hardware from them.

        I guess in the future I should just say I'm using a Grandstream or something.

        Watch out.

        This is the official response I received in private from Netfone.ca:
        > From: support@netfone.ca
        > Subject: Double standards with netfone.ca.
        >
        > Frankly, your "mom" story is obviously false.
        > I have actually installed Asterisk servers.
        > They are complicated to configure correctly and
        > do not include any reasonable ATA
        > which is needed for a handset.


        Check out: http://www.techvibes.com/idealbb/view5211.html
        stormp9
      • netfone.ca

        Would you please let me have contact information for netfone.ca Funny, but my Telus Internet gives me a "Site not found" for netfone.ca
        Where are they located?
        Thanks,
        Paully
        plevert
        • Resolves for me.

          C:\>ping www.netfone.ca

          Pinging www.netfone.ca [209.139.240.150] with 32 bytes of data:
          stormp9
    • Vonage Problem

      You are not alone in getting shoddy customer service. I recently signed up and asked that they transfer my existing number. My local carrier gave the number up on Friday and they have still not transferred the number. When customers call my home business line they get a "this number has been disconnected message." I've spoken with 5 "customer service" representatives who each tell me a different story. I'm totally frustrated with their promises to get my phone operational. My advice: don't have your number transferred, especially on a Friday. They have no techs working on weekends and use an antiquated "batch process" only once a day to batch operations with 3rd party carriers. This is not a well-run company and they are causing me headaches and lost revenue!
      m.gardner
      • Vonage Postergirl

        I signed up for Vonage in February thinking I would cut costs .... BOY WAS I IN FOR BIG PROBLEMS ...

        Vonage transferred my service prior to qualifying me ... I spent HOURS on the phone with a tech trying to set up and was told I had a defective router. I waited for the second router to arrive and it too was not working .... I called to cancel and was transferred the same day. What Vonage does not disclose to the consumer is that they are not compatible with AOL Broadband. They dont let you in on that secret until after you switch to their service and then they try to sell you different services to accomodate their system. In my opinion, this is not a professional way to do business.

        As per expertise and instructions from Vonage tech, Ed Banaag, I attempted a Winback situation on three separate occasions with ATT (my former carrier) however this was impossible to do and it led me into deeper debt having to operate my business off of a cell phone for another month. In total, I was without phone/fax service for two months and had to operate off of my cell phone which amounted to about $2900 .. I learned that I could not be ported back to ATT with a "Winback situation" because the number originated from Nynex who is now Verizon and they own the number. I then signed up with Verizon who said it would cost me $208 to port my telephone number back to a land line.

        Because of my budget my cell bills were never more than $50/mo, and now with the large bill of $2900 for two months my cell became suspended and now I am having to deal with my credit being ruined because I cannot afford to pay the bill.

        Is anyone out there who has encountered similar problems, I would like to hear from you as I think a class action is in order for this company
        LaurenNYny@aol.com
        LaurenNYny
        • Vontage Problems Too.

          Let Go

          My email is
          acretajr@optonline.net
          acretajr
        • Vontage Problems Too.

          Lets Go

          My email is
          acretajr@optonline.net
          acretajr
        • i'll join you!

          let me in on that class action lawsuit!
          uglydog01
  • re Vonage

    you need to file a complaint with atty general, department of public service, department of consumer affairs and the most important is the FCC. You can do all of this on their websites

    Go get em!
    LaurenNYny
  • Still in the process of trying to cancel my Vonage acct

    I signed up for Vonage for the international long distance.

    It does work but I found another p2p VOIP that has better quality and is free/has lower prices so I am trying to cancel my acct with Vonage.
    I called them.
    They said ok.
    Then they emailed me telling me they were trying to call me to discuss my cancellation.
    Apparently my service will not be cancelled until I discuss it with them again.
    Well, I have already heard about the long waiting for cancellation and other tech matters.
    And I am now wondering if this is just a way to keep me as a customer longer.
    I will say it is a very good way to make me very upset with their service and I would not use them if they were the only service available now.


    I would not use VOIP for my only telephone service for now.
    I signed up for Vonage in December 2004 and my number still has not been transferred (7-8 months later)
    Their voice quality for intl calls is not very good (like using a walkie talkie sometimes)

    The company I am using now is very good for local/intl calls computer to computer and computer to telephone but you can't call 911 which I think may be very important when you need it.
    chousuz
    • Oh I know the Cancellation Story!

      I tried to cancel the account LAST YEAR and when they call back to 'discuss' the cancellation, they brow beat you about suspending the service to give you time to 'think about it' instead of cancelling it. And when you tell them, "No, please cancel, thank you.", guess what...? They suspend it. It's been A YEAR now and they have FINALLY cancelled the service, however, instead of putting the money they have FRAUDULENTLY taken from my account, they took MORE money for the cancellation fee! UNBELIEVEABLE! Does anyone have any good suggestions about what I can do about this?
      jeffp1
  • There are other VOIPs that are better than Vonage

    I won't say who because of the rules here but keep looking.
    I live overseas and make alot of calls to the US with my new VOIP with no monthly charges and free computer to computer calling

    You can get a telephone number if you want for 30 euros for 12 months including voicemail.

    We don't have the number and just call computer to computer
    We also downloaded a computer answering machine that works great too


    The voice quality is outstanding too

    I think I will keep my landline phone on the lowest package for awhile until I feel more confident with VOIP
    chousuz