Vonage UK has made two announcements this week that seems to indicate someone over there is on the ball with regard to customer service.
First, Dan Connor announces in his independently owned and run Vonage Forum's Digest that:
Vonage UK and inQ announced today that inQ'sChatCommerce services will be integrated into Vonage UK’s Web site so that customers and potential customers can chat with live representatives, who will be available 24/7 to answer questions and address concerns.
That's a potentially helpful gesture. Dan's Vonage Forum is full of posts from North Americans who complain they have difficulty understanding the accents of some of Vonage's Phillippines and India-based phone-based customer and tech support service folks.
Let's hope the vast majority of these complaints are not driven by nativist prejudices. Presumably, though, online chat would reduce some of these "I called tech support but couldn't understand what he was saying" issues.
Let's also hope this solution migrates to North America, where the vast majority of Vonage customers are located.
Second, in an only marginally related move, Vonage is reaching out to the 10,000 UK based Skype customers who are losing their numbers in three weeks.
Fellow blogger Andy Abramson notes an email from Skype in which he has been told:
Following Skype's decision to cut off 10,000 of its 0207 customers by 20th December, Vonage is offering all those customers the opportunity to keep their existing number, simply by moving to Vonage.
Skype’s online forum has been inundated with complaints from confused customers for whom losing their number has serious repercussions. Vonage wants these Skype customers to know that all they have to do is notify them of their wish to sign up to a standard Vonage call plan and keep their existing Skype number.
Kerry Ritz, MD Vonage UK, said, “It’s simply not good enough to treat customers like this. Skype has total disregard to the repercussions of cutting off these numbers for their customers. They don’t even supply their customers with a number to call for help.”
“At Vonage, we pride ourselves in putting the customer first and have set up a special help line for all affected Skype customers. We welcome any Skype customer who wants to retain their number by moving to us.
I know they reached out to SunRocket's orphans, but Vonage has always said they don't regard Skype has a direct competitor. Once again, I have to ask whether or not Vonage in North America would be so quick on the ball if something similar happened here?