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Vonage Does Not Get It :-(

(Updated)

Yes, I know, it’s still $25 a month, which really isn’t that much. And I’ve been a loyal customer for 3 years now, through good and bad times – mostly good nowadays, but the early days were at times shaky.  5 bucks less wasn’t enough to drive to another provider, although I admit those free calls to Europe by Lingo sounded quite tempting … but here I am, still with Vonage.

Eventually it might be Vonage themselves that drive me to another provider.  Just because the time will come when I no longer like them.  Part of what I used to like was the simplicity, transparency of their plans – everything included in on price, no hidden charges, tariffs, good-old-phone-company-games.  Or so I thought… but when for my recent trip I wanted to download their SoftPhone, I found out I needed a separate account, with another number, and a limit of 400 minutes. WTF when  I already have an unlimited plan with them?  Needless to say I ended up not bothering about Softphone, there is always Skype:-)

Now here’s this ad in my email box: 

Recently featured in Men’s Health magazine as one of the top 100 Best New Tech Toys For Men, Vonage’s hottest new device, the Wi-Fi phone, is now available!

It’s easy – use it with your own wireless Internet network or when traveling and have access to a compatible Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s great for people on the go. All you have to do is go to any compatible hotspot found in airports, coffee bars, and nearly everywhere and use the Wi-Fi phone. And remember, to purchase a Wi-Fi phone, you will need to open a separate Vonage account. Click here for details.

 

Great! This is a nice phone, I never liked the expensive but unintelligent  5.8Ghz unit at home, and this one gives me mobility (of course I’d perefer a Wifi/Cell combo, but I guess that’s a year away…).

But what’s wrong with these guys?  To get the phone I need yet another account?  Don’t they get it?  Softphone, Wifi phone, ATA … these are just different devices that I should be able to purchase with the one-and-only regular Vonage plan.  Or do they think the unlimited plan is too generous – now that their competitors have better plans?  How about having to deal with 3 separate phone numbers?  I have this bead feeling that a former innovator is trying to turn the wheels backward.  Wake up Vonage!  Customer loyalty is a terrible thing to lose. 

Update (12/31):

 

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Comments

  1. I think the blogging community should band together and run an RFP to cover all coonectivity

    IP calls

    mobile calls

    local line

    DSL

    WIFI access at airports.wherever

    International calls

    cable

    everything else

    when I add up all the costs for my small busienss, and my family it is the single biggest utility – far and away than power, water, heat etc put together. One big reason – fragmentation as you see even within one carrier…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had a HORRIBLE experience with Vonage. First, they are NOT as compatible with Mac as they claim to be . The router is NOT compatible with Airport. Further, if you DO manage to configure everything after (literally) 5 hours on the phone with non-english speaking customer service reps, and english-speaking but RUDE reps, the voice quality is absolute CRAP. The echo is unbearable. When you try to cancel, you’ll have a major battle on your hands to get your money back, in spite of their so-called guarantee. Also, although I cancelled the service the same day, they still sent a purchase order to my regular phone service provider, after having promised not to do so, and a week later my usual provider cut my phone off, putting a pending business contract in jeopardy! Vonage’s proposed solutions to this problem were a) go out and buy another router (I had already returned theirs), hook it up and we’ll see if we can help you (!!) or b) phone your regular provider and open up a new account (!!). They promised to reimburse me for these actions, but they have yet to reimburse me for the $150-odd in charges they originally made to my credit card. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE THE CHANCE OF SIGNING UP WITH VONAGE.

  3. Vonage Playing Lingo

    Finally Vonage is offering a subset of Lingo’s free calls to Europe:  if you’re on the unlimited ($24.99) plan, calls to France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK are now free. Too bad Lingo whose unlimited plan is five bucks cheaper has been offer…

  4. Anonymous says:

    i signed up for vonage 3/5. they told me I’d get the irst month free – sounded like a good deal. They said it would take about 12 days to change number from my previous carrier – it took until 3/22, although I had the box in no time. i tried to install the box numerous times, emailing for help and I’d keep getting the same message about plugging it in and getting on the internet with it. Problem was, i couldn’t even get that far, i wouldn’t power up. After I said i wanted to return the whole damn thing, they scheduled an installer – another week without service. the installer came and had to fiddle with it for 45 minutes and call in for help with it. Obviously not operator error. then I find that the free month starts when you sign up – from 3/5 to 3/29, I had no phone service from Vonage, but they maintain I should pay for it. the 800 number goes to some poor person in the Philippines who is probably making about $.50 per hour to listen to customers gripe about things and they can’t do anything about it.

    how can these people charge when you don’t have the service? the free month is a lie, I have less than a week to use the free service. If I hadn’t paid $50 for the box, I’d tell them to stick it.

    Will NOT recommend to anyone.

  5. I’ve Canceled My Vonage services But THEY CHARGED ME FOR IT, (about $39), I had the service for 1 year and 7 months, There was nothing on the contract I signed at Circuit City that mentions a cancelation fee, more over I never got my rebate, I paid more than $112 for the Router. VONAGE IS A RIP OFF.
    The manager I sopke was Rick ID 06700 and was not nice at all.

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