Monday, April 27, 2009

Vonage sucks - don't ever use them

Vonage sucks. Don't use them. If you do, I'm really sorry.

I've had Vonage for little over a year now. Things were good up until a few months ago, and then the voice over IP router thing they sold me started having issues. I used their online knowledgebase to see what they had and nothing helped. I took packet captures (yeah, I'm a geek, but that's my profession) and there were definately some problems going on with the hardware.

So instead of calling their technical support line, I just call my local CLEC (phone company) and setup a second phone line.

I called Vonage after the fact and they were going to charge me $70 to disconnect. That $70 is to recoup the $70 rebate they gave me on their phone router thing since I was canceling before 1 year. They said if I waited a month, I wouldn't have to pay $70. They also gave me a month's worth of free service, which I didn't use.

So I waited. And the month went by. And I didn't cancel. So they charged me for another month's worth of service. So I called. Want to cancel. No refund of monthly charge, which is $30. And they want to charge me $40 to cancel my service (that was a part of your terms of service - if you cancel less than two years after you started with us). So I'm screwed.

Well, I'm going to dispute the charges with the credit card company. I hope that I can do something there. Dang stinking Vonage. Customer no-service. I'll be glad to get rid of them once and for all.

21 comments:

Cliff Wells said...

They did the same thing to me. Vonage sucks big time.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I just learned the hard way. After spending hours with the tech support people in India (or is it Pakistan), I decided this was not for me. They hit me up with disconnect charges and refuse to take the adapter back. I will dispute the charges with the credit card company.

Tom said...

A side note: I received a marketing letter from Vonage asking that I come back to Vonage. And if I did, I'd get a month free. Wow. Now that we've hosed you, please come back so we can hose you again. I couldn't believe that Vonage would be so daft that they would send a highly disgruntled former customer an invitation to come back. I was ticked off enough that I wrote a letter to the marketing guy who signed the letter asking that he take me off his mail list. I also told him my story, telling him that their poor customer support soured me on them for the rest of my life.

I also poked around Vonage's site and found a place where you can send a note to the Board, as in the Board of Directors. So I did and asked for a refund. I don't hold much hope, but you won't get anything unless you ask.

I also noticed on Vonage's site that they are advertising free V-Portal, no start-up fees, and only a ONE year commitment (instead of two years) or get charged a termination fee. That's a good move in the right direction. If only they could drop the silly termination fees would they be somewhat bearable. Hopefully they are getting enough flack from customers upset with their antics that they are making some positive changes.

They need to figure out their customer service issues and improve their crummy hardware. Maybe, just maybe they will be viable. But unless they do that, they will be continue to have disappointed former customers.

Long live the local telcos. They aren't perfect, but at least they don't hose you like Vonage does.

Anonymous said...

I quit Vonage too. They tried to charge me to cancel and I got VISA on a 3 way call. It still took about 20 minutes with the customer service clown to get results. Basically VISA was onside with me only because I called them when I tried to cancel Vonage 3 months earlier but Vonage conned me into accepting a new box instead that would fix the call quality problems. The box didnt fix anything. I had Vonage for 3 years! Vonage replaced the router 3 times and call quality got worse and worse until I couldnt even use it for faxes. It would crap out on a one page fax.

Emilio said...

Emilio in Miami.... wish I would have read this blog prior to purcasing. What an absolute dismal customer service, called six times, soeak to 4-5 reps on each call, the issue is still unresolved, I waste my time, they waste more and more $$$, since the more reps it takes to resolve an issue, the higher it cost them, this does not seen to concern them, which reflects of the CEO himsel. How can a company get away with neglecting the customer and just out right lies after lies...I am writing to the Governorn of NJ, he needs to get involved, i would not want any no ethics no cutomer satisfaction philosophy business in my State

Tom said...

Emilio, I feel your pain. Get the word out. Tell your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers never to do Vonage. And if you've got a blog, post your experience on your blog. Companies may learn the hard way that customer no-service will be punished by taking your business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I signed up with Vonage over 5 years ago. I was one of their first Canadian customers. I canceled their service about two years ago as I don’t use my house phone ever. October of this year, I needed a phone for my Vancouver business. When I called Vonage to inquire about my activation obligations, they assured me that they would just reinstate my account that I had canceled 2 years ago thus not entering me into a contract. Today I called to cancel the Vonage service and guess what, they slapped me with a $50.00 cancellation fee plus, plus, plus (total $130.00). When I called their customer care line to bring this error to their attention, they did not want to hear about their error but quoted me their cancelation policy. In the meantime I called visa to dispute the cancellation fee.
For all you suckers out there, tell everyone you can about this experience with Vonage.

Anonymous said...

I can say this for some security reason my RCN internet blocked vonage. Yes they do have poorly trained customer service people. I tried to let them know, but gave me the runaround. Canceled my service, now I have and old fashion phone that plugs into a phone jack, but hey, at least it will never go down.

V

expertmomadvice said...

Just got off the phone with Vonage--actually they hung up on me. Not because they are rude they just could not hear me over the phone because is sucks! That was technical support! How am I supposed to get help from technical support over the Vonage phone????? I have had them since Mar 28, 2008. I cancelled one line and argued to have the $40 fee removed. I am probably going to keep my other line until March 20, 2010 to avoid the $40 fee that they will not waive. People stopped calling me months ago because they could never hear me and I could not hear them. It was always choppy. At least I am past the $70 fee for the hardware!
Back to the phone company for me!

Paul F. said...

I am not good with computers; am not sure if my other comment made it to the bulletin board.

At 1st Vonage was great! I had just moved back to the US from Canada; I tried a similar service there and I just couldn't get it all to work. My modem, wireless router and phone.

With Vonage, all I had was the phone and modem; no wireless router. It worked fine at the beginning. I moved and when I tried to hook it up as before; it didn't work. I spent about an hour with the support people; looked like a faulty connection on the box.

They sent another box and it was totally dead; no power, nothing. I told Vonage that I didn't have patience from this stuff as I did when I was younger. I am a Mechanical Engineer and not all that dumb. I am busy and told them that if I had problems with the replacement, that I wanted my service cancelled without any fees.

They did try to hit me up with cancellation fees; when I blew my stack, they waived the fees. I had a similar service in Canada that was even worse!!!

There are other services on the internet that are cheaper and more reliable.

To be frank, I had issues getting a land line in Houston; that's why I went with Vonage. I purchased an I-phone that also has issues; I have to reset it every so often.

Vonage was horrible and I am frustrated with the overly complicated garbage that we also have to use. Seems like yesterday that I plugged in a phone and hooked up a simple answering machine in 2 minutes.

Nick said...

I'm with Vonage. Been with them for almost a year. When I first signed up with them the price wasn't bad. Saved money compared to my local rip-off telco (AT&T). Now I'm paying as much for my regular Vonage as I did for a local telco.

I was unaware of the 2-year agreement. I'll have to look over that. I did notice one thing, they use false advertising and deceptive trade practices. The plan states unlimited but in the terms it states 5,000 minutes a month. Even though they have a little *next to the word Unlimited I don't see how companies can claim "unlimited" if it's actually limited.

For example, you go eat at an "all you can eat" buffet. You go for a forth plate. They tell you that you can only get 3 because based upon their statistics the average person only eats about 3 plates of food at a buffet.

I think the FCC needs to crack down on these companies... I can't wait to cancel. I look forward to them trying to push the fee on me. I'll be seeing them in small claims court when I sue them.

Divak said...

I am another victim. I think they should at least take their equipment back. Every store does it. I am out $140 dollars and hours of wasted time. I did make 3/4 calls although with interruptions of call dropping in four months So I paid for each call about $60 (including monthly fees). I could have made operator assisted call through ATT and would paid less

Lucky said...

I also faced a similar kind of situation please read this

http://vonagesucks111.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Vonage is harassing every customer now with false marketing. At this time they are marketing and showing their ads with:
a. $14.99 per month and no contract. But you go their website you will notice that its 14.99 first 3 months and then 24.99 (which for a new yorker means $40).
b. As soon as you get the service they start sending harassing emails regarding limit to amount of international minutes you can use. Its advertised unlimited but its not.

Its utter harassment. I wish I could do somethinging.

Zappoblappo said...

Ughhh...I'm so frustrated with Vonage customer service and billing. In December 2010, over 1 1/2 months before the end of my annual plan was set to renew, I called and asked them to change my plan to Vonage Lite to start immediately after the end of my 2010 annual plan period. They asked me to call back on Jan. 25th to complete the change. I called twice on Jan. 25th and even though I had a reference # from my first call that had complete notes, they were unable to successfully change my plan. This resulted in them mistakenly and automatically charging me for another annual plan for 2011, $376.16, and then crediting me for $315.69. I asked where's the $60 difference? The rep asked me to call today to ask for the difference. So I called today and they lost all record of my calls on Jan. 25th and then strung me along for over an hour on the phone. They finally credited me for 1/2 of their mistake. I protested but they wouldn't budge. "why do I need to pay for another month of the World Plan when I only need Vonage Lite?" "The system won't let me change your plan to the Lite plan because we only change plans a month in advance" "Why then didn't Vonage change my plan as I requested on Dec. 2nd?" I got no good answer. I've been a loyal customer of Vonage for 5 years and I feel like I've been run over. Ugh!

Tom said...

Zappoblappo, I feel your pain. Vonage is like that. They take the immediate heat/pressure off and tell you to call back in a month. When you don't do it then BLAMO, they nail you. And then when you contest the charges, they refuse to give you a refund or partial refund. It is a joke.

While I can see that companies, in general, don't want you to leave them, I think that Vonage has really honed the art of sticking it to their soon to be former customers. I suppose they figure that you're going to leave anyway, so why should they go out of their way to be accommodating to you, right? Little do they realize that because they are such stinkers to get rid of them, they are turning people off of their company. Sooner or later word will get out that you're not a very nice company to do business with. Former customers won't go back and use them again, so their pool of potential customers dwindles. And then they wonder why revenues are down.

I'm not a big fan of VOIP (latency issues - voice quality is like 1970s long distance) and if I ever do VOIP again in the future, it won't be with Vonage.

Tom said...

Looks like Vonage has a class action lawsuit against them that they are willing to settle. For details on the class action lawsuit, please see:

www.SettlementVonage.com

I suspect that if you've ever been a Vonage customer that you should have received an email from these attorneys by now. If not, go and sign up.

g43gary said...

Vonage service is the worst if you need to call someone in a rural area of the US such as Pa, Vt, NH, Me, Ut, Nv much of the midwest. Vonage use the lowest cost carriers who refuse to complete calls to these areas. Vonage management is well aware of the problem but refuse to fix it they prefer to tell customers to try there calls at a different time of day despite knowing full well the call will still not complete and if a customers continues to email for service the email is deleted and the customer never gets any help.

Anonymous said...

Had been a happy Vonage.ca customer for 5-6 years. Fell a bit behind as work was very slow over Xmas and my credit card got maxed. And They wont accept direct payment from my bank account. So Im about $58 behind on my bill. I call to make a deferred payment arrangement and am told no problem, pay on Sat Jan 28th, all is well. I ask, are you sure, Im fine, because its important that Im not cut off. He says, nope its fine. Now on the 26th, I get cut off. I call in and am told that under no circumstances should the employee have told me that (and they see it is true as its written down ) and they will not hook me back up until its paid. I get the matter accelerated to a supervisor, who tells me the same thing, suggests that they will give the employee better training on the matter and that I have no chance of being hooked back up. period. Going in circles. I point out, your employee told me I was fine, or Id have made other arrangements at my end. She defends by saying that they tried to call me on the 24th to inform of the suspension.. ( I made deferred arrangement on Jan 20th ) So now Im supposed to sit around all week waiting for them to go back on their word? I say to the supervisor, you could have me for another 5 years, happily, if you just hook me back up for the 2 days as promised by the rep, and Ill make the payment as arranged on that date. Nope. No go. I tell her, (truthfully ) that Ive already got internet and tv through a company that has been trying to lure me away from Vonage for 5 years for digital phone and that I can call them and have a modem here in 20 minutes if I go down to their store and pick it up and Ill NEVER pay the overdue I owe Vonage and they WONT get another 5 years of payments from me. Im told thats not her problem and Im free to do as I please. Good grief, what a loser company. I also point out that Im an installer and tech ( computers ) and that I have clients picking my brain constantly about digital phone lines and Ive ALWAYS reccomended Vonage, now I will do the opposite and steer the AWAY from Vonage. Unbeleivable actions froma company, thet will NEVER see what I owe them now. They throw a long term client to the wolves for $58.. LOL!!!!!! Now I gotta go call Shaw, and my new system hooked up.. hurray for one bill.

Alejandra said...

VONAGE service is terrible!!!! There customer service is the worst ever. I had a "fraud" problem with a line and not even the manager, o the manager's boss was able to give me a reason or explain. I've been having this problem and have been calling for a year now!!!! They won't allow cancelations, won't explain what's going on with my line, but of course they keep charging me monthly!!! They have the worst customer service I've ever received in the US. Most of the time a machine answers asking me to leave a message and NO ONE EVER calls back or emails. This is unbelievable. Vonage has the WORSE SERVICE I have ever experienced, by far.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Vonage really sucks. Very bad experience. Without contacting changing plans and charging more and more money. If I call they say they want to monitor usage to downgrade.

Don't use this service.