Hawaii Department of the Attorney General

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Hawaii Department of the Attorney General
425 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-1500 (ph)
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Unfair Business Practice
By -

PAHOA, HAWAII -- As a consumer from your state, I felt it was my responsibility to bring to your attention the following incident. I signed up for Vonage service 9/13/07, on the internet. This was the agreement I made with the salesperson. Service $24.99 a month, all long distance free, 1st month free, $52 one time set-up fee, $15.55 S/H. 60-day money back guarantee. There was one main dealer breaker for me, that was, I was told, there was no 808 area code for Hawaii, but I could choose any area code, because all long distance was free. My main concern, which I reiterated several times throughout our conversation, what about calls on this island?

I was assured there would be no effect or difference. All calls on this island would remain the same as with my current local service. I even explained how it works here, because Vonage is outsourced to the Philippines. When he closed the deal, he tried to slip in extra charges, so I went over each detail before I agreed to service. I got set up, sales rep called to verify service was working, told me to call people on this island. It didn't work. That's when I realized, everyone on this island would have to call long distance. I immediately said, "I'm cancelling, this is ridiculous, and you lied to me." He then told me he couldn't help me any further, call another number to cancel.

At that point, I felt I had no other choice. I had been duped. I called the other number, they were closed, only a recording. I disconnected equipment immediately, so I could use my Hawaiian Tel service, which thankfully, I hadn't cancelled yet. I had to be able to receive calls, we had a family funeral going on the next day. Once I disconnected, I could no longer get on line. It took my internet service 2 hours to undo the changes Vonage had made on my computer.

On 9/18, I finally reached customer service and cancelled. The rep told me, "No problem," gave me a confirmation # to mail along with the equipment, and told me I would get a full refund. 9/19, I receive an email telling me they are deducting a $39.99 cancellation fee for having to disconnect service (they didn't disconnect, I did, that same day I started), and that there would be a penalty if I didn't return the equipment in the same box it came in, along with any manuals, that were included.

I threw the box when I received it. The whole thing didn't weigh a pound, and I had to pay $15.55 for shipping parcel post, when it's free on the mainland. The point is, none of this was stated in the info I received. As a resolution, I would like the following: because they out right lied to me, I definitely think they owe me a full refund, including my shipping. And the public should be made aware of how Vonage works in Hawaii, so no one else has to go through this. I would not have taken the service, if I had been told the truth by the sales people. Please contact me if you need more details regarding this incident.

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