NATIONWIDE -- I had a contract for VOIP service for 12 months. A couple of months prior I notified them that I would not be extending my contract. I paid the last payment and acquired another service, ported my number and went on with my life. Until a few weeks ago I received a call and letter from a collection letter from Penn Collection Corp that I owed them $78.29, for a period after my contract was up.
Repeated calls to them have not resolved the problem. I am in process of filing complaints with FTC, FCC and The Consumer Protection Agency, and I am attempting to file a criminal complaint with the Attorney General's Office in Virginia. I think the public should know that this company is crooked and doing business with them will probably create credit issues that will haunt consumers for a long time.
JERESY, NEW YORK -- We subscribed to Vonage's Voice Over IP Service which they boast low price, good service, calling long distance, with Canada and Porto Rico free. We weren't able to call across town without bad reception. As for long distance yes you could call, but the person on the other end couldn't hear you. Complaints to the technical support were excuses, saying the problem was with the other phone provider.
Don't believe their pricing. We were charged $399.58 for a year which works out to be 33.30 a month. We were supposed to be charged $9.95 a month less 10%. Shame on me, I didn't check the charge to my credit card. If you want to be ripped off, subscribe to a Vonage product.
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- A Vonage sales representative w/o a business card or pamphlets regarding the free phones for "Vonage Whole House Phone Kit". It's a BAIT & SWITCH scam. ** the Vonage representative stated the phone kit was free and did not require Internet service for Vonage phone service, as required before.
He scribbled the phone numbers of Vonage's Customer Service to set up service and Vonage's Internet phone numbers inside the box lid, if I wanted to consider setting up Internet service. He assured that no Internet service was needed for Vonage's new digital phone service.
He also wrote a pin number on the inside lid of the box to activate my phone at home. I was skeptical as there were no written brochures explaining this "new" Vonage digital phone service which did not require existing Internet service. He stated the monthly service fee as $9.99, if I allowed monthly billing using my ATM card.
Reluctantly handing my card, I then changed my mind and asked he not swipe the card as I was not ready to decide. ** said he would not swipe my card, but held it long enough to memorize my ATM card information! He said this was a free phone kit offer and that there would be no charges made until after my phone was activated.
Although I never called Vonage to activate the account, ** later activated the account without my knowledge or consent. This prompted an unexpected ATM charge of $33.64 30 days later. After spending hours attempting to cancel the account as the service was not "used" and box unopened within the 30 days, Vonage partially refunded $29.16 and told I should be "happy" I was not charged the additional early termination fee of $120!
However, given the circumstances that the Vonage representative misrepresentations regarding the Internet, his unscrupulous use of the ATM card, (after stating he would "not" swipe my card) was a slick BAIT AND SWITCH fraudulent sales pitch to a disabled consumer unfamiliar with the world of digital technology, without access to Vonage brochures to explain the details, in writing.
The lack of a business card was the first tip that ** the Vonage sales representative was handing out "free phones" at a gas station and unwittingly deceiving the consumer despite promises of not swiping the ATM after he memorizes the ATM data after informing him of changing my mind of doing business with Vonage and the "free phone kit" offer.
Thirty days later and after spending hours with "outsourced" customer service representatives (at least four), having been transferred 3 times, conveniently losing the phone connection, a fourth call was necessary to cancel my activated phone order, and finally to obtain a partial refund of $29.16 and account disconnection without charging me an early termination fee of $120, while learning from all four customer service Vonage agents that the Internet IS required for service -- (someone at Vonage should send the memo to **).
Be sure to receive a confirmation number and an e-mail of a pre-paid postage mail label to return the Vonage phone kit. After the refund posts on your ATM, get a new ATM card ordered to protect against another unsuspecting transaction from **, the con artist, disguised as a Vonage sales rep.
At first my internet company did not offer bundled phone service, so I signed up for Vonage. I believed the funny ads -- well, the fun stops with the ads. I was given one month during which I could cancel. I called a couple of days too late, and explained that I was out of work and my wife's unemployment insurance had ended, and I just didn't have the money. I worked my way up to a supervisor, but not one bit of compassion. They stuck to the contract.
I was stuck for a one year contract at $12.95 per month which somehow ends up being $18 per month. I asked what if I canceled, and they said that the cancellation fee was such-and-such. It ended up being exactly as much as paying for the entire contract year. So, I could refuse to pay, and get my credit dinged; or I could pay the cancellation fee and not get phone service; or I could complete the contract and have phone service for a year. I opted for the last option.
During this time I was able to receive calls OK, but the people could not understand me. I had to repeat and repeat and repeat myself, because they could not hear all of the words I said. My favorite part of Vonage was that about half of the voice mails I received (I don't know why it wouldn't do it with all of them) were transcribed and sent to me as emails. This is a wonderful service, and it did a fair job of transcribing, even of people with foreign accents who left messages.
But that wasn't enough, and now my one year has ended, and I'm terminating the service. So, I asked Vonage if they will place a hold on my Vonage phone number, or if I can transfer the phone number to my cable TV provider without a penalty. No penalty. I figure, I'm good to go. I call my cable TV company, I get set up for the tech to come out and set up the hard-line phone (another big disadvantage of Vonage is that if the internet service goes out, so does the Vonage phone, and I want to be able to make phone calls even when the Internet isn't working).
And I ask if they will transfer the Vonage phone number. No problem. Then later in the call the customer service representative says, "Whoops, the phone number Vonage gave you is not a phone number from your community. So you need to get a whole new number." So that, I figure, is the last low-life effort of Vonage to keep my Vonage account -- I will lose all those callers who have my Vonage phone number.
If Vonage (1) didn't have a mandatory one year contract -- that doubles in price after the first year, by the way, and if you don't cancel in time, you're stuck with each successive year, or a cancellation penalty equal to a whole year's service (2) had better clarity on outgoing phone calls and (3) had better transcription of voice mail messages, 100% of the time instead of 50% of the time, I'd stay. But I'm bailing.
UPDATE: JULY 17, 2010 PHONE STILL ON, NO EMAIL TO DATE REGARDING CANCELLATION, CONTINUE TO TAKE FUNDS FROM MY ACCOUNT & THEY WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO CHANGE OR DELETE YOUR BILLING credit or checking unless it's another valid card or account. FCC needs to get involved!
I tried to cancel my Vonage Service on June 17, 2010 after they just took money out of my account without my permission, my expiration date on my credit card changed so I got a new card in mail, and they were not authorized to withdraw funds at this point but somehow got my new expiration date off the same credit card and removed the funds, that is why I called to cancel.
Well they would not prorate my service after taking money out unless I wrote a letter to the company in California. I mean who is going to go through all that, so I asked for the end of the billing period to cancel my service after I used the amount taken out already. This date was July 09, 2010, so I called that morning and after going through 3 representatives and telling why I wanted to cancel five times they ended up giving me a cancellation number and said my phone service was shut off.
I said now I want to make sure you do not take funds for another month, they promised they wouldn't, well I woke up on July 10, 2010 my service is still on and I find one letter in my email stating they successfully charged my account $25.72 for another month of service, NO CANCELLATION EMAIL as promised, so now I had to take out more time out of my schedule and called twice and asked for ONLY SUPERVISORS.
I told them I will be writing the FCC and Attorney General. Well I got her name, ID number and reference number of the conversation and she promised it was a system glitch and my money would be returned in 3-5 business days and my phone was scheduled for shut off. So now I have to wait, and she could not promise the email confirmation of what she told me until the system spit it out automatically.
I ASKED, "What do you not have enough customers or too many?" Why would you treat people like this over a few bucks and make them jump through hoops to cancel service, on and on they simply DO NOT CARE, if we ever needed some high fines put in place for this nonsense to teach them a lesson we do need it with this company to make it worth pursuing.
BE AWARE, I USED TERRIBLE EQUIPMENT FROM VONAGE FOR OVER A YEAR. They would not replace my phones purchased with ones that worked properly. They lasted almost a day off the charger even when I made NO calls. I bought the two Vonage VTECH phones, which are nice, but they allow you no way to plug in a fax machine or additional line, they screw you there too.
UPDATE ON JULY 17, 2010 UP TOP. Phone system still ringing, not shut off, never received that important cancellation email you are supposed to get when it is successfully shut off. Now I am going to have to call back and speak to I don't know how many Indian people before I can get anything resolved. ERRRR ERRRR!!! MORE UPDATES TO FOLLOW.
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- I signed up for Vonage in March 2007 and it has been 3 years since I have been hooked with them. The first regular bill I paid them in March 2007 was $30.31. After 3 years what I paid them in March 2010 was $36.01. I am still with the same $24.99 plan. When I called their customer service, the lady on the other side asked me to contact my local government for the bill these buggers are charging. Look at the bills I have paid so far, every 3rd month the bill has gone up: Do not fall in their trap of $24.99. These guys are phony and will rip your money. DO NOT SUBSCRIBE THEM!
Vonage liars signed me up for unlimited plan. When my wife and I started calling our relatives a lot, Vonage said, the industry standard for unlimited calling is 500 minutes a month (500 minutes a month, yeah right!), but we allow 5000 minutes. If you ever exceed that, we'll double your billing and start charging you per minute. VONAGE ARE A BUNCH OF LIARS AND CHEATS. DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THEIR SERVICE.
It was a "not-profit-making-company" until last year. Just let them fail and go out of business. The liars. Below is their notice. If you try to call them (at the number they've provided) they never pick up the phone. Instead they'll ask you to leave a voicemail, and send more nasty emails to you.
QUEENS, NEW YORK -- I have been using Vonage as my phone service for nearly 2 years now. At first, customer service was average--not too good, but good enough to speak with a service representative and explain what I needed in a service. I had Sunrocket prior to this, and their customer service, services offered and website outlay was very customer friendly.
When Sunrocket failed in July 2007, I decided to give Vonage a try. Over the nearly 2 years I have been with this company, however, it has been getting progressively more difficult to communicate with anyone. Every e-mail contact is responded to with a nonsensical e-mail that does not address the issue, and it is difficult getting anyone on the phone with whom you could speak sensibly about what you need in service changes or additions. Often you get someone for whom English is a very CHALLENGING language--or an English speaking U.S., rep with a very bad attitude.
Late 2008 I decided to get rid of my Verizon land line and, for the convenience of friends who were not regularly in touch and still had my old land line number, have it transferred to Vonage as an additional number. I had seen this feature advertised on their website. Unfortunately, when I called to inquire, I was told that their service only allowed for the availability of an additional line--NOT number.
(My daughter has another digital phone service that allows her to have additional numbers for a very small fee each month). During these attempts to have my land line number transferred as a second number, I explained to several service reps that as I was the only person in my household, I didn't need an additional line. Finally, I was told that I could have the additional line for $9.99 for the FIRST 3 months and $24.99 after--or they could let me have it for ONE year at $14.99 monthly. I explained that I would NOT pay $24.99 after 3 months for an additional line and I agreed to the latter service for $14.99.
However, every attempt to have this number activated was a problem, and every e-mail I sent was followed by a do not reply response that made no sense, and in early December 2008, I wrote to Vonage explaining that I had decided to cancel the application for this service. I AM SO VERY SORRY THAT I DID NOT KEEP TO THIS DECISION LATER.
Shortly after this December correspondence by e-mail, I received a call telling me that my service was valued and that my new number would be activated. The service charge of $14.99 monthly for ONE year was agreed on and I decided that I would give it a try. I was also told that to make up for all the problems I had encountered, I would be given 2 months free service for both lines from Vonage. Service started December 8, 2008. I never had the phone ring turned on but could check when someone called me on that number as I received an e-mail alert. I could also look at the caller ID box and identify the callers and return calls that were important through my primary number.
On checking my Vonage account for the past 4 months, I was appalled to find that I had been billed consistently at $24.99 monthly for this line, even though I do not use it, ONLY agreed to have it installed at the $14.99 charge, and was offered 2 months of no service charges--December 2008 and January 2009 for both numbers because of the aggravation I had suffered in trying to have the number set up. I am indeed sorry that I hadn't left the landline with Verizon, which ensured I always had a working phone and which cost less than I have been billed with Vonage, to date.
I spoke to a very unhelpful U.S. service rep--Sat--5/30/2009, who said that I could have a virtual service for that number where I would be alerted when someone called but not have the phone number ring. The cost I was told would be $4.99 per month. In the meantime, request to have all over billing taken off my bill was excused with the matter being at "a higher level now and that he was unable to resolve the issue then."
He never mentioned cost of installation for this virtual number--just the $4.99 cost. Nor did he mention that there would be a charge to terminate the 2nd number, in dispute. However, later that day I saw a do not reply e-mail listing cost of termination at $$44.97, AND an installation service charge of $15.28 for the virtual number. I am truly appalled that this company is both DISHONEST and quite insensitive to their customers, on whose backs they have built this business over this decade. I am determined to let ALL my friend know of their dishonesty and unfriendly customer service unless I am reimbursed for my unfair charges.
It's so ironic, as I had, until recently been trying to get many friends and colleagues here--AND in Europe--use Vonage as their phone service over other carriers. I shall provide update but do not intend to leave this matter quietly. Vonage should look at the history of other phone services, their financial downfall and failure to regain lost customers, if they intend to stay in this highly competitive business now.
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- My name is Helene ** my previous account number with your company is **. I order your services online on 7-15-08. The service arrived and the 1st box did not work. I have spent numerous amount of time troubleshooting with your technical support department. We finally go the box to work, however this was not consistent. The box then started to go into rapid error codes 3, 2, 5, 6. After about 2 weeks your technical support department determines that the box was no good and would need to send me a new one.
Well I did receive another box; and another box, please let the record show the boxes arrived the 2nd one did not work at all. The third box worked; however, it would still have to complete your reset process periodically. Well about two weeks ago the third box started to go into rapid error codes 5, 6, 2, after trying to reset and this process became unsuccessful again I called to cancel your services.
The representative that answered the phone told me that he would give me a month's credit and would I give Vonage another changes. I told the representative the service is good when it works the problem was the service did not work continuously and the fax service I order in August has never worked yet I was paying Vonage 52.94 cents a month. I explained that I would rather pay SBC or AT&T $100 for a service that I can use than to pay less for a service that never worked and I was basically wasting my money.
I have paid your company 476.46 since July for nothing. Your representative offered me a month's credit and told me to call back to speak with the advance technical support department when I made it home. I told your representative that a month's credit was not doing me a favor because I have paid you all (476.46) since July for a phone service that did not work properly or consistently and from August for a fax service that has never worked.
However, the representative promised that your level 1 technical support would not waste my time when I call back. They would give me the level 4 advance technical support department. Well when I called back on March 15th the level 1 technical support person wanted to tell me how they would need to troubleshoot with me before they could send me to the technical support department. I tried explaining my conversation with your cancellations department and the representative basically ignored me. However, as soon as I threaten to cancel again, the representative transferred the call.
On March 17th I was able to speak to your advance technical support department again. I told him if this did not work I had explained to the cancellation department that I would be canceling the service. He asked me to give him a chance to trouble shoot the equipment. We walked through every process for over 2 hours. After this point he had me to take the data cord and place one in yellow Vonage port and one end in the blue. The then asked what type of lights was on the Vonage. I told him and him then said the third device was defective and the blue port was no good.
Now he is requesting that I let him send me a new device, please note this would be the forth device that I have received from you company since July. I agreed to let him send the 4th box. When the technical support person got ready to order the box it said my account was in grace status. I became very upset about this and restated all the information you will find in the 1st part of this email.
I also was appalled that the cancellation representative did not give me the 1 month credit that he promised I would get for giving you all another chance. The advance technical support guy felt my pain and made the adjustments to send the new box. I received the new box on March 18th and called the advance technical support department. Again I was on my cell phone with your technical support department. I would like to pause and say all of these calls have been made on my cell phone. (Costing me more money) although I am paying your company for phone services.
Well, back to the matter at hand the advance technical support guy troubleshooting the new device for 1 hour and 25 min., before he told me that he was not sure and he would need to trouble shoot with Comcast. Well I am not that advance in technical support department when it comes to Comcast equipment so I told him I would need to let my son's father contact them when it got in.
He said that would be fine and would call me back after my phone charged because he wanted to do one more step. He calls back about 1 hour later and wanted me to walk through another step. I told him I was tired and he would need to speak to ** he told me okay just have him call.
** came in on Saturday and called. He spoke to the advance tech with Comcast on the phone, they troubleshooted on his cell phone for at least 2 hours, and was unable to get the box to work. ** informed the guy that I would be canceling due to none service. The technician said "Okay." I called to cancel the service on this afternoon at about 5:00 pm CST time.
I had already mailed your boxes back along with your cords and manuals under your return label with UPS. The return label was given to me because I refused to pay any more money out of my pocket Vonage. (Although your representative had the audacity to ask me again).
Anyway, I called and spoke to your cancellation representative name Ms. **. She informed me that I would have to pay for the boxes until they were returned. As you may already know I did not take this very well and she said she would speak to her supervisor to see what she could do. I asked on several occasion to get a supervisor. She kept telling me one was not available. When I refused to hang up and demanded the supervisor and the account is cancelled.
She decided she would view UPS tracking information to verify that the package was dropped off and would be in transit to your location. She kept putting me on hold and then came back and said she need to credit the charges and I would have to pay $39.99 for the cancellation fee. I was already upset and this did not help. Again, I requested to speak to a supervisor for the 5-6 times within our phone conversation. She kept telling me that the supervisor would tell me the same thing and I would have to write a letter disputing the charges.
After she completed the cancellation the charge came across as 55.94 instead of 39.99, she then said this was some form of tax on the cancellation. I informed her again I would need to speak to a supervisor, after 1 hour 20 in 05 sections, a supervisor name ** gets on the phone and tell me that he was the supervisor and how could he help me. I asked for his name and then shared my concerns.
This person should not be a supervisor. He did not say one word, he never apologized, he never acknowledge my concerns. I literally had to ask him did he not even care to speak to me because he was so quiet. He then commented he was documenting my concerns and what more did I want him to do. I told him nothing and to have a good night.
As you will see, I have duly noted all of my experience with your company. I am beyond offended that a company could be so unappreciative of its customers. Also, that you can consistently take my money since July for the phone and August for the Fax (which you will note never worked) and feel no remorse.
I would like to see my charges reverse and so some form of discipline for the lack of customer serve received. Please note phoning for less is nice when it comes with workable service and excellent customer service. Again, I believe now my Grandmother was right you get what you pay for.
Also, I asked the representative for your phone numbers, but she told me she could only give me an address. However, I Google the local office and received the following information and found other customers with similar complaints. Therefore, it appears your comment has a practice for mistreating faithful and true employees.
My experience with Vonage has been mirrored by the comments I read below and the complaints I have since found on the internet. I desperately wish I had done my homework before starting service with this company. They hands down have the worst customer service I have ever had the displeasure of being in contact with. After establishing service with this company I had numerous phone calls with their technical department due to my connection never working correctly. I repeatedly had disconnected calls.
I also found that the phone system interfered with my internet connection, causing my internet to constantly disconnect. Vonage was unable to resolve the issue, but they absolutely refused to disconnect my service without charging me a high fee to disconnect. I was told if I waited out my “contract period” (oh yes they have a contract, despite the fact they advertise no contracts!) then I would not be charged a fee.
This I did, for 6 months I kept my connection to Vonage but had to get another phone service that actually worked. So while I was not using Vonage, I was being charged for it. At the end of my contract period I again called them to disconnect my service.
That was the hardest task imaginable. They tried to refuse. They gave me such a run around that I was literally on the phone with them for 45 minutes. After finally disconnecting my service I too was charged the disconnection fee stated in other complaints, although I had been told by the customer service in my previous attempts to disconnect that I would not be charged if I waited through my contract! Vonage is a fraud in my opinion; please do your research before ever signing up with this company… I imagine it's easier to get out of jail than get out of there “service web”.
Service cancellation Vonage requires customers to cancel service by calling a toll-free number, as service cancellation is not available on-line. The direct number for cancellation is 1-888-879-1978. Customer descriptions of the cancellation process frequently involve hold times of approximately twenty-five (25) minutes, depending on call volume.
Difficulties faced by customers when attempting to cancel Vonage were detailed in a May 2006 Wall Street Journal article which related one customer's experience with a Vonage representative who refused to cancel an account unless a repair attempt was allowed by the customer.
In the last 12 month reporting period, the Better Business Bureau has closed 3687 complaints (as of Oct 2007). The balance of complaints centered on service, billing and refund issues. Despite marketing their service as having no contracts or long-term commitments, Vonage charges customers a fee for cancellation within the two years of service, changed from one year February 1st, 2007.
This fee is noted in the provider's Terms of Service when a customer signs up or attempts to access his Web Account. The fee is $39.99 per physical voice line which is disconnected. This fee does not apply to dedicated fax lines, virtual telephone numbers, or the computer-based "SoftPhone" lines. A "Rebate Recovery" fee is also assessed if the account is canceled after the 30-day, money-back guarantee, but before 180 days of service.
Different for each device, this fee is the "instant rebate" offered on the Web site during sign-up; this protects the company from having bogus accounts created and canceled shortly thereafter by scammers seeking free or discounted routers that may then be sold for profit. Vonage charges $39.99 to every customer who discontinues service—for any reason. [Citation needed]
The customer may avoid these fees if he cancels service before the end of the money-back-guarantee period, which sometimes varies between 30 days to 60 days, depending on the sign up terms and frequency of communication with Vonage Customer Service. Often, representatives attempt to retain a customer by extending the money-back-guarantee period. Upon cancellation of the account, the customer is responsible for the cost of return shipping to Vonage.
As of March 2007, the FCC maintains that Local Number Portability rules do not apply to VoIP service providers such as Vonage; however, Vonage states that subscriber numbers may be transferred to other companies per its Terms of Service (section 6.6). Vonage states that LNP transfers are handled by Focal Communications, but Focal was acquired  by Broadwing Corporation which itself was acquired by Level 3 Communications. 
Service Issues VOIP service is dependent on consistent broadband-ISP uptime and VOIP-equipment compatibility with the ISP's modem. There have been widespread reports of difficulty in operating Fax machines on Vonage lines, either dedicated Fax lines, or regular Vonage lines. Difficulties have also been reported with residential alarm systems and TiVo. [Citation needed]
When using a fax machine, it is suggested that users connect their fax directly into the VoIP adapter, regardless of the provider. This ensures the fewest variables in a specific network setup. In addition, users should ensure that an "Error Correction Mode" or "ECM Mode" is disabled on their fax machines as this compounds problems and distortion regarding the compression, decompression, and transmission of data communications through a VoIP provider.
Also the "Baud Rate" should be lowered to no more than "9600". When faxing the fax should be set to "Standard" instead of "Photo or Fine." It is important to note with faxing that your internet connection more than Vonage really dictates if you are going to be able to fax consistently. There are also settings on the device such as codecs, jitter buffer and rx tx gains that can be adjusted to improve Vonage faxing. All these things combined make faxing with Vonage close to faxing over a landline.
Vonage suggests that customers contact their local home alarm system operator to determine whether their existing home alarm solution is compatible with any VoIP provider. Vonage does not make specific recommendations about security systems.  However, Vonage does specifically mention alarm.com as being compatible because it uses wireless technology rather than depending on a phone line. 
TiVo's Series 1 units contain only telephone ports to connect to a wall jack. Series 2 and Series 3 hardware contains an ethernet jack, and optionally supports USB-based WiFi adapters, which typically do work properly with VoIP providers. At one point, the initial connection made by the TV unit required the use of a regular telephone landline prior to use with a broadband connection, but this limitation was removed in 2005 with TV version 7.2.
Vonage's Technical Support states that their phone system does not work with alarm systems. They did state that it is sometimes possible to get a Brink alarm system to work with their system. It is most important to make sure your alarm system will be able to call out to fire or police before switching over. Additionally, Vonage installs under a two-year contract, wherein cancellation within that time period results in $150 or more in fees.