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Vonage - Page 3

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1.7 out of 5, based on 19 ratings and
392 reviews & complaints.
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Never Honored Request to Cancel Account, Found Out 3 Years Later
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- I was a Vonage customer in 2009. After deciding that I no longer needed a home phone, I called to cancel my service. Having heard nothing from them since I assumed the matter was finished. Now, three years later, I received a letter from a collection agency claiming that I owed Vonage $99.67. I contacted the agency and was told to call Vonage. In calling Vonage I was told that they had never honored my request to cancel my account. I asked several times why I was never informed of their claims that I owed them money or even that my account was still active. They claimed to have called (the phone that I assumed was deactivated and no longer used), and e-mailed (an old e-mail that I hadn't updated because, again, I thought my Vonage account was closed). I further questioned why, as they obviously have my name and address, they never sent me anything in the mail expressing their claims. The only response was that they, "...don't do that..."

I felt the need to inform them that I in fact was not psychic and had no idea that my account was still active after I had requested cancellation. After filing a report with the Better Business Bureau and the FCC, I searched the internet and discovered that apparently Vonage is known for not honoring customer's requests to cancel services. Vonage has the most bizarre business practices of any company I have ever dealt with. There is absolutely not way possible I would ever associate with this corrupt company again. If I could give them a negative star rating I would.
     
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Alain on 2012-05-19:
You may want to contact the NJ consumer office via http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/ocp and also file a complaint via http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml Additionally, check to see if this has effected your credit rating. If it has, it may be time for you to contact an attorney for a free consultation regarding further action.
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Vonage: FUBAR
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA -- I have never been so relieved to be rid of a "service" in my life-- Vonage gets an F-minus as a telephone service provider. The connection is unreliable (it worked maybe 40% of the time), the process of getting someone to help with lack of connectivity is seemingly deliberately labyrinthine (and when you finally have success reaching help, the call is outsourced to India!), the process of trying to quit is frustrating (I finally asked Verizon to take over and cancel Vonage for me). I urge anyone contemplating using Vonage to avoid it at all costs. The main reason I had it is because they offered a transcript of voice messages sent to my email, and I live out of the country half-time, so this was very useful. Now, Google Voice provides a similar service for free! If I could take out a billboard on a major freeway warning people against Vonage, I would do it. Do your research!
     
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JISCal2 on 2012-05-03:
"(I finally asked Verizon to take over and cancel Vonage for me)."

I agree with you 100%. However, Verizon will port your number but they will not be able to cancel and close your account. I found this out the hard way. You have to close your account directly with Vonage after Verizon has completed porting your number.
GenuineNerd on 2012-05-03:
VOIP and digital phone services still have a lot of bugs and reliability issues to be worked out, before it could be as reliable as old-fashioned landlines. I went back to an AT&T landline after having repeated outages with Time Warner Cable's digital phone service. TWC blamed the problems on the main cable line on my street...I was also without Road Runner as well. I cancelled both the digital phone and Road Runner, and took AT&T's landline and DSL...I had no issues since regarding connectivity on the phone, and seldom had connectivity issues with the DSL.
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Vonage gave my ported number to a new Vonage customer
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- I had been a Vonage customer since their early days back in 2003-2004. About 3 years ago, I chose to port my telephone number from Vonage to Verizon. The port seemed to go well, for the past 3 years, my number has been working just fine on Verizon ... until today.

I just received a phone call from a puzzled Vonage customer who claims to have my phone number. Unfortunately, his calls are coming to me, and some of my calls are not coming in at all. To add to the confusion, we both are business customers, therefore; the complications are multiplied. I've had the same number for about 10 years now, and have marketed the number on the Internet, print publications, radio and television advertisements, etc.

I called Vonage and spoke to someone named Christina who had a foreign accent, later admitting to be in the Philippines. She was not able to help and told me that I needed to contact my carrrier, Verizon, and ask to be assigned a different phone number. (At this point, I assured her the fault was with Vonage, however; she would not back down. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, the call was disconnected).

At this point, I probably will be speaking to my attorney in the morning and beginning to send some demand letters to Vonage for correction of this issue as well as compensation for the inconvenience. Such letters could be followed with court action, if needed.

Unfortunately, when I began looking online, I found this was far from being an unusual situation with Vonage, many others have reported similar issues. Hopefully, they will clean up their act, as this does create some very inconvenient issues for existing and former customers.

In my case, when I spoke with the customer who had been given my number, he seemed fairly shocked and indicated that he would be contacting Vonage about the issue as well and, in all likelihood, cancelling his service. This is not of much relief to me as his phone rings constantly and the particular number he was given happens to be my emergency 24/7 on call number which is given to my customers so that they can reach me in an emergency situation.

I simply write this to warn the rest of you: Be careful with Vonage. Their number ports seem not to stick and, before long, they'll probably give your number out as well.
     
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dave53 on 2012-04-05:
Update: Since posting the above review, I have contacted Vonage via their Executive Response phone number (you can call this number, they promise to call back in 4 hours after you leave a message). 1-888-580-4020. For now, I am awaiting their call back.

I also have contacted an attorney who is looking into the issue as well. No word yet on when the issue will be resolved. As more events occur, I will share them here for anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in my situation.
Kris10 on 2012-04-05:
This sounds like a horrible mess. I hope everything gets sorted.
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Vonage Billing Practices
Posted by on
I used Vonage for a few years and was very pleased with the service until this winter when they went up from $306 to $371. They did not send me a bill, which I was waiting for, and I wouldn’t have known about the price increase had not a foreign person called. I couldn’t understand her very well because she talked too fast. I told her if I couldn’t get the $306 rate, I wasn’t going to pay the $371.

As I recall, after I had shifted over to the Ooma phone service, an American I could understand called for Vonage and offered me the $306 rate if I’d come back.

Although I’ve never been billed by Vonage, I have received a printed COLLECTION notice from them, and several phone calls.

Yesterday I had three calls from different states and I just got the first one of the day from RMS 877-567-2620 which I see on line is a collection agency.

How does one get rid of these people?

My lawyer told me to ignore them when I showed him the COLLECTION paper, but they must have learned that some elderly people pay if they are called enough because they keep calling.

I’d like to know why they feel I owe them but because I have never received a bill I don’t know. Because one pays a year in advance, it can’t be for last year.

Several times I have tried to record their conversation to play on my radio and TV programs so people could learn a bit about their way of doing business, but they hung up before I could turn on the recorder.

I see on line that Vonage has been in court before for over billing and intimidating old people who don't understand what is happening.

I have reported Vonage to the Boston/Maine Better Business Bureau, the Maine Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. I have also put up a web page with several links in it that will quickly direct the reader to further machinations.

One suspects they prey upon the ignorant and elderly, and they have me there on both counts.
     
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The humble Farmer on 2011-05-07:
May 7, 2011.

Vonage has not given up. Today I received a call from a foreign sounding person who wanted me to pay a bill to Vonage. He said that the record showed that I told an earlier caller that I had filed for bankruptcy. I remember that an earlier caller said the same thing.

I have never filed for bankruptcy and I have never told anyone that I had, so watch out if that is one of the tricks they use.

He also said that Vonage had disconnected my service in February of 2011. I told him that I had told the woman who first called that I was not going to pay $371 and that should have ended it right there.

I wish I'd known how slippery these people are, I would have recorded each conversation I've had with them just to play it on my radio and television programs.

I told the caller today that I had never received a bill from Vonage and he said they did not send paper bills. I told him I wasn't going to pay a bill until they told me what the bill was for. He told me to go on line and look.

Bad, bad public relations here. Watch out for them. I've also posted this on a separate web page of my own.

Robert Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860

humble at humblefarmer dot com
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Vonage continued charging monthly fee after cancellation for over half a year
Posted by on
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- Vonage continued charging monthly fee after cancellation for over half a year

1. Back in July (7/28), I ported my numbers from Vonage to another provider and requested my account to be closed. I thought everything was taken care of.
2. On 9/26, I received an email from Vonage indicating charge error. It turned out one line was cancelled, but the other line miraculously stayed active despite that that number is live with another phone company.
3. I replied email, telling them this should be cancelled. I followed up with a phone call and was assured that everything was taken care of.
4. Recently on 2/5/2011, I received another email indicating charge error. I looked back my credit card history. It turned out these sleazy balls have been charging me monthly fee all along.
5. I called them up right away and spoke with an agent named Shandel (agent ID 20522) who claimed to be a supervisor. I was welcomed to the bit&*&ch land.
6. She is rude and very disrespectful.
 The record of me contacting Vonage miraculously disappeared.
 She took advantage of that I don’t remember the details of something happened several month back and accused me of flip flopping.
 She said “we will get you to pay these fees. We will get to you with all our means somehow. Either your sister or cousin, someone has to pay this fee.”
 She said Vonage sent out monthly bills. I NEVER received them. She said “she couldn’t understand how the emails magically vanish in your inbox.”
 She also Vonage won’t know if a number is ported out. This sounds so comical to me because the other phone company needs to ask Vonage’s PERMISSION to release the number. She also couldn’t explain why one number is cancelled, but the other is still active.
 I requested refund for the monthly fees that they WRONGFULLY charged since the lines were closed. She basically said, no way, screw you.
If anyone who is filing a class action lawsuit,
PLEASE let me know!!
If there is anything that can lead Vonage to bankruptcy,
PLEASE let me know how I can help!!
I will make destroying Vonage in every way I can until they fully refund the money they STOLE from my pocket!!


Don't use Vonage because the same thing can happen to YOU!
     
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Vonage Nightmare - UPDATE
Posted by on
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- UPDATE:

I received a letter from the New Jersey division of the BBB stating they are going to pursue Vonage regarding my problems with this company. I sent a copy of the original complaint posted here to the BBB.

If you've had problems with this company, don't sit still, let your voice be heard!!!

I called to inquire of service with Vonage on August 10. Chris, the sales person I spoke with advised me that my area was accessible to Vonage and that I could keep my phone number. I advised Chris that the name that appears on my account with AT&T was my maiden name, although I have not used my maiden name since I was 19. I am now 51 years of age. I asked if the name differences would be a problem with transferring the number and she clearly assured me this would not create a problem. I received the device, hooked it up and accepted the fact that I would be using a "temporary" number until the number transfer was complete. I thought this was going to be a big cost savings.

For the past 3 years, I have only had a basic phone line for the use of my computer. My cell phone was used for any long distance calls I would need to make, which are very few. I stay in touch with the use of my computer and e-mails to my family and friends. I work on the computer 10 hours a day and am on the phone at work constantly.

Most recently, I had major surgery with more to come. I have to watch every penny I spend. At this time, I am unable to work in my office, but am trying to work and stay caught up while at home. I felt that Vonage would be a great way to save money and make the phone calls I would normally make on my company's dime while recuperating. Between August 10 and September 24, I received 12 letters in the mail and 5 e-mails from Vonage stating the name on the AT&T account was different that the name I provided to Vonage and could not be transferred until it was corrected. I also received 2 letters stating the address I provided was different than the address I had provided when opening the account. Vonage had spelled the address wrong by one letter when they opened the account. I cannot count the number of phone calls I had to make to correct this problem. Calling Vonage, calling AT&T, calling Vonage again, then again, and again, and again. Every time I called, the information I provided in the previous call had not be corrected. On one particular call, I spoke with Mae in the Philippines. The back ground noise was deafening, sounded more like a party was going on rather than business. And she kept hitting the "mute" button on her phone. (I've worked with training facilitators for my company's 13 call centers, many in India, Africa and South America.) I have dealt with many customer service representatives with many companies in my time, but this was the most ridiculous example of scripted, unprofessional, inept stupidity I have ever experienced.

So, here I am supposed to be getting a free month, but I'm still paying for AT&T, my health care providers, insurance company, and my company is trying to reach me, but can't because they don't have the temporary number, I'm constantly talking on my cell phone because this is the only number people can reach me at. And Vonage has literally brought me to tears.

On September 24, my number is finally transferred. On September 25, I loose my DSL service and have no phone service. No one at Vonage cared to advise me that Vonage service would not work with my AT&T DSL. And because AT&T leases the phone lines from Verizon in my area, I do not have the "DRY LOOP???" that would be necessary in order to use Vonage.

Now I must tell you, that the only time I received and service from Vonage was after I went to their corporate web site and sent an e-mail to the EXECUTIVE RESPONSE TEAM demanding someone resolve my issues. I was contacted the very next day, a message left to me on my cell phone. It was then followed up with the following e-mail on September 19:

Dear Terri,
I understand that you have an issue that requires immediate attention. I apologize for the delays you have experienced. Your issue has been escalated to the Executive Response Team and I will personally assist you in this matter.
I left you a message today to return my call so that we could discuss any issues you may be having in transferring your number. Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that I may assist you.
We value you as a customer and strive to offer a great service and, when needed, fast and helpful customer care. Again, I apologize if you have been dissatisfied in these areas thus far. I am hopeful we will be able to assist you with a resolution that meets your needs in a timely fashion.
We are dedicated to customer satisfaction. We look forward to your reply.

Cindy Terzino
Executive Response Team , Escalations Manager
Hours: M through F 8:30AM to 5:00PM EST
VONAGE | 23 Main Street | Holmdel, NJ 07733
t: 732-226-0027 | f: 732-231-6783

I contacted Cindy Terzino who asked me if I wanted to continue with the transfer or to cancel my service. I stated I would like to save money and to get this problem resolved immediately. Later in the day, I received the following e-mail:

Dear Terri,
Congratulations! Your existing phone number 1-(972)-906-xxxx will soon be transferred to Vonage, the #1 rated digital phone service.
Your expected transfer date is September 24, 2007. We will inform you immediately by email when your number transfer process is complete.
If you have any questions, your Vonage team is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us whenever and however it suits you!
* On-Line Help Center at
http://www.vonage.com/help_knowledgeBase_index.php?category=30&nav=6
* Contact us at http://www.vonage.com/help_contactUs.php.
* Or call Toll Free at 1-VONAGE-HELP (1-866-243-4357).
Please continue using your temporary phone number from Vonage to take advantage of more than 20 premium features until your number transfer process request has been completed.
Thanks again for choosing Vonage, a better phone service for less!
Sincerely,
Vonage Customer Care

So, I wait. And on September 24, I thought all was done and I could now move on. WRONG! I called Ms. Terzino back and demanded she cancel my service immediately. She stated that there would be a fee assessed with the cancellation, it would be in the form of a bill that would appear on my account until the device was returned. I agreed to return the device as soon as possible, (not easy for me, remember I am suffering from a major physical set back and pretty much confined to my home) and as soon as the device was delivered to Vonage Returns, I would expect a full refund of all the money I paid for this ridiculous service. I clearly asked Ms. Terzino again about the charges, to clarify how again this would be handled. I asked "will this be a hold on my bank account or would this just appear on my bill?" She assured me it would not be a hold on my bank account. Another lie. On September 28, I sent the following e-mail to Ms. Terzino:
Cindy Terzino,

During our last conversation, I specifically asked if the $97.20 charge for returning the Vonage property would be a "hold" on my bank account. You clearly stated that it will appear on my bill but would not be "charged" unless the property was not returned within 30 days. The answer you provided was incorrect and after speaking with your billing department, I have been advised that YOU are the only one that can reverse this charge.

As I have stated numerous times, I am at home and unable to work a normal work schedule. My disability does not allow me to travel or even commute into and home from my office. I am working very hard to watch every dollar I spend as my medical expenses have escalated enormously. As a matter of fact, I transferred funds from my Fidelity account to my banking account in order to cover an emergency dental procedure. ($1400.00) I was very careful to assure that the remaining funds in my account would cover the hospital bills, the doctor bills and my physical therapy charges. All the while I have enough cash to cover any other expenses. Because of the information I received from you, 2 of these charges were declined.

I ask, no demand, that you immediately refund all charges to my account. Your sales person gave incorrect information, your call center in the Philippines is so loud and your employees are not trained properly, (I know what it sounds like when a "mute" button is used) and the disrespect and excessive unexpected fees and money your company has inflicted (and still is) is unacceptable.

I will be out of my home today from 10:30am until 2:00pm. You may reach me at 972 906 xxxx. Yes, you see, I had to be assigned another home phone number and am now forced to wait until October 9 for DSL service. Vonage is not available in my area, yet another lie from your sales person Chris on August 10.

As I stated on my voice message left on your service yesterday, I will not go away until this is resolved to my satisfaction.

Sincerely,

Terri


On October 2, I received the following e-mail, notice it is not from Ms. Terzino who stated she will personally resolve my complaints:

Dear Terri,
Thank you for contacting the Executive Response Team.
Please be reminded that I will be working with you regarding a refund. I see that your account was cancelled on 9/25/07 by another department, which resulted in rebate recovery fees being assessed to your account. I have refunded $97.20 to your account immediately, and will follow up with the rest of the refund when the device is finally registered as received by Vonage. Please contact me when you receive that email about your device so that I can process the refund quickly.
If you have any questions in the future, please contact Vonage at any time.
Sincerely,
Regina Evaslin
Executive Response Team
Hours: M - F 9:00AM to 5:30PM EST
Vonage 23 Main Street Holmdel, NJ 07733
t: 888-580-4020 extension: 22776 f: 732-231-6783
UK Callback #01618706995 x22776
w: www.vonage.com

I then had to contact AT&T to reestablish my service, however I could not get the same number I had for 3 plus years, I am without DSL and will be for several more days, and have to pay to get the service back. I've had to contact their tech support people using my cell phone because the only internet service I can use for the time being is yahoo dial-up. My cell phone bill during the period of time of August 10 and today is well over $400.00 thanks to Vonage.
I realize this is more like a novel than a complaint, but trust me, there is more. This is as short and sweet as I can make it. I'm still waiting for my refunds. And after reading all the consumer complaints against Vonage, I don't trust them to not charge me even more.

Consequences. Describe the economic or physical damage that resulted.


Reconnection fees, cancellation fees, unusually high cell phone usage and charges. Many days, I would have to medicate myself with my prescribed anti-anxiety medication in order to lower my blood pressure. Hours and hours trying to accomplish and complete the Vonage process and the process to then reestablish my service with AT&T. I remember spending one day completely disabled by the emotional stress caused me by Vonage and it's employees. I estimate the money spent trying to save money by switching to Vonage to be at least $600.00!
     
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Harold-Chief of Helping People on 2007-10-05:
You might consider contacting Mr. Timothy G. Smith, President of Vonage Network Inc, 23 Main Street
Holmdel, NJ 07733 (732)-528-2600 Phone
732-231-6783 Fax

You could either call him or write to him although I prefer faxing myself as it usually gets a faster response. If I do not hear from my fax I will then call and ask to speak with the person I need to talk to in this case Mr. Smith.
beanbagbritches on 2007-10-05:
It just goes to show, sometimes things that appear to save money simply do not. I hope you are feeling better after your medical issues are resolved.
Ponie on 2007-10-06:
Harold, haven't heard from you in a while. How ya' been?
Harold-Chief of Helping People on 2007-10-06:
Hey Ponie. Doing much better. Brain tumors are under control and I am feeling pretty good these days. That is why I am back on line and am helping people again with their consumer problems. Take care!
Anonymous on 2007-10-06:
Harold, great to see you posting again and I am very happy for you that you are doing so well.
richdude on 2007-11-07:
THANKYOU,THANKYOU.I was just about to hookup with VONAGE.
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Worst Experience EVER!
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- This is the most horrible experience I've had in some time!!!!

A friend referred me to Vonage. After touring their website, I decided to try the service. I proceeded to sign onto new service via the "refer a friend" on line. I came to a point where I needed some questions answered so I called the number posted on their site. I spoke with someone named "Rachael" who answered all my questions. I initiated the call telling her I was referred by a friend and was proceeding to sign up online. She asked for my email address and was able to find my referring friend through her system. She told me that she could take care of the referral and things could be processed through her. She indicated that we'd both get the "one month free" and "$50 American Express Gift Card".

After my service was set up with "Rachael", I went into my "account" online and set my "network availability number" to ring my cell number should the service be unavailable. After that, I received MANY various calls from people dialing a completely different number that was in no way associated to me.

After realizing that the problem must be with VONAGE, I called to speak with a "technician" who had me on the phone for no less than 30 minutes. After all this time, having repeat steps over and over again, he could not figure out what the problem was. I then asked to speak to a supervisor. I was told that all the supervisors were in "a very important meeting" and that other managers were "not available". It was at this point that I just asked him to cancel my service.

He told me he could not and that I needed to speak to someone in account services. He then transferred me to "account services". I then received a message that wait time was "15 minutes". After about 5 minutes, I hung up and tried calling again. I then spoke with an "account manager" named Lawrence, ID# 26166. He apologized for such a horrible experience thus far with Vonage and figured out what the problem was. Apparently, the "virtual number" that was assigned to my account until my equipment was delivered and service was hooked up, belonged to someone who had an ad in a newspaper for "escort services". I asked why they would assign an active number to anyone and Lawrence told me that "that must be an old ad as that was not an active number". Well, once Lawrence diagnosed the problem, he agreed to change my "virtual number". He added another "line" at "no charge to me". Problem solved, right? I thought so... I then asked Lawrence to confirm the "refer a friend" gift items that "Rachael" indicated would be delivered to me and my referring friend, i.e. one month free service as well as a $50 American Express Gift card. He checked my account and told me there was no indication of these gifts as the only way to receive them was to apply for new service via the Vonage, "refer a friend" web service. I explained to him my experience with "Rachael" and that she assured me that although she was taking my order via the phone, the "refer a friend" gifts would still apply. Lawrence then told me that "Rachael" made an error by telling me that but that he would check on it and see what he could do to make it right. Lawrence told me he'd call me back in a couple of days, no later than "Thursday, July 23", 2007. I waited until Friday, July 24th, 2007 for a call and never heard from Lawrence. To this day, I've never heard from "Lawrence". Friday, July 23, 2007, I called their customer service line and ask for Lawrence in New Jersey. The man I spoke with did not know Lawrence as he was "in India", however transferred me to the New Jersey office after I told him Lawrence was in New Jersey. Someone in the New Jersey office finally picked up the line. I asked to speak to Lawrence. After a wait of about 5 minutes, another person picked up the line. It wasn't Lawrence. Her name was "Rose". I told her that I was waiting to speak with Lawrence. She told me there "was no way to find a specific person" as they "did not have extensions for all representatives". Being very frustrated at this point, I proceeded to tell her the lengthy story of my experience thus far. Talking to Rose was like talking to a robot. First of all, the connection was very bad, like a bad cell signal, so I had to strain to HEAR what she was saying, furthermore, she had a heavy accent which made understanding an even bigger chore. On top of that, it was a connection that required only one conversation at a time so if she was talking I had to wait until she finished to say anything and vice versa. Needless to say I was very stressed at this point. After explaining everything to Rose, she offered to investigate the "refer a friend" gifts however that would take a couple of days and she'd have to call me back. I told her I did not believe that as I was told the same thing by Lawrence. She offered me several discounts and incentives to stay with Vonage, i.e. 6 months at a discounted rate, dollar amount credit to my account. I can't remember the dollar amount credit she initially offered me, it was something like $120. I told her that I was signed into my account and if she would add the credit to my account, and I could immediately see it, I'd consider staying on. She asked me to hold on "2 minutes" (which is what they all asked you to do, "hold 2 minutes"). She came back and told me she could only give me a credit of $60, not the $120 amount she'd just told me she would give me. At this point, things were getting comical to me. It was then that I told her I did not want to discuss any further credits or gifts to my account but without any further discussion I wanted to cancel. End of story! She got that and proceeded to cancel. She indicated to me that once they received the equipment back in the same manner it was shipped to me, they'd refund all fees incurred with them.
The last phase of the story was discussion about shipping the equipment back once I received it (which I hadn't at the time of this conversation). I told her I would ship the package back as soon as it was delivered to me, as a matter of fact, I told her I would just refuse delivery and have it sent back to "sender". She indicated to me that I needed to accept delivery as I needed to include a "RA#" that she would provide via email, and if I didn't include that upon shipping back, I would not receive my refund. I then told her that I did not want to incur any fee for shipping. She told me that I would have to as they would not pay or refund me for shipping. After fuming about that, as I was already $42.94 sign on fee, & $41.41 cancellation fee, invested into this company, it angered me to think I had to spend another red cent on anything to do with Vonage. I eventually concurred that I'd pay the shipping and wash my hands of Vonage once and for all!!

Well, the shipment arrived July 31, 2007. I had to pay $6 for postage to have it shipped. Gas to a shipping drop off box and $1 parking fee. I put it in the mail August 1, 2007. I'm now tracking delivery and awaiting my refund. So far, I've invested about 5 hours of my time, $7 out of pocket and much stress and frustration that affected about a week of my life.

Since my experience with Vonage, I've investigated the web reviews and was surprised to find NUMEROUS complaints with similar experiences. What a fool I was to look AFTER the fact. Not much like me to do that. I trusted a referral from a friend who was happy with Vonage and didn't think any further. Mistake! Not only have I check reviews, but checked the BBB in their area of New Jersey and found 5193 complaints. Check it out http://www.trenton.bbb.org/nis/newsearch2.asp?ID=1&ComID=0221000011005249

Needless to say, STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY! Like one review I read, it'll result in lots of stress and "tears"!!
     
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Anonymous on 2007-08-02:
Man everyone is dissing on Vonage I don't know how they stay in business with all the scams they are pulling. the tv ads are crocks as well. I hope Verizon cleans them out
Ladderman on 2007-08-12:
Get cable. Ditch them.
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Cancel Vonage? Easier to lose that stalker boyfriend
Posted by on
This is a long tale of young love gone wrong...

When I first signed up with Vonage, I was wooed. Phone service for so little money? And I could forward my calls to any number by simply logging on to a website from ANY computer? My voice mails could likewise be retrieved from anywhere with internet access? I was in love with Vonage. I sent emails to everyone I knew, or slightly knew, asking them to join us in a commune of love, sure that they would sign on and thank me for tuning them in.

Today I sent out emails apologizing to them all.

For my lover, Vonage, was not a true love. It was an infatuation. After those first few months, his device lights blinked oddly and I wasn't able to get a dial tone. I did what I had done before, reset my cable modem, router and Vonage device, but the old tricks didn't work. So I turned to "Customer Care." Note that it is not called Customer SERVICE. At least they are not entirely misleading. Customer CARE implies more of an overall "involvement" with the customer. Initially I only wrote emails, asking for help that way. I was sent various things to try, and after 8 emails, the reps were repeating themselves and back to step one. That's when I made:

THE PHONE CALL TO CUSTOMER CARE. And that's when the relationship really began to unravel. The first man I spoke to took a minute, maybe two, to review the lengthy emails that had gone between us, and ignored my pleas to let me just send this unit back and get another. He insisted that he could do nothing but try, he himself, to help, as that was his job and he would be remiss if he didn't help. I asked him if he had really read the emails, and he claimed that yes he had, to which I replied, "do you really think you'll think of something NOT listed in there?" So he said "well, your case HAS already been assigned to Advanced Technical Support, so I guess I can transfer your call there." duh. Though I really just wanted to cancel at this point, he would hear nothing of it, and transferred me to Advanced...

ADVANCED!!! Technical Support! My name is ?*#@ I have no idea. It was the last thing I understood. This was the higher level help department, mind you, but the English was unintelligible! After asking him to repeat things many times, he told me that I myself could go to a Radio Shack and BUY a new device, a wrdp54g (never found out what that is) than call back to activate it and get a $40 credit. Further he gave me a "code" of 10 letters and numbers that I have absolutely no idea what it pertained to. I asked several times but I don't speak Indian so couldn't tell you.

It was only after hanging up and looking at Radio Shack's website that I learned they don't carry Vonage devices.

So then I called Vonage back. This time I got new sales. The girl there was going to transfer me again to Customer Care, and I almost cried. No, please, you can't do that. I had been talking to them for over two hours. Somehow she convinced me the answer was a SECOND PHONE LINE. Why cancel? It worked great! Yeah...all I need is a NEW relationship, a jolt, a THREE WAY! Bring in some new blood! And if I canceled in 30 days I didn't lose a cent. (Made sure I got that on the recorded part of the phone conversation.) I couldn't wait for the newbie to arrive!

Finally on Monday the orange box showed up, and I secreted myself in the bedroom to set it up. But the new device did exactly what the old one did. Same bad blinking light sequence! What's the deal? I've been without a working telephone for 2 weeks! In my mailbox, salvation--my old phone company sent me a letter scented with my old phone number and an offer of reduced rates if I would come back to them. Ah, the arms of sweet stability over the tumult of this VoiP! I called Verizon, and they flipped a switch that had my phone ringing within 24 hours. And people I called said "wow! You sound so clear! Did you get a new phone?"

So back to trying to cancel Vonage. Today would be the day. Customer Care? I'm calling to cancel? Well, Kathleen, this is Chris, I'm an account manager, and I'm not letting you cancel, I'm extending your options. If you cancel today you owe us your $39.99 termination fee, plus a $49.00 rebate recovery...??"What's that, Chris? Where is that in the contract?" I spend 45 minutes with Chris who threatens to hang up on me if I swear at him. Finally, realizing this nut will never let me cancel, despite my answer to every sentence being "I just want to cancel" being "let us help you fix your device" I say "OK, transfer me to someone who speaks English" as Chris has promised.

Now I get Advanced Customer Care AGAIN but as Chris has promised, it's an English speaking man named Scott. I am honest with Scott that I am only speaking with him because Chris would not let me cancel. I want to cancel. Can Scott help me cancel? Scott says he will try to help me find someone, but sounds unsure if that is possible. He transfers me to ART...

Art starts off pleasant enough, says he understands I want to cancel that new account. He does try, briefly, to convince me to stay with it, but when he hears my aggravation, allows me to cancel the new number. He asks if I need anything else and I say "yes, help canceling my original account." To which Art nastily asks "what number is that?" and I say "I also need an RTA number to return the device on the account your just canceled and Art says "I have to generate that, I'm putting you on hold". The hold music comes on and THAT'S IT.

The hold music plays for over an hour.....

And the next day I call my credit card company, Chase, and their dispute agent assures me he will handle everything. I am so DEVOTED to my Amazon VISA...
     
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Anonymous on 2007-03-29:
Gaelic, thank you for sharing your experience here. I don't have Vonage but I am sure that there are some members here that do and can learn from your experience or even help. One member here in particular goes on and on about the virtues of having Vonage but it seems that he never uses it because he is on here 24/7, so I would advise everyone not to "trust" his advice regarding this matter. Thanks again and welcome!
Sparticus on 2007-03-29:
Sounds like Vonage has been hiring ex-car salesmen to run their customer service shop...
Anonymous on 2007-03-29:
A lot of the problems consumers experience with VOIP can be attributed to your ISP. Have you called them and checked your service quality? Also, consider upgrading your cable modem and ditching the one you may be leasing from your ISP. Once I installed my own Motorola Surfboard, the service has been rock solid.
Anonymous on 2007-03-29:
Gaelic, I also would like to thank you for sharing your experience. Good review.

Hey Mr. Pirate do you have Vonage?
Anonymous on 2007-03-29:
I agree with Pirate.
Nohandle on 2007-03-29:
I'm not making sport of your complaint on Vonage, but could you perhaps write a review on an additional product/service? I'm really in need of another entertaining review today. I got a laugh out of this one. Thanks...well written.
consumeralert on 2007-04-18:
I feel your pain. I'm now in the 5th month of waiting on the release of my phone number.
GaelicHead on 2008-04-04:
UPDATE: I feel like such a fool! After posting this, I tried to put the past behind me. Unfortunately, like the stalker boyfriend Vonage is, I was not forgotten to Vonage. My credit card bill mysteriously began showing a monthly charge to Vonage AGAIN and went on for several months. How did I not notice? How does any woman with her broken heart on the mend cope with life--I'd been shopping! The bill was so long, I simply had neglected to notice. Plus I had opted for only eBills. Anyway, I let myself be convinced by another fast talking Vonage spokesperson that it was MY fault for not canceling that second line, though not that I come back here weeks later, it is clear that I DID cancel that line. ::sigh:: No more shopping for me! It's Ben & Jerry's tonight!

Oh, and to UrFriendlyPirate who only gave my review TWO stars (as if I could make any of this up!) I already had the latest and greatest Motorola Surfboard AND I had gone out and purchased a Vonage suggested Belkin router AND redid the entire home network. At least I have a great home network. Kind of like--well, the bum left me with his debts, the bill collectors still call, but at least I have this gorgeous kid to remember him by!
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Vonage is a horrible company that needs to be put out of business.
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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- I decided to join Vonage. I went to their website about 1 month ago, I couldn’t decide which Vonage box would be best for my broadband setup so I called them.

The guy was very nice. I told him I wanted the wireless box but that it didn’t seem to come with a router and I would need one.
He said, “No problem. We’ll send you one with the box.” I said great.
He also said that they would cancel my account with the phone company and that I should NOT call them. He stressed that.

I got the box about a week later and couldn’t hook it up because there was NO ROUTER.

I called back and told them that I still needed a router. They played dumb and said, “But mam, that box doesn’t come with a router.” So I talked them through the original conversation about how the guy said he’d send a router with the box. They repeated, “But it doesn’t come with a router.”

And they kept repeating it.

I spoke to 7 different people that day. NONE of them would agree to just send a different box. NONE of them could get past repeating the fact that the box THEIR GUY had sent to me didn’t come with a router.

This went on for about 3 days. Finally I got one of them to agree to send out a different box to me, but then he said he was going to charge me for it. BECAUSE THEY’D ALREADY SENT ONE OUT!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it.

Yeah, they wanted to charge my 50 dollars for the new box. AND they refused to comp me for the time it was going to take to fix the situation. It was like they were treating this as my mistake that I made when I signed up. But it wasn't. I wasn't even the one who'd chosen the final box choice. THEY WERE!

I said, “Screw this. I’m canceling my account.” And I decided to just go back to my original phone service provider.
When I called them, they said that they had NEVER heard from Vonage and that my account HADN'T been cancelled and that it was a good thing I’d called, because if I hadn’t, they would have charged me for another month!

I was happy they hadn’t cancelled my account until I found out that since Vonage was involved, to take me back they’d have to sign me up for new service. AND since it was new service, they would NOT be able to take me back at all, because they are no longer accepting clients in California. I’d been gone like 5 minutes and they wouldn’t take me back.

Great.

By this time, my phone service was not working at all. After our conversation, the previous provider transferred me to Vonage, so without using their box, I had no phone. I couldn’t even call Vonage to handle the problem. So, feeling very defeated, I unplugged my internet and hooked up the Vonage box so I could call Vonage again.

This time after telling my story for the EIGHTH, NINE and oh yes, TENTH TIME, the people informed me that I’d have to call back because they couldn’t understand me with all the static!!!!!! I called a few more times USING THE VONAGE BOX and NONE of them could understand me. I couldn’t believe it.

Finally I hooked my internet back up to the computer and just put the Vonage crap back in the box since it wasn’t working anyway.

So, now I had no phone at all.

I called them back from another phone to just cancel the damn account. The girl asks me, “Well mam, how would you feel about us sending out another device for free?” I really didn’t want to go back to SBC because I remembered them being expensive, and the phone service I had been using wasn’t doing business in CA anymore… so I said, OK, I’d take the new box.

I waited another week.

The second box showed up and guess what. SAME DEVICE! Yes. They’d sent the same device that was already sitting on my damn floor, still in it’s box.

So now I had two boxes and still no phone.

By now I’d been without phone service for TWO WEEKS.

I caved and called SBC, who I then found out had joined with AT&T. They signed me up no problem, but said it would be about another week before they could transfer service. That it would be slow to process because it was VONAGE!

I called Vonage back, told them what I was doing and not to cancel my service (because I was trying to keep the phone number I’d had for years), but to notate my account so I wouldn’t have to re-tell the story again when I called to get my money back.

I waited a week. No phone. (We’re up to 3 weeks now.)

Finally I called AT&T to ask when they’d be hooking it up. They said they had a tentative transfer date of about the 16th. That was another week away!
So I asked what they could do if I just said screw keeping the old number, and let them give me a new one. They said it would be faster, but that I’d have to stay home from work to let the phone guy in because he’d need to do some rewiring (since VONAGE was involved) and then he’d need to test my phone.

Great. So, I don’t have a phone for 3 weeks AND I get to lose a day of pay.

Well, AT&T finally just hooked up my phone. I called Vonage to cancel the account and not only do they not want to give my money back, they want to charge a cancellation fee! Granted, it’s a “temporary fee” that they promise to refund to me upon “receipt and inspection” of the two Vonage devices. But still! I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY WOULD PUT A CHARGE THROUGH ON MY ACCOUNT FOR A SERVICE I HAVE NEVER EVEN BEEN ABLE TO USE!

And when I told them that, they said it was really my problem since I agreed to the terms of service when I signed up! I told them, “HEY! You guys AGREED to provide me with a phone service, and I haven’t had a phone since I signed up with you! What about that???”

And guess what.

They offered to send out another box.

I couldn’t believe it. I have never cussed someone out so badly in my life.

So, here’s the thing. I’m going to send these two boxes back to them tomorrow. I’m sending them DHL so I can have proof that they receive them. But I have no guarantee that they are going to give my money back because they’ve already said that they’ll decide whether they are going to do that or not after they inspect the returned devices.

There is nothing wrong with the devices, they’ve been out of the boxes for about 5 minutes each. But with all the other problems and the ENDLESS uncaring rudeness and incompetence and disregard, I got to tell you, I’m having serious doubts that they’re actually going to willingly refund my money.

Also, I went online after all this started and found 28 pages of complaints about Vonage. All of them reflecting my own experience. And all of them ending by saying that not only did they NOT get their money back, but that they were still being charged monthly fees even AFTER canceling their accounts.

Unbelievable. I'm afraid I'm being set up to have the same problems. I'm afraid they aren't going to refund me at all. And I'm not talking about just the cancellation fee. I'm talking about the money that was paid for the service to begin with. Plus the money that I'm now pretty sure they charged me for that box. Supposedly, I still fall under their money back guarantee, but this isn't looking good.

Here's the best part...I told them I filed a complaint with the FCC against them. --Which I did!-- They didn't care. I don't even think they typed it in.

Their customer service sucks but not because of the people they employ. But because of their policies! This is just a bad company. I regret the day I ever even considered joining them. God only knows how much this is going to end up costing me in the end.
     
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riverswebb7 on 2007-03-14:
You know, usually I don't root for the downfall of anyone. But, yeah. This company treats consumers like crap. They need to go. Thanks for telling me that might happen, Siffer! :)
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Vonage Contact Info and Failed Customer Service
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HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- Please read to the bottom, it will help if your having customer service/credit trouble.

I recently tried to port my number out of Vonage to Verizon Wireless. When the service was not disconnected the day the port went through I called Vonage a few days later to find out why. Below is the series of events and complete breakdown in their customer service:

February 5th number officially (according to Verizon) ported to Verizon Wireless. (Number removed) now rings cell phone not Vonage line. No indication from Vonage that the line was disconnected.

February 9th Call place to Vonage to find out why service was still active:

Feb 09, 2007 05:36 PM Number deleted 18662434357 00:14:00 Ticket number
Feb 08, 2007 09:14 PM Number deleted 18662434357 00:02:00 Ticket number

(Above is the listing from Vonage account showing call to Customer Service (Disconnections) as reported on subsequent calls and e-mail.

Informed by representative claiming she was a supervisor that the account was set to close on the 17th (end billing date). Requested credit for days from 5th to 17th and was denied. Was also informed that I would be billed for the termination fee of 39.99. Got into heated discussion with rep over this charge. Informed her that I was not to be billed it per the terms I was promised when signing up. She told me that the only way that wouldn’t happen was to leave the account open and billing. I informed her that this was not an option and at no time gave her the authority to change the status from closing to active.

February 17th. Billing email from Vonage arrives stating:
Account Number: removed
Date Processed: 02/17/2007
Amount: $28.43
Attempt to call Vonage, but Cancellation Customer Service non-existent on the weekend.
Feb 17, 2007 11:54 AM Number removed 18662434357 00:02:00 Ticket number
(Again call log from Vonage account)

February 19th. Call Vonage again:
Feb 19, 2007 02:36 PM Number removed 18662434357 00:40:00 Ticket number

This time I get passed around, but start with the cancellation group with another person claiming to be a supervisor. Inform this person that I want the month credited that should not have been billed on the 17th and the account closed so that this will not happen again. She tells me she can close the account, but not issue a refund. I have to speak to Advanced Customer Service to get that taken care of. So, transferred I am, this time to a guy. He tells me that he is unable to credit the account because it is now closed. (Does anyone see the humor here? It is lost on me at this point). I lose it and demand to speak to his boss. He tells me that they only respond to credit requests (again I think this is stupid having worked for a major internet service provider and know how good customer service works, but OK fine. I demand a call back from his boss, after much reluctance he tells me that she is on the phone and (Rhonda J. the only identification he would provide) would call me back within the hour. 24 hours go by, no call from Rhonda J. or anyone from Vonage (am I surprised?).

February 20th. Now the service is disconnected, so I resort to calling on my cell phone. I call and get a customer service rep who submits the credit request form. I only accept this as I have learned that real customer service at your company does not exist.

February 21st. The beginning of the “we are going to tell him anything to get him to go away emails”:

”We have submitted your request for credit and it has been denied by management. The account billing history shows that you received the promotion that offered 3 months of free service upon sign up which was issued, as well as there was significant usage on the account for the final month of service an therefore this amount can not be refunded as well. Lastly the termination fee is applied to any account that terminates within the first 13 billing cycles, however we will need more time to locate the original promotion to determine if the term fee was supposed to be waived. Please allow 3-5 business days for management to evaluate this account and then contact our Advanced Customer Care department during normal business hours (8:30a-9p EST Mon-Fri)
so they may resolve this issue.

Please include this ticket number #XXXXXXX in the subject line of all future
correspondence.

Once again thank you for contacting customer care.

Sincerely,

David B.”

OK, so fine I am giving up on the 39.99 refund, it’s what I was promised, but that apparently means jack and squat. What really makes me laugh in this email is the statement that significant usage occurred on the account. Yes, I guess if you consider 42 minutes worth of calls from your service to your Customer Service to find out why this mess exists, your right. Again however this is not my fault.

21st February: I reply to the email and basically run through the outline above and ask how they can justify the charge as the account should be closed and never have been charged to begin with and am baffled by the “significant” usage claim. I also wonder how if this is the case how I can be denied credit when no new number had been given to me to use. Either way, in one ear out the other because:

27th February: Response (after second attempt to get one)
“Dear XXXXXX,

Thank you for contacting customer care, my apologies for any delay in response to your inquiries.

Since you did not call and terminate the account after your number transfer was complete the monthly invoice was billed as per the terms of service, we understand that you thought the account would be closed automatically; however we are not a telephony company and therefore require verbal confirmation on all terminations. This was not given until you called in after your card had been billed.

I hope that I have addressed all of your inquiries, please don't hesitate to contact customer care any time 24 hours a day.
Once again thank you for contacting customer care.

Sincerely,

David B.
T1 CSR Customer Care”

Now I’m informed that after following the terms of service to cancel that I have not followed the terms of service. Now I’m really confused. I’m pretty sure that my call on February 9th at 5:36pm to the Cancellation group, lasting 14 minutes was to in fact to make sure that the account was terminated on the 17th and that no future charges were to be made. Again, I can’t make your people do their jobs or do them correctly. I called the account was to be cancelled and I will again state that at no point did I give the representative the authority to reopen or change the status of the account.

February 27th: Another attempt at laying the blame somewhere other than on your company or system and correcting the problem:
“Dear XXXXXXX

Thank you for contacting customer care, my apologies for any delay in response to your inquiries.

I do understand why you feel that you are entitled to this credit however we have policies in place to prevent these errors. During a win-back it is your responsibility to call to disconnect. Your telephone number was ported out on the 2/23 to your new provider, when you called to terminate on 2/19 we did as we where asked however the monthly fee was already charged.

I hope that I have addressed all of your inquiries, please don't hesitate to contact customer care any time 24 hours a day.
Once again thank you for contacting customer care.

Sincerely,
David B.
T1 CSR Customer Care”

Now, miraculously the date that the number was ported has changed from the 5th of February (which I and Verizon Wireless can prove) when my wife’s cell phone started getting calls as (number removed) and the Vonage line stopped ringing. If, and this is a big if, your system did not finish the port in your system until the account was finally closed on the 19th this again is not my fault. The account was supposed to be closed as of the 17th (see above) and the number was most certainly no functioning with my Vonage adapter as of 2-5-07. This is basically the response sent to the last email above on the 27th all with the same ticket reference XXXXXX.

I will wait to see what happens with that response and then reply with this all laid out again in the hopes that someone with a sense of decency and a true ability to see that this is Vonage's error, not mine.

If that fails the next step will be the Office of the President of Vonage.

Thank you,
XXXXXX

P.S. I cannot make this any clearer than this. Please fix the problem and refund my $28.42.

March 1st: Above sent in response to yet another idiotic reply from Customer service:

“Dear XXXXXX,

Thank you for contacting customer care,

Sir please understand that we do not automatically disconnect your line after a number
is transferred out of our system. We are not a phone company and some customer elect
to leave their accounts open after we complete the port. However this is still a valid
charge since you called in to terminate the service after your billing date. This
charge will not be refunded and is supported by our terms of service.

Once again thank you for contacting customer care.

Sincerely,

David B.
Advanced Customer Care
1-VONAGE-HELP (1-866-243-4357) or 1-732-650-6699”

Again I ask…How is it in the Vonage universe that a call make on the 9th of February to insure that the account was closed is after the 17th when Vonage incorrectly billed me for another months service.

This brings us to the conclusion. Don't use Vonage. If you do and need help don't call their customer service line, you'll get nowhere. Email the following two people and be sure to include a call back number:

jeffrey.citron@vonage.com (Chairman CEO Vonage)
paula.pangilinan@vonage.com (his secretary)

I had a call back and email follow up the next day.

You can also try going directly to the Executive Response Team, which is where my email got handed down to:

Executive Response Team
Hours: M - F 9:00AM to 5:30PM EST
Vonage 23 Main Street Holmdel, NJ 07733
phone: 888-580-4020 fax: 732-231-6783

While I did not get the $39.99 disconnect fee refunded I did get the final month and a prorated refund from the date the port to Verizon happened.

I hope this helps someone else.
     
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Anonymous on 2007-03-02:
Thanks, when and if I ever quit Vonage, this will come in handy.
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