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!
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 ** 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 carrier, 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.
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. **, 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 ** 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 ** 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. I contacted ** 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. So, I wait. And on September 24, I thought all was done and I could now move on. WRONG!
I called ** 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 ** 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. 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!
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 ** 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 **, 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 **. 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 ** told me that "that must be an old ad as that was not an active number". Well, once ** 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 ** to confirm the "refer a friend" gift items that ** 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 ** and that she assured me that although she was taking my order via the phone, the "refer a friend" gifts would still apply. ** made an error by telling me that but that he would check on it and see what he could do to make it right. ** 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 **. To this day, I've never heard from **. Friday, July 23, 2007, I called their customer service line and ask for ** in New Jersey. The man I spoke with did not know ** as he was "in India", however transferred me to the New Jersey office after I told him ** was in New Jersey. Someone in the New Jersey office finally picked up the line. I asked to speak to **.
After a wait of about 5 minutes, another person picked up the line. It wasn't **. Her name was **. I told her that I was waiting to speak with **. 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 ** 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 **, 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 **. 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. **. Needless to say, STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY! Like one review I read, it'll result in lots of stress and "tears"!
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, **, 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, **? Where is that in the contract?" I spend 45 minutes with ** 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 ** has promised.
Now I get Advanced Customer Care AGAIN but as ** has promised, it's an English speaking man named **. I am honest with ** that I am only speaking with him because ** would not let me cancel. I want to cancel. Can ** help me cancel? ** says he will try to help me find someone, but sounds unsure if that is possible. He transfers me to **...
** 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 ** 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 ** 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...
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.
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.
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
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
Once again thank you for contacting customer care.
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)
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
email@example.com (Chairman CEO Vonage)
firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
I am having real issues with the company advertisement and customer service.
Summarizing the case, Vonage signed me with false and misleading advertisement of unlimited international calling. After a while, their usage department sent an email saying that I need to check my minutes as my usage was more than permissible usage which is 3000 mins. I tried to search everywhere this 3000 in their original contract but could not find and they also fail to explain where is it mentioned on their website. They just told that they have sole right to change the usage minutes.
One fine day, my plan has been upgraded to double the original plan and I have been told that if I check my usage minutes for two months then I can switch back to my original world plan. To avoid all the hassle of new connection, I continued with Vonage and bring my minutes to 2800 for continuous two months.
After that I contacted Vonage again to change my plan. Customer service doesn't have any authority to change the plans. After 4th customer service call, some sane representative told me directly that they can't do anything and I need to respond to email that I got from usage management department. They don't have any phone no.
I replied to Vonage usage department email, asking them to revert my plan to original plan. I have got a quick reply that my plan can't be reverted back because their normal usage average is 1500 minutes and my usage is still 2800 and I need to wait for another two months and bring my usage to average limit.
This is heights of dissipating misleading information and false advertising. You can't compare unlimited minutes with 1500 minutes a month. And if 1500 minutes is the limit then that should have been told the first time. They impart incomplete and wrong information.
Suddenly after a year of service I started getting emails from Vonage that my usage of phone is out of normal usage guidelines and that I should limit the outgoing international calls to less than 3000 min/mo. I replied them twice trying to explain them I have unlimited plan. I keep getting canned answers so next day I called customer support. Funny thing is the lady on the phone got confused why I I even got the email stating that. Herself and her fellow agents were surprised.
Next minute she talks to her supervisor and changes the story and trying to convince me that I was confused. I also talked to the supervisor but the same story. Vonage people won't even listen. In the end the supervisor says to me rudely that its their Terms of Service, if I don't agree then I should disconnect. My point to VONAGE geniuses is that where in the terms of service does it say that Unlimited == 3000 minutes. I agree with terms of service but 3000 minutes limit is no where written in that contract. I have been getting a email or two per day and a stupid voice mail saying the same thing. I got fed up and finally filed a formal complaint against Vonage to FCC. I think all the Vonage customers should do this. Its easy and you can submit form online too. If FCC gets enough complaints probably they will do something about it. If anybody knows somebody in news industry they should definitely send this fraud story to media.
To start with its false advertisement and illegal what Vonage is doing. After all this I get on with their agent online to Chat with them to find out if he will give me disclaimer about "Unlimited". But he didn't. Even after probing him with questions such as "Is unlimited really mean I can talk without any limit to India? Or there is a limit?" and the guy kept saying really its unlimited.
As Customers or ex customers of Vonage we need to make this company sorry for the way they are cheating American People. We deserve better than this!!!
Thinking that having and paying for an expensive landline was redundant, I researched the market and chose Vonage because of the promotion they were offering at the time. After calling and setting up an account, I received my Vonage modem and this is when the troubles began. It does not just plug in and work. After carefully following the instructions that came with the system, it did not work. I called Vonage customer service and much to my amazement (tongue in cheek) I was connected with a Vonage tech who was going to help me get my Vonage up and running. The downside of this is that he could barely speak English so it was next to impossible to understand his instructions. I kept having to interrupt him and ask him to repeat what he said. "Oh, it take only 10-15 minutes to get working." That was a joke. After two and a half hours, he said it worked. The next day, I had to call a local computer specialist because my Vonage was not working. It cost me, out of pocket, $80 to find out that all the garbled and unintelligible instructions the Vonage representative gave me were backwards. My local representative got it to work - Lo and Behold - every call I placed or received would cut in and out and I could not hear the person I was talking to and on the other end, the person could not hear me. I called Vonage technical service yet again, and was connected with another tech that did not speak English. It was at this point, after paying Vonage for equipment, monthly service, a private tech and considerable frustration, that I was done with them. I called to cancel my service and got the run around. It was at this time, I sent emails to Vonage customer service, Vonage supervisors, and any other Vonage personnel I could find email addresses for that I was filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the frad division of the Attorney General's office in the state I reside. My account was canceled finally after getting bills for four months that I refused to pay.
I suggest that Vonage hire people that speak clear English - Vonage is in the communication business and their employees cannot communicate.
I would never recommend Vonage to anyone - even my worst enemy.