I called to cancel my service and was informed about the $39.99 cancellation fee. I followed with this letter that sums everything up. This is to serve as a letter of formal dispute to Vonage Marketing LLC. I have had Vonage phone service for approximately 1 year. I chose the service to use solely as a fax line and had access to 500 minutes a month. I have paid an estimated $360 in fees for this service. However, I have only used a combined total of 149 minutes during my entire 14 months with the company.
Needless to say it was in my best interest financially to cancel my account. I called on April 7, 2009 and spoke to a very pleasant customer service agent. He informed me that he would be able to cancel my account but wanted to make me aware that there would be a $39.99 fee to do so. We debated this fee for approximately 10 minutes, which only left me frustrated, in tears, and finally angry with the company.
This gentleman was so familiar with the absurdness of this policy that he was able to calm me down, assure me that he knew there was no one that would waive this fee, and then provide information on how to file a formal dispute or pursue legal action. He had first hand knowledge from previous customers on how to contact the company and what the most efficient method was.
I was appalled that a company could be so unethical that its own employees knew the best ways for customers to file complaints. He pointed me to a clause in the terms and conditions that reads: "8.7 Disconnection Fee (Does Not Apply to Business Plus Customers). You will be charged a disconnection fee of $39.99 per voice line if your service is disconnected, subject to state and local laws.
However, if your subscription date is on or after February 1, 2007 and is disconnected after 2 years following your subscription date, the disconnection fee is waived. If your subscription date is on or before January 31, 2007, the disconnection fee is waived if your service is disconnected 1 year following your subscription date."
I mentioned that this is worded in such a way that the average consumer would read it to mean that if the account is involuntarily disconnected, such as when a bill is not paid; this clause does not state anything about voluntary cancellation of the service. He agreed that it is very misleading.
I have paid your company over $350 in fees and used exactly 2% of the services that I was charged for. It is completely outrageous to charge me an additional $39.99. I am trying to make financially sound decisions in tough economic times and believe that everyone, including companies both small and large, should do the same. Honesty, fairness, and kindness should come before money in every situation. I teach at a public middle school in an inner city and stress to my students on a daily basis the idea of living a life that is worthy of respect. How will our kids ever learn that if we don't first set the example for them?
Do the right thing. Stop putting your customer service agents in a position where they have to present legal dispute options because of their company's selfish ways. Stop charging your customers unnecessary fees just to advance yourselves. We teachers, nurses, firefighters, and community service workers work for far less than the average business person (I would know, I left a life in real estate and sales for a low paying job as a teacher) and we want nothing more than to see people live in a way that honors others.
If large companies set the example, others will follow. Customers would flock to a company that sets themselves above the rest by treating their people with fairness and respect. Respect the time of your employees and your customers. Respect their money. Respect yourselves as a corporation. Do the right thing.
When I first signed on with Vonage they mailed 2 modems to my business. When I tried to install the system through their instructional CD it would not operate. When I called Vonage for help I told the representative I had 2 modems. She responded saying "no ma'am you have 1 modem per their records." I assured her I did have 2 modems and needed 2 modems as I have 4 lines and 2 business phones. I was told I am mistaken and apparently need a tech to come over and set up my system.
I was also informed that Vonage offers the first service call free and if I needed anything that required an on site tech in the future I would be billed $100.00. I stated there is confusion on their end and it would be validated when their tech came to my business. The first tech arrives and is absolutely clueless. He actually asks ME the customer why I have 2 modems. After staying 30 minutes or so he states he will request another tech come to my business because he cannot understand why both my phones will not operate and why I have 2 modems. He leaves the Vonage wiring looking like a spider web and leaves.
Another week passes and a second tech comes out that states I must have 2 modems to run 4 lines and implies I am the one that made a terrible mess of the wiring to my computer. He does make the phones operate and leaves. I call Vonage stating they need to record that I still have a free service call because I only needed a tech due to the confusion on their side.
Through the month of December 08 and January 09 my phone system is out most of the time. People would call. The phone would ring on their end but not mine. There were 3 weeks I had no service at all. Phone's dead. I call for an on site tech because every time I called the phone techs would state my system was working because their computer said so...
I took a week to get an appointment. They told me the tech would be there between 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The day arrives and as my luck would have it my Comcast Internet goes out at 6:30 that morning due to construction in my area. I call Vonage after speaking with Comcast at 7:00 am to cancel my appointment. I was told by a tech that due to circumstances beyond my control (they cannot work on the lines without Internet duh) they would not charge a cancellation fee of $50.00 for not giving 24 hour notice on an appointment that is free...
I also included that I could provide verification from Comcast if needed. Fast forward to March 13th. I see my online banking account has been charged by Vonage $50.00 2 months after the fact. The bill also has no explanation for the charge. I write to CS (we all know what calling in entails) and explain the situation. They repeat over and over that it is a charge for no 24 hour cancellation.
I would ask questions like (why did you wait 2 months to bill my account after you told me you would not charge my account?). They would ignore the question and repeat themselves over and over. My response from their CS Rep had many misspelled elementary level words as well as bad English.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO -- I bought Vonage and the only good thing good was that it arrived in the mail in a timely manner. When I open it up, I followed the instructions which seem simple. However, when I got to step 6 it said that it should provide instructions on the LCD screen to complete the process. No instructions displayed. I next called Vonage. The fist tech guy was rude and unhelpful. The 2nd guy was incompetent even though he was polite. The 2nd guy had me working on something for over an hour but it was obvious he did not know what he was doing.
The 3rd guy told me that the device must be broken since there was no LCD display (why didn't the 2nd guy come to that conclusion instead of wasting my time). The 3rd guy said he was going to send me a replacement and a label to return the defective product at no charge. I soon get an email telling me different information and I had to pay for shipping back the defective device they sent me. I called a 4th person and they told me they apologized for the misunderstanding and they would help. They spoke to me for 20 minutes, I hang up and get another email with different information than what we discussed on the phone.
I call a 5th person, explain my situation and wanted to cancel my service. I'm transferred to a 6th person who tries to convince me that he could help me (it is starting to be as difficult to cancel Vonage as it was cancel AOL during their prime or remember when you joined one of those CD clubs or book clubs and how hard it was to cancel -- that is Vonage but worse). I asked for a supervisor and was put on hold for 30 minutes and finally was cut off. I started this whole adventure over 5 hours ago. The salesman said I would be up and running with Vonage in 5 minutes -- yea right.
I finally canceled and was charged some kind of cancellation fee but they told me it would be refunded once they received the device...we'll see. I never had such a nightmare of service and tech support. Talking to a supervisor is a joke (they just transfer you to another call center employee who is pretending to be a supervisor). All this and I never got Vonage hooked up. It has to be one the worse customer service and tech support experiences I have had in my 54 years on this earth.
Don't buy even if things do work right at first. You are bound to eventually have a problem and you'll be ripped off with unnecessary charges and lose at least a year of your life talking to them and trying to understand the emails which contradict what you were told on the phone. Of course if you like getting the runaround, tons of contradictory emails with spam thrown on top, than Vonage is for you.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- On September 2008, I called Vonage for getting a VOIP phone service at my apartment. I was talking to one of Vonage customer representative and during our conversation, I very specifically told him not to send me any modem for this new connection because I have couple of personal modems which I wanted to use.
The representative told me that he will not send any modem but a Vonage technical person would call me next day to verify the modem that I have to see whether it would work with their connection. I agreed to that and I gave my credit card number and other details, immediately the phone line got disconnected. I waited for few minutes expecting the customer service person would call me back to complete the transaction but he did not.
Since this happened late evening, I called Vonage next day to know the status; they said that the account is created and a modem has been shipped to my address. Totally I could not accept this because in spite of me telling them not to send modem they had sent. So, I told Vonage rep. that I do not want the account and requested them to cancel the account.
The representative told me that since the modem is already shipped they cannot close my account; only option is that he would contact UPS and interrupt the shipping and route it back to their address. They mentioned that as soon as the modem comes back I need to call them to cancel the account.
Even this I could not accept because they sending me the modem is not what I wanted on the first place. Anyway, there was no other option so I agreed and I got the UPS Tracking number from that Vonage representative.
I waited for 10 days and I called Vonage again and they said that the shipment has almost come and they need to make an entry somewhere. This time, the representative told me that the account will automatically close moment the modem return entry is made. Then I felt that I am relieved from this problem.
But still I called again in another 3 days to check; this time the representative was not willing to close the account rather he was asking me why am I closing the account and he started offering me 3 month free option etc. I did not agree to anything and I told them to close. Finally, the representative agreed to close the account. All this happened within 30 days of my first calling for the service.
In couple of months, I saw that they had charged me for Vonage usage of $34; with the great shock, I called them. This time they said that the account is not closed and it is active that is why I got the charges in the credit card. I explained them all that happened and this person said he will close the account immediately but he will charge me $93 as cancellation fee. I felt that Vonage has purposely cheated me and they all work together to do this.
I told the representative not to close the account and disconnected the phone call with him; the reason I said this is I do not want to be charged $93 rather I wanted to call credit card company and explain them the situation. Just because Vonage has my credit card number, they do all injustice.
I called Vonage again to get the account number and other details; this time I spoke to a customer representative named “Roxanne”. I explained all that happened from the beginning to Roxanne and she said that Vonage should not charge me anything because the account was already cancelled and she would update my account with all the details and make credit to my credit card; she also mentioned that my credit would be reflected in the following month.
Again shockingly, instead of credit, I happen to see that Vonage has charged me $93. Now I do not have any respect with Vonage and I cannot call them again. Until this time I would have spent many hours each time talking to them and of no use; they have determined to cheat me. I do not have a phone number that was provided by Vonage nor I never made use of their service by any means but I was charged this amount.
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- On 11/16/08 I ordered Vonage over the telephone. They told me the device was free but they took $14.99 from my account. They told me I could hook up more than one line. They assured me I could keep my current telephone number.
After 4 days, I received the device. A week later I telephoned them to make sure the installation was correct, because the device did not work. I learned from the technician that the other phone lines in the house did not work, because they all have to be hooked to the device. In order for this to happen, a technician would have to come out and wire the telephone lines through the walls.
The device worked for about a week and then an error code popped up. When I called Vonage I was told it must be the internet carrier and they could not help me. After a week and a half of no usage, I telephone Vonage and asked them to cancel my service. They told me I exceeded the 30 day trial and I could not cancel without paying a cancellation fee.
I called Vonage and informed them I tried to cancel they phone service with my previous phone carrier. But in order to cancel the phone they had to cancel the internet. Vonage gave me a telephone number to call for a stand alone internet service. After 120 minutes of cell phone minutes, I was not able to speak with anyone. I called Vonage to cancel. They told me they gave me a month free till 2/14/09 but they were not able to cancel the service for me and I would have to call back.
Then the power went out and I learned so did the phone service. I was not able to summons help (medical, fire or police). I felt this was critical and it was imperative in the event of an emergency. They never transferred the 911 calls because they had entered the wrong email address. I then learned they never sent me any of the contact and authorization information they should have sent me.
I tried again to call the internet carrier. They told me to call and again I was unsuccessful reaching anyone. I called Vonage and told them to cancel the service. The representative informed me it would cost me $35.00 and to send the device back in the original package. She told me I would have to call another number for the address to send the device back to.
I called Vonage back and they told me they would take $89.00 from my account and to keep the device because now I was over the 30 day. I informed them I never was given 30 days, because they started the 30 days before the device was even mailed and that is misleading.
Vonage is committing fraud and misleading customers by claiming the device is free (but charge you $14.99); keep your existing number (neglected to send authorization forms to transfer the number). I was not able to cancel my old number without losing my internet (Vonage refers you to a company of their choice). Misleading trial date (30 days begin while the order is in their warehouse). After you go through many attempts to disconnect, your time has expired and they claim they can remove the disconnection fee directly from your personal account without your authorization.
They were unable to transfer my previous number (which they claim they can do). After several attempts to request to disconnect, they told me they were not able to do it and call back. Overall experience horrible, and no resolution in sight, the service is still not disconnected.
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- On Friday, July 11th 2008 around 4:15 PM I called Vonage for more information about their service. They said they can get me 2 months free and free activation. They also told me that I could keep my same phone number. I said I need to think about it for the night. She said that the extra month deal is only available to random callers. But, she said she can lock in the promotion. She told me that I could think about it and she would call me the next day. I said great and gave her my name and phone number. She said that she would call me at the same time the next day.
On Saturday, July 11th I waited patiently by the phone and never received a phone call. At around 6:30 PM I decided to call them and explain the situation. I gave them my name and phone number and they said it looks like they were going to offer you 2 months free. I said yes, that is correct. She said, OK I can give you that deal. I decided to get the V-Portal for only $20 with shipping because of the extra features. She had a thick accent. I told her my name about 100 times and she of course got it wrong. I called them back immediately and they apologized and corrected the name.
On Sunday, July 12th I received an e-mail that said in order to continue to port my number I would have to drop DSL from my phone line. I decided on AT&T standalone DSL, also known as AT&T direct DSL for only $4 more than I am paying now.
On Monday, July 13th I called AT&T to switch my internet to standalone, but they warned me if I did that Vonage would no longer be able to port my number because the line would be inactive. They also told me that I would not be able to keep my current number. I was on the phone bouncing back and forth to AT&T and Vonage for 5 hours. Vonage told me to tell AT&T to separate the DSL line and the Landline. I called AT&T and told them that and they said the only option I have would be to cancel my DSL and after the number was ported call AT&T back and ask them for standalone DSL. This means I would have no internet and phone for 5 days.
I then figured it is not even worth it. I called Vonage up and said I want to cancel my service. I also said that I have not received an e-mail yet saying my box has shipped out. They said that I would have to wait for the box to come and then return it. I said "Who is going to pay for shipping to return it." They said "You." I said "You never told me that my internet/phone would be down for 5 days." I asked for a supervisor and they said no "I am a pro at this." Then she hung up on me.
I called them back and was placed on hold for 20 minutes and they said when UPS comes to deliver the box, just refuse delivery to avoid paying to ship it back. Then, she said to call them back to freeze the account after you reject the delivery. Hopefully, they do not charge me to cancel it. I am going to keep a close eye on my credit card bill. Vonage may look good from their advertisements, but when you have to deal with their customer service. It is not even worth it.
UPDATE: Monday, July 21st. I got a call from Vonage today about 20 minutes after I rejected my package from UPS. The guy I spoke to was American and he wanted to know if my box was working correctly. I told him I am canceling service. He was actually a really nice guy. He said that AT&T pulls this kind of stuff all the time. We talked for about 5 minutes how AT&T won't let you switch. I am not really blaming Vonage now, I am blaming AT&T. I just hope I get my $20 back.
Successfully Canceled. I haven't been billed(so far). Still keeping an eye on the credit card bill.
From the beginning Vonage call quality was inferior and their features did not function as claimed. Getting customer service or technical support to respond to questions was an exercise in frustration and futile as nipples on a bull. Their "customer care" surely must be one of Dante's circles of Hell.
I decided to switch carriers and arranged to have my phone number ported from Vonage to AT&T. Vonage delayed action for 12 weeks. I called AT&T repeated during this time and they informed it was Vonage that was the source of delay. I called Vonage as well and told them I was porting my number - to which they tried to "up sell" me on additional services and "free service" - but having "been there, done that and having the scars to prove it" I decline. At no time could anyone explain why it was taking so long to honor a request to port the number and cancel the service.
Once the number was finally ported in July of 2007 I closed the Vonage account on-line and removed any payment information. In August I received a notice saying I owed Vonage for service. I spent 3+ hours on the phone talking to 5 different "customer service" representatives in India and Venezuela. I finally spoke to a supervisor I could understand and who could understand me. She indicated that I did not close my Vonage account, so she said I owed them for the month of August.
I explained number had been ported - after an 8 week delay on their part - and I no longer had a number with Vonage and so I was not able to use their services even if I wanted to - which I NEVER want to again. I told her I felt that since there was no service provided, there could be no payment due. She disagreed. I finally got her to agree that the payment was for a technicality - i.e. not insuring the account was closed - which either Vonage should have done once the number was ported.
After another lengthy discussion, she finally agreed to forgive the charges and assured me that even though she wasn't supposed to - she would credit me for the outstanding balance and everything was resolved. This week I got a dunning letter from a Vision Financial Corp trying to collect $37.12 for Vonage.
I called Vonage and they informed me my on-line account was still active and that I owed them that amount. I tried to explain to a "customer care" person the situation and he claimed it didn't matter whether the number was ported or if they were or were not providing any service. He was unable to explain why I owed them for such "phantom" service or why the account was still accessible, even though I had closed it and spoken at length with them in July.
He claimed that even though the number was (finally) ported to another provider and thus there was no basis or ability for Vonage to provide any service, because the account was not closed to their satisfaction they could charge me for service. When I asked him to explain what service I was being charged for, he suggested I was being difficult. When I asked to speak to a supervisor he became argumentative and refused. So I terminated the call and decided to file a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection.
It seems to me that this is the ultimate example of loopholes and catch 22 thinking - if not outright fraud. Vonage claims to be "#1 in VOIP service" - what a joke. They are #1 in unethical business practices. They also claim to be "paperless" so it's almost impossible to get any documentation out of them.
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- I've been a fairly well satisfied Vonage customer for 7 years. I have had trouble with intermittent poor line quality, but it has never been clear whether this is a problem with my ISP. I've often found that the quality of customer service is poor, but I've not had a lot of reason to call them except to make changes in my service.
However, when, after porting out my phone number and making sure it worked on the new phone service, I called Vonage to cancel my service, they made it very difficult to cancel service, gave me a very hard time, and tried not to cancel my service. This was month to month service; I did not have a contract, and I did not expect a partial refund for cancelling in mid month. I actually cancelled the day before the month ended.
You can't just cancel service online. I called customer service. First I got someone who insisted that my number hadn't been ported out. I checked to make sure the port was complete and the phone number working correctly on my new phone service before trying again. Then I learned that while all other Vonage customer service is available 24/7, you have to call between certain hours and talk to a special office to cancel service.
Then when I called back, the customer service person insisted I tell her why I want to cancel service before she would transfer me, and I had to shout at her four times that I don't have to tell her anything, transfer me, and she actually transferred me when I told her I'd changed my payment method to a card with insufficient money available for Vonage to get their hands on it. When she put me through, a Chinese guy kept demanding to know why I was cancelling my service, and insisting that I had to do "cooperation" with him before he would cancel my service.
I had to shout at him six times that I don't have to tell him anything, I don't have to cooperate with him, cancel my service, NOW. He finally cancelled my service when I told him that I changed my payment method to a card with no funds available, and Vonage won't be able to get any more money from me, ever. The whole experience was completely outrageous, and at this moment, I can't recommend anything about Vonage to anybody.
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.