AVOiDVonage'reps'w/freephonesSCAM=Bait & Switch w/ATM data theft (w/o swiping card)
Digital Phone Service (Home) - Complaint
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY -- A Vonage sales representative w/o a business card or pamphlets regarding the free phones for "Vonage Whole House Phone Kit". It's a BAIT & SWITCH scam. "Armando" the Vonage representative stated the phone kit was free and did not require Internet service for Vonage phone service, as required before. He scribbled the phone numbers of Vonage's Customer Service to set up service and Vonage's Internet phone numbers inside the box lid, if I wanted to consider setting up Internet service. He assured that no Internet service was needed for Vonage's new digital phone service. He also wrote a pin number on the inside lid of the box to activate my phone at home. I was skeptical as there was no written brochures explaining this "new" Vonage digital phone service which did not require existing Internet service. He stated the monthly service fee as $9.99, if I allowed monthly billing using my ATM card. Reluctantly handing my card, I then changed my mind and asked he not swipe the card as I was not ready to decide. "Armando" said he would not swipe my card, but held it long enough to memorize my ATM card information! He said this was a free phone kit offer and that there would be no charges made until after my phone was activated. Although I never called Vonage to activate the account, "Armando" later activated the account without my knowledge or consent. This prompted an unexpected ATM charge of $33.64 30 days later. After spending hours attempting to cancel the account as the service was not "used" and box unopened within the 30 days, Vonage partially refunded $29.16 and told I should be "happy" I was not charged the additional early termination fee of $120! However, given the circumstances that the Vonage representative misrepresentations regarding the Internet, his unscrupulous use of the ATM card, (after stating he would "not" swipe my card) was a slick BAIT AND SWITCH fraudulent sales pitch to a disabled consumer unfamiliar with the world of digital technology, without access to Vonage brochures to explain the details, in writing. The lack of a business card was the first tip that "Armando" the Vonage sales representative was handing out "free phones" at a gas station and unwittingly deceiving the consumer despite promises of not swiping the ATM after he memorizes the ATM data after informing him of changing my mind of doing business with Vonage and the "free phone kit" offer. Thirty days later and after spending hours with "out sourced" customer service representatives (at least four), having been transferred 3 times, conveniently loosing the phone connection, a fourth call was necessary to cancel my activated phone order, and finally to obtain a partial refund of $29.16 and account disconnection without charging me an early termination fee of $120, while learning from all four customer service Vonage agents that the Internet IS required for service -- (someone at Vonage should send the memo to "Armando"). Be sure to receive a confirmation number and an e-mail of a pre-paid postage mail label to return the Vonage phone kit. After the refund posts on your ATM, get a new ATM card ordered to protect against another unsuspecting transaction from "Armando", the con artist, disguised as a Vonage sales rep.