Vonage Informative - Sneaky, Unpublicized Exit Fees
I had joined Vonage based on the $15/month promo on their website. I figured, with $15/month at stake, worst case I'll cancel if I don't like it.
Several months went by and I wasn't using the service due to low call quality, so I called to cancel. First, the automated voice response system LITERALLY hung up on me each time I pressed the number to cancel my account. Other options worked, so either a strange local malfunction, or a company policy to let people think they can cancel but then frustrate them.
I finally told the voice response system that I wanted to add services, figuring that would get me through to someone, which it did. I told that person I wanted to cancel, and was asked for all my information before being told I needed to talk to someone else. I got transferred, and went through the same exercise again. Fuming at this point, I demanded to talk to someone who could cancel my account, and finally got through to someone.
That person (who was on a bad connection!! AND was hard to understand) insisted that in order to cancel they would have to hit my credit card for $119.98!! That includes a non-disclosed (or carefully hidden) cancellation fee, as well as the full charge for the adapter, with no option to return it to get my money back. At this point, I had spent 45 minutes on the phone and still understood only every other word, and I was frustrated enough to tell the person that I couldn't hear them, the connection wasn't very good, perhaps they were using a Vonage phone...
Determined not to let them thwart my efforts to cancel, I stated for the benefit of the call recorder that I did not accept the validity of the charge, but they needed to do whatever was necessary to cancel my account. Sure enough, a few days later the charge appeared on my card.
I contested it with American Express, but they contacted Vonage who stated it was my contractual obligation.
It is certainly possible that buried deep in the legalese, I committed to this raw deal. But this is no way to run a company, retain customers, and build loyalty. I haven't decided yet how much energy I have to continue to fight this, risk collection agency hassles, etc., but in any case, I would urge anyone who reads this to STAY AWAY from Vonage, due to the lack of quality and the absolute nerve and shortsightedness that a company has to treat its customers this way. A company that needs to make its money by preying on people who don't (or can't) understand the full implications of a detailed contract when the website offers $15/month with no obligation, doesn't deserve to succeed the market. I will personally be glad to see them fail.