Vonage Complaint - Dishonest Service Representation
QUEENS, NEW YORK -- I have been using Vonage as my phone service for nearly 2 years now. At first, customer service was average--not too good, but good enough to speak with a service representative and explain what I needed in a service. I had Sunrocket prior to this, and their customer service, services offered and website outlay was very customer friendly.
When Sunrocket failed in July 2007, I decided to give Vonage a try. Over the nearly 2 years I have been with this company, however, it has been getting progressively more difficult to communicate with anyone. Every e-mail contact is responded to with a nonsensical e-mail that does not address the issue, and it is difficult getting anyone on the phone with whom you could speak sensibly about what you need in service changes or additions. Often you get someone for whom English is a very CHALLENGING language--or an English speaking U.S., rep with a very bad attitude.
Late 2008 I decided to get rid of my Verizon land line and, for the convenience of friends who were not regularly in touch and still had my old land line number, have it transferred to Vonage as an additional number. I had seen this feature advertised on their website. Unfortunately, when I called to inquire, I was told that their service only allowed for the availability of an additional line--NOT number. (My daughter has another digital phone service that allows her to have additional numbers for a very small fee each month) During these attempts to have my land line number transferred as a second number, I explained to several service reps that as I was the only person in my household, I didn't need an additional line. Finally, I was told that I could have the additional line for $9.99 for the FIRST 3 months and $24.99 after--or they could let me have it for ONE year at $14.99 monthly. I explained that I would NOT pay $24.99 after 3 months for an additional line and I agreed to the latter service for $14.99. However, every attempt to have this number activated was a problem, and every e-mail I sent was followed by a donotreply response that made no sense, and in early December 2008, I wrote to Vonage explaining that I had decided to cancel the application for this service. I AM SO VERY SORRY THAT I DID NOT KEEP TO THIS DECISION LATER.
Shortly after this December correspondence by e-mail, I received a call telling me that my service was valued and that my new number would be activated. The service charge of $14.99 monthly for ONE year was agreed on and I decided that I would give it a try. I was also told that to make up for all the problems I had encountered, I would be given 2 months free service for both lines from Vonage. Service started December 8, 2008.
I never had the phone ring turned on but could check when someone called me on that number as I received an e-mail alert. I could also look at the caller ID box and identify the callers and return calls that were important through my primary number.
On checking my Vonage account for the past 4 months, I was appalled to find that I had been billed consistently at $24.99 monthly for this line, even though I do not use it, ONLY agreed to have it installed at the $14.99 charge, and was offered 2 months of no service charges--December 2008 and January 2009 for both numbers because of the aggravation I had suffered in trying to have the number set up. I am indeed sorry that I hadn't left the landline with Verizon, which ensured I always had a working phone and which cost less than I have been billed with Vonage, to date.
I spoke to a very unhelpful U.S.,service rep--Sat--5/30/2009, who said that I could have a virtual service for that number where I would be alerted when someone called but not have the phone number ring. The cost I was told would be $4.99 per month. In the meantime, request to have all over billing taken off my bill was excused with the matter being at "a higher level now and that he was unable to resolve the issue then."
He never mentioned cost of installation for this virtual number--just the $4.99 cost. Nor did he mention that there would be a charge to terminate the 2nd number, in dispute. However, later that day I saw a donotreply e-mail listing cost of termination at $$44.97, AND an installation service charge of $15.28 for the virtual number.
I am truly appalled that this company is both DISHONEST and quite insensitive to their customers, on whose backs they have built this business over this decade.
I am determined to let ALL my friend know of their dishonesty and unfriendly customer service unless I am reimbursed for my unfair charges.
It's so ironic, as I had, until recently been trying to get many friends and colleagues here--AND in Europe--use Vonage as their phone service over other carriers.
I shall provide update but do not intend to leave this matter quietly. Vonage should look at the history of other phone services, their financial downfall and failure to regain lost customers, if they intend to stay in this highly competitive business now.