Vonage Complaint - Bad service, terrible cancellation policy
At first my internet company did not offer bundled phone service, so I signed up for Vonage. I believed the funny ads -- well, the fun stops with the ads. I was given one month during which I could cancel. I called a couple of days too late, and explained that I was out of work and my wife's unemployment insurance had ended, and I just didn't have the money. I worked my way up to a supervisor, but not one bit of compassion. They stuck to the contract. I was stuck for a one year contract at $12.95 per month which somehow ends up being $18 per month. I asked what if I canceled, and they said that the cancellation fee was such-and-such. It ended up being exactly as much as paying for the entire contract year. So, I could refuse to pay, and get my credit dinged; or I could pay the cancellation fee and not get phone service; or I could complete the contract and have phone service for a year. I opted for the last option. During this time I was able to receive calls OK, but the people could not understand me. I had to repeat and repeat and repeat myself, because they could not hear all of the words I said. My favorite part of Vonage was that about half of the voice mails I received (I don't know why it wouldn't do it with all of them) were transcribed and sent to me as emails. This is a wonderful service, and it did a fair job of transcribing, even of people with foreign accents who left messages. But that wasn't enough, and now my one year has ended, and I'm terminating the service. So, I asked Vonage if they will place a hold on my Vonage phone number, or if I can transfer the phone number to my cable TV provider without a penalty. No penalty. I figure, I'm good to go. I call my cable TV company, I get set up for the tech to come out and set up the hard-line phone (another big disadvantage of Vonage is that if the internet service goes out, so does the Vonage phone, and I want to be able to make phone calls even when the Internet isn't working). And I ask if they will transfer the Vonage phone number. No problem. Then later in the call the customer service representative says, "Whoops, the phone number Vonage gave you is not a phone number from your community. So you need to get a whole new number." So that, I figure, is the last low-life effort of Vonage to keep my Vonage account -- I will lose all those callers who have my Vonage phone number.
If Vonage (1) didn't have a mandatory one year contract -- that doubles in price after the first year, by the way, and if you don't cancel in time, you're stuck with each successive year, or a cancellation penalty equal to a whole year's service (2) had better clarity on outgoing phone calls and (3) had better transcription of voice mail messages, 100% of the time instead of 50% of the time, I'd stay. But I'm bailing.