Monday, April 30, 2007

Why I have a love-hate relationship with Vonage, part 7

Warning: pointless ranting ensues below. If you're here for a feel-good anecdote about my sweet son's 4th birthday, umm.... read my next post. For those of you who like a good sarcasm-laden tongue-lashing, read on.

For those of you keeping track, no, I've never actually written parts 1 through 6 here on our blog, but be assured they do exist. Part 6 deals primarily with the 3-hour ordeal I had last Friday night with the numbskulls who work overseas for Vonage.

The short version of Reason Number 6, for those of you who happen to be Vonage customers, is that if you ever need to return your linksys(TM) router/phone adapter to Vonage because the base of the antenna is loose, and they send you a D-Link VWR instead of a new linksys, and you are attempting to establish your wireless security, and you call the help line because no matter what you do, for some reason the router won't accept your encryption keys, even though technician after technician keeps telling you to do the exact same thing and it still won't work, you should know that you can save yourself 3 hours by not listening to the first girl when she tells you that Firefox is a fine browser in which to do all of this, but by rather ignoring her advice and opening up Internet Explorer. Because guess what? It works in Explorer. And not in Firefox.

I could have used that information to get back my 3 hours, but instead I listened to the dork and now I'm 3 hours closer to my death with 3 hours of accomplishments less to show for it.

Oh yeah - sorry. Back to the task on hand. Reason Number 7:


When the person at Vonage who is organizing the shipment of a new router to replace your faulty one replies, when asked whether or not you'll be responsible for sending back the old, defective router, that no, Vonage will cover the cost for the return shipment and will send all the necessary information to you with the new router, he is very misinformed, as Vonage apparently has a policy not to do that. Thus, when you call Vonage to ask why you were told that you wouldn't have to pay for the return shipment earlier, and now you're being told that you do, the very nice credit supervisor will tell you that she's very sorry, but that they have a policy.

Well, very nice credit supervisor, as I said to you on the phone, I'm also sorry, but I'm going to have to tell all my friends how frustrating it is to work with Vonage, and how I could never recommend Vonage to any of my friends without telling them of all the troubles I have had with them, even though I would get two free months of service if they signed up.

Why do I stick it out? I don't know. Right now it's just so cheap. Is it worth the headache? Well, ask me again in a 11 months when my prepaid year runs out.

But at least I feel better now that I've talked about my feelings!


Jennifer said...

I am a fellow Vonage user but have not really had to deal with customer service so can't say I have had those headaches... but I have others. We have had Vonage for... 1.5 years now and I can't say I LOVE the quality. I often feel like I am on a cellphone - I guess echoing, people can't hear me, there is often a delay... but as you say - IT'S SO CHEAP! Would I recommend it? No. I have heard there are better VOIP systems and I might start to look into them. *sigh* Good luck with your Vonage! Hopefully the American quality is better than the Canadian!

Kate said...

Sounds a lot like Ryan's experiences with Telus...not a VOIP service but just as frusterating.

Becky said...

Jennifer - I wonder. I often have troubles with my Vonage service when I call back to Canada, but I rarely notice those issues when making calls within the US. As for customer service, Canada is ahead of the game. I have needed to call the Vonage customer service a couple times, and I've always had polite, informed, well-spoken help.

We've been pursuing the most recent issue via e-mail, and evidently that is the way to get things done. We've now been told that we're going to be credited up to $9 for our shipping. :) You can get a long way with nice words, but it would seem that you can get even further with nice words and a slightly veiled ultimatum.