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Vonage Just got the latest linspire newsletter forwaded to me from a friend. In it they



Just got the latest linspire newsletter forwaded to me from a friend. In it they are bashing Vonage, unufairly, I feel.

You can read it here:
http://www.linspire.com/lindows_michaelsminutes.php

But here is the part (#4) with my comments:

My comments are in [].

> *4) Lots of financial trickery over the next year from a new breed of phone companies*
> There's a new breed of phone companies, like Vonage, who are implementing a stealthy campaign to deceive customers. They are selling devices and plastering the box with "Free calling! Free voice mail! Free call waiting!." etc., without disclosing that a monthly fee is required.


[I don't ever recall seeing "Free calling" anywhere. I recall seeing "unlimited calling" and "Free voice mail, call waiting, etc". Those services are free with the phone service. And unlimited calling really does exist. In fact, the ads I use for my affiliation say "UNLIMITED CALLING" not "FREE CALLING"... big difference.]

> They'll proudly announce "No contracts!" but fail to mention that a credit card must be on file, which is then auto-billed. And perhaps


[I fail to see how having a credit-card on file is the opposite of a contract? At any point I can call them up and cancel them and they will stop billing me... that's NO CONTRACT.. a contract would intail that I would have to stay with them or pay an early termination fee.]

> worse of all, they are not disclosing that the phone service on the router will ONLY work with Vonage. Their packaging even talks about working with "other compatible services," but it only works with Vonage.


[The device is a generic Linksys RTsomething or other with voice ports.... if you go out and purchase one.. yes you can use it wherever... however Vonage has theirs locked down.. I don't recall ever seeing Vonage advertise you can use it with other services, and rightfully so. It keeps customers from screwing things up. Plus, the router is vonage's property. By keeping it locked down they A) don't have to charge you for it initially, and B) are sure you'll return it to them, and C) if you don't.. you have a paperweight.. so it would be in your interest to return it when you finish service... keeps Vonage's costs down.]

> Either you pay them money or you won't have service - and remember this is for a device that you paid good money up front for. This would be


[Hrmm I did? Let me check.. nope.
Linksys RT31P2 Device $0.00

Just checked my initial invoice.. I didn't pay a cent for that device.. Vonage still owns it.. and that my friend is why I don't have full access to it.. it is their property and they have kept it locked down. Completely fair.]

> like a modem company selling modems that would ONLY work with Compuserve. What a damper this would have put on Internet growth.


[No.. this is more like the ISP I work for connecting you to our wireless network, and letting you use our Alvarion radio equipment while you are a customer of ours. When you quit... you return the radio. Even though the radio is in your house, if you need a change made to it, you call us here. When you cancel service, you return the radio.]

>
> Vonage and other similar companies are within their rights to charge a monthly fee or to cripple a device so it will work only with their service. But they cross the line to deception when they sell networking hardware without disclosing it will only work with their service and hiding monthly fees and other charges like cancellation fees.


[There are no cancellation fees... nor are there any hidden monthly charges with Vonage...]

It will

> likely take some lawsuits to force Vonage to be more forthcoming in their advertising. Until they do, other net calling companies are following in their footsteps, which is making net calling a confusing money trap for new users.
>

[Uhhh huh. ]



Read The Full Thread:

Linspire Newsletter bashing Vonage


Sounds like someone is jealous and or losing money to IP telephony. They can
Competition is always good for us. It drives prices down that save us money and
Ugh.. that should have read: " credit-card on file is the opposite of a contract?" "
Also, the device will work perfectly fine from a networking standpoint as a standard
Yes, there is in fact a $40 cancellation fee. However, it is refunded as soon as
In my book that's not a cancelation fee... that's a fee for the router that belongs
So, if I bought my Linksys WRT54GP2, and I cancel (not that I am, I love the service),
Just curious.. I've never delt with the best buy thing. How much do you pay for the

matth posted "Just got the latest linspire newsletter forwaded to me from a friend. In it they" on 01/21/2005

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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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