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Vonage Loswald: The reply you received is classic customer "service" insanity.



Loswald:

The reply you received is classic customer "service" insanity. The part about the need for *you* to make sacrifices is a really weird variation on the blame-the-customer ploy. I've already gone on a long tirade about this, so I will restrain myself here. Let me just point out:

1) No. We haven't agreed to make any personal "sacrifices" in order to get our numbers transferred. Does Vonage think they are the Peace Corps or something?

2) Vonage is playing semantic games with their statements about how long it takes to transfer a number. The FAQ asks, "Why does it take 15 to 20 business days to transfer my number?" This clearly suggests that 20 business days would be the maximum it should take. In the body of the FAQ it says, "Based on our experience it has taken at least 15 to 20 business days from the time we receive your 100% completed documents."

Now Vonage want to take advantage of the ambiguous "at least." The rep who sent you that message is saying, in effect, "We told you the quickest would be 15 days. We never said what the maximum could be. Therefore we are not violating our own guidelines." Right.

3) WHY does it take so long??? The most likely reason is that Vonage is swamped with these requests and can't get to all of them in a timely manner. If that is the problem, why don't they just say so!

Given all the MBA-type studies about customer service, how is it possible that Vonage doesn't know that lying, covering up, and blaming the customer are just losing strategies? Why can't they just say, "We are very sorry but due to the recent rapid increase in requests for number transfer our processing time has increased to 2 or 3 months. We are working hard to correct the problem and will provide updates as they are available."

If there is some other "secret" reason Vonage can't say what the problem is, then perhaps this is a sign they aren't ready yet to offer number portability.

There are a couple other strange and interesting things in the message you received. Consider this gem:
"If you [had] chosen the option to take a new number, then you could have canceled your land-line immediately and saved money." Here once again is the blame-the-customer ploy. But the logic at work is really ironic. Congress mandated number portability because they bought the argument made by telephone competitors and consumers, that even if a competing carrier's rates were lower, if the customer couldn't transfer their number, this would be a deterrent to competition. Now we have Vonage - the competing carrier par excellence - arguing that you should have been satisfied to lose your old number in exchange for Vonage's lower rates.

The strangest part of the message you received is the business about the "sacrifice that one will take when they chose to have their number transferred." It is amazing how much is communicated unconsciously in the words people use to express themselves. The rep wants to say something that he knows he shouldn't, but it is spilling out anyway. What he is saying is this: "Yeah, some of our service really sucks. Like all our screw-ups with Number Portability. But what do you expect when you are spending so little money? What you are sacrificing when you chose really cheap rates is high quality customer service. If you want premium customer service, then you should go somewhere else and pay premium rates."

All I will say is that if that is Vonage's philosophy, if that is the dominant thinking within Vonage, then they are going to disappearing faster that the popping of an internet bubble.

Loswald, you asked what you should do. Here's what I would suggest if you have the patience and time. Write a letter to the FCC and your state public utilities commission. Tell them that according to Vonage they transferred your request for number portability to your carrier many many weeks ago and according to Vonage your carrier has not responded. Tell the FCC and the puc that if this is true, it is clearly a violation of the FCC's Local Number Portability rules. Ask the FCC and the puc to investigate. Mention to the FCC that there are many, many people reporting the same story on Vonage's forum and on dslreports.com. Then send a copy of the letter(s) to Jeffery Citron, Vonage's CEO, and ask him if you have the facts right. Also tell him you still want a refund.

By the way, were all 3 numbers in the same area code/exchange?



Read The Full Thread:

Number portability experience


What has everyone's experience been thus far on moving their numbers? I am
I heard that some people are having trouble with it. For example, it took almost
So far, my experience has kind of sucked. My LOA arrived at Vonage 11/24. It
My experience is similarly bad. Vonage received my business phone number transfer
My switch from Frontier (Rochester, NY area) is scheduled for the 13th, just short
November 13, 2003 Letter of Authorization (LOA) Received November 24, 2003
Didn't number portability start on Nov 24, 2003? That would explain why it went
Number portability started in November only for cell phones the 100 largest metro
I sent my request in November 15th. As of today, it still hasn't gone through, although
October 29, 2003 Awaiting Letter of Authorization November 04, 2003 Letter

Anonymous posted "Loswald: The reply you received is classic customer "service" insanity." on 01/30/2004

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