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Vonage Tom Keating's blog has gotten a lot of attention for an article he posted, with

Tom Keating's blog has gotten a lot of attention for an article he posted, with audio, about canceling his Vonage service.

Canceling Vonage Difficulties

In my opinion Tom comes off as a pompous jerk in this article. He fails to justify the title of the article by showing how canceling Vonage is any more difficult than canceling any other subscription service.

I would be glad if I was canceling a product and the company I had service with pointed out a valid flaw in my logic to transfer service to another vendor. They can't do that unless they understand why you are leaving, nor can they use that information to improve their product.

As far as traditional companies offering forwarding service, this is not true of all mobile carriers. I recently changed numbers with a mobile carrier (i.e. stayed with the same carrier) and could not get temporary forwarding or even a message with my new number when my old number was dialed.

For traditional carriers it was a no-brainer to offer this service. It was an extra charge, since they were a monopoly and since numbers were geographically fixed there was no point in attempting to keep customers from disconnecting lines with new numbers. That they haven't changed their behavior is more a reflection on their poor business practices than Vonage's customer service. Traditional companies aren't providing forwarding services because they are such nice guys.

I think that the article in general is good. Giving people insight into whats and whys of the cancellation process is good. I just disagree with how he titled the article. Difficult is a word that implies a great amount of trouble or inconvenience, I just don't think that this call rises to that point, especially since he was instrumental in prolonging it.

One other point of contention; he writes "By now I'm struggling to contain my laughter" regarding her response to his claim of technical competence. This sentence is clearly at odds with his later statements that he added these remarks for entertainment purposes. If he made a time neutral remark, like the one about being hurt, I could except the statement, but this was clearly a description of his reaction during the call and provides the reader insight about how he views himself as superior to both the CSR and the elite team. This is clearly supported by his use of quotes and emphasis when referring to the elite technical support team.

I think people who are considering cancelling service should be heartened by just how painless the process was for Tom. I think people who have a stake in the success of the company should be heartened by how well the CSR handled the call. I guess Tom is either just one of those half glass empty kind of guys or he is desperate enough for hits that he turned to sensationalism and Vonage bashing for exposure.

This blog entry was also referenced in the thread Do I stay or do I go? .

Why is this article worth discussion? A false depiction of cancellation difficulties can hurt the consumer by leading them to a decision not to cancel and can hurt the company by preventing potential customers from signing up. It helps no one. As shown by references on this site, the truth of the situation, though contained in the article, do not carry as much weight as the headline. Assuming an attitude of superiority when dealing with a company is tempting for those of us with expertise in a field. However it is the same since of superiority that can get doctors into trouble when they don't listen to nurses or engineers into trouble when they don't listen to technicians. It is important to treat other people with respect so that you can remain open to the possibility that they have special knowledge of a situation. Vonage bashing has come into favor in the blogs. This is especially evident since the IPO. In many ways this is a reaction by bloggers to the fact that Vonage is a business and does not exist simply to push technology but rather to make a profit. It is also a side effect of Vonage having a strong brand, in the US we still root for the underdog. In some cases it is probably a reaction by bloggers to their own overly hyped praises of Vonage from two years ago. It is important for these bloggers to look at their work and ask themselves how the column will play in two years. They should also review their past work with the same question so that they can continue to improve.

Read The Full Thread:

Tom Keating Cancels Vonage Service

9+ paragraphs just because you disagree with the title of an article? Readers
I think.... that was a pointless exchange. I'm always interested in hearing
I am certain that most journalism ethics codes have something similar. I disagree
No, absolutely not. You explained yourself that the motivation behind this is
I can't possibly begin to agree with this scale. How do you rate services that require
I find your exchange of arguments very both have a point to say...
Before reading this article, I had no idea who Tom Keating was. After reading the
I think this paragraph is key. You admit yourself that you could have made this

scerruti posted "Tom Keating's blog has gotten a lot of attention for an article he posted, with" on 09/27/2006

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