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Vonage Unfortunately no. I was really looking forward to moving away from the stodgy



Unfortunately no. I was really looking forward to moving away from the stodgy old LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) and to a more progressive, dotcom'ish phone company. I finally decided to test the waters for my various extended family members since I am the official guinea pig. As a result, not only will I not recommend Vonage to my friends and family, irrespective of the theme of the holiday gathering, I will go out of my way to warn them against using Vonage.

Being a telecom engineer, and having worked with Voip since its public debut in the mid 90s, I have always thought the Vonage business model was compelling as broadband access became increasingly available. As I am currently a Verizon FIOS customer, with 15Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream, I thought the time right to make the change...

So, I purchased the vtech IP 8100-2 Broadband Telephone System from Best Buy, with 2 additional wireless handsets. The 8100-2 system was "New in Box"; I had to break the factory seal to open the box. When I returned home, I eagerly unpacked the hardware and set it up, only to find the wonderful "invalid MAC" message from the Retail Activation screen. For the record my "Invalid MAC" is 0011A0026D3A. After ensuring, through multiple methods, that the MAC address I was attempting to enter was "valid", I called technical support. Because this was a retail activation issue, I was transferred. Once the Music on Hold stopped, I only heard heaving breathing for a few moments, thinking surely my line wasn't picked without a greeting. The breathing continued until I said, "Hello?".

The person at tech support, attempted to resolve the situation, then said he would have to open a ticket with the engineers. Frustrated, but hopeful, I said okay. I was given the work order number: 3406932 and told they would either email or call once the situation was resolved. What follows is their "resolution":

==========================

Dear xxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for contacting Customer Care. I am sorry for any delay in responding.

In response to your email, the device is not in our inventory and
therefore cannot be activated. In the event that this device was
purchased at one of our retail centers, you will have to exchange the device for activation.

Thank you for considering customer care for your business needs and I hope that I have answered your questions. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further assistance.

We look forward to having you as a valued customer.

Sincerely,

Adebayo B.
Customer Service Representative
===================================

Instead of typing my 6 bytes (12 characters) into their database, the onus is on me to return the offending unit, step right up and spin the wheel of fortune again.

So, now I am thinking, "What are my chances of getting a unit with a "valid" MAC when I return this unit to Best Buy and pull the next one off the shelf?" Also, shouldn't someone alert Best Buy that the products they are selling will not be honored by Vonage?

My answers are: not good and absolutely, respectively.

So my options are:
A) Repack the Broadband Phone base and 2 wireless handsets, return them to Best Buy, alert Best Buy management and try my luck again,
B) Repack the Broadband Phone base and 2 wireless handsets, return them to Best Buy, alert Best Buy management, sign up for Vonage service, pay for the same @#$*& system from Vonage, receive a larger rebate from Vonage ($70 vs. $50) and hope like %&## Vonage will realize that the MAC is valid, or
C) Repack the Broadband Phone base, 2 included wireless handsets and 2 additional wireless handsets, return them to Best Buy, alert Best Buy management to the problem and sign up with Lingo instead (as many of my colleagues have recommended).

I am leaning toward the latter, based on my wonderful technical support experience.

So, after all that would I recommend Vonage to a friend, family member, colleague or acquaintance? In a word, no.

It truly saddens me to see what could be a dynamic company act so similarly to the behemoth LECs they are trying to supplant.



Read The Full Thread:

Will You Suggest Vonage To Your Relatives Over Thanksgiving?


With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, I know a number of you will be flying and
I most certainly will do no such thing. After waiting for months to get a local area
my vonage experience has actually turned more toward the positive as of late.
Absolutely, I will talk about it. I have had the service for some 4 months and have
I all ready have gotten my sister, mother, mother-in-law, and several neighbors
Maybe. I've had very good experiences up until a few weeks ago with vonage, but
I have live with Vonage for just over a week, but have been very pleased so far with
I will be most defintely. My parents have had an 800 for years so the kids could call
Based on my experience, I would only recommend VOIP to my enemies. But unfortunately
Most of my family already knows about the 2 days on incoming fast busy we had a few

ndelregno posted "Unfortunately no. I was really looking forward to moving away from the stodgy" on 11/25/2005

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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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