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acedanger
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Full Forum Member


Joined: Dec 21, 2005
Posts: 60
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:30 am    Post subject: Overall Opinion of Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

I'm new to Vonage, just one day into what I hope will be a long time thing. Having just spent about an hour setting things up, I'm having some anticipated issues (I didn't think I would be able to plug in the new hardware and everything just auto-magically works). However, I've been reading through the forum here and have noticed a ton of negativity in regards to Vonage's service.

For the regulars and those that have used Vonage for a while now, what is your overall opinion of Vonage? Positive and negative opinions please. I do understand that most people don't post in a help-me type forum unless they are having troubles with a service. Generally, you don't hear from people until they are having a problem, that explains all of the negative comments service related comments found throughout the forum.

Thanks for your opinion.
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NateHoy
Vonage Forum MVM
Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

My overall opinion is, I'm NOT switching back to POTS unless things get FAR worse.

I've been a Vonage customer since July 2005.

I purchased a retail WRTP54G router under the Vonage "G for Free" rebate, which I received on time, making the router free (once I sent in my old NetGear 802.11b router). Over time, and with a few firmware upgrades, the router began to stinketh mightily as a router, so I bought a WRT54G recently and relegated the WRTP54G to Vonage duty only. It was unfortunate that I had to pay $50 to provide something that Vonage had promised, but not a deal breaker.

I've had my share of problems with Vonage, most of which were resolved when I got the WRT54G, which is FAR more effective at managing my Vonage traffic than their own router. I've also had struggles with Caller ID from time to time, and my first struggle last night with one-way audio.

Good:
- Got all of my rebates on-time.
- Never lost dial tone in the ~ 6 months I've been a customer.
- The basic phone line has worked almost all the time.
- I get, for $25 a month, what my POTS company (Verizon) could not deliver for twice that. And Vonage didn't rape me for a $50-75 connect charge.
- I don't have to pay $75-100 connection fees every time I move any more.
- Value for the dollar compared to POTS. I mean, c'mon, $25 a month for unlimited long distance, Caller ID, online voicemail, and geek features a POTS line can't get near?

Neutral:
- Caller ID woes. Vonage is so much cheaper than a POTS line WITHOUT Caller ID, though, that I consider it a "freebie". When it works, I'm happy. When it doesn't, I accept that as a loss of a free service.
- Customer service - Had good and bad experiences.

Ugly:
- Router. Don't get me started. But with the savings in two months over a plain POTS line plus the long distance savings, I paid for a new router.


I'd say Vonage is everything I expected, and more, out of a low-cost phone company. They are NOT all they promise to be, but they are a reasonably solid solution that can save you some serious coin, as long as you're willing to accept a few flaws here and there AND as long as you have a good Internet connection.

Vonage: $25 a month Unlimited Long Distance, Caller ID, Call waiting w/caller ID, Voicemail, 3-way calling, Call Forwarding, SimulRing, unlisted by default.

Verizon Freedom Unlimited: $50 a month (includes unlimited long distance)
Voicemail: $7 a month
Caller ID: $8 a month
Call waiting: $5 a month
3-way calling: $4 a month plus $0.75 each time its used.
Unlisted number: $4 a month
Call Forwarding: $5 a month (plus long distance charges)

Since Verizon includes three calling features for free with the $50 plan, I'll drop the three most expensive (Caller ID, Voicemail, and Call Forwarding). That brings Verizon to $63 a month.

Do you need 100% reliability, no dependence on your Internet connection, guaranteed 911 with address, and a dedicated piece of copper ensuring no quality problems? Great! It's available to you. You'll have to pay for it, though. Wink

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net

Last edited by NateHoy on Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bagleemo
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Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject: Service , etc. Reply with quote Back to top

Out of 5 stars I'd give it a three. I'm considering trying a new service. Vonage seems to have the following issues:

1. The user interface of the web site is kind of goofy, and the multitude of features are confusing. They need a good user interface specialist.
2. Quite difficult to get any support, so if you're not a nerd and you get into trouble...
3. Their energy is clearly focused on increasing their customer base. At some point it will need to shift to maintaining the customers they have with good support and quality of service. That point seems to be getting nearer every day...
I'd like it if my phone rang the same number of times before voicemail kicked in, if the "network availability number" didn't trump simulring when the connection is down, etc. Little bugs, but there are an awful lot of them.

4. All and all though it isn't bad for a new technology and a new service....
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geekgirl
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Dec 18, 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Out of 5 stars I give Vonage 1 since customer satisfaction is not a top priority.

I have had no phone service in my home since 12/16 (Friday) never have received a phone call, was lied to many times of service promises, have wasted all my mins on my cell phone and all Vonage says is OH WELL.

I was promised a new router on 12/19 to be in my home by 12/21. Well here we go again, the router did not even ship until 12/21.

I have 3 young children in my home and now we have no phone service other than a cell phone which is already over the mins.

Merry Christmas from Vonage!!

I have only had Vonage 3 months and I have had nothing but problems and never seem to get anything resolved in less than 3 days. As long as you can live without any customer service skills and technical skills, Vonage is acceptable Sad !!!
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holocron
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Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 73
Location: MInneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have no real complaints about Vonage.

I love it.

_________________
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Talk4Cheap
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Full Forum Member


Joined: Oct 21, 2005
Posts: 60
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Wow!! Jaw Drop
After reading the other posts, maybe I'm just lucky, but I haven't had but a handful of minor issues in almost 3 months now. My Caller ID would sometimes not show up and I had to reboot the router, but the .55 firmware fixed that. I haven't had to reboot it since that was pushed out. My phone has worked every time I have picked it up with the exception of twice my internet was down for a couple of hours. The only other gripe I can even think of is the Dashboard being down a few times.

I was paying BellSouth $45 a month for most of the features I have now but without any long distance. Rip To sweeten the pot, I've referred 2 people since I signed up and have a credit of $99.96 in my account. I will not have a phone bill till May now, and if I can sign up 4 more people, not one for the rest of the year.

The features you get, the price, and the referral program make Vonage an exceptional deal. It may not be a POTS replacement for some people, but it has been for me.
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Takeda
Vonage Forum Junior
Vonage Forum Junior


Joined: Dec 08, 2005
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've had extremely poor service since it was installed in September, and Vonage gas been unable to correct it!
I'm switching to Time Warner Digital phone service
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vonmagick
Vonage Forum Junior
Vonage Forum Junior


Joined: Mar 03, 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

4 out of 5 stars,
overall service has been as good as possible for Voip
not too much hassle getting thru to CS
cant beat the price.

i dont consider these cons, but...

if you need your hand held, dont get Voip
if you cant handle some downtime, dont get Voip
if you cant set up and troubleshoot your system, dont get Voip
if you want 100% error free crystal clear all the time phone service, this aint it

after almost a year, im very happy with Vonage.
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ColdGin
Vonage Forum Evangelist
Vonage Forum Evangelist


Joined: Oct 03, 2005
Posts: 423

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

speaking strictly as a customer,

My rt31p2 and Uniden phone give me problems so rarely I can't even think of a time I had a problem, except when I moved I had to clone the mac and reset. And I found out that it's not a good idea to have 15 torrents coming down and try to use Vonage at once, with no QOS enabled or anything, that one was all my fault though.

For someone like me, who is into computers and networks in general, it's great. I am not a chatty phone person as a rule but I like knowing that for a flat fee I can blab all I want. There are at current count something like 1.4 million lines with Vonage. The people that have issues are the overwhelming minority.

people that shouldn't get Vonage:

If you can't pronounce 'router' or 'ethernet'
If you think every piece of equipment is a 'modem'
If you don't know what a web browser is
If you don't know how call waiting works
If you still have a "hub" anywhere near your computer equipment
if you are prejudiced towards Indians Lol
If you have no idea if you have DSL or cable or what an internet speed test is, or does.

If you have a business riding on your phone and faxes, FOR CHRISSAKES keep a POTS line and try Vonage out before you leap into it and transfer all your numbers to Vonage.

There is still a long way to go with the Voip industry but it's not about to disappear. The POTS system has about a 115 year head start on us, way more money, and way more lobbyists. There are people actively writing software for the telcos right now that is specifically designed to knock out Vonage calls.

Vonage marketing does tend to emphasize that any average housemom, bubbleheaded bimbo, or senile doddering old retiree can use the service and never have to think about it or need to understand it. You get a router in the mail, and everything sets itself up, including home wiring and LNP transfers. Sales teams tend to reinforce this, I don't agree with it since I am the one who has to deal with that backlash. There is definitely a DIY factor that is understated.

I am not switching back to POTS in any foreseeable future. I still have the same device I was issued and it's never blinked at me wrong. Granted I don't make or take many calls, but I have never dropped a call, heard a Portugese radio station over my phone, or had smoke come out of the router, or had my bandwidth disappear when using Vonage.
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twehrle
New Forum Member
New Forum Member


Joined: Nov 09, 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Chicago Suburbs

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have had it for about 2 months now and I am very happy with it. Very Happy
I went with the free Motorola Voip adapter and NOT the Linksys integrated router/VOIP adapter. I did not think it was wise to trust my overall Internet/network connectivity to someone else, where I did not control the updates. I then connected the Motorola adapter to my existing router. It just worked "auto-magically".

Caller ID has been working. No call drops or any instances where only one side of the call could hear the voice traffic. The only issue I have had at all, occurred last Saturday. I discovered on Sunday, that we had a new voice mail message, but the phones did not indicate as such. In all fairness, I was continually disconnecting and rebooting all my network gear because I was officially integrating the adapter into my equipment rack and placing it on my UPS for power backup.

In all fairness to everyone else, I am in the computer profession and have a fair knowledgebase about networks. It would be naive for me to not admit that this knowledge was useful during the transition.

I also have Comcast cable broadband for my ISP and it has been the most stable of anything I have seen. It seems (to me at least) that most issues seem to come from people with DSL service. In fact, a friend of mine who sets this kind of stuff up for businesses, stated that SBC has specifically told him they give lower priority to competiting Voip traffic on their networks. He says they even strip off the QOS bits from IP packet headers.

I hope it all works out for you as well.
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