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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Goodbye to Vonage - it was great while it lasted Reply with quote Back to top

I have been a big fan of Vonage and a user for about a year. But I will be pulling the plug on my Vonage account shortly.

Why? Well, glad you asked.

I have always said in this forum that Vonage is a great deal, if it works for you. If it doesn't work, DON'T TRY TO MAKE IT WORK. You'll just spend a lot of time and effort and get frustrated. Just pull the plug and move on.

I had Vonage in Virginia though my Cox cable modem. It worked very well from the get-go.

I recently moved and now spend half my time in New York and half in Florida.

I kept my Vonage number as it was very handy not to have to change my phone number for my personal or business contacts.

Supposedly, you can take your Vonage box with you and plug it into any network and get phone service.

However, where I live in NY does not have broadband service - no DSL, no Cable Modem - so no Vonage. I am spending a fortune on a satellite uplink through Hughes/Direcway.

BTW, I tried the Vonage box on the satellite modem. It actually worked, but the voice was delayed due to the 22,000 mile round-trip to the geostationary satellite and back, and while the downstream voice was clear, the upstream was garbled. I was amazed it worked at all, frankly. An interesting experiment!

I figured I would keep Vonage for a while longer, as I was still getting calls forwarded to my land line, and perhaps I could use it in Florida (where I have cable modem).

In the meantime, I kept using the call forwarding feature to my landline and cell phone.

UNFORNTUNATELY, call forwarding is one of those "flakey" features of Vonage that does not always work all the time. Many callers complained of getting busy signals instead of VoiceMail, or not getting connected at all.

When forwarding to my cell phone, the service does very bizarre things indeed. But it worked, sort of, for about a month or so to my cell phone.

However, last week, I suddenly stopped getting calls altogether. My friend e-mailed me and said he was getting busy signals or recordings (the number you have dialed did not go through, etc.).

I spend an hour on the phone with India this morning, but as you already know, Vonage customer service is worthless. I don't know why I bothered to even try. Like I have always said, if Vonage works, great! If not, just cancel the service, because you are NOT going to "make" it work for you.

By disabling call forwarding and setting voice mail to "instant" my callers can now at least get my VoiceMail message.

I have changed my voicemail message to advise callers of my new cell phone number. Vonage is history for me.

The Cable guy is here today in Florida to install my cable modem. But I won't be hooking a Vonage box to it as I planned.

Instead, I am cancelling the landline in New York and my Vonage account, and relying on my cell phone.

$24.99 a month seems like a good deal, but that buys a lot of cell time. And with the land line in New York, I was spending about $100 a month on land lines.

It makes more sense for me to just use the cell phone. Besides, I spend very little time in any one place.

If you are in one location all the time, and have good cable modem service, Vonage can be a good deal. If you have multiple phone lines, a Vonage line can be a good second or third phone line (it plugged right into my phone system at my office with no troubles).

But if you are relying on it for a primary phone line, expect to get some dropped calls and some complaints from your callers about busy signals, etc. I do not endorse it as robust enough for primary use.

Also, I would not recommend it to friends and family, as it can be unworkable for some people, and it is not very predictable as to who it will work for and who it will not work for. So I hesitate to recommend it, as I do not want to be blamed if it does not work.

In addition, you should be a first class tech geek to get Vonage. If you have trouble changing a light bulb, Vonage is not for you.

And just don't expect any of the "features" like call forwarding to work with any reliability. They are flakey. Period.

I suspect that many of the problems with Vonage may be due to SABATOGE by Union telco employees (and/or their employers) who are figuring out ways to make connections bewteen the land lines and Vonage just unreliable enough to make it a hassle, but not so blatent as to be caught.

Sounds paranoid? Well, ask yourself why JAVA works so slowly on WINDOWS platforms. Unfortunately, this sort of corporate "spoofing" is becoming the norm, not the exception to the rule.

Goodbye Vonage. It was a good deal while it lasted!

and good luck!

Regards,

--Bob.
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red_one32
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Joined: Sep 21, 2005
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: Almost gone as well! Reply with quote Back to top

Bob,

Thanks for your post. I am almost right there with you. I just hate to have to go back to a land line. Skype has worked really well for me. You may want to test it out. It can also be fairly cheap. I was even able to forward my Vonage calls to my Skype number while I was in Japan. I had to use Skype because Vonage did not work well there. If Vonage has not fixed their problems in the next day or so, I'll take that $40 hit and never come back. I just hate when someone does not take responsibility for and address their problems. I feel a little duped. Adios Vonage!
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spepi
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: Jan 17, 2005
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think I'm heading the same way...I hav ebeen a Vonage user for almost a year, but lately, calls have been nothing but snap, crackle, pop.....It was good while it lasted, but I think im going to save more money and get Dig phone via Comcast.....drop my Basic cable, and keep my high speed.....
Current cost is
Comcast - basic cable / high Speed Internet - 58.55
Vonage - 27.24

Total is 85.79

Comcast has an offer fo r12 months
Digital Phone and HIgh Speed Internet - 69.99 + tax...so not much of a savings...but for me...its still saving.....even if its only for 12 months.....

See ya Vonage.......Soon to be posted in the forsale bin...1-PAP2

_________________
Mansfield, MA
Comcast HSI - 384/6000
LinkSys WRT54G
PAP2
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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:02 pm    Post subject: Beta Testing Reply with quote Back to top

unfortunately, it seems like a lot of products (both software and hardware) are released these days in Beta form only.

The end-user is expected to take hours of his/her own time to troubleshoot the problems and then assist the company in developing a fix.

The numerous posts in this forum are a prime example. I mean, who sits all day in a cubicle and then says "I can't wait to get home tonight and trouble-shoot my phone service!".

Phone service is one of those things like a light bulb. It should either work or not. One should not have to spend hours figuring out how to make it work.

I have spend way too much time of my life being a beta tester for major corporations.

Problem is, once they get all the bugs worked out, well, you know what happends.

They release Beta version 2.2 and you have to start all over again.

I've been playing with computers and such since 1973. It seems that every time I get a system set up "just so" that it operates at 100% efficiency, they install a new upgrade or system that does not have half the features of the old.

And by the time I get that one working, well, the same thing happens again. You can NEVER get ahead of the curve.

So, like I said, if it works, great. If not, pull the plug. This forum has far too many messages from folks who spent hours and and hours trying to fix Vonage, only to be disappointed.

Vonage worked great for me in Virginia. The call forwarding does not work with my new situation. So I'll pull the plug rather than try to "fix" it.
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spepi
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: Jan 17, 2005
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As you can see...I have been posting on here for a while....getting lots of help, ideas, tricks and tips...but there has to be an end....to troubleshooting my phone...like you said....I am a systems administrator for a software development company...testing the software we sell before we release it....and when its release, yep..start all over again....one difference I see...I am paid to beta test. I dont get paid to beta test Vonage...I pay them.....go figure....

So, on Jan 14th, my comcast line will be installed....I might even up the anti and get the 8mb download......but 6 mb is good for me....

Thanks to everyone who helped me.....Dan....site admin...your doing a great job......

_________________
Mansfield, MA
Comcast HSI - 384/6000
LinkSys WRT54G
PAP2
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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The cable companies are starting to aggressively undersell Vonage on price, and that is a very interesting development. Look what happened to NETFLIX when they started facing price competition.

Vonage will have to do likewise. Perhaps $14.99 phone service is in the future. If so, how much excess cash will Vonage have to spend on customer service? You see where competative marketplace forces drive this sort of thing. The race to the bottom!

I had a client with a major telco who explained this to me once. it is called the "threshold of pain" theory. In the cell business, signals are dropped and calls have poor quality not because of technical issues, but because of monetary ones. They could improve cell service considerably by adding more cell towers. But that would cost more money and reduce profitability.

What the telcos discovered is that folks will tolerate an incredibly high "threshold of pain" with regard to cell service - one they would not tolerate with government-regulated land lines. So cell service is crappy because it can be, and it is more profitable to be so. Not because it has to be.

I suspect the same phenomenon is in effect with Voip. Folks will tolerate a lot more trouble with Voip if they are saving big bucks. But if the savings are not so great, no one will put up with it for long.

As a software guy, let me ask you the following "hypothetical" question.

If you ran a cable company that offers cable modem as well as Voip service, how hard would it be to write a subroutine that tagged packets addressed to a Vonage site and just, ah, slightly delay them somewhat? On a random basis, just to make it fun.

Of course, given the background and history of the cable companies (including some of the more "interesting" founders!) one would never, ever expect such a thing to occur.

But it is an interesting possibility.
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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.

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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.

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