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scotty321
Vonage Forum Junior
Vonage Forum Junior


Joined: Oct 08, 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:14 pm    Post subject: Why I'm leaving Vonage: Blank voicemails + no cust service Reply with quote Back to top

I made the serious mistake of becoming a member of Vonage Internet Phone Service 4 months ago, and I wanted to alert my fellow forum members & potential Vonage customers about the horrible experience that I have had with them. I will be canceling my service with them within the next few days, and I will never use Vonage again.

I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS recommend Vonage to ANYONE, especially if you are using your phone line for business purposes like I am. AVOID Vonage AT ALL COSTS. There are 5 main problems that I have been experiencing from day #1 with Vonage that they have been unable or unwilling to resolve:

1. Approximately 20% of all voicemails that I receive are completely BLANK, even though the caller has actually left a complete message for me. There's simply no other way for me to explain this, except that when I call in to check my messages, 20% of them are simply blank. Vonage even has an option to email you the voicemails that you receive -- and they come in as blank audio attachments. The audio files will actually be the length of the caller's message, but there is no sound. I have literally missed DOZENS upon DOZENS of phone calls because of this. Sometimes I have been lucky enough to have these calls be from people whose numbers have shown up on my caller ID, and I've called them back to ask them what they left on my voicemail. I have called Vonage no fewer than 5 times to discuss this problem with them, and they are always "aware of the problem", attributing it to "overloaded servers". Meanwhile, I have no idea how many business calls I have missed in the meantime. This happens to me several times a DAY!!! The problem has never been fixed in 4 months... Vonage has NEVER called me back (like they have promised) to update me on the issue, and they have NEVER fixed the problem.

If that isn't enough to permanently steer you away from Vonage, there's much more:

2. Of the remaining 80% of voicemails that I do receive, half of them are completely choppy (garbled audio), so I can only partially make out what the caller is saying. Vonage also attributes this to "overloaded servers" and always say that they "fixed the problem a few days ago"... but then it continues to happen. When I call in to check my voicemails, even the woman's computerized voice (that asks you to type in your password) is choppy.

3. My OUTGOING voicemail message plays choppy to callers approximately 15% of the time. Again, Vonage attributes this to the same problem, but will not fix the problem.

4. Even though I have tremendous bandwidth at my office (9 Mbps downstream, 1 kbps upstream), a large number of my calls are either (a) choppy, (b) one party cannot hear the other party, or (c) the call gets disconnected. Vonage has verified that my network is set up perfectly, but attributes these issues to "latency in the Internet". I even swapped out routers with Vonage several times to see if it was their router. Sorry, but this is simply not acceptable.

5. Their customer service is simply horrible. They do not do what they say they are going to do. On the few occassions that I have had the patience to wait 45 minutes to finally talk to someone, they have told me that they would "get back to me" with more information. Nobody in the history of my dealings with Vonage has ever "gotten back to me" like they said they would.

I don't care how much money I will have to pay to return to a normal landline... there is absolutely no replacement for having reliable phone service. And Vonage cannot provide reliable phone service at all.

Sincerely,
Scott
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bmardini
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Joined: Dec 08, 2005
Posts: 39
Location: Doha, Qatar

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:07 am    Post subject: Re: Why I'm leaving Vonage: Blank voicemails + no cust servi Reply with quote Back to top

scotty321 wrote:
I wanted to alert my fellow forum members & potential Vonage customers about the horrible experience that I have had with them.

2. Of the remaining 80% of voicemails that I do receive, half of them are completely choppy (garbled audio), so I can only partially make out what the caller is saying. Vonage also attributes this to "overloaded servers" and always say that they "fixed the problem a few days ago"... but then it continues to happen. When I call in to check my voicemails, even the woman's computerized voice (that asks you to type in your password) is choppy.

3. My OUTGOING voicemail message plays choppy to callers approximately 15% of the time. Again, Vonage attributes this to the same problem, but will not fix the problem.


Dear Mr. Scotty321,

I sympathize with your dilemma and I do understand how you feel. There is nothing more important for a business that cares about their customers, than having a good working telephone line. Moreover, there is no excuse for the poor customer service you are receiving from Vonage. Sad Cry

Many of my colleagues and I living in Qatar are having the same problem with choppiness of our voice mail and we all thought that this problem is due to our ISP provider blocking the Voip service and limiting our internet bandwidth to around 320 kbps download and 100 kbps upload. Even on good days when we are making good calls in the State and overseas, we still get a choppy voicemail announcement and messages. On the other hand, and due to where we live, we cannot live without the Voip service and it is our only semi-reliable linkage to our friends and family in the US.

I do agree with you on the importance of having a reliable phone and voicemail services for running your business, and with today's technology it is limited to landline telephone service; however, can I give you a suggestion Exclamation Can you get a limited telephone landline service with caller ID and Voice mail, and use this line for all your incoming calls. Then, you keep your Voip service for all your outgoing calls since it is less expensive (unlimited calling in the US and Canada). Idea

Good luck with any decision you make and let us know which way you decided to go.

Thanks,

_________________
ISP: Qtel
Location: Doha, Qatar
Vonage: Linksys RTP300-VD
Router: Linksys WAG54G-EU
Phone: Panasonic KX-TG6502B
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BIM
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Joined: Dec 03, 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I agree and am thinking of leaving Vonage myself, but the question is: are these problems inherent with all Voip, or is it just Vonage?
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HunterMcD
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

BIM wrote:
I agree and am thinking of leaving Vonage myself, but the question is: are these problems inherent with all Voip, or is it just Vonage?

I belive it would be Voip in general. Voip don't have dedicated networks so they must share the bandwidth, and if someone is hogging or if there are problems then Voip has a problem.

_________________
Cox 4Mbps/512kbps, Surfboard 5120 -> WRT54G (DD-WRT v.23 F/W) -> RTP300 (WAN)
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bmetelsky
Vonage Forum Junior
Vonage Forum Junior


Joined: Dec 20, 2005
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sorry to hear about your problems with the service. I have been a customer since October, 2004 and have had minimal problems. The few times that I have needed to call customer service were pleasurable as far as calling customer service goes. I was passed promptly from tier1 to tier2 when my last issue couldn't be resolved quickly. I was disconnected once while trying to get help and explained this to the tech when I called back - he took my cellphone number as a precaution in case it happenned again. Additionally, I must say that Vonage was able to sucessfully solve my connection problem, even after I was ready to give up and purchase another adapter (currently using the VTech phone/adapter combo). I have not regretted my decision to get rid of my connection with Alltel.
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cid92
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: May 18, 2005
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The company I work for uses Vonage and we have not had a single problem to date. Voicemail works, calls are smooth, and we're on a lowly T1 at 1.5 up and 512 down. Plus we host a few web sites on that line and we have two people in the office all the time browsing, etc. When there is lag, it's usually due to a download or something else that is hogging the bandwidth but it always clears up and goes away.

Sorry to hear about the problems but to get the type of quality you want, you'll need to go back to land lines. A client of ours uses Packet 8 and they are having some of the issues you are describing - mainly laggy phone calls. Any technology dependant on the internet to work will, at some point, have problems. Even years from now when the technology is better.
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blakadher
Vonage Forum Evangelist
Vonage Forum Evangelist


Joined: Dec 23, 2005
Posts: 476
Location: Vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

scotty321 wrote:
Even though I have tremendous bandwidth at my office (9 Mbps downstream, 1 kbps upstream)

Something looks odd about that upload speed. Are you sure it's 1 kbps? Also, have you run the speed tests at dslreports.com and testyourvoip.com? You may not be getting the speeds you're paying for if audio is that choppy all the time. Or maybe there is just a lot of heavy internet activity at your office.
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ManInBlack
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Dec 29, 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

BIM wrote:
I agree and am thinking of leaving Vonage myself, but the question is: are these problems inherent with all Voip, or is it just Vonage?


IMO, it's Voip.

Vonage is my second carrier and aside from an ongoing prolonged voicemail issue, since May 05 things have been great. I am sure the recent problems are due to a seasonal influx of new customers.

I believe it is against forum rules to mention other carriers, but my prev carrier was a disaster with DAYS of downtime, no updates, godawful support. Unpredicable service with some business calls I received only getting one half of the conversation. I was embarassed on many occasions. Reliable phone service is a necessity and only when it becomes flakey do you realize this.

Vonage is an order of magnitude better and the main thing is that calls work!!!! That is the basic service we require. In this regard Vonage has been flawless, but website reliability and voicemail .... Well not so good!

Research carefully before you move as the grass always looks greener.

BTW, remember that Voip carriers are not obligated to port your number as they are exempt from the law that enforces cell phone carriers to so.
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scotty321
Vonage Forum Junior
Vonage Forum Junior


Joined: Oct 08, 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

blakadher wrote:
scotty321 wrote:
Even though I have tremendous bandwidth at my office (9 Mbps downstream, 1 kbps upstream)

Something looks odd about that upload speed. Are you sure it's 1 kbps? Also, have you run the speed tests at dslreports.com and testyourvoip.com? You may not be getting the speeds you're paying for if audio is that choppy all the time. Or maybe there is just a lot of heavy internet activity at your office.


Oops, I don't know what I was typing there. These are my bandwidth speeds as of right now:

5454 kbps download, 691 kbps upload

It's actually been faster in the past, but this is what it is currently.
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scotty321
Vonage Forum Junior
Vonage Forum Junior


Joined: Oct 08, 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:

BTW, remember that Voip carriers are not obligated to port your number as they are exempt from the law that enforces cell phone carriers to so.


Are you saying that when I try to move back to my landline, that my landline company may not be able to get my current phone number back from Vonage? In other words, did I just lose my landline number to try this 4-month experiment with Vonage?
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