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The devices are
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blakadher
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Unfortunately it's "small" things like this that will ultimately be the downfall of Vonage. The BYOD providers will scoop up the pissed off potential Vonage customers. It would take me one return trip to a retailer before the next trip would be to return the device for a refund and say, "Screw it." Vonage is too focused on pushing the unit sales and not on getting customers any way they can and then keeping them. It's a core strategy that needs to change. Hopefully after the IPO Citron will be gone and Vonage will go from an entrepreunurial startup to a full fledged ongoing business entity run by someone who knows how to sustain a company.

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DallasFlier
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

blakadher wrote:
Unfortunately it's "small" things like this that will ultimately be the downfall of Vonage. The BYOD providers will scoop up the pissed off potential Vonage customers. It would take me one return trip to a retailer before the next trip would be to return the device for a refund and say, "Screw it." Vonage is too focused on pushing the unit sales and not on getting customers any way they can and then keeping them. It's a core strategy that needs to change. Hopefully after the IPO Citron will be gone and Vonage will go from an entrepreunurial startup to a full fledged ongoing business entity run by someone who knows how to sustain a company.

I agree with you completely. 95% of the time, the Vonage phone service is great. And considering the price, vs. what I used to pay SBC, its a great deal. But their customer service is absolutely the WORST I've seen out of any company in a long time, and to make it even worse, they project a definite attitude of not caring at all about the customer. You're right, they need to get a management team that knows how to run a large, consumer-facing business. Too bad Citron & crew apparently can't see this, but lets hope they get someone in there who does. As can be seen by my profile, I'm currently using Vonage for both personal and business service, and love the price. But I'd happily pay $5-10/month more for the personal and the business services, to get a company with comparable Voip services that actually offered customer service and was concerned about customer satisfaction. I doubt I'm alone in that feeling, and THAT's where Vonage is very very vulnerable, if they don't change and mature as a business. I predict that competition will come from the cable and telco companies, and for all the barbs thrown at Comcast on this forum, in my experience their customer service is dramatically better than Vonage's. They haven't brought their Voip service to my metro area yet, but if and when they do, I'll definitely listen, particularly if Vonage continues to show complete disdain for their customers.

I'd like to think that Vonage management is lurking here and reading threads like this - but either they're not - or worse, if they are, then that's just more indication that they just don't seem to care, as you never see any acknowledgment or anything actually *happen* based on all the valid issues raised here.

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tstanton
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:31 am    Post subject: retail activation Reply with quote Back to top

if you are using an adapter purchased at a retail store you need to enter the MAC address here...

http://vonage.com/retail_subscribe/

i concur...vonage support is horrific!
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SoR
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Folks, is it absolutely necessary to register the MAC address?
Just received my WRTP54G today directly from Vonage and the MAC address is invalid according to vonage.com/active link.

Connected the device, hooked up the phone and everything works fine. I figured they must have activated it before sending it out. Should I expect my service to die unless I activate the damn thing?

10x
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blakadher
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If you received the device from Vonage the MAC address is already in their database, no need to activate (and you've verified this by hooking it up and finding that it works). The activation thing comes into play when you buy at a retail establishment (BestBuy, for example). You're good to go.

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Steve48
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

blakadher wrote:
Vonage is too focused on pushing the unit sales and not on getting customers any way they can and then keeping them. It's a core strategy that needs to change.


I think you've hit the nail on the head with respect to Vonage. Until Vonage decides to work on keeping customers- and that means enormous improvements in customer service- they're in real danger of failing. The MAC issue is just the tip of the iceberg.

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metaphyzx
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

DallasFlier wrote:

WHY, pray tell, is there a "valid MAC address database" in the first place? For one reason and one reason only - their desire to prevent a market in used adapters, and piss off their customers in the process. For a good example of how it SHOULD be, my cable company puts out a list of cable modem models they've tested and certified for their network. To activate a new cable modem, no matter WHERE I purchased it, I call the company, give them the manufacturer, model and MAC address. If its an approved model, and the MAC address is not currently ACTIVELY in use in their system on another account, its activated. Easy, simple, almost foolproof, and customer friendly. That's how it SHOULD work, if customer satisfaction is an issue at all.


This bugs me as well, as I'm a recent Vonage customer. I signed up last week unaware of the exact lock-in method. I noted that Vonage was sending me a refurb RTP300 that would not arrive for 5 days; I had the opportunity to buy one through a fella here locally as well as I'd like to have a backup.

He had terminated his service, had paid the "exit fee" and was stuck with a piece of hardware he owned, but did not need. In my conversations with him, he basically telegraphed the experience I was going to have with Vonage in the next few days.

I called them in order to get them to move the MAC address of the router as I knew I would not be able to register it via the online mechanism.

The tier one support person actually informed me that it was active after a 15 minute "conversation". After waiting a few hours, and not seeing an line activity light on the RTP300, I deided to do some packet investigation from the router and my Catalyst switch it was connected to to verify everything was in order.

Once I determined it wasn't on my end, I called again. This time I was informed that it needed to be moved, and that it wouldn't happen for "24 to 48" hours. I was slightly surprised, to say the least. I explained very gently to her that the person i spoke to earlier had told me it was done, and that I've never heard of a case where it takes 24 to 48 hours to migrate a MAC address binding. That would have to be a legendary moment in modern networking.

She eventually granted my wish to talk to someone technical and was escalated to tier two. The engineer, a stateside fellow, was very friendly and explained that he would forward me to tier three to resolve the issue once he verified the RTP300 was from a terminated account. After being placed on hold, I was disconnected from my call. I'd been on the phone 45 minutes at that point.

I called for a third time, and after having to fight through tier one all over again, this time I got a completely different response from the tier two person. The young man told me that I could not use the adapter that I had bought, because it had been used on the network before and should not have been resold.

I immediately began to inform him that I bought the device from a terminated account, that the device since it was paid for and not on loan was the property of the previous owner to sell if he so wished, and that the hardware was now mine after purchasing it. Any rights attached to the ownership of the device were now transferred to me.

While that doesn't entitle me to use it on the Vonage network, it does tell me that unless a device was paid for at retail or acquired directly through Vonage, they were intent on denying any adapter that they did not directly make money off of.

I requested a supervisor and manager, who also reiterated that While they "used to a long time ago (this was Friday, the 31st by the way)" enable devices, they don't anymore because they can't guarantee that it will work. I was advised to wait until Tuesday when my adapter would arrive.

I found that unacceptable in the light that I had a capable, legally obtained device (unless someone shows me otherwise in the EULA; because I have NOT seen it) that was designed to work on their network. Not to mention that I was already paying for service.

At this point I informed him that I found it very hard to submit to this type of vendor lock-in, and would be reconsidering my investment (which I still am).

Suffice it to say, he forwarded my request for an activation to tier three and stated oonce again that it might take 24 hours IF they approved it; I informed him that as a network admin, one MAC address auth never took 24 hours to deal with; I had full faith that he could get this done.

Suffice it to say and my line was active within the hour. However I am very disturbed by their poor support, desire to alienate and lack of consistent answers.

I would never recommend this service to others until they change policies regarding phone adapters and aftermarket purchases, or as address here with invalid devices in retailers. I am still weighing my decision to remain with the service in spite of my success after spending close to four hours on the phone, and can imagine the frustrations of those who simply don't have the knowledge or time to deal with such things. Until I'm confident that they have taken steps to do that i'll second guess as long as (or as briefly as) I remain a customer.

KVE.


Last edited by metaphyzx on Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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VonageTPA
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As much as I disagree with Vonage's policy, I do want to remind everyone that the situation isn't any different with most cellular providers, especially Sprint & Verizon. Verizon won't let you use anything but a phone THEY sell you, and they've crippled many of the phones they sell to force you to use their $ervice$ to obtain ringtones, pictures, etc. In crippling the phones, they've also caused compatibility issues when trying to use these phones with handsfree devices & built-in car phone adapters. At least the "worst" thing Vonage has done is lock their adapters to their service, which is what many, if not all, cell co's do with their phones. Not that I agree with it.

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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have to agree with you there, VonageTPA. Vonage is to Voip as Verizon (Cingular, you name it) is to GSM/CDMA. If you want to play on their network, you have to use their equipment, on their terms.

Having said that, I agree that it will lose them customers and sales opportunities in the long term. Customers who are ignorant (not stupid, just unaware of Vonage's terms) enough to buy an RTP300 on eBay only to discover that they completely wasted their money will tend to blame Vonage, and not the unscrupulous eBay seller, for their woes.

It does seem odd, however, that Vonage is not offering a $10-20 "return reward" for some of their better Vonage devices like the WRTP54G or RTP300. A simple refurbishing and a MAC address reset in the Vonage database could save them a FORTUNE in building new adapters, after all, and they could offer a discounted signup plan using these refurb adapters.

Of course, it would be nice if you could bring your own device, or unlock the adapter, but they are sponsoring the cost of the units in much the same way as a cell phone company does, and placing much the same restrictions.

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mharvey
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonageTPA wrote:
As much as I disagree with Vonage's policy, I do want to remind everyone that the situation isn't any different with most cellular providers, especially Sprint & Verizon. <SNIP>


It may be true that they will not let you use a phone that was not originally branded and sold by them... but they will let you register and use a phone that is used. I know this for a fact when it comes to Sprint. I have bought several used Sprint phones and used them on my account. The only thing that will prevent this is if the phone was reported stolen or has an unpaid balance. They will not deny you if the phone merely has been used before. They will also not make you jump through flaming hoops to do it. I have done it without even speaking to a CSR by using the Sprint website.

This is how it should be... and how Vonage should handle this issue. The way they are handling this now is just alienating otherwise happy, paying customers.

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