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Joined: Dec 20, 2005
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Shaw has had their digital phone since last summer in Edmonton and Calgary - they did just roll it out to some new areas though.
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Mustardman
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Joined: Nov 19, 2005
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As far as i'm concerned, all the talk of Shaw messing with Vonage calls are nothing but consipracy theories. Shaw has MUCH more to lose by intentionally doing such a thing then they have to gain.
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jthunder
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If you really think that something fishy isn't going on - digg this...

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1747343,00.html

Seems as this is a growing trend...
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Mustardman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

There is a really interesting post I found on another messageboard. This guys specializes in network forensics and he managed to troubleshoot Vonages network for them and solve his own problem. Interesting read and worth a try if your at all technically inclined.
http://www.mynetwatchman.com/KB/NetKb/Vonage/AtlantaRTP.htm
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WhatNow
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:45 pm    Post subject: Shaw Quality Issues Reply with quote Back to top

This is a long post, so get comfy, and bear with me!!

I'm a new user to Vonage, signed up March 5th, and finally got the LNP from Telus to Vonage at end of March. After less than 3 weeks of using the service, I've almost gone nuts trying to get decent call quality. I can hear other people (most of the time) but they can't hear me, with punch outs and gaps in the conversation.

I've fiddled endlessly with the router to ensure correct settings, and double checked and cross referenced all the set up. Then, hearing about the 'Shaw' issue, I called Shaw and asked them if they could explain the poor Voip performance. They gave me a lot of waffle but basically told me to either a) pay the $10 for QoS, or b) consider their amazing new Digi-Phone service which, the rep explained at length, functioned differently to Voip.

I opted for the $10 QoS. After testing it out for a couple of days, it did absolutely nothing - service was just as bad with not even the most marginal of improvements. I then got the extra $10 XXtreme service.... still no help.

When I call Shaw, and ask about 'low prioritisation' of Voip, they just say that 'all broadband providers are the same' and that Shaw isn't doing anything that anyone else is or isn't doing. But if I want to solve the problem, they have this great Digi phone service!

So, I've cut over to Shaw Digi-Phone and am awaiting LNP back from Vonage, this time to Shaw.

Still with me so far? Thanks for hanging in there... now for the interesting bit:

First - Shaw and Vonage LNP. Shaw advised me that I should *NOT* cancel with Vonage, that they will take care of it all directly with Vonage on my behalf, port my number on the 25th April, and have an engineer hook me up same day with no interuption of service. Any red flags guys?

How can Shaw cancel your service without you calling Vonage, or at least providing your instruction to Shaw in writing??

How can Shaw know that the LNP will take place on 25th April and that this will be the cutover day from Vonage??

So, I decide to call Vonage. I tell them about my QoS issues, and that I've been using it for just under 3 weeks now, and could I cancel under the Money Back Guarantee. The number for calling to cancel as listed on the Vonage website is wrong - it's a sales number. Long story short, I was given 3 different toll free numbers and had to redial and stay on hold almost an hour before finally getting through to the 'Account Management Department'. They basically said "so sad, too bad, even though you've only been actually using the Vonage service less than 3 weeks, the day you signed up online was 36 days ago, so no Money Back Guarantee for you".

To cancel, would mean a $49.99 termination fee, a $149.99 'rebate reclaim penalty' and a further month of service. This is in addition to the $40 activation fee, $30 shipping charges and $80 so far in months line rental/service package fees.

Total cost to try Vonage for 3 weeks and have a nightmare - $365 including tax. Phew!

If Shaw *is* degrading Voip service somehow, then certainly that's not the fault of Vonage. However, to hear that a customer is suffering such poor service that they can't use your service, but to ding them for $365 for trying to use it for 3 weeks is just pure and simple gouging.

I've lodged a complaint with Vonage over the fees, but am not too hopeful as it's "all in the small print".

As for Shaw - whether they've purposely degraded the Voip service or not, sadly, they are the winner. I can't deal with the quality issues and I've signed up for the Digi-Phone.

My STRONG ADVICE to anyone considering Vonage, or who has just got Vonage: Extensively evaluate the service AS SOON as you are connected. If you have ANY DOUBTS over quality, I would advocate against trying to work these out over a period of weeks as you may find yourself outside the magic 30 days, and in the same boat as me. Make sure you cancel WITHIN 30 days of SIGN UP if you have any quality issues.

Good luck.
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Mustardman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

WhatNow,

So did you actually spend any time with Vonage or Shaw to try solve the problem? Surely either Vonage or Shaw must have given you some indication of where you problem might lie. I know we all have heard the "it's the other guy" type talk but someone must be right and I'm sure they can give you the reasons for it too.

I just don't understand all these posts I read about people having problems and just cancelling their service without trying to figure out what is wrong. SDP is DEFINITELY going to be a much more consistently good service by design. If your gonna flop over that fast then you probably should not have gotten Vonage in the first place. It's not a replacement for a regular phone line like SDP is if you expect perfect operation all the time guaranteed and are not willing to try get it that way if it's not. That's just the way it is.
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WhatNow
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Mustardman wrote:
WhatNow,

So did you actually spend any time with Vonage or Shaw to try solve the problem? Surely either Vonage or Shaw must have given you some indication of where you problem might lie.


To answer your question - yes, I spent time trying to resolve the issue. As you will see from my original post, I contacted Shaw for instance on multiple occasions, and even went as far as paying $10 extra for QoS and $10 extra for Xtreme. And yes, I have been in touch with Vonage too.

Mustardman wrote:
I just don't understand all these posts I read about people having problems and just cancelling their service without trying to figure out what is wrong.


As above, again, I tried several troubleshooting steps, including going as far as to pay for QoS, Xtreme etc. in addition to troubleshooting with Vonage and using their posted tips to ensure router settings etc.

Mustardman wrote:
SDP is DEFINITELY going to be a much more consistently good service by design. If your gonna flop over that fast then you probably should not have gotten Vonage in the first place. It's not a replacement for a regular phone line like SDP is if you expect perfect operation all the time guaranteed and are not willing to try get it that way if it's not. That's just the way it is.


First of all - I know that Voip is not the same as SDP or a 'regular phone', but at the end of the day, if you literally can't make any calls without severe QoS issues, then the service is basically unuseable.

Second - you might consider going for 3 weeks without a useable home phone service as 'flopping too fast', but I rely on the home phone, and if hours and hours of troubleshooting, paying extra for Shaw QoS etc. ain't cutting it, then I'm not going to consider suffering it for month after month in the hope that it might one day get better.

Third - even after 3 weeks which you say is 'flopping too fast', Vonage is saying I'm past the 30 day Money Back Guarantee. By Vonage's own Terms of Service, you NEED to make a quick decision to cancel, otherwise if you wait for longer as you suggest, and you are still stuck, then you end up in the same boat as me - facing hefty penalties and fees.
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Mustardman
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Posts: 105

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I feel your pain. I did not word my post very well so sorry for that.

First of all, you DO NOT have QoS issues. If you did, the Shaw service upgrade should have taken care of that. I have NEVER heard of anyone solving any Vonage problems by getting Shaw service upgrades, either QoS only or the full Extreme upgrade.

I have also never heard of anyone having Vonage issues as a result of WAN internet issues beyond where Shaw leaves off and some other providers network takes over.

It could be a Vonage issue with an RTP relay router in the area you are calling. If you have verified that the EXACT same problem happens when phoning completely different geographical areas (as in thousands of miles apart, not tens or even a few hundred) then it could very well be your home network setup, router, Vonage adapter, Shaw modem or Shaw line to your house.

What did Vonage try do? What was the quality like when you phoned Vonage? Did Vonage try phoning you from a regular landline phone? You did not mention ANYTHING about what Vonage tried. Did you to a Voip test from this Vonage link?
http://vonage.com/help_knowledgeBase_article.php?article=497&category=102&nav=102
I have found that Vonage is willing to try MANY MANY things when I call them with an issue. You did not mention any so I can only speculate if any of these things were tried.

Obviously Shaw was not trying to solve your problem, just upsell you. You should have insisted they test your setup and convince you (the paying customer) that it has nothing to do with the general best effort abilities of their network to deliver what they promise which is a reliable internet connection of reasonably fast speed in both directions.
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