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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » LNP – Local Number Portability
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hakujin
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Dealing with business' number transfer new concept 2 Vonage? Reply with quote Back to top

I'm at my wit's end with Vonage. I'm not talking about the typical reproachable outsourced customer service where you can barely make out what the rep is saying , the holding times, or the sporadic hang-ups either, although that alone leaves a nasty taste of bile in the back of my throat..

The business I represent (whose name will remain private) is having a hellacious time completing, what would seem a relatively simple procedure; that is, porting 2 of our 6 existing numbers from our ILEC to Vonage. First, it was the length of time our LOA took to finally get to our ILEC which consequently, our ILEC adamantly refused ever receiving. After the “regulatory” wait to proceed, there was an issue with the type of phone line we were transferring. Our numbers were provisioned as digital services (Fractional T-1) with a Centrex system. Now, that’s an understandable issue, golly would it have been nice if this foreboding problem had been anticipated sooner. After all, we’re a business in a very large metropolitan area, most if not all companies are running digital services and/or PBXes. Had this issue never come up before with another company? If so, why not inform the customer ahead of time thereby improving on transfer times?

So far this has been quite enough but than, we were just notified that Vonage needs ALL our current telephone numbers in order to proceed. Not 2 months ago, but t.-o-d-a-y. There’s another 14 days tacked on. On the other side of the fence, our current provider is telling us that if all numbers aren’t transferred at the same time, we will lose any chance of recouping them because our acct. will be closed. I’ve spoken with Vonage regarding this LARGE situation, and the attitude is totally laissez-faire. First an “escalated support” who sound like he took too many downers today and than the perky, yet not too helpful LSR rep. They both tell me the two numbers will not likely converge at the same time because they were not requested for transfer at the same time. It would seem as though there’s some sort of pre-defined waiting period (beyond the initial LOA wait) that we haven’t gotten to just yet. Alas, there isn’t. So, what am I left to conclude? Vonage is inept? Why a procedure that should rightfully be direct and systematic is turned into a complex, convoluted mess is beyond me, but I’m wondering… has Vonage EVER dealt with a corp before and is there a such thing as standard operating procedure?


I don’t mean to rant, but just to share my negative experiences and hopefully receive better support from the community here than what Vonage is yet seemingly capable of providing. If I could have done this all over again, I would have chose an RBOC in a heartbeat. Somehow I get the feeling that having the numbers transferred to someone who owns the copper in this area would have been done a lot faster and alot more pain free.
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Mousey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I empathize with you. I was originally going to port all 3 of my business number to Vonage, and after reading about the unreliability of the fax service, backed off.

But, as I've found out - SBC in this region has no interest in helping small business manage multiple locations. They have no intention of making it affordable to have remote phone management, thus Vonage seems to be the most economical answer. I also looked at other virtual office managers, but they all are not as affordable, or too complex, and too cumbersome.

My experience with Vonage customer service, is that they are really sales people, with little interest in customer service.

They are inconsistent in their knowlege of Vonage service, that it seems like you learn more by posting on the forum to real business and real residential users.

They give accurate answer only about 66% of the time, and try to push you to sign up for the commission.

My experience the last time I signed up with Vonage, and backed out, is that it took me about 7 phone calls, and 3 transfer, before I finally got a refund. I cancelled within 2 hours of placing the order because of my fear of the porting process.

However, now, I am ready to face the hurdle again. I am going to port just one number out at a time. I am going to be ready for incompetent customer service, long wait for technical support, and hopefully if I set my expectation really really low.... I would not be too disappointed!

I am hoping to use the multiring feature to simutanously ring all of the lines in my 2 offices.

I am hoping to use the call hunt feature, so that when one is on the main line (which receives phone call from customers) that any call coming in will be routed to another number.

For the cost ($50 + 45 + 13) for the 3 lines, plus the 2 provided fax numbers .... it is kind of hard to beat the cost. However, I will maintain a land line for my main fax number, and another line for a back up... just in case Vonage blows up!
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hakujin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

The feature that did it for me (initially) was the number portability, that it, taking our phone number(s) wherever relocation or travel takes us. It allows for much greater flexbility in where we may work from.

I just received another email today that looks like we're making progress, slowly but surely, once again. I'll report back after all is said and done, but I really have this bad fealing that a major kink is on its way.
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hakujin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Update:

New problem. Vonage states one of our transfer numbers is currently inactive with the provider we can't seem to kick (XO Communicaiton). The number is active; our CSR is current. I'm on the phone right now with Vonage on hold for the number portability dept. because the previous agent was absolutely clueless. And so the wait continues...


... portability escalation dept... yet another security verification... seems like I'm always talking through a tin can when I talk these folks. Very narrow, and barely audible. At least this technician seems to speak English.

Have you ever been so aggravated you wish you had god-like powers? First thing I'd do is rip the balls of every Vonage executive for allowing such lousy phone support and customer retention. Then, I'd **** can the call centers in India. Lastly, I'd like to dismantle their email systems and make them actually interact with their customers, forcing the one mystery chap that seemingly handles all emails from his mother's basement to come outside and use the telephone.

Don't get me wrong Vonage... it's not all you. It's times like this that make me truly hate free enterprise. That is, if I could rub a lamp and receive one wish right now, it'd be that all ILECs in this country file for bankruptcy tommorrow... number 1 on that list. XO Communication. They charge more than everbody else, they're parasites of the copper and they use these regulatory issues to squeeze every last penny out of their customers.


END OF RANT but it'll be months... heck maybe even a year before our numbers are transferred.

WHAT AN UNECESSARY MESS!
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stray
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I ported my business line from Verizon to Vonage. It also took quite a while (4 months) because of the Centrex issue. I didn't even know I had Centrex...just some bundled feature package that Verizon offered when I setup the original line. Verizon held the transfer request for 3 months before kicking it back to Vonage. Once I found out and removed the Centrex features, the port took about 3 more weeks.

My guess is that the ILECs work really hard to foil any porting request, and in turn Vonage cherry picks just the easy ports. When things get tough with the ILEC, Vonage doesn't throw its best resources at the problem, figuring that its not worth spending hundreds or thousands of dollars of resources to port a $30 or $40 phone line. They'd rather just lose that minority of customers.

I have to say, now that the port's been done for 7 months, I'm pretty happy. Used to pay Verizon about $120/mo for phone and fax (with a feature bundle). Now I'm spending about $45/mo. with better features and an added toll free line. I kind of resent Vonage's price discrimination against businesses, but then again Verizon has the same MO. Service quality has been pretty much the same as Verizon (good!)
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hakujin
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

thanks for the feedback and your story. Based on most recent conversatios, it is apparent that the number(s) will never be transferred if we decide to let Vonage handle our affairs. We've since since lodged a formal complaint with XO stating this misconduct as it relates to the portability act. We've also decided in the interim to port our numbers to AT&T/SBC (who owns all the lines in IL). Based on their feedback, I sense this port will be much faster (some action taken by the end of next week by my assigned PM) based off the LOA we're in the process of submitting. At least than, the price per month (in addition to Vonage) will only be $16.00 instead of the $500 a month that XO is raping us over the coals for.
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hakujin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

NEWSFLASH!!!

Most recently, it seems Vonage has given up on excuses. That just state they we're under a plan with XO/Allegiance and if we port 2 numbers we'll lose the rest so they can't do anything. Well DUHHH?! Isn't that the idea Vonage. But now I now they're true motive...


...because I have come to understand why our transfer hasn't taken place in the months that we've been waiting.


Unfortunately, the news had to come from a tier 2 rep at Allegiance/XO Communications. As stated to me a short while ago, Vonage is owned in whole (or in part) by Allegiance. They work under the same umbrella in Dallas, TX.

Further, it was stated that a port number transfer simply CANNOT be done from XO/Allegiance to Vonage, perhaps for this very "conflict of business interest" reason. You must first go through the RBOC (as stated in our case AT&T), then Vonage.

So Vonage led me on a while goose chase for months now, never stating this to be the case, meanwhile we are gouged for $500 from on provider and the additional $60 (round about) from Vonage for their plan that is in infinite limbo with temporary numbers.

UNREAL. I'm wondering where I should file complaints now. BBB is obvious, but what about the FCC. Is this sort of thing against the law?
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hakujin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

complaint filed with FCC... BUYER BEWARE. I have an appoint with an SBC field manager today to convert. Before the idea was just a temporary migration, now I hope that Voip call vantage is available, because I'm so done with Vonage.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

hakujin wrote:
Unfortunately, the news had to come from a tier 2 rep at Allegiance/XO Communications. As stated to me a short while ago, Vonage is owned in whole (or in part) by Allegiance. They work under the same umbrella in Dallas, TX.


Must be a VERY small part, since Vonage is a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings, which is based in New Jersey, and ~75% of it is owned by their current officers (none of which appear to work for Allegiance/XO.

It could also be an overzealous or misinformed rep feeding you "scare off" information, like the Comcast reps telling people that Vonage was actually "stealing" their Voip "phone lines", a practice that would be stopped "soon". Wink

It is quite possible that the Dallas, TX based PHONE LINES that Vonage operates are owned by Allegiance/XO, but Vonage has relationships with (not ownerships from as far as I know) with lots of local phone line managing companies. That's how they get their blocks of local phone numbers and local access.

In which case, Vonage sends a request to Allegiance/XO to transfer an Allegiance/XO-managed phone number from themselves to Vonage. Just like all the other phone companies, Allegiance/XO has a vested interest in making this transfer as difficult as possible, and making sure you are nice and scared of the whole "VoIP (spelled COMPETITION) experience".

But, what do I know? I'm just a customer. For all I know, Michael Snider or Jeffrey Citron are Allegiance/XO employees. I certainly don't have proof, just suspicions. 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
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hakujin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Very interesting...

Thanks for that tidbit. So, in the end, not sure what role Vonage plays but probably closer to what you said... One thing I think the Allegiance rep was dead on about... this port will not happen as is, unless I go with an RBOC who will make the transfer happen.


Needless to say, their little scare tactic will not make me stick with them... it just irritates me further and pushes me even harder to separate Allegiance and the company we represent by a mile.

Vonage has accomplished zilch since January; now I think they just blew us off, so I signed agreement with SBC today for 2 POTS lines with remote call fowarding to existing Vonage temp numbers. This should be completed in two weeks (at the latest I hope) and will cost us around $35.00 a month w/SBC-AT&T at Winback rates with one year and the termination being only 35% of recurring costs (for the year) whereas Allegiance wants two more years to drop our unecessary data and voice channels with a $75 x remaining months buyout if we term early. I don't know what they put in the water down there in Dallas but it must be intoxicating.
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