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You can recollect
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Hi these are most
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 11:04 pm    Post subject: is the service good? Reply with quote Back to top

hey i am interested in the service here. how the hell is it really? I would like some honest answers on your feelings of how the service and customer service is. Im just skeptical on changing over to VIP. Thanks to all who respond, in advance. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Welp do what I did...run with pots & Vonage for 30 days...on a bad call Vonage sounds alittle choppy like a cell call can, but that's once in a great while and all I do is hang up and call back...90% of the time the call is as good as pots service
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cbr600f4rich
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Like Socrates says "try it". After using Vonage for 30 days, I cancelled my Verizon POTS line. In the 5 months I've been using Vonage, I've only experienced 1 bad connection. My monthly bill is also 1/3 of what I used to pay Verizon, and I didn't have any of the features ex. caller ID, voice mail, call waiting, etc. The nicest feature for me is getting an email at work when I receive a voice mail at home.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Buy it, get it.
The service is only as good as the ISP which provides your internet experience.

In the 9 months that I have used Vonage, I have had 3 problems, and they were solved in less time than it take my local provider (SWB) to even answer the telephone.

The only concern some have is that on a 911 call, the information may not always be correct, This is in part to the company records of the company that provides the info to the Vonage information base.
Intrado is the company, located in Colorado.

Thanks for allowing me to add.
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chammi
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top


I decided that living off campus for the summer provided a great chance to try out Voip as an SBC alternative. My only reservation was the set-up fee ($30, I think) ... ugh. SBC wanted to charge $10. Nevertheless, I took the plunge.

It's too bad Vonage doesn't give you 14 days from the date of receipt to try out the Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA -- It's about the size of an answering machine. You plug it into your cable or DSL modem and then plug your phone into it)

Arrow So far, my call quality degrades a bit when I'm using downloading or uploading files, but much less so now that I've changed the compression quality (using Vonage's Bandwidth Saver feature).

Once or twice, my ATA rebooted midway through a call. That was not cool, because I actually didn't know I was disconnected until I realized that the other party was being awfully quiet.

Since I've only been using the service for a week, I can't say if this will continue to be a problem. I may have just happened to have caught some service problems.

You can use the website to track your minutes usage easily, although calls aren't recorded until a minute or two after you hang up, so you can't watch the minutes tick away online.

Their e-mail customer care has been speedy and quite helpful.

Quite recently, Vonage seems to have become compatible with 7-digit dialing, which puts your experience more on-par with a traditional phone service.

Arrow Call clarity ranges from equal to my old service to cell-phone quality. It's still tolerable enough to where people think that I'm still using a regular phone service.

The way I look at it is this: I can use my trusty AT&T card to call my parents in Texas for 3.74 cents per minute. This is quite cheap. However, if you multiply this by 500, you get $18.70, which is how much I would pay AT&T for long distance for the 500 minutes I get for free from Vonage.

However, Vonage gives me local service (plus a ton of cool features AND a larger local calling area). If you subtract out the 500 minutes, that's like giving you all of that for $6.29. And you can't beat that. My favorite feature, by the way, is having my messages e-mailed to me, although repeat dialing is a close second.

I figure that more than makes up for the outages I've seen so far.

Considering that Vonage will fwd all calls to another number (which you provide) when the network is down, it makes a great second-line option, but you can easily use it as your only line, too.

Arrow Of course, the service quality varies with your broadband connection. I find that the Speed Test in this forum doesn't load, so I used http://www.testyourvoip.com. Be sure you perform the test at various tiems of day and days of the week to get a good, consistent answer. Also, try doing it while your computer is doing a typical amount of uploading/downloading to see how much this affects call quality. (But bear in mind that Vonage's ATA is set to prioritise your calling over computer use--and that you can adjust the call quality to use less bandwidth).
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chammi
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

iHateBellsouth wrote:
The Vonage customer service and technical support are fantastic!

I am also very please with the Vonage account, it's features and overall quality. I have not experienced poor quality sound or what people are calling "cell phone quality". But as people have pointed out, you must not only rely on Vonage to work, but also your ISP.

You must have PATIENCE.

You may not have any problems, but then again you may. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. There are problems we all tolerate here with Vonage that we wouldn't with our local carriers, but it wouldn't be that way unless we were not displeased with our local carrier's service.

I have set up a business with multiple Vonage lines and also use it for home phone. It's haven't found myself saving an extraordinary amount of money but I have a ton of other features and more than one line for about the same cost. It's value vs savings as most people would not order these features from their local carrier but get them included with Vonage. Those are my observations. Your mileage may vary.


A very good summary of things, I'd say.


I'm really glad that I get to use so many features that I could never afford with a POTS carrier.
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chammi
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top



I was looking at a Vonage brochure from Best Buy (even though I didn't subscribe under the retail option, I was trying to see what kind of publicity they had in brick-and-mortar stores) Reading Point Right Think

Anyway, I was irked by a few of the things on the brochure. Especially glaring was


"Customers usually install our service in less than 5 minutes"



Excuse me?
The installation instructions specifically tell you that you should wait at least 2 minutes for your cable modem to boot and 2 additional minutes if you're installing with a router. THEN you'd have to wait for the ATA to boot up. Plus, that's the minimum time if knew what you were doing without the directions, AND if you had everything out of the box, AND if your computer were already powered down.

So is Vonage saying that most people are NOT following the recommended procedure to set the service up?

Seems pretty specious to me. Come on, Vonage! Would it really hurt to admit that it takes under 10 minutes to hook everything up?


They also gloss over the fact that even if your virtual phone number is in "Mom's" area code, she'll pay long distance if it's not a local exchange. This isn't as irritating, though, because if you do some legwork, you can confirm with Vonage (or Mom's phone compnay) that your virtual numebr would be local to her before you get it.

I also wouldn't call the website "feature rich" or something that bestows "extraordinary control". Sure, it's functional. And neatly laid-out. But it didn't stop my heart. I mean, how come I can't configure scheduled messages for my voicemail on the website? (you can over the phone) I wouldn't say I had "extraordinary control" until I could manage every feature related to my account on it--without needing to use my phone.


Arrow Now, I'm not knocking Vonage. I guess I'm just saying that marketing people are marketing people everywhere. As for us, we're all from POTS service. We've learned to take the hype in stride.


Last edited by chammi on Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I actually live in Conway, Arkansas, which is about 30 miles NW of Little Rock. When the time came to sign up for Vonage, I got my choice of two 501 exchanges-- Palarm and Ferndale.

For those of you who are asking
"where the hell is Palarm?" rest assured that I was thinking the same thing. After a quick trip to Mapquest, I e-mailed Vonage and they informed me that both were local to Little Rock, (which is where my Special Someone lives, and where the big(ger) post-grad job market is) so I was content.

Presumably, these exchanges would NOT be local to Conway, though, since Little Rock number generally aren't. Maybe Palarm is-- it's geographically closer-- but I don't want to hassle the nice Vonage reps with that question.

As for anyone living in the Hot Springs area-- I guess they're just out of luck, since neither of the two exchanges would be local to them.

So even when Vonage expands to my parents' area code in Texas, there's no guarantee that they'll carry an exchange that's local to them.



P.S.-- I went with Ferndale. I hear that's where all the rich folk in West Little Rock are expanding out to, so I'm hot stuff now, eh?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

iHateBellsouth wrote:
That's a good point about the installation taking more than 5 minutes. I haven't seen that brochure, but that's pretty funny. The copy writer obviously never installed it. LOL.

I think I had mine up and running in 30.

But after nearly a week of waiting (like a dingdong, I ordered my service in the wee hours of a Saturday morning), I was determined to savour the installation of my pristine ATA! It was a deliberate, near-ritual experience. XD Once you're grown-up, you kind of have to spread Christmas out over the year by ordering things online.
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chammi
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 4:40 am    Post subject: More over-the-top Vonage Marketing Reply with quote Back to top

This is from the "Take Vonage on the Road" Section of their website:

The Copy Writer wrote:
A Phone Number That Stays With You
If you have a vacation home or a retirement home, your Vonage number can do double duty for you. Why put up with paying a phone bill all year for a place you only use part time?


But Vonage! Wouldn't I still have to pay a broadband bill all year? (Or face repaying "set-up" fees over and over and over...?)


The Copy Writer wrote:
If You Move, Your Vonage Service Can Move With You
Now, you have the ability to take your Vonage phone number with you. You won't have to worry about old friends losing touch. Today thousands of Vonage customers are using area codes from outside their area. Can your old phone company do that?


How many of these people (Arizonians and Hawaiians come to mind) are using area codes from outside their area because theirs isn't yet available? Sneaky, sneaky, Vonage!

(To its credit, Vonage DOES nicely offer to transfer your number for free when your area code becomes available)


One of the problems with Vonage's portability is that you HAVE to find a high-speed connection. If I visit my folks, their dialup access just won't cut it! And some places, like certain hotels, charge extra for broadband access. Other places, like college dorms, have the broadband, but for some reason, their network can't support and intelligible phone conversation. So it's not all fun and games.. it's somewhere between having a cell phone and having a landline.

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