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Mousey
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Joined: Jan 31, 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:42 pm    Post subject: Pluses and minuses of Vonage for your business Reply with quote Back to top

Here was what I learned:




Pluses:

Very fast porting of my previous business number (less than 5 business days) in the SE Mi area.

Only affordable way of managing two businesses with one phone number (ATT/SBC wants to rip you off if you want to keep your old number).

Inexpensive virtual number to make your presense in multiple communities (only $5 a month).

Fairly good quality voice connection.




Minuses:

Unreliable phone service (mostly because of my router), but part of the time, it is with Vonage. My router at both offices locks up on a regular basis, and it takes a little bit of debugging to get the phone lines to work. My recommendation would be to use a Vonage router as the primary router, rather than using your router to divy up the internet access. However, Vonage was responsible for at least a 1 hour down time during peak business hour (4 to 5 pm).

Unreliable caller ID service. Apparently, caller ID is provider dependent. My new office rings up in our old office with an incorrect caller ID. About 1/3 of calls made have no caller ID data.

Unreliable calls in and out - we would lose about 1 in every 30 calls.





Conclusion:

When you have a line problem with Vonage, check your router first.... Then blame Vonage if your router is fine.

But over all, it was an good business decision. Mainly because I have 2 land lines (ATT) to back up my Vonage main line. My only use for Vonage is to receive the phone calls and routing it to my ATT lines. If I had to depend on Vonage for all 5 lines - I would have alot of unhappy customers, and lose alot of calls.

My recommendation for businesses about Vonage - don't do it unless you are just looking for a phone service to manage your lines in multiple locations.
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arcking
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Apr 29, 2005
Posts: 497

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Pluses and minuses of Vonage for your business Reply with quote Back to top

Mousey wrote:
My recommendation would be to use a Vonage router as the primary router

I think it would be much wiser to have a better router in front of the Vonage device properly set up, especially if in a business situation.

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Vonage customer since March 2005
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VonageTPA
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Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Pluses and minuses of Vonage for your business Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
My recommendation would be to use a Vonage router as the primary router, rather than using your router to divy up the internet access.


I'm with arcking on this one -- the Vonage routers are terrible routers. I couldn't imagine trying to run business internet through one of them, as they barely can handle a heavily-loaded residential network.

Quote:
However, Vonage was responsible for at least a 1 hour down time during peak business hour (4 to 5 pm).


Hmm.. I've not seen any Vonage outages here in quite some time. I'm not saying Vonage doesn't have outages, as even landline providers have outages.

Quote:
Unreliable caller ID service. Apparently, caller ID is provider dependent. My new office rings up in our old office with an incorrect caller ID. About 1/3 of calls made have no caller ID data.
Unreliable calls in and out - we would lose about 1 in every 30 calls.


This is something you need to take up with tech support -- it CAN be changed, despite what their script-reading techs might tell you. At the very least, Caller ID should always show up. As far as the lost calls, these too should be remedied via tech support. Other than doing some things I really shouldn't with Vonage (like trying to run it off a dodgy WiFi or dial-up connection), I've not encountered problems like this. The dropped/lost calls issue seems like it might be related to your router issues or possibly ISP problems.

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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Pluses and minuses of Vonage for your business Reply with quote Back to top

Mousey wrote:
My recommendation for businesses about Vonage - don't do it unless you are just looking for a phone service to manage your lines in multiple locations.


Mine would be, don't do anything that will have serious negative impact on your business if it fails. Before you sign up, run the Voip tests in the forum and at www.testyourvoip.com to get some assurance that your internet service is up to the task. Then take it slow. Get a Vonage line and use it in parallel with your POTS service. If everything works out well, make a gradual full switch.

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Mousey
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Joined: Jan 31, 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I don't think that a business should put all its trust in Voip.

My problem number one problem has been with the router (same one as many people here uses) at both offices. My second problem has been with my internet provider (a truck clipped the line once), and third, with Vonage (proven and admitted to me by Vonage themselves). All of this occurring within the last 4 months.

I can not weed out and sort out who is to blame. But Voip is unreliable when put all together. Part of it is because of reliance on these patch cables and contacts.... One between the modem and the router, one between the router and Vonage device, and one between the Vonage device and my office phone back bone. Sometimes you just have to plug and unplug the wires to get a better connection.

My history with the POTS is reliability - day after day, hours after hours.

My staff has had enough problems with the Voip line, that they routinely use the POTS line to make outgoing call, or wait till the Voip line patches over to the POTS (after so many rings).... As the calls are more reliable.

That's why the POTS is absolutely necessary to back up Voip. Eventhough Voip is unreliable and poorer quality, once they transferred the call over to POTS, the line quality is perfect.

Thats how I am using my Voip, to receive incoming call to my business. With that done, I can manage my Voip number remotely by internet, to transfer call from one office to another etc. .... But the reliability issue ends when the number is patched over to the POTS line. It is only an issue when one receive or make call from the Voip line. If losing 1 out of every 20 or 30 call is acceptable for a business, then you are ok. It is just the annoyance of losing your Voip line, and having to research where the problem is... is an annoyance.

My firm and final advise to any businesses considering total faith in Voip is - don't do it. You are bound to have days when you wished you were with the POTS. Pay your 30 buck or so a month for a POTS to back up your Voip. If the net is down, if the router is down, or if your Voip is down.... Vonage will patch the call over to the POTS, and you are A-OK!
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Maestro
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Joined: Jun 15, 2006
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Mousey wrote:
I don't think that a business should put all its trust in Voip.


I could say the same thing about any single technology that businesses use.

Mousey wrote:
My problem number one problem has been with the router (same one as many people here uses) at both offices.


If your business depends on it, why would you buy a consumer router? Businesses should buy commercial-level equipment.

Mousey wrote:
My second problem has been with my internet provider (a truck clipped the line once), and third, with Vonage (proven and admitted to me by Vonage themselves).


What type of SLA do you have with your Internet provider? Do you have a consumer-level or real business-level SLA? Couldn't this happen with any utility that your business uses?

Mousey wrote:
Part of it is because of reliance on these patch cables and contacts....


It is hardly your ISP's or Vonage's fault that you don't use proper cabling or equipment. A business needs to protect itself with SLAs and warranties, and a business needs to follow established standards (TIA/EIA568B) and use vendors that follow these standards. Standards define minimums for proper performance. For example, cable vendors with Bicsi certifed RCDDs, Installers, and Technicians would have prevented or warned you of impending cable problems.

Mousey wrote:
One between the modem and the router, one between the router and Vonage device, and one between the Vonage device and my office phone back bone. Sometimes you just have to plug and unplug the wires to get a better connection.


See above comments. Also, most businesses use real Internet connections - not PSTN and MODEMs. At the very least, a business should use DSL with a DAD.

Mousey wrote:
My history with the POTS is reliability - day after day, hours after hours.


Apparently not since your modem to router connection has problems.
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Mousey
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Joined: Jan 31, 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

First, I am a small business owner. If I could afford T1 fiberoptic in this area, I would. But WOW cable has been very stable and reliable at 7MB/2MB.

Second, I am using just a standard Linksys router for my 2 networks of a total of 6 computers - I don't feel that I need to invest in a more "stable" router.

Third, if you browse the feedback from Vonage business users, you would find the same, if not more negative feedback about the reliability of Vonage.

Fourth, I am paying more than twice a month for "business" service, but get the same modem, and poor customer service as everyone else.


Not to put down Vonage as a provider, all I am saying is - if you are a medium to large business - you are already using Voip for your phones with multiple T1 backup, and several full time IT techs to back you up.

But for a small business, Voip is only a method to manage your business phone lines, not as a replacement for your POTS. Vonage has faired very poorly as a business devoted to businesses.
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ShelChgo
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:34 am    Post subject: I think there needs to be a distinction here... Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
My firm and final advise to any businesses considering total faith in Voip is - don't do it. You are bound to have days when you wished you were with the POTS. Pay your 30 buck or so a month for a POTS to back up your Voip. If the net is down, if the router is down, or if your Voip is down.... Vonage will patch the call over to the POTS, and you are A-OK!


What you should say is that you don't advise a business using 'consumer quality VoIP.' Despite their promotion of the service to small business, Vonage is a consumer service. It's really the same as internet service. If your business is dependent on internet connectivity, you wouldn't call your local telco and get a basic consumer DSL line. You'd get a business level service with service level agreements. If you're considering Voip for your business, you need to do the same. Yes, it cost more money than consumer services, but you need reliability for a business. You can do Voip in a small business and still save money, but you will pay a bit more than you would with Vonage.

Large corporations all over the world use Voip. IBM, Dow, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express just to name a few. Voip can be a quality and highly reliable service when deployed properly. Just be aware that to do it right for business, the ROI is years not months.
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Mousey
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Jan 31, 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Shelco, you hit the nail on the head. Vonage is consumer quality Voip.

You are correct, most corporation of 100 plus employees uses Voip. But they also have multiple internet back up, uses business quality Voip.

I am not bashing Vonage, but business users are paying twice as much per line as consumers, but get the same poor service. ie. long wait time for customer service, and poor customer service.

But, Vonage is really a very cheap alternative to POTS services, which we have substituted for our line transfer, virtual number, etc. So Vonage is actually good for small businesses, if you use it wisely, only to supplement your POTS line.
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