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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Vonage Forum Archive
Poll

Have you had a similar problem with the refer-a-friend program?
Yes
37%
 37%  [ 3 ]
No
62%
 62%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 8

Author Message
TomF
New Forum Member
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Joined: Sep 30, 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: Vonage Referral Program Reply with quote Back to top

I would just like to share an experience that I recently had with Vonage involving their Refer-A-Friend Program. I had referred a friend who I had been bugging for about a year now to switch over to Vonage. He finally decided that he was going to make the move over. I reforwarded him the referral email. He clicked on the link and enrolled. The only problem is that he decided to register it under a different email. When I enquired multiple times about this this is basically the answer that I received:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear xxxxxxxxxxxx,

In response to your email, I understand that the person you referred
called in with some questions but the problem is, the email address
provided in your friends account is not listed in your referral list.
The system cannot track the referral this way and if your friend
cancels in less than 90 days, we will lose the credit.

If the referred party signed up via the link, the system would be able
to track the referral and reverse the credit if the account is
cancelled in less than 90 days. We are unable to offer a credit based
on this information.

If you have any questions now or in the future Vonage Customer Care is
eager to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please visit our
help center at http://www.vonage.com/help.php or send us an email from
our Contact Us page at http://www.vonage.com/help_contactUs.php. You
can also call us Toll Free at: 1-VONAGE-HELP (1-866-243-4357)

Sincerely,

Michael
E-Support Specialist
Vonage Customer Care
--------------------------------------------------

Unless the person referring people to Vonage are sitting there looking over their shoulders the whole time that they are enrolling, I could see a lot of this happening as was also the case when another friend I had referred several months ago called in with a question and the customer service rep that handled the call basically bypassed the online enrollment process and, rather than instruct him how to enroll in such a manner where I would get credit, he was advised otherwise. That, to me, is borderline fraud and just not good business.

Vonage has shown me that they have put this progam together in such a manner that it can be easily bypassed and they will use any excuse not to honor their part of the committment when a person is referred. Now I am not going to go into alternatives, which do exist, in this forum. I am contemplating switching as a result of the apathy displayed to me by the Vonage staff. How many other people out there have encountered this or a similar problem?
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TomF
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Joined: Sep 30, 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Additional Remarks Reply with quote Back to top

I would like to add that I am seeking resolution to what I truly perceive as a problem. I have been with Vonage for quite a while and am otherwise happy with the service provided. What disturbs me is the overall lack of understanding by the customer service people that I have dealt with in trying to remedy this problem. I referred someone to Vonage. I can even get that person on the phone with a Vonage rep to verify this to be the case. There is a record in my referrals for this individual although it is under a different email address. I am sure that this is not a new problem. If Vonage truly wants to correct problems such as this-or is it perceived as a loophole and not so much a problem-they would find a better method of maintaining the referrals so that they can be better managed. Furthermore, considering the amount of time that I have been with Vonage, do they really want to jeopardize losing me and the other people that I have referred and any potential new people that I would refer over $50?
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Steve48
Vonage Forum MVM
Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Try Emailing a copy of this post to Customer Support using the forum link (menu, top left, Vonage Information/contact support). We're told this route gets special attention. Maybe they can do something for you.

For what it's worth, I, too, lost one credit because a friend elected to sign up by calling in instead of using my referral. On the other hand, I've gotten several months of free service when friends did use the referral.

_________________
Steve Gray
Orlando, FL
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TomF
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Joined: Sep 30, 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Try Emailing a copy of this post to Customer Support using the forum link (menu, top left, Vonage Information/contact support). We're told this route gets special attention. Maybe they can do something for you."

Thank you. I will do that. Hopefully, I will get better service than I did throught the normal channels.

"For what it's worth, I, too, lost one credit because a friend elected to sign up by calling in instead of using my referral. On the other hand, I've gotten several months of free service when friends did use the referral."

Steve,

Shouldn't your reply on the poll have been "YES" since you, too, lost a credit because a friend elected to sign up by calling in instead of using your referral. In all actuality, my friend called in because they had some questions and the person that took the call, rather than tell them to continue with what they were doing online through the link, offered to sign them up right then and there. When my friend asked the person about my referral, the person basically said, "Don't worry about that. We'll give you an extra month for signing up now." I do not know what the circumstances were for the one that you referred to here, but, in my case, it was flat out wrong. The latest occurance was due to my referral using a different email address. Quite honestly, they could use a far more efficient manner of tracking referrals. My friend used the link provided. Why is it that they did not know? Why is it that they allowed him to use a different email address and why don't they have a "referred email address" or "referred by" in the form to help better track these things? My perception is that these loose ends were left intentionally so there would be ways to avoid these referrals. Of course that is just my opinion. It really wouldn't be that difficult to track referrals more accurately if enough effort was being put into it. I'm sure that they have the developers on hand afterall they are a major Voip provider,

Also, while I have had several referrals credited to me, that still does not make it right to conduct themselves in this manner and they should certainly do the right thing in trying to get new customers. Do you really think that the approx $50 U.S. that they would be giving me in credit is worth the negative PR and potential loss of customer(s)?
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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I didn't respond to the poll either way for 2 reasons. First, I told my friend that he would have to use my Email link for me to get credit and he forgot. Second, I didn't call customer service, so I can't say how they would have reacted.

For what it's worth, I do think that Vonage could be a little more inclined to make sure that their supporters were properly rewarded. On the other hand, I really like the savings that I'm getting. I take the good with the bad.

_________________
Steve Gray
Orlando, FL
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TomF
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Joined: Sep 30, 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sorry for making that assumption about the poll.

I take the good and the bad, too. While I am getting a savings, I would rather pay more for a company that is honest and fair in the manner that they conduct these programs and that provides customer service with some degree of courtesy and concern in dealing with their customers. There are other services out there for comparable rates as there are more expensive alternatives. I guess when all is said and done there has to be a good balance between quality and cost.

I have been a supporter of Vonage for the last couple of years even through the problems such as switching over existing numbers and other things that my referrals encountered. My referrals would mention their problems to me repeatedly. They had problems contacting customer service. I would help them resolve their issues because I referred them and felt an obligation to them. Even through that, I remained loyal and recommended them to my friends. Even after the instance where one of my referrals was signed up over the phone that I mentioned in this thread, I remained a loyal customer. Well, they have done nothing to try to ACCURATELY track referrals other than set up a flimsy means of tracking that could easily be messed up in the sign up process if one little thing is not done correctly. They are in no way showing me the loyalty that I have been showing them. The incentive to stay is cut to just the low price which, again, there are others out there that provide comparable rates. Maybe they will treat me more like a valued customer.
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TomF
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Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I find it difficult to believe that there are not more people out there that have encountered a similar problem with the referral program. Most of the people that I have referred have encountered a similar problem. Regardless, it does not make what happened right or does it? I guess that is for me to decide because it appears that my complaints are falling on deaf ears. Thanks anyway.
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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

TomF wrote:
I find it difficult to believe that there are not more people out there that have encountered a similar problem with the referral program. Most of the people that I have referred have encountered a similar problem. Regardless, it does not make what happened right or does it? I guess that is for me to decide because it appears that my complaints are falling on deaf ears. Thanks anyway.


I don't think it's that, but the people here in the forum really can't do much about Vonage policy except provide you with links and so forth. I would be interested in feedback about the response you get when you make contact with them using the forum link. Most of the regulars here seem to focus on the things that they can actually help with in a concrete way.

_________________
Steve Gray
Orlando, FL
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

TomF wrote:
I find it difficult to believe that there are not more people out there that have encountered a similar problem with the referral program. Most of the people that I have referred have encountered a similar problem. Regardless, it does not make what happened right or does it? I guess that is for me to decide because it appears that my complaints are falling on deaf ears. Thanks anyway.


In my opinion the entire referral program is already fatally flawed by one simple fact... competition with the retail channel. Sponsored by Vonage.

Why would I ever recommend that someone sign up and have to wait days for their device to arrive, when they can toodle down to their local retail chain, get a device, and have a working telephone in mere hours? ...and if the device is DOA, they can exchange it in minutes rather that waiting days for an exchange? Not to mention the fact that Vonage is paying the retailer a bigger bonus than they would pay me, and the retailer frequently passes along some of that.

So, I go through the process of explaining the benefits (and disadvantages) of Vonage to a potential new user, and at the end of the conversation I piss away my referral, because to take the referral means giving them bad advice. And at the end of the day, I'd rather have someone happy with their experience (and my advice) than money in my pocket.

So, I've never had a referral. I've recruited about 20 Vonage customers, more than enough to pay every penny of my Vonage usage since I started. But none of them have gone the direct Vonage route, because it's not the best route for a potential Vonage customer to follow.

I'm still happy with Vonage, but how about allowing me to do some sort of a minimal referral program on the retail activation side, too? A $10 credit if the user activates a retail device through my referral link would be nice.

_________________
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)
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TomF
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Steve,
Thank you. Being new to this particular forum, I guess I am really not familiar with the regulars and have really had no experience other than this. I do appreciate your input.

As far as a response, I received one from Vonage Customer Care. Due to the confidential and proprietary nature of the message which I will respect, I am not going to post it here. I will say that I do not expect much in the form of a remedy to my particular grievance. It has been taken as a suggestion to be passed on to the development team which I imagine they get all of the time. How or if that will fit into a development cycle in the near term is something that we probably shouldn't hold our breaths for.

Nate,

Thank you for your response. I would agree completely with what you have to say. Your points are very valid and I suppose that I should look at it the way that you are.

I do wish that they could incorporate this kind of program at the retail level. In all honesty, they do not really even need those links. They could just have a spot to enter in a referral phone number regardless of where the customer enrolls, they could very easily link the referral to the account receiving the credit. If it is just a matter of them being concerned about reversing a credit due to early termination of an account, this would very easily eliminate this concern. Maybe they could do a lesser credit at the retail level or whatever. I really do think that this type of incentive program is a very good approach at marketing and could probably still be viable should Vonage decide to correct these type of flaws that are inherent in the current program. As is, they are certainly risking pissing off their existing customers as was the case with me. The amount of money is really not that much. It is the principle of things compounded by how I was made to feel by customer service in the manner in which they responded to my grievances.
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