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Stasis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:05 am    Post subject: Vonage Disconnection Practices - IS THIS LEGAL??? Reply with quote Back to top

I had Vonage for a few months and their service was good, only complaint was a slight buzzing noise on the other end any time I would speak. Anyway, I have decided to go with another company due to other features and the problem I had with Vonage (which I hear is a very common issue). I called to disconnect and they were good about it on the phone, didn’t give me a big hassle however later I found out this... I purchased the Motorola device with the Vonage starter kit from a retail store, for more then what you can get the device for by itself because I wanted to use it right away. It was close to $100. Now after disconnecting my credit card gets automatically charged the $40 disconnect charge (which I was not told about and I have not approved the transaction). Then I get some emails saying that if I return the device to them I get the $40 back. I emailed customer service about this and they told me that after disconnecting they lock the device so it can not be used anywhere else! How can they legally lock something I own and purchased so I can not use it with any other company. That is ridiculous and I can not see how this would be legal!!!
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Medic63
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
Now after disconnecting my credit card gets automatically charged the $40 disconnect charge (which I was not told about and I have not approved the transaction).


You apparently failed to read the Terms of Service, where it is listed. Also, did you apply for and receive the rebate for the phone adaptor? If so, the adaptor was essentially free, and you would not actually be paying any fee, since they would credit your account upon receiving the adaptor, assuming you actually return the device.
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Stasis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

No I have not even heard of a rebate, I was not told of it at the store nor on the phone. Besides the fact that doesnt matter, its like buying a cable modem and using it on one companies service and then when you disconnect they lock it so you are unable to use it with any other service, thats just not right. It is a device which I purchased, I own it, they have no right to make it so I can not use it ever again. They said it couldnt even be used for their service again, if I knew all of this maybe I would not have cancelled. But now if I would want their service again I would need to get another one. No other Voip service that I have seen does crap like that. If they want it back they should refund what I paid for it considering they will lend them out for free. I purchased it in the first place rather then barrowing one because I wanted to be able to use it elsewhere if I wanted. What is the point of putting out close to $100 for it if I have to return it when im done anyway. What if you use a linksys or other device with their service that you purchased, will they lock those as well? I have talked to many people in the industry and they all think this is rediculous, and if you dont there is something wrong...
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Medic63
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Where did you buy it?
Best Buy?
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1066095107331&skuId=6138388&type=product

Radio Shack?
http://www.radioshack.com/partners/voip/default.asp?find=vonage(keyword)&hp=search

Circuit City?
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Vonage-Starter-Kit--VT1005-/sem/rpsm/oid/89932/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

All of them offer rebates. In fact I've never seen Vonage at any retail store without a rebate, but I could be wrong. Without the rebate, you would have been much better off ordering from the Vonage web site, although you would have paid activation and shipping fees by doing that, which you didn't have to pay by buying it retail
The rebate gives back most of the cost, leaving the buyer paying for one month of service, in essence. Vonage, like most vendors offering rebates, counts on the ignorance or laziness of the buyer, and hopes the rebate forms are never turned in. Which is apparently what happened in your case.
You're basically screwed, in that you had to agree to the Terms of Service in order to get Vonage activated in the first place. The important legal fact is that you agreed to the Terms of Service, not that you didn't read them.

Maybe you'd like Packet 8 better?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=987107

Note the rebate, and read the Terms of Service this time so you know what it is to which you are agreeing.
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jmcanedo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:29 pm    Post subject: no different Reply with quote Back to top

that's no different than walking into a cell phone store and buying a cell phone.. you bought the phone but you can't use it with another service...
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Las_Vegas
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If you buy the phone outright and then setup a plan, you own the phone and can change carriers. Most people don't do this though. Most people setup a plan that offers the phone for free or a huge discount for subscribing. If you meet the conditions of the subscription, the phone is yours and most providers will unlock it for you. If you change plans before the end of the contract though, you not only don't own the phone, but usually owe a rather high disconnect charge as well.

Now, with Vonage, I'm sure I could have gone to Fry's and bought a Linksys Phone Adapter and then setup an account with Vonage. In that case, I wouldn't have gotten any deals but no conditions either. I honesty preferred the inexpensive kit w/rebate and conditions, so that's what I went with. It's a good idea to read the contract before signing it!

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njm60
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Very true, too many people click on agree without reading the terms of service. It is quite long like about 10 pages if you copied and paste it into a word document. Let the buyer beware. So sit down and read it before you decide on the service. Life isn't that short so read the TOS.
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tnt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Okay, I started a thread on this topic -- it was suggested I move it here and my topic was locked. Whatever. It's not my forum.

According to OpenOffice, the Vonage TOS goes on for 7961 words and and nearly 50,000 characters of turgid prose that makes IBM documentation look like literary masterpieces.

Section 1.8 on return of equipment says, "1.8 Return of Device
The Device may be returned to Vonage within fourteen (14) days of the termination of Service to receive a credit for the $39.99 disconnect fee (refer to section 4.6 of this document regarding termination fees), provided: (i) you have retained, and return along with the Device, proof of purchase and original packaging; (ii) contents are undamaged and in original condition, reasonable wear and tear excluded; (iii) all parts, accessories, documentation and packaging materials are returned; and (iv) equipment is returned with a valid return authorization number obtained from Vonage’s customer care department.

Proof of purchase? They know dang well it's mine because of the serial numbers on it. All parts, accessories, documentation and packaging materials must be returned? Who keeps packaging materials?

No one can claim Vonage is acting in good faith. It's a rip, plain and simple, knowing that over the course of the 10 months I had service, not all of those things are going to be present, if only because I live in a small apartment.

Vonage, it seems... well, I'm not going to use nasty language on pro-Vonage forum. They can have the $40 if they need it so bad. I'm not going to keep every box for every item I buy. Besides, a certain portion of people I tell about this will choose against Vonage, and that'll cost them more than $40.

My cable company doesn't even automatically charge a credit card for their HDTV digital converters which are worth hundreds of dollars. And never once have I been asked to return packaging and manuals. I've offered cable guys the coax, and they said, "what do we want it back for? Save it in case you need it or toss it." Coax isn't cheap.

Vonage is not the good guy company people are trying to make it out to be. I'm done with Voip -- it's worse than the copper telcos.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I also couldn't help but notice that none of the people who can get things done at Vonage are accessible. That says a lot. When I had a problem with a cheap IBM PS/1 computer, I was able to get to somebody who could take action on his own without any problems.
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nasdaq
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It's just wrong for Vonage to charge $39.99 to disconnect from their service under the current TOS. They should implement what Packet8 does, charge a disconnect fee if you cancel within the first twelve months of service, after twelve months no disconnect fee.

Using cellular service as an example you sign a contract, either one or two year agreement, and if you terminate service before contract is up you pay a termination fee. After you are out of contract you do whatever you want.

I hope as Vonage gains more and more customers, i.e. more $$$, they restructure or eliminate this fee altogether.

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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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