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Hi these are most
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jasoncindy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: Convince me to switch... Reply with quote Back to top

I've been thinking about switching to Vonage ever since the catchy commercials were on, just can't seem to make the leap. Currently paying $25.00/month for bare bones nothing phone service, with $16 of that going to taxes & fees. I won't be saving anything by switching, just gaining features. Will I be pleased with the switch, or regreting it later? Is the 911 feature going to be a problem? I have 2 small kids & this is my biggest worry. Is the circuit City deal the best around? Any helpful words or suggestions would be appreciated. Lol

Jason
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cyhurt
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

New, but happy Vonage customer. Setup took 2 minutes (literally). Calls are clear, and have only had one short period of time (about 15 minutes) that I lost service due to a cable/internet outage in a storm - but the network availability number forwards to my cell, so no missed calls. The reliability of my internet provider is of more concern to me than anything - which is why I'm in the process of a tiered switching process - more on that later.
No local numbers for me, and can't port my number either - so got a number across the country that's local to my daughter (Figure my number should be local for someone). E911 is available in my area, haven't had to use it, but it's activated and I don't anticipate a problem.
I've had issues with verizon and am determined to wrench myself from all of their services. However, being in a rural community, I was naturally skeptical about Voip in an area where cable internet is barely a year old - so this is what I did (& recommend for the overly cautious).
Try Vonage - got the deal with a free month & free adapter (however, the circuity city deal is sweet if you are in the market for a new laptop - unfortunately, I ordered the service just before that deal was announced Smile. Don't try to port your number just yet. If it's a possibility, you should be able to port it later. Simultaneously drop your landline down to the cheapest service necessary to keep your number (here, it's the measured rate service which includes unlimited incoming calls and 10c/per outgoing calls for about $12/mo - your area may have other limited services). You have the first 30 days to try the service without the $39 cancellation fee. With this, you have the security of your current landline in case you have issues either with Vonage or your internet provider and you can make the final switch when you're convinced it's going to work for you.
With Vonage + Verizon measured rate together, I'm still paying less than half what I was before - the savings even covers the cost of my internet service. I'll be cancelling the verizon landline next month.
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Steve48
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Jason, I'm also a very happy Vonage customer, but all is not sweetness and light. Voip is completely dependent on a rock solid internet service and Vonage has no way of controlling that. Also, if you do have problems, their technical support is good at some times but less than stellar at others.

The one month trial makes excellent sense, but before you make even that jump, do the forum Voip test and see how the results come out. Also do a comparison Voip test at www.testyourvoip.com (test call to Boston) and see how that come out. It will give you a good idea of what to expect.

911 might be an issue. I'm in central Florida and I still have regular 911, not extended. My calls are routed through a response center and I have to give my location. Of course, if my internet service is down, the phone is out as well. That doesn't happen often, but it happens more often than phone failures with Southern Bell happened.

On the subject of cost, with taxes Vonage service will put you a bit above the total of $25 that you're currently paying. Of course, you get the features and long distance included.

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Steve Gray
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mundy5
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Jason,

I would like to put my $0.02 worth as well. I'm a happy Vonage customer for the following reasons.

1. I pay for the $14.99 plan with 500 minutes of long distance calls / month. This has been more than enough b/c we have cell phones as well which gives us more long distance minutes. With taxes now, it comes to $18.81 or something like that.

2. I get free incoming calls.

3. I can fax things and receives faxes if needed. I have used the line to send faxes at least 20 times and it has worked great after making the necessary speed adjustments.

4. Although I have E911 in my area, I haven't used it and most likely, I would prefer to use my cell phone anyway. I also have the local police number pre-programmed in my cell phone as well as in my home phone so 911 is really not crucial.

I would suggest that you consider Vonage if you are not expecting to use your home phone a great deal and it seems to me like that is what you are already doing by getting a barebones land line. Secondly, I presume that you have a cell phone and so that should give you enough comfort knowing that you can dial 911 from that phone.

The 30 days is also great as well as running the tests that Steve suggests would be great. That way you see if your internet connection is good enough for it. Hope this helps you think about it.

_________________
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Vonage Customer from February 2005 to May 2010
ISP: Charter
Router: Linksys RT31P2 (blew up during electrical storm)
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dheiy
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Joined: May 23, 2006
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

plus, E911 works more than a regular 911.

it will automatically generates your location infos and
your name on it so they could give you an immediate response
in case of trouble.You dont need to provide your Name, location and so on..as long as they know that this is an emergency.

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taburnok
"stop the lies...!!!"
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jasoncindy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you all for the information. mundy5 - I think you are in the same situation as I am. We recently moved to the "country" & are in a diffent area code than 90% of our friends & family. My wife & I both carry cell phones, and use them almost exclusivly. Really only have the home phone for ,,, well,,, don't really know why. I am thinking the 500 minute plan, just to have a home phone, I guess.
I ran the test & scored pretty good.

Quality Between You and San Jose
As good as a decent cell phone call
Your score: 4.2
Like calling next door

Thanks for everyone response - I thnk I'll make the switch.
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dheiy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

good to hear that dude!!!

good luck!!! Wink

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taburnok
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wiseghy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Don't do it. Reply with quote Back to top

I am an existing customer, and service continues to be bad, despite my many attempts and accommodations to make it work.

Basically, Vonage Technology is, as a very basic level, unreliable. Internet connections have a natural a tendency to disconnect at random. This is routine, and a part of normal internet route handling. However, it plays heck on the relatibility needed for sensitive business voice calls.

This means that your calls will suddenly drop out the outbound audio, for instance. Or, you voice mail will stop working overnight, sending all your calls to your alternate number, provided you have one set up.

The only solution to all this is to manually reset your IP connection, although that's a problem if you're traveling or out of town.

It is hard to imagine Vonage ever being anything than a secondary line in a house with a reliable phone line. Even then, count on more than a few cut offs and weird times.

Pity the Vonage investers and customers were not told of these inherent, indemic problems. We'll see if they leave up this post.
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jfitzpa503
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Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am very happy with Vonage. I save no money per month, I might add. With Qwest, I was paying $20/mo. for three features. I had the Phone Assistance Program, I might add. With Vonage, for two lines (500 minute and FAX line) I pay about $33/mo, which includes those darm taxes! I went with Vonage for many personal reasons besides cost: friends who have Vonage, I like new technologies, more features and free long distance in North America. I rarely use the FAX line, so may drop that in the future. However, most all of my calls are crisp-clear and I have never had to call technical support. I am even credited when there is a billing problem. There has only been one of those since July.

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Jake
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VonageTPA
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: Don't do it. Reply with quote Back to top

wiseghy wrote:
Basically, Vonage Technology is, as a very basic level, unreliable. Internet connections have a natural a tendency to disconnect at random. This is routine, and a part of normal internet route handling. However, it plays heck on the relatibility needed for sensitive business voice calls.


Maybe YOUR internet connection tends to disconnect at random, but that isn't the case for many people. Voip lines are my primary form of communications anymore. I now run 4 Voip lines into my house (2 Voip lines, 2 are Voip extensions off of business Voip PBXs), with Vonage being one of the providers. I've had them for over 18 months and am overall satisfied with their service. I think I might have had 1 dropped call in that time, and I'm a HEAVY phone user (the totals in my sig are several months old now, will update them later on).

Vonage uses off-the-shelf technology. Underneath the orange marketing material, it's just SIP Voip telephony, pure & simple. The SIP protocol is to the point of what I'd be willing to call "mature" and many Fortune 500 companies now run SIP-based Voip products and phone systems. I've installed several SIP-based PBXs over the past year and haven't had a problem with them. Some of my work is time-critical, where each second can literally cost thousands of dollars, and I'm willing to rely upon Voip to make it happen. The technology has been proven, and it proves itself reliable in my studio every single day.

That said, the Vonage adapters are a different story. Many of them are beta-quality at best. Vonage seems to keep trying to find cheaper & cheaper adapter options as time goes on, which I don't necessarily blame them for. When they started, they were using Cisco ATA186 adapters, which STILL sell for $140+ new. Now they're using all sorts of cheaper adapters, which aren't of the same quality as the old Ciscos.

What Vonage gets right: Almost always have had a perfect phone call. Going over my phone call log, it's most likely in the 98-99% range for me.

What Vonage doesn't get: Customer service. In this day & age, it's probably a C / C- customer service experience, BUT, I'm used to 5-star hotels. They also don't seem to do well with their voicemail system. This, I find strange, especially having other Voip providers here & at work who have no trouble with voice mail. Additionally, I've never had voicemail problems on the private PBX extensions. They also seem to have difficulty in keeping their website up. Can't forget to mention the buggy hardware and even worse firmware "upgrades" they send down the line.

Overall, there are cheaper providers out there, and there are providers with more features, but if you look straight at getting calls to go through, I've had the most success with Vonage when it comes to consumer-grade Voip. Would I replace my landline with it? I already have. Embarq (landline phone co here) is far less reliable than Vonage ever has been. After the hurricanes, Voip was the only reliable phone service available, landlines were dead. Of course, this depends on you can find a working internet connection, but those are far easier to find than trying to get your individual pair of copper wires working immediately after a disaster.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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