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Slotracker
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Joined: Nov 22, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:31 am    Post subject: WARNING! about buying adapters from other sources Reply with quote Back to top

First, a little background. I've been a Vonage subscriber since November, 2005. For the most part I've been happy with the service - when it works. I originally received a Motorola (I don't remember the model) adapter that didn't work worth a darn. I gave it a chance to work, checked everything umpteen times and finally got Vonage to replace it with a Linksys RTP300 in February, 2006.


The RTP300 worked reasonably well with my Airlink 410W wireless router. I did have to (much too) frequently reboot the setup for the next 14 months but then I lost all reliability. I would almost always not have a dial tone. Even when I got a dial tone I couldn't complete a call. I haven't received a call on my Vonage phone for a couple of months now. If I didn't have a cell phone for Vonage calls to be forwarded to, we would have no phone service at all. [We are both 65+ years old and had to call paramedics 6 times between November 2006 and March 2007.]

Since internet service has been fine all along I figured (after reading hundreds if not thousands of forum posts) I probably needed to replace the Vonage RTP300. And, as long as I was doing that, I would get a WRT54GP2 so I didn't need to fight two different devices.


So, after seeing the June 2005 announcement (http://www.vonage-forum.com/article1891.html) that "Subscribers who sign up for Vonage's voice-over-Internet-protocol service can trade in their used routers for Linksys “Wireless-G Routers” with two phone jacks for broadband telephony (model “WRTP54G”) free-of-charge after rebates." and since I had never had a WRTP54G before I called Vonage Support and, long story made shorter, was told that I would have to buy one from a retailer.


Okay. So Vonage doesn't support existing customers by offering discounts on ANY adapter. I knew that from reading lots of Forum posting.


Fortunately (I thought) I found a used WRT54GP2 for sale from a nearby, former Vonage customer. I brought it home and hooked it up. Internet access was no problem. So I tried using the on-line registration procedure for an adapter purchased from someone else. That didn't work so I called Vonage Support.


All that call did was convince me that all the negative reports about Vonage not being interested in retaining subscribers here on the Forum are 100% right.


Why is that you say? Well it seems that the party I purchased the WRT54GP2 from still has a balance of $11.13 due on her account. So Vonage would rather lose a long time subscriber over someone else's $11.13 than transfer the MAC address from the canceled account to my active account.

So, bottom line; If you buy a used adapter be sure (I don't know how you'd do that) that the previous owner does not owe Vonage anything or you will not be able to use your "new" adapter.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

No, the real story here is... Do not buy a used adapter from a stranger. Even buying one from someone you know does not owe any money can be a risky proposition - Vonage seems to go back and forth between transferring devices and not, from what I've read here on the forum over the past few years.

This warning is re-posted here every now and then, and is quite simply just the way Vonage does business. Many cell phone companies do things largely the same way - you cannot reuse old equipment.

Your comments about them not wanting to retain customers ring all too true, though. Vonage really, REALLY needs to come up with some way of allowing their customers to renew their equipment after a couple of years of loyalty. Even if it meant "renewing" the contract (ie. making the cancel fee effective for a couple more years).

Either that, or they need to loosen up their requirements on reusing old gear. Vonage could make a killing if they allowed people to reuse old gear - there are probably tens of thousands (or more!) of old adapters out there ready to make Vonage $15-25 a month each, at almost zero cost to Vonage.

_________________
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)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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