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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:56 pm    Post subject: Outage Today? Reply with quote Back to top

For about an hour, we could not dial outbound. All we got was a fast busy signal, although inbound calls seemed to work as far as we could tell. Vonage's phone support line was swamped ("all circuits are busy" message) so I am assuming this was not isolated to our line.

We're in the Tampa Bay area. Anyone in other areas have the same problem?

 
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Correction.... problem has not been fixed. We were able to dial out for about 5 minutes, now we're back to fast-busy signals again.

As always, the wait on hold for Vonage phone support is horrible-- over 20 minutes and still holding.

 
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:42 pm    Post subject: Outage Reply with quote Back to top

I had the same issue here in the Lehigh Valley (about an hour north of Philadelphia). A buddy called me on my mobile and I told him I'd call him back on my home phone (... I guess I can still call it a 'Land Line'). I finally called him back on my mobile (1,000 min / mo is just not enough!).

This was around 12:35 EST. I think we were out for a while. I actually recycled my Cable Modem, Converter and Router. I went from dial tone only, to nothing, back to dial and so on. As long as I had dial tone I figured the gear was OK but it doesn't hurt to reboot so what the heck.

The support hold time is horrible so I wasn't about to wait on hold on my mobile. Worst (and best) part is, I'm free from the Telco / RBOC for wireline / land line. So Voip or Mobile are my only options for calling the outside world.

I've seen another posting about the website being horribly slow. No doubt. I couldn't even login.

Oh well... for now it is still much cheaper that dealing with the telcos, I think the reliability will improve (99.999% uptime anyone?), and hopefully they will address the support issues (and outsource to the Philippines and India like everyone else?).
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:44 pm    Post subject: By the way... Reply with quote Back to top

I was back up around 1:15 EST. I keep testing Mobile to Home and vice versa. So far so good. Good Luck
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Outage Reply with quote Back to top

Stone wrote:
and hopefully they will address the support issues (and outsource to the Philippines and India like everyone else?).


I think they already have. Got a support guy on the phone, and couldn't understand a single word he said, even after asking him to repeat practically every sentence. I finally gave up and hung up in frustration.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I had a call center in the PH with nearly a thousand very bright CSRs. In fact, their fluency exceeded that of their American counterparts. They were more educated, more customer focused and had the best work ethic I've ever seen. The global economy is on our doorstep. At this point it is not always a pleasant experience but it is a viable, cost-effective option that market demands will bring about. With careful selection coupled with an imbalance in currency valuation it is only a matter of time. Our only hope to compete is not person to person. Out standard of living has ruled that out. Voice XML coupled with platforms that scale is about the only option. Domestic call centers are simply too expensive. Time will tell. That is a fact.

TS
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Stone wrote:
At this point it is not always a pleasant experience but it is a viable, cost-effective option that market demands will bring about.


I understand that all too well, but when quality of service suffers and customers get angry, all the cost savings in the world will do you no good when customers leave for a competitor. In my specific case I waited a full *30 minutes* on hold, only to be connected with a guy who spoke with such an unbelievably thick accent, I could not understand a word he said. (and my line of work has me talking to a lot of foreigners, so I've gotten fairly competent at working through an accent) The support call was TOTALLY useless, solved NOTHING because of the language barrier, I wasted 30 minutes of my life that I cannot get back, and I am left with a bitter taste that won't soon go away.

Dell learned this lesson after they farmed their phone support out to India. Response was so negative and customers complained so loudly that for their higher end servers (translation: more "valuable" accounts) Dell brought support back to a domestic call center. I've spent a lot of time on the phone w/their PowerEdge support groups over the years, and I speak from first-hand experience about the dramatic improvement once support was brought home again.

If an American company is going to use overseas call centers (which I really don't have a problem with), it is critical they select one where the workers are screened for accents and other communications barriers that will cause the quality of support to suffer.

 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I absolutely agree. Vonage will lose some customers in the process and hopefully learn from the mistakes others have made (like Dell). You are right on with your point on selection. That is key. We did both accent reduction and accent introduction in the Philippines and there are now hundreds of agents that speak better English than many agents in the US (sad but true).

It is a numbers game. How many customers can they afford to lose? When the cost benefit analysis is done and the results are no longer favorable, hopefully they will focus more on those key areas to bring the comm. skills up to an acceptable level.

I didn’t bother calling. I figured that a) lots of others must be on hold already : ) and b) with SNMP traps, telemetry networks and so on they had to be alerted by their NOC that there was a problem before I was aware of it. I’ll give them a hard time and ask for a credit. Who knows how long until they will be as reliable as the RBOCs / CLECs and so on. Five 9s uptime (99.999%) and better is attainable at a price.

Dell? Yeah, I was a happy customer for about seven years working for two different companies as a technology executive. I finally when to the HP (Compaq) line for a couple hundred thousand dollar Cisco ICM server upgrade. Most Cisco ICM installations are done on Compaq anyway so the end result is more predictable. Dell has had way to many problems with their Broadcom NICs, support and other issues. I experienced this over a couple of call center builds in the UK, the Philippines and the US. I attended an executive briefing in Austin in an attempt to resolve the issues and was addressed mostly by second string management. The EBs aren’t what they used to be. I had been to a couple before where 10-20 companies were represented in more of an open forum environment during the Q&A sessions. Anyway… failed expectations again? OK. I ‘vote’ with dollars in the business world so I bought elsewhere. When enough customers do the same Dell will wake up.

I have such a strong desire to see healthy competition for the telcos that I’ll stick with Vonage or some other non-carrier competitor just to fuel it. The consumer and businesses alike will have to deal with the arrogance of the carriers for a while but competitors in the Voip space like Vonage at least have their attention!

Good luck again.

TS
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Mad It looks like my service is totally down. I am not sure what is going on? It has been down since last nite around 8pm. Anyone else still out? Man this blows.... I am in the middle of trying to get my number transferred but I can not even use the service at all. I know it is not my cable modem either, it worked fine the other day? Any help anyone? I get the same dialtone then I get a fast busy once I try to call anyone.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm still up. I was down yesterday but only for about an hour. I don't know if these guys are having problems with equipment failure, upgrade woes or something else.

Yesterday I couldn't login at all during the outage. The site is ridiculously slow today but I was able to log in a minute ago. What I find irritating is that there is a Service Announcement area on the right side of the Dashboard page and there is no mention of what's going on even now. My ISP does a great job of posting issues; even proactively posting core router upgrades and the like.

A little communication and customer service go a long way!

Best regards.

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