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Anything
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:15 pm    Post subject: Suggestions and complaints for the Vonage Management Team Reply with quote Back to top

Following is an email I just sent to the Customer Service team at Vonage. The recent outage was the catalyst that motivated me to put my thoughts in writing.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have a few of suggestions and a couple of complaints for the Vonage management team.

Just to set the context, I am a customer who has recently disconnected from the Telcos hopefully forever for wireline phone service. About three years ago I migrated my company off of legacy TDM for inter-site calls (POPs to Call Centers and Call Center to Call Center transfers). When I left the organization in August of this year I was doing a run rate of 50M Voip call per month between the US, UK and the Philippines so I’m a believer. I also don’t have very fond memories of being shafted by the carriers that have a monopolistic mentality. That being said…

I am somewhat disappointed about an outage that I experienced yesterday but even more disappointed about the communication or lack thereof. Perhaps I’m just not looking at the right area on Vonage.com.

As far as I can tell, you are not updating you Service Announcement area on the Dashboard with messages pertaining to the recent outages. You could even do a broadcast v-mail so once your subscribers had service again they would have an explanation.

I was down yesterday but only for about an hour. I have seen postings on forums that indicate much longer outages around the same time frame and even into today. I don't know if you are having problems with equipment failure, upgrade woes or something else.

Yesterday I couldn't login at all during the outage. Today the site is extremely slow (there are postings about this as well).

That is enough said for now but I’d really like to know what happened and what steps are being taken to avoid a similar outage in the future. Do you anticipate having a service that is ‘five 9s’ reliable (99.999%)?

Suggestions:

I think you ought to be able to have a Distribution List (DL) for your customers to accommodate those with multiple e-mail accounts. That way, for example, when the LNP process was about to take place all parties impacted at a residence would have the same timely notice.

Similarly, it would have been helpful to have an optional e-mail address(es) for that occasion so that I could have entered the address for an SMS (Text Msg) for my mobile for instant notification. Just provide check boxes associated with an address list under my profile that I could easily manage. Everyone would have a DL. Some would only have one address but some might have three or four.

I think it would be a good idea to send a reminder about activating the 911 Dialing. You could include an ‘unsubscribe’ option for notifications for those who prefer not to receive them. I believe the service would be considered very valuable to most subs. Again, I think this could be configurable through the web interface (with defaults of course) for those who want an e-mail, v-mail, both or neither. Why not? It is just a step beyond what you already provide and I believe this focus on communication and customer service would further differentiate Vonage from the competitors.

I really appreciate the Activity page. Two small additions would give me everything I need. It would be nice to have running subtotals for Incoming and Outgoing calls and then a grand total. Granted, this is less relevant for the unlimited calling plans but it is easy to do I find it helpful in tracking the total time used even if only for curiosity sake (it would save me the time dumping the data into Excel). Also, I’d like to see a current phone call posted as soon as it is initiated. I’m not necessarily looking for realtime updates through the duration. Just the Date, Start Time, From and To numbers. Perhaps your CDR data is only posted once the call has been terminated.

Finally, I’ll end with one more complaint. The LNP process took nearly two months. I understand that this process is outsourced (it was explained to me nearly a dozen times… or nearly every time I called for an update). At this point I’m writing to re-emphasize communication and customer service. A simple e-mail sent weekly to give me the assurance that ‘I’m a valued customer and the matter has been escalated to the highest possible level’ would have somewhat placated a disappointed customer when struggling with failed expectations… oh… and it would have saved you a few phone calls to the support team not to mention the consequential benefit of other customers getting through a little more quickly.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

T
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dcnc
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well if that was even considered to be handed to a Management Team in the first place....

You would have lost the reader in the first 5 lines. They, the reader, want specifics. Rather you blabbed on about call volume and what not and tried to explain your knowledge.

You got to your point in the last few lines of your whole email. You can really tell a lot about a person in the emails they send when they have a "Complaint".

These people are busy and want the specifics. I love bullet points personally and when I see this if I have a few things to "Take Care Of" I will call this person first.

Just my thoughts on your troubles, like them or not there is some truth to it.
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paul248
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Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 644
Location: Mountain View, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

To address one of your concerns, I suggest you check out the "Billing->View Call Details" page. It gives you some extra info that probably should be on the Activity page.
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brobey
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:25 am    Post subject: Recent Outage Reply with quote Back to top

Sad
It is unfortunate that Vonage is a new company and has very little experience in customer service. I don't know what has happened in the last month or two but something is very different.
Here are some problems:

1. They should never be doing major system upgrades during the day. I don't know what fast talking vendor talked them into that but it is NEVER done in telecom.
2. They are not transferring numbers in some area codes anymore. Federal law permits it and they are giving no reason as to why they wont do it. Again, big mistake and they will lose customers over it.
3. This new tactic of refusing to let customers talk to management level people is going to destroy Vonage. They need to empower the CSR to fix problems or pass them up to management. Really big mistake!

I have brought lots of people to Vonage but I am going to slow that down until I see some changes.
I should probably offer my services. I brought up a carriers carrier about 2 years ago and have quite a lot of experience in startups in the telecom industry. Maybe I will make a phone call, oh yea that right, you cant talk to mamagement

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject: Vonage and customer service Reply with quote Back to top

I've had Vonage service for 1 yr and a half. yes they are not top notch with customer service but then what company does have top notch?

Remember there is a lot going on behind closed doors. Vonage is in the front line fighting telecom and cable provider from blocking ports or degrading Voip services.

They have a long battle ahead and if they succeed...its to your advantage.
yes they have their down time but I knew it will happen and I expected it to happen and I excepted it.

You may feel better sending that email but believe me, The are one step ahead of you. They are aware of whats going on. and my guess is they can only tackle one problem at a time.
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seattlezoid
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
and my guess is they can only tackle one problem at a time.

Gosh... I hoped they could a least handle two at a time Lol
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zturnbow
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Very poor customer service Reply with quote Back to top

I recently joined Vonage. I was ver excited to join since it would mean lowering my telephone bill by 50 bucks. However, since this past weekend, I have encountered a severe lack of customer support.

- I had issues while installing the hardware and service on Sunday. I called the 24 hour customer support for help and it was busy. So I called back and took the information option and the support person took my information and told me that he would give my information to tech support and they would call me back. They never did. I called back Monday after I finally got my service up and running because my virtual number was not working. Again, technical support was not available. Again, I asked for someone to call me back. Silence. I called back yesterday (Tuesday) to speak with management and I was denied, by the way, my virtual number just started working with no explanation. I'm still waiting for someone in management to take my complaint. I have been in telecom for over 11 years and the way Vonage is conducting their customer service is completely unfriendly. Like Mr. Robey, I would like to offer my experience in helping Vonage improve thier service and customer care. I just would like the chance to explain this to someone in management.

Frustrated,

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952guy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am loathing signing up with this group! I have an issue with my "adapter" and the lack of customer service guy is screwing around on some of hand issue. It took an hour + to get ahold of a person. When it was decided they were sending me out a new adapter I found that they charged my account $100.00! They did not tell me they were charging me until after the fact. I'm getting the feeling that the Vonage experience is going to be short lived and costly. BTW, I signed up in the middle of January and have yet to get my number transferred! I'm paying 2 phone bills until they get their act together. You know, I just get the feeling they really do not care about the customer. I'll give them one last chance before I cancel.

If you have'nt signed on to Vonage yet, I would suggest waiting until you start seeing far better customer service reports. I feel I may have made a huge mistake signing on with Vonage!
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kenn10
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

952guy wrote:
I am loathing signing up with this group! I have an issue with my "adapter" and the lack of customer service guy is screwing around on some of hand issue. It took an hour + to get ahold of a person. When it was decided they were sending me out a new adapter I found that they charged my account $100.00! They did not tell me they were charging me until after the fact. I'm getting the feeling that the Vonage experience is going to be short lived and costly. BTW, I signed up in the middle of January and have yet to get my number transferred! I'm paying 2 phone bills until they get their act together. You know, I just get the feeling they really do not care about the customer. I'll give them one last chance before I cancel.

If you have'nt signed on to Vonage yet, I would suggest waiting until you start seeing far better customer service reports. I feel I may have made a huge mistake signing on with Vonage!


Two points: (1) You get the $100 back when you return the defective adapter. They have charged you a security deposit. The unit retails for over $100 in stores.

(2) If you think Vonage CS is bad, try AT&T, Broadvoice or Packet8 or any of the Voip services in the same price range. CS **cks on all of them. Number portability seems a nightmare for most except those who's numbers came from Verizon or MCI.

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seattlezoid
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Kenn10 wrote
Quote:
Number portability seems a nightmare for most except those who's numbers came from Verizon or MCI.

I have Qwest in Seattle Washington and LNP took LESS than 20 Business days.

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