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bjrichus
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Joined: Sep 21, 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:39 am    Post subject: Vonage set up experience... Reply with quote Back to top

I'm a new to Vonage person, so don't know if this is typical. I'd appreciate others comments...

I placed my order for the number transfer and equipment online and the number transfer (away from $65 a month MCI) actually happened in a week. No problems so far.

It took 10 days to get to the point where my order placed online for the Voip adapter still being in "Pending Shipping" status before I lost patience and called customer service to find out why it was taking so long.

(To be honest, I know better - the same box was on sale in Wal-Mart and I should have just got it from there, but you know, you want to 'support' your provider and buy direct and all that..... I know better now!)

The person we first spoke to was unable to understand any more than the kind of English spoken by a 3 year old. I've never had problems with call centers being outside of an English speaking country before, so this was a surprise to me! In the end I gave up and just said "yes, ok" to the rep and hung up.

The second call to customer service was to someone who was able to understand my questions and after about a 10 minute wait while he checked the account and such, he agreed to 'expedite' the shipping.

Sure enough three days latter the box from Vonage arrived.

Smile

It took me about 30 minutes to work out why it wouldn't work "out of the box" and getting onto the web interface of the box, changing the IP address, gateway details and so on was not that hard, once I worked out what was needed.

Cut the story down to size, if I had not already got 10 years of setting up routers and servers and such, I'd have been utterly lost. All because if you have anything remotely non-standard as a broadband connection (I have a fixed IP address and had to program that info into the box - stuff like the gateway address and netmask) you are outside the quick start process and into the kind of area that makes regular people with no previous experience quickly give up!

If I had to call Vonage and log onto the box and change settings and if I didn't know what the heck I was doing... Man... I'd be back with MCI by now!!!!!

All that said, we have had three calls from family and friends this morning (its Saturday here) and I've made a call to Europe (from the USA) and not had any problems with the calls.

I guess I'd have to give the experience so far a "qualified Ok"....
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tglea
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Nov 22, 2006
Posts: 433
Location: Nebraska

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Vonage set up experience... Reply with quote Back to top

bjrichus wrote:
The person we first spoke to was unable to understand any more than the kind of English spoken by a 3 year old. I've never had problems with call centers being outside of an English speaking country before, so this was a surprise to me! In the end I gave up and just said "yes, ok" to the rep and hung up.
The second call to customer service was to someone who was able to understand my questions and after about a 10 minute wait while he checked the account and such, he agreed to 'expedite' the shipping.
Search for customer service on the forum and you will find a lot of bad opinions. However, you probably know that people usually only report the bad experiences. I've dealt with customer service two times in a year and a half and once was good and the other was terrible.
bjrichus wrote:
To be honest, I know better - the same box was on sale in Wal-Mart and I should have just got it from there, but you know, you want to 'support' your provider and buy direct and all that..... I know better now!
Actually since you ported a number, it was probably far less painful to buy the equipment direct from Vonage. You will also discover that if you need a new box(not a warranty replacement), Vonage will basically refuse to sell you a new one. They insist you go buy a new one at a retail location. I don't know why and it seems a little ridiculous.
bjrichus wrote:
Cut the story down to size, if I had not already got 10 years of setting up routers and servers and such, I'd have been utterly lost. All because if you have anything remotely non-standard as a broadband connection (I have a fixed IP address and had to program that info into the box - stuff like the gateway address and netmask) you are outside the quick start process and into the kind of area that makes regular people with no previous experience quickly give up!
I agree with you but keep in mind that probably 90% of home users connect via DHCP. Most people, like yourself, who have static IPs have them for a reason and know how to configure networking equipment.
Happy calling! Very Happy
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bjrichus
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Sep 21, 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks fore the reply.

You are right about customer service - and to be fair, it's not just Vonage that don't know how to run that side of a business these days.

Or perhaps they do??? [Insert conspiracy theory here] Smile

I'm an old cynic really....

At least my Vonage set up is working 'as advertised', which is more than you can say for some things these days...

Taking into account that I run web servers for three non-profits out of my home, I guess I do represent some kind of unusual set up that 95% (or more) of regular people won't run into.

I have had a couple of times when it sounded like I was getting some broken speech over it, but nothing all THAT bad. Considering its all costing me a third of what the POTS line cost me before, AND comes with more features (caller ID of the new caller on a call waiting notification was something that MCI just could NEVER get to work), I got to say that if the call quality and cost does not change from what it is (price of living inflation is another matter) Vonage isn't too bad a deal at all.

Again - thanks for the reply.

Smile
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rgnok
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

bjrichus wrote:
Taking into account that I run web servers for three non-profits out of my home, I guess I do represent some kind of unusual set up that 95% (or more) of regular people won't run into.


Not bashing you in any way, but lets be fair and say that most other "retail" networking equipment is not going to work "out of the box" in your kind of environment either -- if you go to your local store and buy a new $100 D-link broadband router, it is going to require you to go through a setup process and configure your static IP and other settings for your needs. So nothing unique about Vonage's hardware in that!

And onto the rest of your experience -- thanks for sharing and I personally think you are pretty much typical. Like tglea points out, far more people post complaints than do positives, so it doesn't always LOOK this way when you search on the Internet, but most people get Vonage (or any other Voip out there right now, for that matter), connect it up, experience one or two relatively minor issues, and get up and running with a mostly positive experience (or, as you put it, "qualified ok").

Thanks for the straightforward report on your experience!
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bjrichus
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Sep 21, 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
Not bashing you in any way, but lets be fair and say that most other "retail" networking equipment is not going to work "out of the box" in your kind of environment either


You are absolutely correct. I'm trying to use Vonage in a "non-typical" sort of consumer environment.

Quote:
nothing unique about Vonage's hardware in that!


Again correct.

I guess my point is that its a shame the paperwork is an all or nothing kind of deal... If you are anyway kind of way outside the regular unthinking end user set up, you are in the 5% of people who need to read this 120 page manual with lots of three letter acronyms along with the need for a bunch of knowledge that 95% of people don't have.

Entirely unrelated to this, but I had to explain to someone what DHCP is this morning, so I guess that puts me in the 5% of people who know what they are doing - I guess that makes me a geek!!!!

Quote:

Thanks for the straightforward report on your experience!


I tried to make it as unbiased as it can be...

For me, Vonage works and is cheaper than my POTS supplier was.

I guess if the paperwork covered my situation, in nice colorful pictures, I grumble about those too.....

Very Happy
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rgnok
Vonage Forum Master
Vonage Forum Master


Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

bjrichus wrote:
Entirely unrelated to this, but I had to explain to someone what DHCP is this morning, so I guess that puts me in the 5% of people who know what they are doing - I guess that makes me a geek!!!!


Yep . . . I know what you mean. I run 2 servers from home, including a web server and an MS Exchange server; I have a heavily wired home and a 96 port patch panel in my wiring closet, along with a complex (but fun Smile ) whole house audio and video distribution system. In other words . . . major geek. And I hate running into people who can only follow a script, because invariably, my setup NEVER fits their script!!
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bjrichus
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Sep 21, 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

rgnok wrote:
bjrichus wrote:
Entirely unrelated to this, but I had to explain to someone what DHCP is this morning, so I guess that puts me in the 5% of people who know what they are doing - I guess that makes me a geek!!!!


Yep . . . I know what you mean. I run 2 servers from home, including a web server and an MS Exchange server; I have a heavily wired home and a 96 port patch panel in my wiring closet, along with a complex (but fun Smile ) whole house audio and video distribution system. In other words . . . major geek. And I hate running into people who can only follow a script, because invariably, my setup NEVER fits their script!!



Cool. I don't feel too bad now!!!

Confused
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