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kamnet
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 229
Location: Mt. Sterling, KY

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: I thought customer service was getting better. It isn't. Reply with quote Back to top

Well over the last several weeks talking to Vonage customer service and technical support, I thought that perhaps things were turning around. Unfortunately that isn't the case apparently.

I've previously documented my recent troubles with my lovable RTP300. After going from no trouble to an odd quirk with a phone port dying temporarily to having the ports constantly die, Vonage decided it was best to switch out my device with a V-Portal for free.

On Thursday evening I was told that the device would be sent to me overnight, leaving me with the impression that I would have it sometime Friday. Based on my previous experiences with Vonage sending packages overnight, I've had somebody pounding on my door with a delivery before the crack of dawn. So that would have been great if that had happened, but if it didn't then anytime Friday would have been good.

That delivery never materialized. I contacted Vonage customer service on Friday afternoon and I found that any orders for shipment placed after 3pm would not be processed until the following business day. But, rest assured, I was promised that I'd have the device by Saturday. So I'm here all day Saturday waiting and no device. I finally get an e-mail from Vonage giving me my tracking number so I follow up. The device is being sent via UPS. UPS says that the package is scheduled for "on time" delivery of the "Next Day Air" package on MONDAY DECEMBER 8.

Clearly this must be a mistake? So i call Vonage customer service at 4:15 pm. The agent on the phone agrees that this doesn't sound right, the item was clearly noted in my order for Overnight delivery, and if it was processed on Friday then I should have already had it today. She promised that she would immediately contact UPS to find out what the issue is and call me back within one hour, and send a follow-up e-mail, with an update.

That didn't happen either. Four hours later I call customer service again to find out what is happening. The agent attempted to feign some sympathy with me but insisted that there was nothing that could be done because supposedly UPS doesn't deliver on Saturdays. This is clearly a blatant lie, because not only was the order marked by UPS as "Next Day Air", you can go to UPS.com and see that there is Saturday delivery and there is also "Next Day Air Early AM", which is available on Saturday as well.

I'm told that I do have another option - I can drive 100 miles round-trip to a Best Buy and purchase a Vonage device, and hope I can get there before the store closes, in the middle of a severe winter weather advisory, and Vonage will refund me the difference once I submit my receipts to them. That would have been nice if I had been told that on THURSDAY, and could have made that drive during safer weather. Hell, I could have called Best Buy and have it express shipped to my home within two days. I could have dispatched a fleet of eight-legged gerbils to go fetch it for me.

So, wow. I thought my loyalty was starting to pay off, but after this I am having my doubts. The lack of honesty and follow-up here is starting to make me wonder if I shouldn't be looking harder at some alternatives.
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hokahey
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Joined: Dec 07, 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:13 pm    Post subject: New User - and lied to twice already Reply with quote Back to top

I'm brand new with Vonage. They haven't even connected my incoming calls yet, so no one can reach me. Had I been told about the 'virtual number' before I signed up, I could have made arrangements and given that number out. I had no idea - I was told nothing. Well, I was told that I could plug my fax machine into the adapter because there was an extra plug. That was a lie. Unless you have two lines, and one is a dedicated fax line, you're out of luck. But with a little deception, "Edwina" was able to make the sale. I tried calling Customer Service the day my adapter arrived to ask about the fax. What country was THAT?! I emailed them. They told me I could unplug my phone and plug my fax in whenever I wanted to use it. What a bunch of idiots. I'm getting out of here way before 30 days are up! The service might be cheap but it's not worth the agro.
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kamnet
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 229
Location: Mt. Sterling, KY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Before you go, don't let the issues with customer service immediately turn you off. That's part of the reason why sites like Vonage-forum.com exist. Smile

I'm not going to lie and say that customer service has not been one of the weakest points for Vonage. However, the quality of the service itself has been rock-solid, it's the main reason why I continue to be a customer.

Do you need two separate lines for your phone and fax? If not, then an inexpensive splitter will most certainly fix that. If so, then I would suggest calling customer service, talking with an account manager, explain that you specifically asked about a dedicated fax line and were sold a virtual number instead, and ask to be switched over to a dedicated fax line at no additional cost. If you haven't done so, also check out the Fax, TiVo & Alarms section on the boards for more assistance.

If you're porting over your main phone number from a telco or cellphone provider, unfortunately that is a crap shoot and Vonage cannot predict what will happen there. Many times the number porting happens quickly and without a hitch, but it isn't uncommon for there to be problems, often times the telco's own bureaucracy gets in the way and makes it a pain.

Once things get going, though, they should be pretty good. It's not often that I need to talk to customer service, but IMO I think that is why customer service is so important. When I need them, I want them to be there for me, I want them to work in my best interest, and most of all I just want them to be honest and up-front. If it's really going to take me five days to get my new device, then tell me that. Don't keep making up excuses why the overnight service I was promised isn't happening.
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kamnet
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 229
Location: Mt. Sterling, KY

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

So, any suggestions on who I should be talking to within Vonage to impress upon them how my loyalty is being strained right now by their lack of customer care and the apathy that I'm receiving?

I spent 10 minutes with an agent in the Philippines this morning trying to discuss this issues, especially since I still do not have my UPS package. He tells me that UPS says it is out for delivery, but no idea when my "Next Day Air" package that was ordered on Thursday is going to be here.

And this is great -- even though the order on my account is marked as "RRD - Overnight", apparently within Vonage this doesn't mean that it will be sent overnight if the order is processed after 3pm. UPS's "Next Day Air" also doesn't mean next day, because if the order isn't processed until after 3pm on a Friday, it will actually be the next business day since Vonage doesn't schedule Saturday deliveries. AND, according to this agent, "1-2 business days" may actually end up being 3-4 business days because, well, I never did get him to explain that to me.

So, I asked to be transferred to a customer care supervisor. I have just spent 30 minutes on hold, and find that I was transferred to L1 tech support.

It's a good thing I'm on that unlimited plan! Smile Twisted Evil
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kamnet
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 229
Location: Mt. Sterling, KY

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

So, I just got done speaking with JP, a customer care supervisor in the Philippines. After 99 minutes and 48 second on hold, here's what I've been told:

a) Any order processed after 3pm Monday-Thursday will not actually be processed until sometime in the next business day;

b) True overnight delivery cannot be guaranteed because the warehouse that fulfills the shipment may take up to 24 hours to receive the shipment request and process it;

c) True overnight or next day air delivery from UPS cannot and will not happen if the delivery window occurs during a weekend, because Vonage will not pay for weekend delivery. The device will be delivered on the next business day, not including holidays, because again Vonage will not pay for delivery on a holiday;

d) I should have been given the option on Thursday evening to go out and purchase a device from a retail store. Although JP said that I would have only been reimbursed $40 for the purchase. The Vonage V-Portal is $79.99 at my closest retailer, Best Buy.

As for follow-up on this, well I am left in serious doubt as to whether or not this extreme lack of customer service will be resolved. JP says that he'll use a form within Vonage to bring it to management's attention. But it appears that I am at Vonage's whim as to the follow-up on this. JP said he wasn't allowed to give out either his personal or corporate e-mail address, he wasn't allowed to send e-mails to customers, he has no direct phone number to be contact at nor is he allowed to give out an internal extension number that can be transferred directly to. The best I can hope for is that somebody (maybe JP, maybe somebody else) will follow up with a phone call by the end of the week. I have serious doubts that this wll be happening.
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Pyramid3
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Joined: Nov 02, 2008
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

For what it's worth, I ordered something from Amazon, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, 2 day air because I knew that given the holiday, 3-5 business days would stretch out 2 weeks or more. And wouldn't you know that 2 day air meant that it came on Tuesday. That's 4 days wall-time. We still have a very quaint notion of what a 'business day' is I guess.
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Slyster
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: Sep 26, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Bear in mind it is the month of December......Christmas heavy delays in shipping across the board
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kamnet
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 229
Location: Mt. Sterling, KY

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If this was an issue to blame on UPS, that would be one thing, but UPS is not to blame for this. UPS will deliver on a Saturday if you tell them to (and pay for it). According to supervisor JP, the amount that was indicated for the shipping ($19.99), this indicated to him that this wasn't really overnight or next day air, but Next Day Business. Although I look at my packing list, and it clearly says "UPS NEXT DAY 10:30 AM". That would seem to indicate to me that this was packed on Friday in Bolingbrook, IL and it should have been received on Saturday, not Monday.

IMO this is a management-level customer service decision that is to blame, and as was explained to me by supervisor JP, this is the way things are SUPPOSED to be.
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VonTechMgr
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just so you know, the devices that Vonage ships out do not ship from a Vonage owned and operated facility they have control over. All the devices are stored and shipped from a warehouse that is operated by the shipping company used to process these orders and get them shipped out. When a Tech or Care agent places the order, it then goes to this shipping company who then is responsible for packing it up and getting it out the door.

Back when Vonage had far less employees and customers, they operated out of the Edison, NJ location(prior to 2005). All shipping and receiving was done in house so orders were processed and shipped by any method necessary by Vonage staff working directly with the delivery services. Because of volume, that became a distant past.

It is just to hard when drop shipping has become an option. Third parties are now involved so it makes it difficult to point fingers. In your case, Vonage did their part by putting in the order for Next Day Business but the 3rd party at the warehouse dropped the ball.
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kamnet
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 229
Location: Mt. Sterling, KY

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

After talking with supervisor JP, I'm not sure that the 3rd party warehouse dropped the ball, either. From the way JP described things to me, the problem isn't that anybody dropped the ball, the problem is that these are management decisions made by Vonage on how to handle the issue, and the 1st level customer support agents that I spoke with just failed to explain those policies to me.

He assured me that those customer service agents would be reprimanded for this. I think that perhaps those agents are just as confused as I am about this.
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