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moleary1018
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:45 pm    Post subject: Vonage Roller Coaster Reply with quote Back to top

Skip to the bottom if you want to just see the technical issue that ultimately led me to cancel service.

Lol Mad Lol Mad

That is basically the way I felt over the last week and a half. I ordered the Vonage service last Saturday after grilling the poor customer service guy for about twenty minutes. My wife and I are heavy cellular users and almost never pick-up the home phone so Vonage's $15.00 plan sounded great!

The one thing we do use our phones for on a regular basis is having video-phone calls with the rest of our family. When I was working with the nice guy in sales (who picked up REALLY quickly when my call was routed to him) I specifically asked if I could still use my video phones. I was concerned because Vonage takes an analog signal and turns it into digital packets only to convert it back to complete the call. My video phone unit and the 10 other units in our family all use analog modems (we just bought them for everyone over Christmas). Keep this in mind...

My first disappointment came when the unit came in the mail... This massive router shows up when all I needed or asked for was the Linksys P2P. This prompted my first call to customer service. Twenty minutes later I get someone (ok, a little long but I wasn't complaining yet) and they are really nice and helpful, take care of everything, issue credits so I can go buy a P2P and also sent an RMA# to get back the unit they originally sent.

I went straight to Best Buy and picked up the P2P. What a great unit! Perfect size and easy to set-up. I plugged it in, placed another call to Vonage with the new MAC address (2 calls - one disconnect, 45 minutes on hold each time - uh-oh). I backcharged the lines in the house after disconnecting the service at the D-Mark. The dialtone was clear and the service worked as expected... COOL!

STOP SCROLLING HERE

Then I went to make a video call... Uh-oh. Now the real trouble starts. The call won't connect. I place another call to Vonage. Over an hour on hold and the rep can't help me, doesn't know what's wrong. I give her a callback number and ask for a return call within the next hour. Five hours later someone calls back. They have no idea why they are calling so I get to explain everything again. They tell me that the service doesn't support analog connections over 9600 Baud. WHAT??? Why not tell me that in the first place. I immediately ask to cancel the service and pack the stuff up. The next day I get an email telling me that in order to cancel I have to call in again. This call was not as bad as the others. After I explain the reason for cancelling (again) I get an email confirming the cancellation and instructing me on returning the router for a refund. 60 Seconds later I get an email telling me the router didn't make it back in time and I will be charged a disconnect fee. Oops, my bad, the wormhole in my backyard is unstable, totally my fault. Please feel free to bill me. Anyway, both routers are now returned, one to Best Buy and one to Vonage via. UPS.

So much for that. This would have been so easy to avoid with just a little training on the front end and a better FAQ section with some more complete technical information.

I hope they someday get the bugs worked out so I can try again. Even with all the hoohey I went through on this I really liked the reps that answered the phone. It isn't their fault that Vonage is not properly staffed.

Anyone else have a similar modem problem?

Michael
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reebok
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Joined: Oct 24, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

everyone has this problem. the g711 codec runs about 90kbps so connecting at anything above 9600bps is impossible, and a lot of people can't even connect at that speed. there is a post in here somewhere where someone went down to 300bps and still couldn't connect.
fwiw, packet8.net (another Voip service) has video phones and Vonage is coming out with them soon.
http://www.vonage.com/corporate/press_index.html?PR=2004_12_09_0
http://packet8.net/about/video.asp

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mgough
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:59 pm    Post subject: Video Call Reply with quote Back to top

You can always use something like a Blackcrow Video Phone versus the little 5" screen Packet8 or DLink DVC 2000 Video Phone.

Use you TV to do the call or use Vonage with MSN or SightSpeed.

MG

www.VideoCall4Free.com
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eliotj
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Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 36
Location: Alamo, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Video Call Reply with quote Back to top

mgough wrote:
You can always use something like a Blackcrow Video Phone versus the little 5" screen Packet8 or DLink DVC 2000 Video Phone.

Use you TV to do the call or use Vonage with MSN or SightSpeed.

MG

www.VideoCall4Free.com


PAcket 8 has their issues as well. They don't do caller ID with name delivery, we've had several outages for no reasons, frequent resets etc. Also noticed several heavy port scans after I setup this packety 8 device which prompted me to secure my network tighter than a fishes a$$ hole.
We use Vonage and packet8.

As for video phone, well... the problem is the codec and the really low resolution, slow etc. The technology just isn't there yet!
I suggest using a plain old web cam. Get a USB web cam or get a wireless web cam for your B or G network. Cheaper, more reliable and you don't have to worry about the technical problems.
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yarnia
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Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I don't really see the point in recommending him other Video-Phone solutions. He's kinda tied into this one and probably for good reason.

Even the cheapest video phone is pretty pricey to replace considering he has 10 of them that he JUST bought.

And yes, a solution that routes over the net will probably give much better quality and service -- but that doesn't help most people.

A video-phone that dials via modem over analog line is self contained and requires nothing more than a phone line. Start using other things and not only does Grandma need to know how to use the computer, now she needs to buy broadband internet to make it worthwile.

Did you get the name or extension of the sales rep that you spoke to? This should have been an OBVIOUS no-brainer on his part that it wouldn't work. If they gave him any training at all, he should have known that.
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