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gz
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:13 am    Post subject: Anybody in area code 520??? Reply with quote Back to top

I'm considering switching from Qwest to Vonage. I'd like to hear from anyone using Vonage Voip (especially in Southern Arizona). Also would like to hear from anyone who has experience with Vonage Voip over COX cable network. Specifically, I would like to know

1. Does Vonage work over COX cable in AZ.

2. What kind of surprises can I expect in terms of additional fees, taxes, access charges, etc., above the advertised basic rate.

3. Any problems with the service in Southern AZ.

4. Will Qwest transfer my current number to Vonage?

It wouldn't surprise me a bit if COX blocked Vonage somehow, even though they don't offer Voip at my location.

Thanks in advance for your time and efforts.

GZ
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hi GZ:

It is kind of late at night and you asked some very detailed questions. You might find some answers here http://www.vonage-forum.com/searchforums.html before yours are answered.

I hope that helps.

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reebok
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

1. highly likely. one test is tftp tftp.vonage.net get test from a command prompt.

2. the unlimited plan is 27.24 total.
from my bill:
FET Tax $0.75
Regulatory Recovery Fee $1.50

3. shouldn't be. you aren't alone out there believe me.

4. have you looked at vonage.com yet?
http://vonage.com/help_lnp_authorization.php

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gz
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the info. I'd still like to hear from someone in my area code that is actually using Vonage.

According to the website, my phone number won't transfer. Why is it that (according to other posts on this site) Qwest will transfer other folks number to Vonage? Seems like if they would do it in one place, they would do it everywhere.

GZ
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reebok
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I doubt qwest is the problem, seeing as how they're mandated to support lnp and you probably pay a surcharge for it every month.
Vonage does offer area codes in 520, so this is probably your problem:
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic2214.html

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jlsoaz
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: Anybody in area code 520??? Reply with quote Back to top

gz wrote:
I'm considering switching from Qwest to Vonage. I'd like to hear from anyone using Vonage Voip (especially in Southern Arizona). Also would like to hear from anyone who has experience with Vonage Voip over COX cable network. Specifically, I would like to know

1. Does Vonage work over COX cable in AZ.

2. What kind of surprises can I expect in terms of additional fees, taxes, access charges, etc., above the advertised basic rate.

3. Any problems with the service in Southern AZ.

4. Will Qwest transfer my current number to Vonage?

It wouldn't surprise me a bit if COX blocked Vonage somehow, even though they don't offer Voip at my location.

Thanks in advance for your time and efforts.

GZ


I am using Vonage in the 520 area code, near Nogales. My cable provider is Mediacom. In the first couple of weeks, I did have a couple of significant problems with the internet side of things, but I don't think this was Vonage's fault. It did bring home to me though that you probably shouldn't be considering Voip unless you not only have a high-speed connection, but a *good* one. Mine is good, I think, but something went temporarily amiss.

I don't have any information for you about switching entirely from Qwest to Vonage. Vonage does not offer any numbers which are local to me, and I will absolutely not give up my trusty old number where people know they can reach me, and which is printed on my cards, and so forth. So: I use Vonage for all outgoing calls, and use Qwest on a separate phone for all incoming calls, as I have always done. Since Qwest can't be bothered to offer voice mail in my area, if I am not home I have Qwest calls forwarded to a cell phone that I use for emergencies, which happens to have voice mail as well. I can't have calls forwarded to my new Vonage account because Vonage doesn't offer a prefix which is local to my Qwest Landline, and so periodic forwarding of inbound Qwest to Vonage would result in unacceptable long distance charges.

Although I cannot switch away from Qwest entirely, I have gotten rid of all features including long distance and kept only a couple of essentials (caller ID, a type of call forwarding). The net effect, I hope, will be to reduce my Qwest bill from something like $66 per month (including long distance) to about $20 per month. I am still waiting for that first Qwest reduced bill to see what sort of penny-ante nickel-and-dime BS they will try.

So, theoretically, I have used Vonage in the 520 area code to reduce my overall monthly landline bills from about $66 per month to about $48 per month.

Now, although I am still a novice with only one experience, there are a couple of things I have been telling my friends, both in and outside of the 520 area code.

First, force yourself to read through forums like this. Not just the good parts, and not just the bad parts, but really get a sense of all the things that can go both right and wrong.

Once you do that, I think you'll understand when I say that, for me, it has been a blessing that I did not get rid of my Qwest line entirely to start with. The reason? I put a very high financial value on my time, my peace of mind, and my communications with friends, family and associates, and, from reading what has been said in this forum, I think it could have been courting disaster to just jump quickly in the water and count on Vonage to provide me with all my phone needs in a completely and totally reliable fashion.

It's not that they're bad people. But they are *not* as reliable yet as the regular old phone company. I say this as someone who has thoroughly enjoyed reducing the amount I can send to Qwest every month, and who may well fully get rid of them in a few months or years. But for now, I am glad that instead of doing a full switch, I have taken this "step by step", slowly and in a relaxed way, without cutting off my access to my reliable old phone. That has helped me avoid one of these horror-story experiences that we read about here or there, in this forum.

Down here, Packet8 does offer local prefixes, and they are about $5.20 cheaper per month, so I may switch to them within a few weeks or months. The idea would be not to abandon Qwest immediately, but at least then I could have incoming Qwest calls forwarded directly to my new Voip line and voice mail.

There are other nuances to this thing that would take more than one post to discuss (Vonage claims they are not capable of putting your name on your caller id for your outbound calls for example, but only your number).

My opinion is (obviously) fallible, and I hope to read other responses you may get from 520.

In answer to a question that I've had, and you may have, I have not yet found an unlimited-time deal to Mexico the way that there is one to USA and Canada. You would think that there could theoretically be such a thing, but for now, you just have to shop around and go through the per-minute BS. I don't think that Vonage is the absolute best, but I don't think they're the worst to Mexico.

If I had it to do over again, I would buy the Vonage box at a retail store, but I'm funny like that. I just like to have clear title to a piece of equipment that I'm going to try to incorporate into my setup. But, I haven't seen any horror stories about the return or cutting-off-service process.

Lastly for now, for whatever reason, it would appear that my setup doesn't work that well unless I keep it turned on full-time. I calculate, with the two phones and two or three computer router type things, this costs me roughly an extra $1 per month.

Best of luck. Let us know how it goes. Try to do it, but in a way that won't mess you up...

PS: If you're near Tucson, another low-priced around-town telephony option is Cricket, but that's a whole 'nuther set of considerations, including any health concerns you may have about radiation from cell telephony.
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gz
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks to jsloa. Good info.

I will give credit to COX, their service has been very reliable. According to the Vonage speed test, I have excellent bandwidth. That wasn't what I was concerned about, though. I was more worried about COX blocking some ports (or something else?) that would be essential to Vonage service. Since they offer Voip elsewhere, and they might offer it in the future in my area, one might speculate that they would discourage the use of other vendors.


Based on what I have read about Vonage and the headaches their customers seem to have with tech support, I was planning on keeping Quest for a month or so, until I could see if Vonage would indeed work well for me, before dumping Qwest alltoegether.

How do you manage to use both Qwest and Vonage simultaneously. I thought once you got the Vonage phone adapter, you plugged it into your home wiring. This would mean that all the phones in your home would use Vonage. I'm assuming you plugged one phone into the Vonage adapter, and kept the house wiring on Qwest. Is that right?

According to what I read, Vonage has a $39.99 termination fee, that you are supposed to get back if you return the phone adapter in good condition. If so, why would you want to buy an adapter? From the prices I see on the web, $39.99 is a lot cheaper than what the vendors want for these phone adapters anyway. So unless they have a history of screwing people who return the adapters, and not giving back the $39.99, why whould anybody want to purchase the equipment? Even if you want to own it, wouldn't it be cheaper to just never return the equipment and pay the $39.99 termination fee?

Still looking for others from AC 520 who are willing to share their experience/info.

GZ
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reebok
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

there are a ton of posts about retail vs Vonage sending it. search for them if you're interested. you still get charged the fee no matter where you bought it, and it is credited when sent back.
you can have your house wired for voip/vonage, but it's designed to have the phone hooked into the adapter they send. these links talk about wiring for Voip:
http://www.vonage.com/help_knowledgeBase_article.php?article=649
http://michigantelephone.mi.org/distribute.html
do you know there's a 14 day trial? that will be a lot more convincing one way or the other than waiting for people in some area code to tell you their experiences, which will, in all likelihood, be different from yours.

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jlsoaz
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gz wrote:

Based on what I have read about Vonage and the headaches their customers seem to have with tech support, I was planning on keeping Quest for a month or so, until I could see if Vonage would indeed work well for me, before dumping Qwest alltoegether.


Just be careful. I'd say "one month at least" but each of us has a different phone setup and has to make those calculations based on our own situations.

gz wrote:

How do you manage to use both Qwest and Vonage simultaneously. I thought once you got the Vonage phone adapter, you plugged it into your home wiring. This would mean that all the phones in your home would use Vonage. I'm assuming you plugged one phone into the Vonage adapter, and kept the house wiring on Qwest. Is that right?


I have only two phones. One is plugged into the Vonage router (my Voip phone) and one is plugged into the wall, where it has always been. The Voip phone I intend as an outgoing line, and the landline as my incoming line, though this distinction tends to blur (such as if folks caller-id me and return a call on my Voip phone).

gz wrote:
According to what I read, Vonage has a $39.99 termination fee, that you are supposed to get back if you return the phone adapter in good condition. If so, why would you want to buy an adapter? From the prices I see on the web, $39.99 is a lot cheaper than what the vendors want for these phone adapters anyway. So unless they have a history of screwing people who return the adapters, and not giving back the $39.99, why whould anybody want to purchase the equipment? Even if you want to own it, wouldn't it be cheaper to just never return the equipment and pay the $39.99 termination fee?


All of this is correct, and it's really all pretty reasonable, as best I can see. I haven't heard any horror stories on this particular issue (except folks who resent some of the language about what is free or not).

I think the way I put it is that it's a bit of an oddity on my part, the way I see it. If I do cancel, I might just not return the unit, because it's a bit of a hassle for me to pull together the materials and mail it off.

gz wrote:


Still looking for others from AC 520 who are willing to share their experience/info.

GZ


Yeah, unfortunately, I don't have any info for you about Cox in AZ and using Vonage, so hopefully someone else can fill in that gap, and any others, and add to our understanding.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

reebok wrote:
there are a ton of posts about retail vs Vonage sending it.


PS:

I didn't do an exact count, but it sure seemed to take awhile for the unit to arrive once I did order it by phone. I haven't been to a store to see what the terms are for retail purchase (i.e.: whether you can mail it back to Vonage for money, if you change your mind and decide to disconnect), but some folks who want to get started in a day or two might want to know that it takes longer than that in some cases for the unit to arrive. I'm not sure but I think mine took about 9 calendar days.

By then I had decided that packet8 probably would have been more suitable for my prefix, but I decided to see how it went with Vonage.
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