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Hanzov69
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:19 pm    Post subject: Vonage switched us from MTA to Linksys to fix problems.. Reply with quote Back to top

I hope there are some experienced users floating around today, or one or two of those tier two techs Smile

We moved to Vonage (on paper at least) about four months ago. After waiting almost three months for our numbers to carry over yadda yadda we were finally able to make the Real switch. Initially we were provided with Motorola TA's, and those worked...eh..ok.

We have a T1 and four MTAs, and all things considered, they worked not too shabby. Occasionally during extremely high traffic times we would experience a significant degradation in call quality, but it was bearable. The problem? We end up calling A LOT of companies. With voice mail/attendant systems. 40% of these systems never heard/got the DTMF dialtones, which meant we were unable to dial direct extensions (or in some cases) get anywhere. We also experienced some weird issues with certain wireless callers that would get a Number out of service type message, but when they called from other cell or land line got right through.

Small annoyances really. But nonetheless. So my boss contacted Vonage, and a tech at Vonage basically said it was the modems and that he would send us out some news ones.

Well Two days ago we got the new modems (and Hats!) and switched everything out. Fairly painless. Then the problems started.

Our call quality has gone to crap, 50% of the calls start and stay unintelligible, 40% of the calls waver in and out (from clear as bell to mud and then back) and the final ten percent are...flawless. In fact, they sound better than the MTAs. And dropped calls. For no rhyme or reason at (it feels like at least) random intervals the calls will simply drop.

So here is the thing, we haven't sent the MTAs back (although they are boxed up) but we simply cannot continue, as a business that relies heavily on our phone system, continue with this. The last two days have been a living nightmare (try giving tech support to a customer that is paying you $40 an hour with every other sentence "can you hear me?") but we also can't afford to waste time waiting for an attendant to kick us to a live operator (or worse yet, calling the companies that don't automatically boot you to an operator on a Cell phone...AMD is just such a company)

So we need a clear cut "This will work" type fix. No more messing around, no more downtime. If anyone has a nigh fool proof solution (short of going back to Verizon (shudder))...let me know.

And you may be wondering why I/we haven't voiced this to a phone support person? Well, after multiple attempts to get through, sometimes spending 45 minutes in a hold queue, sometimes getting dropped, and worse yet, sometimes getting a message (paraphrasing) "We are too busy to deal with you right now, call back when it's convenient for us"

And this was all on a cell phone. We tried calling Vonage using vonage..and well...we didn't last five minutes.

Someone please save this geek.

Christian Sullivan
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ToddlerTN
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Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 482
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This is not meant as a provokative question, but is it very common that sizeable businesses are trying to use Vonage? I know a lot of companies (mine included) are using Voip, but through high-end (and very expensive) providers. I just didn't realize Vonage was more than a consumer-level provider.
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Hanzov69
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:59 pm    Post subject: Off topic Reply with quote Back to top

Honestly, I am not aware one way or the other.
I know in our instance, we are a fairly small company that is stuck in the early stages of growth. Long hours, few employees, more business than you can handle some days, but a tight wallet.

We initally opted for Vonage simply because we were getting killed on the business line charges (per minute) that the telco force upon us here in PA.

I have heard that the per minute nonsense is relatively unique to PA, but it kills a small business that has at least 1-2 lines in use at all times during the working day.

I do know that a couple of non profit organization in our area (that are clients of ours) have made the move to Vonage as well (in part because of our success, and it really is that...up until this week Smile )

Given our particular market niche (and the type of people that work here) Vonage (or anything leading tech) is a natural decision.

Thankfully we are all accustomed to the pains of new technology (we have an employee who uses longhorn on an AMD 64 with avalon and all of that other nonsense as his primary workstation, and I can personally attest to losing productivity at time because the latest Gnome nightly was broken...) but there is a point where supporting new tech is less important than operating as a company.

In perhaps another thread, it would be interested to see how many companies have made the switch to Vonage as a primary voice solution. I can guess that a lot of them will have done so for the same reason we have... Our phone bill is (estimated) 50-60% cheaper a month.

At the end of the day, my personal feelings towards Vonage are thus:
Good tech, lousy support, very promising, but how long until it goes from OK/passable to Fantastic?
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ToddlerTN
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Very cool, thanks for the reply. I'm interested to see how your situation turns out.
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Hanzov69
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

*bump*

...help meeee....
(think "The Fly"
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reebok
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Joined: Oct 24, 2004
Posts: 3198
Location: Lakeland, FL

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ok, despite the length of the posts here, you really only have two problems with your original setup. dtmf and number out of service messages.
the dtmf problem with the moto should have been fixed by Vonage judging from these posts:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,11091616
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,11139957
I would call them and have them do that. The out of service deal seems to be a voip-wide problem, and unfortunately I don't have answer for you. There is a chance that the cell provider hasn't updated their routing tables to include your numbers, which is a better possibility if the numbers were assigned by Vonage.
as far as the linksys issues, hopefully this post and the ones referenced will solve the mta troubles and you'll be able to forget about the linksys'.
p.s. if this works, I demand a Vonage hat from you. or at least a picture of one.

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Hanzov69
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

reebok wrote:

p.s. if this works, I demand a Vonage hat from you. or at least a picture of one.


Yar, well basically here is how we resolved this issue. We went back to the MTAs and disconnected the Linksys. It worked fine.

Vonage support has us troubleshooting our connection and claimed that there was massive packet loss, and the problem was on our end, not theres. Or more correctly, there was no problem with the linksys equipment, the problem was with our connectivity.

This is complete and utter BS. But in an attempt to humor the tech, and the fact that my boss believed him, we did what they said. We tried diagnosing our connection. We even got the AT&T NOC involved, the consensus between the techs here and the techs at AT&T was that the Vonage tech was....well..an idiot.

So we removed the linksys, unpacked the as of yet unsent Motorolas, plugged them back in, and guess what?

The problem disappeared.

PM me a mailling address reebok, and I will see what i can do about sending you one of these hats Smile
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reebok
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Joined: Oct 24, 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

haha, appreciate it but a picture will suffice. maybe dan will make vonage-forum hats and send me one once I reach 1,000 posts ;)

anyway, good to hear but what about the dtmf issue? is it gone as well? or are you going to call about it?

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Hanzov69
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well, it's the damndest thing.

After hooking them up we immediatly called Vonage to tell them that they needed to change the RMA (as we are no longer sending back the motorolas but the linksys instead) and to try and get them to force that recent flash to our units...

And I made a call to a company that we were having the DTMF issues with (AMD) and...

it's fixed?

Do these units check for updates on a powercycle? Would they have downloaded latest firmware when we plugged them in?

I've no clue, but the buggers work now. So effectively the past four days have been nothing more than an excercise in frustration. Sadly we are now considering moving to some one else, simply because the support provided by Vonage has been so lack luster. I know there are some good people there, as exhibited by the Vonage employees here on the forums, but when you can't reach a technical person 80% of the time, and when you do they seem to be...well..stupid...knowing that there are some good employees is not enough to make up for the total BS.
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dconnor
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

reebok wrote:
haha, appreciate it but a picture will suffice. maybe dan will make vonage-forum hats and send me one once I reach 1,000 posts Wink


Reebok, it's a deal. You reach 1000 post and I will send you a vonage-forum.com hat.

If you do not link off-site from this post till post 1000, I will send you a vonage-forum.com golf shirt! Deal?

Smile

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