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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Vonage UK
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swinster
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Joined: Feb 22, 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:54 am    Post subject: Be careful with Vonage - They charge if you want to leave! Reply with quote Back to top

I have been looking at a Voip service for a little while now that I can use in the UK. At first glance, everything seemed great with the Vonage service. However, on digging a little deeper I discovered something that everyone considering this service should know.

Then main point was the fee Vonage wish to charge you as the customer if you want to leave their service AFTER the initial 14 day period has expired. Yes that right, after 14 days with Vonage, if you don’t like the service you will have to PAY THEM to get out! This is not clearly mentioned on there website and is only berried deep within their T and C’s. I think this is a displaceable practice and anyone considering this service should first consider another SIP or Voip provider such as Sipgate.co.uk.

I wrote an email to Vonage about this and other concerns I had and here are the responses.

Quote:
Hi. I have been looking into a Voip solution for our home phone line
> for a little while now and as you have recently set up in the UK I
> would like to know one or two further question that I believe
> aren't covered by you extensive FAQ's
>
> 1) I am assuming you are a
> SIP based Voip provider?
>
Although we use SIP, you can plug any normal corded or cordless telephone into our telephone adapter/router.

> 2) If the above is correct, can we use
> our own SIP based equipment such as a proper IP telephone or the
> Cisco ATA-186 or other SIP based ATA's, routers etc?

No. the service will only work with the Vonage device provided to you.
>
> 3) Do you
> offer free calls to other SIP based IP phone systems as is common
> with most other SIP providers such as Sipgate?

No. Our packages include unlimited landline calls in the UK and Ireland and free calls to other number on the Vonage network only.
>
> 4) If the
> supplied ATA (Linksys RT31P2/RT41P2-AT) enables QoS, why would the
> Bandwidth Saver be needed?

In some cases, your ISP might not provide you with sufficient bandwidth therefore we provide you with capability to adjust the bandwith at your end via the bandwidth saver. This is the most frequent use of the bandwidth saver.
>
> 5) When are you likely to offer area
> codes for the Swansea region (01792)?
>
We are adding new dialling codes regularly. There will be anothe tranche released within the next couple of weeks and there is a strong possibility Swansea might be included, although we can't guarantee it.

> 6) What is your expected
> time frame to implement the transfer of an existing land line
> number to your Voip system?
>
There are considerable regulatory and technical obstacles to overcome
and we working on all of these. We can't give you a specific date although we are working towards number portability.

> 7) One further point, after hours of
> trawling through your FAQ's I stumbled across your very cheeky (if
> not downright despicable) disconnection charge! This is not
> seemingly mentioned anywhere in the main web pages and as such is a
> hidden charge. In my opinion, after a customer has already paid for
> an activation charge, it seems disgusting that they would actually
> have to pay to leave your system. Anyhow, as a hidden charge, it
> would probably be legally challengeable.
>
All of our charges are included and identified in the terms and conditions. We also offer a 14 day moneyback guarantee where we refund all of your charges if you are unhappy with the service.


I thought I could live with most bad point about the service but the last one just looses it for me. For some reason the first thing I thought about when I found this out was, “I wonder what would happen if they tried to do the same thing at a football match?”.

They can charge £20 to get in, and even money for food and drink whilst you in the stadium, but what would happen if after the game that you didn't like they tried to charge you another £20 to get out. There would by a riot that’s what!

After more thought, I don't think I can actually stomach the fact that I couldn't use my own equipment. Whilst the Linksys router looks like a nice piece of kit, I actually want more from my Voip connection in that I also want to be able to utilise a landline at the same time from the same handset. This could be done by using something link the Draytek Vigor 2100V, but according with Vonage not with them – which I would suggest is bull**** from a technical point of view. SIP is an open protocol and there is nothing that the Linksys router does that any other SIP equipment couldn’t do.

Beware…..

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seattlezoid
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Joined: Jan 30, 2005
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The way I read the TOS, they will charge you If you do NOT return the adapter within 14 days. If they get the adapter back they will credit you.
If I were to quit Vonage I would make sure to send it back with a signature required and insured for $100. See USPS.com for more info on package delivery confirmations.
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swinster
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Joined: Feb 22, 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just goes to show you how poor the Vonage site and structure is. The reply I had, as shown above, came direct from Kerry Ritz, the Managing Director of Vonage UK Ltd. As can be seen from the reply, he/she (?) gave no indication that this was the case and simply referred to the 14-day money-back guarantee period of initial service.

Are you talking about the Vonage service in the US or the UK? Maybe there are different T and C’s, but either way these charges should be CLEARY indicated on the main web pages with all the other tariff and subscription charge – why should they try and bury them if they are happy about their pricing policy?

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veasey
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Joined: Feb 04, 2005
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Location: West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

After one month I decided I could get equally if not better prices elsewhere using my POTS line I cancelled and was charged the termination fee. Supposedly to be refunded on receipt of my returned router. Well the router went back and I've seen no sign of my refund.

Frankly I'll put that down to experience, I can't be bothered with the hassle, but of course it will reflect in my recommendations to others. i.e. don't do it!
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swinster
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The only reason I was looking to a Voip service would be to get rid of the Landline completely. In the UK, I think this is the only way you will make any real saving. Even then I wouldn't do it unless I had another back up which in my case I do - the mobile.

The majority of people in the UK will not be able to take this measure as they have ADSL broadband and so still at least require a basic line rental from BT - in which case you basically save nothing. Unless you have cable, it is not all that practical yet as the call rates are similar to PSTN calls. This may change in the future as BT opens up the local loop and you will be able to possibly get JUST ADSL, but I'll guess we'll see.

veasey
Quote:
After one month I decided I could get equally if not better prices elsewhere using my POTS line I cancelled and was charged the termination fee. Supposedly to be refunded on receipt of my returned router. Well the router went back and I've seen no sign of my refund.


Why don't you cancel the charge via you card compaany and create a Chargeback to Vonage, saying it was unauthorised. If enough people do this I suspect the will drop this charge.

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notvanoge
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:16 am    Post subject: their terms state Reply with quote Back to top

terms of service state

10.2 If you end this Agreement you must pay everything you owe on your account as set out in Section 7.4 and a disconnect fee which is currently £23.99.

10.3 If we end this Agreement for any of the reasons set out in this Section you must pay everything you owe on your account until the end of the then current monthly term and you will be charged a disconnect fee which is currently £23.99


which looks non-refundable to me.

whilst i dont like the principal, i am more concerned with the hidden nature of the charge......what else is buried in the tos...

so, off to look for anothe provider....
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eyebee
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Joined: Apr 25, 2005
Posts: 11
Location: Charleston SC

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

In the US it's a $40.00 which is roughtly equivalent to 23 quid. I di read this in the small print on the leaflet in the adaptor box before I actually activated the account. As I bought this as a retail package at that point I could have returned it to Office Depot, and simply got a refund. I agree it was in the small print, but I did see and was aware of it before I activated my adaptor.

So far, I'm finding the quality of service excellent. What really swayed me was the extra five bucks a month for the virtual number, as it means my friends and family in the UK can call me for nothing mostly, even if most of their stupid telco plans only allow an hour at a time!
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swinster
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Joined: Feb 22, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I had this email form Vonage a few days ago, 2 months after originally asking my questions!.

They seem to get a little snooty about the fact that I have insited the charge is buried. I also don't understand the answer to the question about SIP to SIP calls as in this imperfect world it is quite possible and a LOT of other SIP providers allow this method of calling FREE of charge. Vonage seem to be blaming the hardware, which to my mind is incorrect, it is simply a business decision on thier part.

Quote:
Dear SIr,

Thank you for contacting Customer Care.

In response to your email, I apologize for Vonage not being able to
offer free calls to other Voip companies. As you may know, Other Voip companies are our competitors and in the perfect world we could cooperate w/ their systems as one but not in the present day. Unfortunately the devices and SIP hardware would fall under the same category.

Regarding the Cancellation fee, it's not buried. It's clearly stated
in the Terms of conditions that must be read before a customer would sign up to our services. If misunderstood, we apologize once again.



I personally have siged up with another SIP provider (SIPGATE) that has gives me a FREE local virtual number, FREE SIP to SIP calls, FREE voicemail and reasonably low charges on SIP to PSTN calls. I have also found a mobile deal that gives me a hell of a lot of free xNet minutes for very little a month, so I now have no landline phone charges AT ALL and under £100 a year for ALL outgoing charges.

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Chris Swinney
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eyebee
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Joined: Apr 25, 2005
Posts: 11
Location: Charleston SC

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I must admit I've not heard of SIPGATE. I didn't do a great deal of research I must admit, which is unlike me, but what little I did only unearthed Vonage for me anyway. I've been using Net2Phone via ICQ for some years now so I knew what the quality could be like over the net - usually quite acceptable.
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anu73
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Joined: Apr 08, 2005
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 12:28 am    Post subject: Using own equipment ? Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Swinster,

I too am concerned about using our own Voip equipment for Vonage. For example Vonage provides Linksys RT31P2 adapter if we subscribe for this service in US. But when I send a query to Vonage about using my own equipment they said that even if I purchase the same model of Linksys adapter from Linksys directly I won't be able to use it since it is not authorised by Vonage. What do you think this authorisation would be? Will it be some kind of code that is inbuilt inside the adapter provided by them? What do you think about this?

Thanks
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