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tplink Posted:
Im trying to add
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DWSupport Posted:
After recent
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peterlee Posted:
Had a call from a
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rio
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TELLDOUG Posted:
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HildBeft Posted:
You can recollect
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and open the
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massrman Posted:
The devices are
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margins , please
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On Sep 30, 2016 at 00:48:03

massrman Posted:
Hi these are most
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Has anyone setup a
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James44 Posted:
Hi, I am
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robertplattbell
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Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: My Vonage Experience - Good so far, for the most part. Reply with quote Back to top

I recently ordered Vonage service and it is working pretty well so far, for the most part. There are a few areas that could use some improvement, such as the clarity of instructions and the customer service.

I have a small network of three computers (plus one laptop) connected via cat-5 cables (and/or 802.11b) to a Linksys 2.4 GHZ router box that is then tied into a cable modem.

I orded the Vonage service on-line, which was pretty painless. A new linksys phone router was sent a few days later by DHL. I was on vacation at the time, and the box sat here for a few days.

I was a little apprehensive about setting it up, as in my experience, every piece of new technology involves at least several hours of pain, confusion, and talking to Sanjay on the 1-800 help line. And I say this as an old-time (pre-internet) computer guy, EE, and all around nerd.

The only problem I had was that the process was TOO SIMPLE and that Vonage makes it seem hard! The instruction sheets on the Vonage website are quite explicit and detailed, perhaps too much so.

Here is the reader's digest version:

1. Turn everything off.

2. Plug the Vonage box into your cable modem. DISCARD THE INSTALL DISK PROVIDED BY LINKSYS!

3. Plug your network box into the Vonage box. Plug a phone into "line 1" of the Vonage box as well.

4. Turn everything on. You should get dialtone.

It really was that simple. I was distracted for a half-hour with this silly install CD-ROM provided by LINKSYS. It is provided by the manufacturer, but you don't need (or want) to use it. Toss it!

The Linksys routers stack on top of each other (the legs lock together), so I have my network router right on top of the Vonage box. Lots of happy green lights blinking.

I also connected the phone line to my primitive home phone system (an ancient BBS Telcom private PBX) and it works well with that. The sound quality so far is excellent (better than Verizon copper), and it does not appear to affect the bandwidth of the internet connection when I am using the phone (which were two of the Vonage horror stories related to me by others, obviously untrue!).

The bad news? Customer service. I tried to call to find out (a) do I need to run this silly Linksys install CD, and (b) the status of my line number change. A call to the # on the website goes only to sales. If you press "2" for technical assistance, it says in so many words, "buzz off! go to the website!". Unfortunately, the website does not answer these questions in a direct manner, if at all.

The Vonage website suffers from information overload, frankly. Needs filtering. Too much information is worse than none at all.

I finally called the sales department and they gave me a toll number for customer service, which I called. Sanjay answered and it sounded like he was hollering down a well. I could not make myself understood. I asked to speak to someone 'merican and he transfered me to a bored operator who sounded like she was hollering down a well with a pillow over her face. Apparently Sanjay was trying to smother her.

After much hollering into the phone, I could not make myself understood, so I just hooked things up intuitively and tried it, and well, voila, it worked. So the customer service ****, but the phone service itself is great. Once I navigated the website, I became more comfortable with the service and how to access data on the site.

I signed up for the 911 service which is now FREE apparently (I am sure there are lawsuits galore over this). But this is another exampe of how hard it is to find data BURIED in the Vonage site.

When I signed up a few weeks back, 911 service was an extra cost "add on" item. The site now encourages you to sign up for 911 service. Well, I figured they would, right? Get another $9.99 a month. After searching several screens, I found only one reference, a bullet point that read "911 service is free". No big hoopla over this change. It should be on the basic signup info, or at least on the TOS (yes, I am a lawyer and read the whole damn TOS, no mention that 911 is free).

But these are some minor teething pains, I guess.

The upshot? For $25 a month, I get rid of two phone lines here in Virginia ($124 a month with Verizon, the fax line I converted to an internet fax using MAXEMAIL for $14.99 a year), a phone line in Florida (a staggering $59 a month with BellSouth) as well as a phone line in NY.

I can travel now and plug in the Vonage box into my cable modem at any home, and have the same phone number wherever I go, for less than 1/5th the cost of traditional POTS via the Telcos. No call forwarding, no multiple voicemails to check, no hassle. While travelling, I can call-forward my calls to my cell phone. It really is a great concept.

To date, the changeover of my phone line to Vonage has not taken place, so I can dial out, but callers dialing in still come over my old POTS line from Verizon. I can't pull the plug on that until the changer occurs. So far, it has taken a couple of weeks, and no transfer (I am sure Verizon is in no hurry to do this!).

The sweetest part was telling Ma Bell to go get stuffed with her copper twisted pair, indifferent service, and horrible contract installers (and worse union techs). Verizon has this new "voice activated" customer service line. Have you tried it? Yuck! It made me long for Sanjay and his megaphone.

So the customer service phone ****, yes, but then again so does Verizon, Cox communications, Bell South, Comcast, and all the other telcos and cable providers. If you call anyone these days, expect a 15 level DTMF telephone tree and a whole lot of useless information.

And if you do get a real live person, chances are, they are reading from a script, anyway, with ESL. So on that score, Vonage has what it takes to compete with the telcos.... Wink

But the technical side works well, and if you just ignore all the "helpful" instructions and just plug the damn thing in, it works right out of the box.

Regards,

--Bob.
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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject: Followup Reply with quote Back to top

The service is still running strong, but it can be inconsistent.

So can Ma Bell. In the last few months alone, I have dialed numbers on the telco lines and gotten different numbers, or disconnect recordings, or "all circuits are busy" or just a hang-up or no ring.

SO, is Vonage better or worse than that? I'd say, about the same.

On a few occasions, it does seem to work like a speakerphone, where if two people talk at the same time, it cuts out both of them. But that has been only a couple of times, and I just hung up and redialed and everything was OK.

The audio quality for the most part seems to be better than Bell Atlantic (verizon).

I called Verizon to ask about the status of the number changeover. As soon as I mentioned Vonage, the hostility became palpable.

If they do not switch over the number by the end of June, I'll just go with a new number and say to heck with it.

I still believe in the product. Given the limited value of landlanes anyway (does anyone in the USA NOT have a Cellular phone?), why should we be paying MORE for landline service than for, say, cell service.

Oh, right. There's fierce competition in the wireless market!
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dconnor
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Joined: Mar 05, 2003
Posts: 2263
Location: The Beach

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hey Robert:

Excellent review.

Please correct me if I am wrong - it is a moot point anyhow - but I do not recall Vonage ever charging a fee for 911 activation.

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robertplattbell
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

My recollection is that when I last checked into Vonage about 3-6 months ago, they had a 911 fee that you had to sign up for, at extra cost, like $9.99 a month or something.

I said "to heck with that" and did not sign up at that time.

That was my recollection, anyway. I recall there was a big RED BOX on the website that mentioned this.

My memory could be faulty, though. Or I mis-read it.

But apparently, a few articles out there read the same thing I did. See: http://www.networkworld.com/columnists/2005/041805eyejohnson.html

"Vonage disagrees, arguing essentially that 911 is an option, not a requirement. Vonage customers don't receive built-in 911 service - they have to pay extra. Even when they do, Vonage's 911 service lacks critical emergency features such as location detection. Finally, Vonage says that while it would like to add comprehensive 911 features to its Voip service, the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILEC) won't offer the necessary network access. "

And apparently, the bottleneck was not entirely Vonages. The Telcos were not allowing Vonage access to the E911 service. So who is really at fault? (the telcos, IMHO).

I feel bad for Vonage, because they are going to be sued over this and probably lose. Once the sharks smell the blood in the water, it will be a feeding frenzy.

This is America, after all, the land where a hot cup of coffee is worth a $5 Million settlement. And you know, I do get a lot of my fellow Attorneys saying "But it really WAS hot coffee!" Like hot coffee is now an "unreasonably hazardous instrumentality".

(A hint to those who are clueless: Making GOOD coffee involves heating up water to just below the boiling point of 100 DEGC or 212 DEGF at sea level. By its very nature, Coffee burns. Putting a coffee cup in your crotch is thus a very, very bad idea, unless you are into S&M - and even then, you'd be better to stick with hot wax.).

By the way, check out www.babyscoffee.com if you really want some good coffee and not that burnt-roasted starbucks crap. I have 4 lbs delivered every month. Good Stuff!

So, Vonage will take it up the chute from the Trial Lawyers of America and we'll all have to pay an extra $5-$10 a month for these lawsuits, that will serve only to enrich a small class of Attorneys and pay a pittance to the persons actually "injured".
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