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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:37 am    Post subject: Comparing VoIP to the landline - Time is money Reply with quote Back to top

I have been a Vonage customer for 4 days now, and while everything sounds pretty clear to me, everyone I speak to tells me how "cell phonish" or tinny I sound. I should add I use Vonage for a home office.

I have already had to have several rounds of long customer service with incompetent people until I finally got one guy who helped me with my firmware.

I HAVE NOT transferred my landline number yet as that is my bread and butter, and if anything happened to that number there would be major problems. So for the rest of this month I will run both.

I feel like with Vonage I am a paying beta tester, because clearly this product is in it's infancy, and will get better. But how much time should a customer be willing to spend beta testing something as serious as communications?

I guess it all comes down to two things:
A) Being a geek who loves to make cool technology work
B) Money

Both have caught my eye, but with all the time I have already spent messing around with Vonage, I am clearly losing money and I find myself putting in more hours in the office because I am constantly switching lines, calling people back, calling CS, and then going back to doing actual work.

So I pay $24.95 a month for Vonage for one line with some cool bells and whistles. (Can someone tell me what the actual monthly is with taxes and hidden charges?)

I pay SBC $99.95 (includes taxes, and hidden charges) a month for two lines with all the bells and whistles and also unlimited local and long distance.

With Vonage it's a clear savings, but there is a huge sacrafice here.

Quality of product, and customer service.

Those two ingredients = my time, and my time is valuable, so I ask others who must have asked themselves the same question. Is it worth the time right now? Is this product really ready?

This is truly not a complaining post. I am a logical guy simply weighing my options and would love to hear some input from others on the topic.
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Trowski
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well, as a 1 year complete Vonage user, no POTS, I can tell you overall I have had great experience, and for the last 6 months I have also had a business line through Vonage also.

I have found that yes, CS can be a challenge to say the least, but I had had very few times to have to call them. But I will admit it is the biggest complaint, if any, I would have. But then again, by keeping prices down, there should in theory be a sacrifice somewhere, and I for one would rather see it in customer service than actual phone service.

I think the technology has been tried and true. I think most people blame Vonage for audio issues etc, when in reality it is their ISP and connection. I think that is the biggest contributor to people having a bad Vonage/Voip experience, but they blame it on the Voip company instead of the ISP. I have seen very very few actual Vonage outages, maybe 1 that I can remember in the last year. That is where Cingular and rollver minutes come in handy.

Are there still improvements to be made? Of course. But to me I would rather spend $54/month as opposed to the $150 to Verizon for two lines, unlimited long distance. I can live with a few occasional problems, which are more ISP related than Vonage related...That $100 goes to pay for almost 1 week of daycare, so I cannot complain!

My $2.00 worth.... Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

well this seemed like one big beta test.

I have dropped the service, returned the router, and will follow up when things get better.

I am glad I tried it, I am glad I didn't drop my landline, or transfer my number, and I wish you all the best of luck.

The old addage is true, you get what you pay for.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

every min every day the internet gets faster and faster..our connections get clearer and more stable...servers are being replaced daily. so just hang in there...unless your internett provider just isnt progressing the same ....thats how i feel!!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Other than the Vonage outages, I've had good luck with Vonage so far. 1000+ minutes in less than a month; I think it's safe to say i've given it a good workout by now. The sound quality on my Vonage connection is clearer than my land line, much better than any cell phone I've ever used. I still have a land line and plan on maintaining it (this is hurricane country, afterall), but so far I'm very happy. Keep in mind that you sound quality is dependent on 3 things:

1) Your internet connection. If this is dodgy, game over. That said, it seems like the majority of the problems people experience are from cable internet providers who oversold their service and don't have enough bandwidth at the headend to handle all the users.

2) Your phone adapter. The RT31P2 didn't have good sound quality to me, but the RTP300 that I now have is superior to my Verizon land line.

3) You phone. A good phone goes a looong way. Unfortunately, good phones are difficult to come by anymore. Most phones have a $0.02 microphone that belongs on a children's toy rather than communication gear, but you get what you pay for. Many cordless phones are even worse than the $4 cheapie phones. Vonage sounds awesome over my ClearOne telephone hybrid which is connected to my studio's full-size speakers. I also have a Panasonic KX-TSC11 line-powered phone which has a good sound to it as well. Currently awaiting the delivery of my Aastra 9417CW phone.

For the way I'm using it, I've been happy overall. Of course, I wish the outages didn't occur, but they're minor and I have plenty of alternatives to use when that does happen, and it's as easy as throwing a switch for me. I'm still saving money, and have the portability of Voip when I'm on the road.
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