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guyver8400
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:40 am    Post subject: 4+ Months to get Tax Exemption! Still Ongoing Reply with quote Back to top

This is ticket number #2438585

I mange seven different Vonage accounts for different people and businesses. One of my customers is a NJ based 501(c) 3 Non Profit and according to NJ state law they cannot be charged sales tax.

With all other vendors (Verizon, Nextel, staples...etc) all I have to do it give my "Exempt Organization Certificate ST-5" form to the vendor and it is taken care of and any sales tax that I paid is credited or refunded.

When I setup this Vonage account on May 04, 2005 I had realized that they were charging this account sales tax. I called on May 05, 2005 thinking it would be easy rectify just like my other vendors.

I WAS SO WRONG

I was told by the first rep that they were allowed to charge me sales tax because they were a luxury and that I had agreed to it when I signed the Terms of Service (TOS). Thinking I was wrong I looked into the TOS and it says

3.5 Taxes. You are responsible for all applicable federal, state, provincial, municipal, local or other governmental sales, use, excise, value-added, personal property, public utility or other taxes, fees or charges now in force or enacted in the future, that arise from or as a result of your subscription or use or payment for the Service or a Device. Such amounts are in addition to payment for the Service or Devices and will be billed to your credit card as set forth in this Agreement. If you are exempt from payment of such taxes, you must provide us with an original certificate that satisfies applicable legal requirements attesting to tax-exempt status. Tax exemption will only apply from and after the date we receive such certificate.

The main thing to remember here is:
“If you are exempt from payment of such taxes, you must provide us with an original certificate that satisfies applicable legal requirements attesting to tax-exempt status. Tax exemption will only apply from and after the date we receive such certificate.”

I immediately called back and was not surprised to be told the same exact thing. I told the rep that I had read the TOS and quoted the section. She became very angry and told me to hold on while she looked up the TOS. I was not on hold or mute and I could here very clearly clicking which turned into five minutes of clicking. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was looking for the TOS. I asked her is she was on the site, she said yes, I told her it was a link on the bottom of every page. This didn’t make her happy either. The end result was that she didn’t back down from her original statement of Vonage is a luxury blah blah blah.

I called back, and quoted the TOS again to a nicer gentlemen and he said he wasn’t sure and escalated the ticket to tier1 management.
Management responded by email:
“Please be advised that we are obligated to charge all necessary taxes
to every customer. If you are exempt you must file necessary forms
with the IRS to receive your tax refund.”


I called back and said that that statement is wrong that rep then said ok mail the form to them. I had asked if email or fax was an option and I was told a flat out no.

I mailed them my form certified mail. It was received and I called back a day later. They didn’t have it in my account and was told to call back the next day.

I called and it still wasn’t there. They escalated the ticket again and management emailed

In response to your tax exempt status. Please respond back to this e-
mail with the tracking number and signer of the certified letter that
you sent to our office, so that we can track down the paper work and
have this issue resolved. Thank you for your cooperation.

Unfortunately I had lost my receipt so I couldn’t do that. I then replied and followed up with a call.

Somehow with this call I managed to get an Indian (whos name was John lol) person that couldn’t speak English well and couldn’t understand what I was saying. I was forced to hang up after I asked to be transferred to someone else and he couldn’t understand my request.

Call back again and I was told I could fax my ST-5 Form to them. Then at the same time I received an email from the tier1 management group email.

I have attached a document to this email that you can fill out for your
tax exemption. Please return this document to:

Vonage Digital Voice c/o Financing and Billing
2147 Rt. 27
Edison, NJ 08817

We look forward to your comments and questions in the future.

Regards,
Firas
Customer Care

Attached was a form that was obviously copied and pasted (formatting was wrong in a lot of places). The form was “Certificate of Exemption from Federal Excise Taxes (FET)”. Did I ever ask to be exempt from FET tax? No.

I faxed the form and was told by the rep that she had it in her hand and to call back tommrow.

I call back the next day they can’t find her or the fax.

I am told to fax again to 732-333-1353 I did three times all confirmed as sent. The woman had told me to wait to make sure she got them. I waited until she came back on and told me that that fax was not working and gave me this number 732-650-6699. I faxed it three times then she came back on and she had it. She told me she was going to personally deliver the form to billing. I had some hope.

WRONG! AGAIN! When will I learn to not get my hopes up.

At this point I contact the NJ State Department of Taxation and they tell me”
If you know of someone whom you think is not in compliance with New Jersey's tax laws you can report that information to the Division of Taxation in several ways. You can remain anonymous, but please provide as much information as possible, such as:

Two methods are provided by which sales tax may be recovered by a consumer if the tax was erroneously paid. In either case, the refund of sales tax must be claimed within four (4) years from the date of payment of the tax.

One method is to recover the sales tax directly from the vendor who collected the tax. If the vendor has not remitted the tax to the State and the customer satisfactorily proves the error to the vendor, the sales tax may be refunded directly to the customer.

The second method is for the customer to claim the refund directly from the State. If the customer is unable to obtain the refund directly from the vendor, the customer may apply to the Refund Section for consideration of a refund by completing and filing a Claim for Refund (Form A-3730). The customer must submit proof that the sales tax was paid and explain the reason why the refund is requested.

So I can now report them and request my back sales tax which I was hinting at requesting to all of the reps

I also contacted the Utility Commission they told me that Vonage wasn’t regulated.

At this point of this saga its July and im fed up but I still have hope.

I call again to check on the faxes that I sent in total 6 times. I got in touch with Rick Silverstein a Customer Care rep. He got more done in 5 minutes then in the last 4 months. He said “E-Mail it” He was a very friendly, and very surprised at the whole situation. I promptly emailed it to him. I called back and the agent I was speaking with was IM’ing him.
I was told to call back when he would be available, and he called me back but I wasnet available.

Around one week ago August 8th I called again and the rep again said ok this is crazy and walked over to management(so I was told). I was then told that management walked over to the reps that were handling me to figure out what happened.

She told me it was done, complete, finished, over and done with. I was relived. So relived that I think I thanked this rep a dozen times.

So I call back to confim everything again a week later.

NOTHING WAS COMPLETE and I am currently awaiting management to contact me.

I haven’t stoped calling every day and I don’t plan on stopping until its done and i get all back sales tax paid. Currently around $108 dollars total.
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jadinsf
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Mar 10, 2005
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

After all of the hassle you have gone through with these micro-morons in "customer service" I have to wonder why you still stick with vonage??? I would imagine all any savings you would achieve would be wiped out by time spent with trying to educate them on an issue that any other company would have no problem understanding.
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guyver8400
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Your right but like I said before I do manage seven accounts and the savings is around 6-8 k a year as compared to verizon.

I have to educate them who else will? Vonage University Smile ?

I especially liked when i had to show them how to get to the TOS on their own site then had to read it to them on more than one ocassion.

I haven't even mentioned the number transfer horrors of this account.
Heres the setup for wiring
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic7692.html

I still stick with them because the service is still good

the support is really lacking.

I swear if they still had those busy signals i would go to the building and just like that capital one commercial i would kick some ass.


Last edited by guyver8400 on Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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houuser
Vonage Forum Evangelist
Vonage Forum Evangelist


Joined: Sep 04, 2003
Posts: 435
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Would it be proper to say,
"Sorry the information you are requesting has been disconnected"
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guyver8400
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Small

Update:

I called again and told the rep everything again, who actually used to live in my neighborhood and knows my family (small world).

He said he physically gave my info to his supervisor and should call back on friday or monday to see what was done.
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guyver8400
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Full Forum Member


Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Update:

New Day New Email from Managment

Thank you for contacting customer care.

In response to your request, I am deeply sorry for the nonsense you've
had to endure regarding this issue. I've contacted the administrative
assistant for the head of our Finance Department.
I assume she can help us resolve this matter soon. As soon as I here
back from her I'll let you know.
I'm confident and hopeful we can finally get this issue resolved to
your satisfaction soon.
I work the night shift and will respond to you tomorrow night if
someone hasn't sooner.
Again, my apologies and I appreciate your considerable patience. Thank
you.

Sincerely,
Jason
Management Review Team


Hopefully now that my case is in the hands of the finance dept and not the customer service reps everythign will be better.
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msimonds
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Jul 10, 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Wylie, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Dude you have to keep this thread going, I am sorry that you are going throught this totally, but this is classic. I have the same fits with the CS for vonage..

I work for AT&T local and one thing that you might try and do is file a PUC (public utility commision) complaint with all these nots. PUC complaints usually have to be taken care of within 24-48 hours. They have special teams that handle these

Hope this helps

Regards
Mike
PS: Keep me updated

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guyver8400
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Mike,

As soon as I do something or get an update I plan on keeping it alive to get as much attention as possible

I did contact the public utility commission, they said Vonage wasn't regulated by them so they couldn't help me.

Bummer, unless you have better news?

But no updates as of yet I don't have the patients to call and start over agin with a rep. When I get angry in the morning I will do it
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guyver8400
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I because a wee bit angry so i fired off another email. I will follow up in the morning.

Update:

Jason, or whomever read this (please forward this to "Jason")

I havent received an update from anyone in quite some time. I would appreciate a response because thats what humans do for each other.

Jason, also please be advised that I am requesting all sales tax that i already paid on this account. Other than the $15.98 already refunded.



Vonage DigitalVoice Customer Care wrote:

In response to your request, I am deeply sorry for the nonsense you've
had to endure regarding this issue. I've contacted the administrative
assistant for the head of our Finance Department.
I assume she can help us resolve this matter soon. As soon as I here
back from her I'll let you know.
I'm confident and hopeful we can finally get this issue resolved to
your satisfaction soon.
I work the night shift and will respond to you tomorrow night if
someone hasn't sooner.
Again, my apologies and I appreciate your considerable patience. Thank
you.

Sincerely,
Jason
Management Review Team
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msimonds
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Jul 10, 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Wylie, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I tried again last night to get my stuff fixed with the caller id, nothing like your problem, and still ran into small problems

I hope you get this sqared away


Mike

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