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raymillsus
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Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 24
Location: Haymarket Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 2:49 am    Post subject: Just ordered today and now I am concerned Reply with quote Back to top

I signed up today for this service and I am hoping that I have not made a mistake. I am a UNIX admin and I am very technically proficient, but I am not sure if I have made the correct choice here. This is what I am trying to acheive with my service. I want to have the following.

1. Reliable phone service for making and recieving calls.
2. Have my DTV DVR/TIVO make it's scheduled calls.
3. Be able to fax items from time to time when needed. (I currently do not have an extra line for fax and prefer not to have one since I fax stuff only a few times a year)
4. Use the phone jacks that are currently installed in my home.
5. Use the current equipment that I have in my home to place calls.
6. Recieve decent customer service when there is an issue.
7. Tell Verizon they have raised my rates for the last time.

I know this is cutting edge technology but I am hoping that it is not beeding edge. At work I enjoy working with bleeding edge technology but that is not on my dime. Any advice that you may have that will relieve my worries please let me know. From what I have read here it is a nightmare. I know that there are alot of people that you can not please no matter how hard you try;but the things I have read are not issues a quality company (which I thought this was) should be having.

Ray
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polarisdb
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Joined: Jul 22, 2005
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've had Vonage for a little over 2 weeks, and have had my share of problems (dead ATA, echo problems). This service seems to be pretty temperamental so far.

I have only experienced #'s 4,5, and 6 on your list. I tried faxing something last week without much luck (tried every tweak in the book on my end!), although I fax things so infrequently that I didn't bother calling Vonage about it yet. I've also left my TiVo's on POTS, so I haven't tried that at al...

I signed up for the 500 minute plan with the intention of testing Voip for a few months before I would even consider using it for anything other than a secondary phone line. So far, I think I've made the correct choice.

I've done so much home network reconfiguration and testing, that last night I told my wife that any sane person would have given up and sent this stuff back by now. The problem is that being an engineer, I love tinkering with technology! Smile

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raymillsus
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Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 24
Location: Haymarket Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I agree with you polarisdb I love to tinker but to a point. I have to do it enough at work well we will see if I have made a bad decision or not. If anyone else wants to chime in I am listening.

Thanks

Ray.
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rlstjohn
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Jan 27, 2005
Posts: 218
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've had Vonage since January and consider myself to be very network/computer smart so I feel I can reply and hopefully put your mind at ease.

1. I have had reliable phone service the entire time. I had maybe one or two short down-times, but nothing significant (more than an hour).

2. This *could* be an issue. I have two different DTV Tivos (R10 and DVR40) and have never been able to get them to make daily calls. I tried all the different codes you will find in this forum with no luck. So..I've been relying on the serial null cable connection using my laptop. Who knows though, there seems to be many people who have no issues with their Tivos calling out. The serial cable does work and is easy to setup so you can fall back on that.

3. I use a cheap HP1010 (I think that's it) and have no problems at all sending and receiving faxes. I don't fax every day, but I have never had any issues and I don't pay for a second fax line through Vonage.

4. I use the phone jacks already in my home and this was super-easy to set up.

5. Not sure what your current phones are, but depending on your preference for voicemail indicators you may want to consider upgrading your phone equipment (see my signature for my phone information).

6. When I first signed up customer service really sucked and there were long wait times. The last couple times I called Vonage I was only on hold about 5-10 minutes so they have improved. I find that I can get any help I may need on this forum so I don't every really rely on customer service.

7. This was the best part...telling Verizon to go away! I too am on the 500 minute plan and I never come close to using all my minutes. I can't believe I paid Verizon so much money per month for so many years!

I really think you will be happy with the service and I don't think it takes a network engineer to get Vonage up and running in your home.

Quote:
I signed up today for this service and I am hoping that I have not made a mistake. I am a UNIX admin and I am very technically proficient, but I am not sure if I have made the correct choice here. This is what I am trying to acheive with my service. I want to have the following.

1. Reliable phone service for making and recieving calls.
2. Have my DTV DVR/TIVO make it's scheduled calls.
3. Be able to fax items from time to time when needed. (I currently do not have an extra line for fax and prefer not to have one since I fax stuff only a few times a year)
4. Use the phone jacks that are currently installed in my home.
5. Use the current equipment that I have in my home to place calls.
6. Recieve decent customer service when there is an issue.
7. Tell Verizon they have raised my rates for the last time.

I know this is cutting edge technology but I am hoping that it is not beeding edge. At work I enjoy working with bleeding edge technology but that is not on my dime. Any advice that you may have that will relieve my worries please let me know. From what I have read here it is a nightmare. I know that there are alot of people that you can not please no matter how hard you try;but the things I have read are not issues a quality company (which I thought this was) should be having.

Ray
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rlstjohn
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Jan 27, 2005
Posts: 218
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just curious how you have your network configured? Are you using a PAP2 or another device?


Quote:

I've done so much home network reconfiguration and testing, that last night I told my wife that any sane person would have given up and sent this stuff back by now. The problem is that being an engineer, I love tinkering with technology! Smile

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cmpfire
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Joined: Aug 10, 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Varnell, GA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have only had Vonage for alittle only 2 weeks now...but I have everything that you have on your list up and working except the fax and from what I have read I think all i need to get that working is a different fax machine. A cheap one. I would not be to worried. Give Vontage a try. I have been very very happy with my line quality and the cost.
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mundy5
Member of the Week
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Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 1179

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've had Vonage since February as you can in my sig.

Regarding your concerns, #1, 2, & 6 are the only ones that might be slight bumps on the road.

#1 reliable service is not entirely within Vonage's control. In my experience, the vast majority of service disruptions have been with my ISP providing inconsistent service (i.e. latency, packet loss, etc).
At least for me, Vonage has been responsible for very very little down time.

#2 I have never used a fax machine. I use instead my computer and a scanner to fax anything from my home. I have yet to encounter any issues faxing from my computer using Vonage. Perhaps some specific fax machines are more prone to having issues but my experience with faxing using my computer has given me absolutely no issues. And I am much like you, I only fax once or twice a year. I also signed up for a free efax number so that I can receive faxes anytime without having my computer on.

#6 This is a tricky part. I have encountered some issues recently regarding vmail which was resolved by their tier 3 engineering folks. The only problem was that they never sent me the email saying it was resolved. I ended up calling on 8/16 and found out that the answer was already sent back to Customer Service on 8/12. All part of growing pains. Most of the issues faced by folks are already on this forum so needing customer service is usually a rare case.

The rest of your concerns, from my vantage point, are not any concerns I have in my experience.
Hope this helps, mundy5

_________________
St. Louis, MO
Vonage Customer from February 2005 to May 2010
ISP: Charter
Router: Linksys RT31P2 (blew up during electrical storm)
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polarisdb
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Jul 22, 2005
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

rlstjohn wrote:
Just curious how you have your network configured? Are you using a PAP2 or another device?


Quote:

I've done so much home network reconfiguration and testing, that last night I told my wife that any sane person would have given up and sent this stuff back by now. The problem is that being an engineer, I love tinkering with technology! Smile



I've tried quite a few variations: link. Smile

I'm currently using the following configuration for testing so I can isolate the RTP300 on either my Comcast cable (RTP300 location A) or Verizon DSL (RTP300 location B) connections with QoS:

Code:

[RTP300 location A]
    |
[WRT54GS] -------------|
    |                  |
[cable modem]          |
                       |
                       |--[dual WAN router]
[DSL modem]            |    |......|.....|
     |                 |    |......|.....|
[WRT54G] --------------|    |......|.....|
    |                       |......|.....|
[RTP300 location B]         |......|.....|
                            [PC's, servers]

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VonageTPA
Vonage Forum MVM
Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Let's see.. I've had Vonage for a little under a month, but have racked up 1600+ minutes on it so far, so I have some experience with it..

Which router/phone adapter are you planning on using? If you are getting it directly from Vonage, they'll be sending the Texas Instruments / Linksys RTP300, which is what I currently have. I've had no trouble using dial-up modems & fax machines with it. Some people have had issues with this and throwing a DSL filter inbetween the device and the phone port of the RTP300 has cleared up these issues. I don't have a TiVO nor DTV box here, but I'd assume they would work with this router since my fax & dialup modem have been connecting well with it.

As far as using the house wiring & existing devices, many people here do this without any issue.

Vonage customer service...well...eh.. it um..leaves something to be desired. Hold times are longer than I'd like, and the techs aren't given info by their superiors. They're not dumb, they just don't have the nitty gritty info on the equipment that I'd hope a company would provide to their techs. Maybe I've lucked out, but I've only hit the offshore tech support once, all others hit NJ.

I'd agree that the problems Vonage is having are things that they shouldn't be having. Outages do happen, and I can accept that, but long hold times & not giving your techs info on the equipment you're sending to customers is something that is easily remedied and should have been by now. Fortunately, you won't have to deal with them much. It's mostly plug & play. I believe I heard that 80% of the users have no installation issues whatsoever, so your chances of dealing with them is minmimal. Also, if you happen to be up reaaally late at night, that's the best time to call the techs. They're much more laid back and are very friendly & talkative about how Vonage works, what their job is like, and tend to give out extra info that you normally wouldn't get from the daytime crew.

I'm still keeping a Verizon land line w/minimal service, but Vonage is replacing an AT&T wireless account. AT&T Wireless / Cingular's customer service makes Vonage look good. 1+ hr hold times and the account reps pretty much wanted to do nothing for me unless I converted my account over to a Cingular plan, which would mean 1/2 the minutes at almost 2x the price compared to what my existing plan is. If everything goes as planned, Vonage will be saving me $1,200-$1,500/year. So, any little frustrations I have will be easily soothed by a good steak dinner each month. and yes, telling Cingular where they can put their phone service will feel very good after my number gets transferred.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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raymillsus
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Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 24
Location: Haymarket Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Wow this is great information. I really thank everyone for their input. I am looking forward to receiving my equipment. I did order from Vonage so I hope it is here quickly. Thanks for the information and I will continue to check this forum for more information.

Ray.
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