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johnb41
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:36 pm    Post subject: Can a home business get the "Residential" plan? Reply with quote Back to top

I have a small home business w/ one phone line. One of the "residential" plans seems perfect for me. Is it legally ok for me to use a residential plan instead of a business plan if i'm running a home business?

Thanks,
John
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Keith
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Nope... You would have to upgrade to the small business line. Anything business related (working from home, telecomuting, home business) requires you to get a small business line. I have the 2 small business lines with Vonage (I upgraded from the residental lines to telecomute to work) and trust me you want your home business lines on the small business account.

They will put you on more reliable services and tech support understands, you can not afford for these lines to go down.

Plus, if Vonage determines that you are running a business on a residential line they have the right to terminate service or force you to upgrade and pay back owed business rate fees.
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ckoehncke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 4:18 pm    Post subject: Boy those midwest folks sure are funny Reply with quote Back to top

Vonage's terms of service indicate the following:

"If you have subscribed to Vonage's Residential services, the Service and Device are provided to you as a residential user, for your personal, residential, non-business and non-professional use. This means that you are not using them for any commercial or governmental activities, profit-making or non-profit, including but not limited to home office, business, sales, tele-commuting, tele-marketing, autodialing, continuous or extensive call forwarding, fax broadcast, fax blasting or any other activity that would be inconsistent with normal residential usage patterns. "

However, the real odds of Vonage of figuring out whether you are a business or residential user are practically impossible. To a large extent they simply do not care.

Vonage's cost to terminate an OUTBOUND telephone call is probably something on the order of $0.007 per minute. The avg user is probaby using something on the order of 600 minutes per month, thus Vonage's cost is a miserly $4.20 from the $35 they collect from you. Not too shabby of a business.

As well, most users will have a split 50/50 for inbound and outbound calling. Vonage actually COLLECTS money for every inbound call (other than another Vonage user calling). This income is typically $0.002 to $0.007 per minute.

Vonage WILL try and attract the small business owner by adding attractive features.

If you're using from 600-1500 minutes a month, it's doubtful you would attract any attention.
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robb
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

What is your source for these cost figures?

I am under the impression that Vonage contracts with various CLEC's in both your local area and in the areas where you call. Therefore, any money from inbound calls is likely to be split, and there are significantly higher costs when you call someplace they don't have a partner (since they will have to enter the PSTN someplace other than the terminating location).

I'm willing to buy your numbers, but I'm just curious what you're basing them on.
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ckoehncke
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:24 pm    Post subject: Numbers baby Reply with quote Back to top

I'm in the Voip business.

Your INBOUND calls are received near where you're number is "physically" located and is terminated on numbers owned by (for the moment) one of two CLECS (Focal and Paetec). However, Focal and Paetec are only used for INBOUND calls, no outbound calls come back through these gateways. How much Vonage pays these CLEC's is private data.

From there the call jumps onto a Level3 IP Networks and seeks your little ATA out.

All OUTBOUND calls (whether local or long distance) are immediately "dumped" to a termination partner. Most calls I've monitored are being sent to Global Crossing. However, Vonage probably has numerous SIP Termination partners and it's proxy server/call switch can send your call.

The irony to this is the Vonage quickly gets your OUTBOUND calls onto the good ole PSTN almost immediately. Why? Cause LD termination is cheap! No need to have IP to get cheap.
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ckoehncke
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 6:19 pm    Post subject: Don't forget the police ... Reply with quote Back to top

Ooops ... almost forgot two very important elements.

Vonage is not allowed to look at your call detail records. In fact, this would be an invasion of privacy subject to current laws for CALEA (lawful intercept).

While they, in the course of maintaining and administrating your account, can access information regarding your service -- they cannot use that service in a deterministic way (say to figure out if you're calling businesses or your corporate office). That would be unlawful interception of your private data, get a lawyer and sue. (Ever notice how major telcos always ask your permission to access your account record -- now you know).

Second -- Vonage does not pay for your number to be "listed". Thus your number will not show up in any telephone directory. This will be probably more important for a business user than residential.

Ironic that your local telephone company 'charges' you not to be listed in the directory while Vonage you remain hidden but have no current feature to 'opt in'.
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Keith
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That is correct, however they do have every right to monitor the traffic going to and from your MTA.
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tadeusz
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Don't forget the police ... Reply with quote Back to top

ckoehncke wrote:
Ooops ... almost forgot two very important elements.

Vonage is not allowed to look at your call detail records. In fact, this would be an invasion of privacy subject to current laws for CALEA (lawful intercept).

While they, in the course of maintaining and administrating your account, can access information regarding your service -- they cannot use that service in a deterministic way (say to figure out if you're calling businesses or your corporate office). That would be unlawful interception of your private data, get a lawyer and sue. (Ever notice how major telcos always ask your permission to access your account record -- now you know).


Therefore, how can they stop me fax broadcasting on a permanent basis using my normal $35 unlimited plan? If Vonage cannot look at call detail records, and I do not tell the adapter it is broadcasting a fax, then how could Vonage figure out what I'm doing, without them breaking the law and exposing themselves to recourse? Presumbaly they are not allowed to listen in to the calls themselves to determine automatically or otherwise that they contain fax chirping rather than people speaking.

Confused
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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

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