Today I opened a complaint with Vonage with the NJ Better Business Bureau.
I think it is worthwhile to serve as an example of what can happen in the mad dash to pay off venture investors instead of keeping their eye on the ball and continuing to mature their business. The failure of the Vonage IPO is now stuff of legend in that analysts blame the VOIP industry at large and the weakness of the American economy and not the rush for pay-out of VC firms that may damage or destroy the very thing that many worked so hard to produce.
It reads as follows:
I was one of the first Vonage adopters. I had their service for something in the ballpark of two years until they went public and everything went straight to hell.
First they got rid of everyone who had a firm grasp of the english language or telephones. When my phone stopped ringing I opened a trouble ticket with them.
They didn’t read my ticket and told me I should reboot my router, telephone, every piece of networking equipment, etc.
The problem was not on my home network. It was something to do with Vonage infrastructure.
I tried calling and opening trouble tickets on line. Each time I would get a response from someone who had no idea what they were talking about on the phone or a form letter with completely pointless troubleshooting instructions in email.
No one was listening.
No one was capable of correcting my problem or interested in addressing Vonage’s breakdown in processing my situation.
After two weeks, I began the process of porting my phone numbers to another VOIP telephone provider as I still did not have phone service and would have to wait another 30 days before my numbers were going to work with this new provider that had more competent employees.
Eventually the numbers were ported over to my new provider and my phone was ringing again. How nice.
This did not stop Vonage from giving my phone number to their new customers as they were too incompetent to realize that it was not a number they owned any longer. I would get phone calls at all hours of the day and night as they repeatedly issued my phone number to customer after customer of theirs.
Eventually I had my previous number disconnected to get away from Vonage. Perhaps Vonage is still giving it out even though it is not a number in their pool. That is a problem for someone other than me at this time.
I want a refund on the two months of service where my phone was not working by no fault of my own after Vonage took it upon themselves to break my service and then have no interest in troubleshooting their failure.
After just a few days I discovered that Vonage’s services are not any where near what they advertised. I called their customer service department several times and opened two tickets. The responce was always it’s my phone equipment. Even though I never had any troubles in the past and I have no problems with my new VOIP provider.
Again I called their account management to cancel service. They REFUSED because I said their customer service was horrible! Sent several emails and opened tickets. Their answer – call account management who won’t cancel my service! My number was ported over to my new provider 3 days ago and Vonage won’t cancel an account on a number they no longer support.
Time to get my bank, the BBB, and everyone I can involved.
HOW VONAGE MANAGEMENT IS DESTROYING THE COMPANY
I have had Vonage for 4 years, and I was very patient in January and February 2007 when they had operational problems. Callers reached my voice mail, when my line was available; international calls would not complete, sometimes I had to call Brazil through my cell phone.
I was much less patient when I realized that Vonage had overcharged my bill by $260, adding many calls (that were never made) lasting 180 or 60 minutes, sometimes overlapping. When I pointed their mistake, the rep over the phone said that I would be contacted by them to provide the reimbursement. A few days later I received an email from Andrew, Manager Tier 2 from Vonage, saying that my request would not be considered, since I should have complained within 7 days of the invoice date. Vonage decided not to correct their mistake, alleging a technicality, disregarding the satisfaction of a 4 years customer.
The detailed invoice is not easy to find on their site, they don’t send out a physical invoice, nor a link to it. They also require to keep my credit card on file, so they will automatically charge it. Keeping the proceeds of their overcharges amounts to a RIPOFF, whatever their allegation is. They did not pay attention to my complaint, even when I wrote to their Board of Directors. When I complained to BBB, on June 30th, I found out that Vonage BBB membership has been revoked, due to failure to respond to customers complaints.
I also learned that the company’s president left, Vonage is being sued by Verizon regarding patent infringement, they have launched a very aggressive marketing campaign on Television and elsewhere, but they are failing to keep their current client base happy. These are not good signs for a company that should rely on referrals from current customers. From their own report on the internet, they have acquired in March 2007 just half of the clients acquired in March 2006.
I had 3 phone lines, I have already disconnected one, I hope to disconnect the other ones soon. I would suggest to Kale to contact the bank and cancel the credit card on file, since the company’s ethic is fastly changing for the worse, along with their quality of service and finances.