VONAGE SUCKS BALLS!

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I signed up for Vonage in November.  We have Vonage ads on OSNews, so I thought I’d give them a shot.  I signed up for the $25/mo plan.  The problem is, they use recycled numbers, so we got tons of phone calls over the first month or two from people speaking Arabic.   I had to change my number.  They want to charge you $9.99 to change your number.  But we changed ours.

Fast forward a few months, we still get 99% wrong number calls.  We never use the thing.  So when the device stopped working two weeks ago, we finally decided to cancel.

When I called to do that, I found out that Vonage charges $39.99 to cancel your service.  Buried in section 8.7 of their terms of service, you’ll realize that by signing up, you’re actually agreeing to a contract with a cancellation fee.  A big one too: $39.99 for the service, plus, you have to buy the “device” for the full price: returns are not accepted.  So, to cancel today, I have to pay them $170.  Worse than a damn cell phone carrier.

I’m telling everyone I can now: stay away from Vonage. While some may be happy with their service, their terms are intentionally vague (sdee seciton 8.8, “Recovery Fees“), their service “contract” is misleading and intended, I believe, to sucker you into thinking it’s a monthly service, and their customer service laughed at me when, after he told me that it was “kinda hard to find and understand,” I suggested that they should reconsider their terms.

Vonage sucks.

6 comments

  1. I’ve actually been with Vonage for over 4 years now.

    My biggest gripe is that their 25USD service is 40CAD.

    I got a second phone number with them (different area) last year. Either you’re unlucky or I’m lucky, since my numbers don’t seem to be very recycled. Perhaps an effect of the regions in Canada where they’re in.

    I’m surprised that your device stopped working. The biggest problem I’ve had with mine was losing the adaptor when I moved once, but a cheap replacement was found in an electronics shop.

    I don’t think it’s actually much worse than a cell phone carrier. At least 4 years ago when I signed up with the Canadian one, it seemed clear that they wouldn’t be able to fully refund the cost of the device (which I bought outright anyway) and required a year-long commitment at the time. I take it the VoIP adaptor in your contract was leased from them? Checking vonage.com, it seems that they note the 1 year term on their main banner, and clicking on Plans features text explaining the 39.99 disconnection fee (when within the year) and that the cost of the rebate afforded by them for the device only has to be reimbursed after the original 30-day money-back guarantee period if you’re still in the one year contract. However, contracts always suck if there’s doubt that you can enjoy the full period, and so does leasing equipment. I sometimes wish it would be abolished, but I do see the benefits for the company of having committed revenue and how that security enables the “deals” people get by entering into them.

    I actually *would* recommend Vonage to anyone who would otherwise pay more per month, or who move a lot. As a student who had to travel for co-op jobs, it was great having a “landline” at a fixed rate with a constant number even when out of the country. (I’m in New Zealand right now and still using it.)

    However, if you’re well situated and don’t make use of voicemail-in-your-inbox, effectively free national (and some international) calling or have a cellphone as your primary phone, then yah, 25USD/month with a subsidized phone adaptor is probably unnecessary.

  2. I actually put a lot of research into a voip provider. If you don’t need to port a number (and it doesn’t sound like you do), get a Magicjack, throw away the USB dongle that comes with it, and buy a Linksys PAP2T. The PAP2T is a teeny, probably MIPS based SIP server with two phone jacks and an ethernet port. It eliminates the need to constantly have your PC on to receive calls, and it’s cheap. Install the Magicjack software and set it all up, and then extract the SIP info (google around) and use it on the PAP2T. You now have voice service that’s functionally identical to Vonage for $20/year.

  3. I have had Vonage for a month and I’m sick of their crap. They suck. The Customer Service Reps can’t speak English worth Damn, I can hardly understand them, after saying I can’t understand what you are trying to tell me 4 or 5 times they finally slow down and speak at least half broken english, almost comprehendable. Where the hell are these people from?
    As I look over the list of dissatisfied customers I am considering it might not be a bad idea to File a Class Action Suit.
    Anyone interested?

  4. I was with Vonage for a few years, but it seemed that the calls to international places kept getting worse and worse. It turned out they they buy second and third rate routes. I then swiched my home over to ClearTrunk. Transition was fine, they even helped me to get it working with the alarm system. Vonage continued to bill me even after the number was ported. After a few month with Cleartrunk, I decided to switch my company over to them. They have a hosted PBX. We got 6 extensions and 18 phone lines for $125 a month. I liked vonage, but there are more players in the market now who have better prices,better customer service, more features, and better quality.

  5. I was with Vonage for a few years, but it seemed that the calls to international places kept getting worse and worse. It turned out they they buy second and third rate routes. I then swiched my home over to ClearTrunk. Transition was fine, they even helped me to get it working with the alarm system. Vonage continued to bill me even after the number was ported. After a few month with Cleartrunk, I decided to switch my company over to them. They have a hosted PBX. We got 6 extensions and 18 phone lines for $125 a month. I liked vonage, but there are more players in the market now who have better prices,better customer service, more features, and better quality.

  6. I signed up for Vonage, they sent box, charged me $90.00, It never worked, I returned everything and cancelled their service.
    My Daughter contracted MRSA in a Denver, Co. hospital. I stayed with her 2and 1/2 months. After returning home I discovered they had charged my credit card $380.00.
    The hours on the phone with the people I could never understand wer simply not worth it. I gave up. It was a well learned lesson!
    Vonage should be out of business!

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