Monday, December 08, 2008

Vonage Sucks Still .... This Company Deserves To Die

Yep .... I still think Vonage sucks. Plus the story just keeps getting worse.

Vonage hasn't turned a profit since day one ..... and don't even think of calling in to cancel.

A common experience for dissatisfied users attempting to cancel Vonage service results in months of continued billing after service ended (when you finally get them to turn it off). In many cases former users report that Vonage starts billing them again, sometimes up to a year later! Vonage has even sent collectors after these former users (legitimately cancelled now) for not paying this phantom reinstall/botched uninstall AND puts a negative entry on their credit reports that Vonage will not remove. How's that for serving the public?

Another issue too often repeated occurs when you actually try to cancel. The "retention" agents are horrible and abusive. After asking nicely no less than a dozen times ..... one individual was finally forced to start yelling at the @#$! "I just want to cancel" over and over and over before the jerk finally got it through his thick head. This doesn't appear to be an isolated case either. Virtually everyone I've talked to who had cancelled had to run the same gauntlet. Some of them might have considered going back to Vonage if their next provider didn't work out. But with that level of abuse, no way.

Ridiculous! Vonage continues to make it harder and harder to cancel their services. They rely on providing a high level of customer frustration (not service) to wear you down. Pathetic!

I've also heard of Vonage refusing to port numbers and holding you hostage until you called in to chat with their friendly retention folks.

Here's more alarming news (from the Vonage Forum) .......

"On 9/30/2008 the Account Management department, also known as Retention pulled all but TWO agents off the phone to reduce Churn and avoid any customer cancelation request. Obviously these two agents left on the phone could not handle a large number of calls waiting to cancel their service. It piled up to the hundreds and hours of waiting time for Vonage customers, In an attempt to reduce churn for the 3rd quarter Vonage corporate office in Holmdel, NJ would NOT let any of their customers disconnect their service. Not by trying to persuade the customer into staying by offering free months of credit or a lower rate plan, they simply let their customers wait on hold until they eventually were forced to hang up!

So, any customer that was on their last day of the 30 day money back period and tried to call in today they will be forced to stay or pay a Rebate Recovery Fee for the device ( up to $79.99) and a $39.99 disconnection fee to cancel"

This is proof to me that Vonage is in some serious trouble."

Also, I REALLY do not like that you can add any service you like from their web interface with ease, but if you want to cancel you have to call in. That is BS.

Here's a suggestion ..... a letter followed by your prompt refusal to pay will get the account ended quite nicely. Just remember to remove your credit card from their billing system. I bet it costs them more to open and process your written request than it does a web request (which they don't have) or a phone request.

I don't care what any TOS statement says. Your WRITTEN and MAILED statement/letter to cancel is going to trump their illogical & broken cancellation, I mean, retention system.

On another note ..... why on earth would anyone believe that Vonage had any long term viability "built in"? Their "business model" is completely flawed, which is again why they're neck-deep in debt. To break that down in laymen's terms .... the Vonage business model is based on paying huge dollars to acquire each new subscriber (exorbinant marketing costs .... Vonage TV "ads" and mailings) and hope/pray that they'll stick around for 2+ years to complete the payback.

I've noted Vonage's financial problems in previous articles here on Broadband Nation. You should take note of those for more background to arm yourself with.

HOW is Vonage alive still? DIE all ready . This story is getting very old. If it means I won't have to see those smug, smarmy commercials all over the place anymore, I say let 'em die.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The service is crappy, the customer service is terrible!
I started with this poor company in 2006. That was my first mistake. After countless calls to tech support, Vonage told me my problems was with my Broadband Carrier, which was not true, but I checked it out anyway. Nope not the problem. Then they told me that I had to get a better phone. Did that! Not the Problem. So I decided to stay with them for the term of my contract,1 yr. hoping that they get their crap together. Also they never got a 808 prefix, which is in Hawaii, so everyone had to call me long distance.
I finally discontinued my service, then 1 month later, they sent me a letter stating that the service was better and since I had all the equipment already they will waive all charges. So I made the 2nd mistake and got my number back,since I did have that number out there for my business contacts. Did I really F@#& up!
The service still sucked and then I was stuck fro another year,so I got on the lowest plan. I totally wasted money for another 12 months. Then I tried to cancel service and they gave me 2 months free, I told them that I don't even log 20 minutes of the service cause it was so bad. The rep said just take it for 2 months and if I decide to keep the service , that they will give me unlimited plan for on 14.95. I was calling on my lunch hr, so I to go and I said ,"what the heck, Im still not going to stay". When I had time , about a month later, I called to complete my cancellation process. I was then told that I was going to be charged a $40.00 cancellation fee because my agreement was for 2 years. WTF! I told the rep that I would never agree to a 2 year agreement and that I was not informed about this. I asked for the Mgr. Damm she was a total B@*ch!
She was argumentative and downright rude. I told her to show or give me proof that I agreed to a 2year agreement and I would pay them. She told me that the 2year agreement is automatic and there was nothing that they could do. I then asked her again to provide me proof and then she hung up on me. 5 minutes later I received a email stating that they billed my Credit card 41.07 and sorry for your cancellation. I was furious. 2 days before Christmas!
I called and spoke to what was supposed to be a Account Manager, Yea Right! I thought I would have this resolved.LOL He had the nerve to tell me that nobody there will ever refund money! He also had the guts to say that the account rep that took my order may have forgot to mention the 2 year agreement.! Can you believe this! Then I asked to speak to someone to file a complaint about closing my account without authorization, charging my credit card,the 2 year agreement and the rudeness of their employees. He then gave me a snail mail address to somewhere in NJ, and told me to file a complaint and try to get a credit.
I will be going to my bank and dispute the charge, file a complaint with the BBB and actively make it my mission to tell everyone about this poorly ran company!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Lalynn said...

I think it's funny that one finishes reading this article, and just when you have decided that you would NEVER sign up with Vonage, you look to the left column of ads and see...a VONAGE ad!!

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Christoph said...

I wish I would have read this earlier. I just closed my account today.

But I guess I will follow up with a certified letter of some sort and monitor my credit card.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same horrible experience! They will not cancel! I had to cancel my card and get a new one. Everyone has the same experience. My boss at the time laughed his head off at me. He told me I couldnt cancel! He had the same problem.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cancelled yesterday, after 3.5 years with them. My box died 10 months ago and I called Support to have it replaced. They sent me a refurbished one fast, but did not tell me they were re-obligating me for another year. So now, after 3.5 years as a customer, they want the rebate recovery fee. Total BS. Luckily my CC had concidentally just been cancelled for a different reason, so they can't charge me.

5:02 PM  

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