Goggling VoIP invariably brings up a host of complaints about poor call quality, dropped call and downtime. Often, these complaints center around Vonage. Nowadays, Vonage is just another big phone company. And like most big phone companies, it has a team of sales people who” know little to nothing about the technology they are selling. Some” will simply just do anything to make a sale.
Up until about 3 months ago, I owned and operated a nationwide ISP/VoIP provider. One of the more dastardly tricks I saw Vonage sales people pull off” was selling their service to people who didn’t have Internet service, or to people who had DSL service attached to their telco telephone service, without telling the customer that when they port (transfer) their telephone number to Vonage, the DSL service will go down. Most telephone companies will not allow DSL to ride on a phone line that does not also have dialtone (phone service) on it.
(While the major phone companies have been ordered by FCC to provide standalone DSL service, sometimes called “naked DSL,” out of the 7 or” 8 telcos we dealt with, only Verizon” allowed DSL service on phone lines that did not have dialtone. So, the would-be Vonage customer gets their Vonage VoIP equipment, has their number ported to Vonage, and all of a sudden they no” longer have DSL or phone service.
Invariably, several times a week (and this was especially true in more rural areas, where many users simply didn’t understand Internet service), we would get calls from new Vonage customers needing broadband to make their VoIP phone service work. The conversations would go something like this:
Caller: Do you sell high-speed Internet service?
ISP: Yes, we sell DSL. Do you have a phone line with ___________(insert local phone company name)?
ISP: Then I can’t get you DSL.
Caller: But I have a phone line.
ISP: With who?
Caller: I have Vonage.
At this point our sales person is stuck trying to explain to the caller that Vonage is not exactly a phone line; it is phone service that works over the Internet. They can’t use it if they don’t have Internet service and they can’t get Internet service if they don’t have a phone line–not DSL, anyway. The call usually ended with the caller mad at us.
I checked with the sales people at my old ISP” a few days ago. Vonage is still doing this, and the calls from new Vonage customers who suddenly find themselves with no phone service and no Internet service after making the switch to Vonage” have not slowed down a bit.
Why does Vonage continue to do this? I’m guessing that it is either lousy training or sales people striving to achieve quota’s or commissions. In any case, it is wrong and a hell of a way to do business. Perhaps somebody from Vonage can comment, explaining why they do this their customers.
Other Vonage horror stories can be found here :”
Here’s one where Vonage is being sued for scamming customers: http://voiphow2.blogspot.com/2008/11/vonage-scam-or-how-2-receive-free-video.html
Bill Harrel – www.williamharrel.com