Note: This page is NOT copyrighted. In addition, you may build any links into it that you wish or you may use the pages from the Documentation Table below as you wish.
Vonage still has problems, we just don't track them. The Vonage stock value has plummeted to somewhere south of $1 most of the time, which means we predict they will drop off the NYSE pretty soon. Then they become pretty much road kill. Here's another interesting insight on the company. It took them 3 months (see below) to move my existing number from Qwest to Vonage. During that time the phone number was dead - it went nowhere. That was a business line - you don't to that to a business line, ever. I billed them for the lost business. About $20,000. They never paid me.
Now I want to move my number from Vonage to Verizon FIOS. Guess what? Vonage won't let you do that. To move my phone to Verizon FIOS, Vonage blocks my number and won't let me transfer it. If you want to leave Verizon FIOS, that's not a problem. they will let me move my number out. Since Vonage won't, that means my business will need a new phone number. It also means I will need to hold onto that Vonage line for a few months until all customers and friends are moved to the new number. I have to edit the phone number on hundreds of my web pages. I have to reprint business cards for three businesses. The transfer cost for this will be about $1000 probably. but it should be done because I think Vonage will disappear soon. Incidentally, Bush and Company (SEC and FTC) have done nothing to stop their practices.
If you are currently using Vonage and wish to change, I would suggest you put your Vonage account on a separate credit card. This is what I have done. Then when you turn Vonage off you also turn the credit card off. Some people have told me that Vonage keeps billing them after they turn Vonage off. Don't expect to get that money back.
Vonage is a VoIP corporation that provides telephone service over Internet lines. Vonage has a very serious problem when trying to transfer an existing phone number with a other carriers to a Vonage account. If you are thinking of going the Vonage route, remember this. If you Google on vonage +support +blog, you will get:
Vonage seems to be going down the tube faster than a bobsleder at the Olympics.Their current stock price is less than a third of their IPO launch value.
There doesn't seem to be any accountability from the Bush Administration for what Vonage is doing. (They are going down the tube along with Congress.) There is, however, a nice blog swarm going on about the Vonage problems. There is very limited accountability from the media (see testimonials). Come on guys, where are the heros today? You gonna let the users be the heros and politicians stay wimpy?
Here is a summary log of our attempt:
For almost two months we were without any business phone. If you called us, you got only a dead line. During that time we were paying DEX $163 a month for advertising on a line that didn't exist. I had about 375 web pages out there with a phone number that didn't work. We were losing about $1000 in business each week. (The first week after service was restored we did about $500 in business, the next week about $1000.)
After contacting the state Attorney General's office and the state Public Utility Commission, I eventually discovered the FCC has authority and responsibility for insuring intercarrier transfers are done correctly. I filed the complaint with them on 8/8/2005 as FORM475: 05-W10840258. Here are the responses we got from the FCC on 10/19/2005 in this documentation table:
In summary, Vonage says it is the fault of Qwest. Qwest says it is the fault of Vonage. During the two months without a business phone, they were doing the same song and dance when I called each. The FCC now says they are closing the file, with Vonage's bill to us still unpaid - no reason given. Qwest gave me a temporary phone number during the down time, but this was not assigned to our listed number. Our listed business number was dead.
If I give a company such as Vonage authority for something, they are also given responsibility. Authority and responsibility always go together. For this reason Vonage is at fault in this and needs to reimburse us. The total billing as of 10/31/2005 is $8604.57. We don't care who they think is at fault or how the transfer was supposed to have been done. They had responsibility, they pay for where they failed us. They can do their own tracing as to the fault and collect from whoever is responsible.
The FCC has authority to insure intercarrier transfers are done properly. They also have the responsibility for this. The two go together. They fumbled the ball here - very, very typical of the current administration that has lost all leadership ability. This leaves the door open for Vonage or any VOiP company to do it again and again and again. Meanwhile, the government does nothing.
Do you want to trust your phone system to a company that has this kind of ethics and core values?
Do you want to trust the overseeing of such companies to an Administration that cannot do what it has been commissioned to do by the voters?
Who is Running Vonage?
Jeffrey Citron, now the CEO of Vonage, has a long list of legal problems but still continues taking advantage of Vonage customers as if nothing is wrong. Here are a few sites about Mr. Citron:
Even with all this, Citron is allowed to start a new company and continue to take advantage of us - without the Administration stopping him. The Administration is just as guilty as Mr. Citron!
Vonage is a member of Better Business Bureau and their site implies that most of the issues have been dealt with. Who told BBB that? Why is BBB letting Vonage be a member? What does that tell you about the Better Business Bureau? They are not being accountable and guilty as well for letting Vonage pay them big bucks to be a member.
Watch Vonage Die
Vonage went IPO May 23, 2006. The initial offering was $17 a share. By the end of the day it had dropped 12.6% to $14.85. This was the worst first-day drop for any IPO in 2006. James DeStefano, and IPO analyist, believed the drop to be caused by a focus by investors on their long term business model - heavy advertising spending to get customers. Vonage has continuied to drop, and recently was at less than a third of its IPO value. Now the stock is about $1 or less. Vonage is not earning a profit at the current time and doesn't expect that to change soon. At the same time, competition is increasing. Could it really be a lack of morals and ethics in their customer relationships? And why isn't the SEC and the Administration stopping this? Why does Yahoo and other media giants keep advertising them? Don't they realize it destroys any credibility they have for their other advertising? That's why we use Google Adwords instead of Yahoo.
Action Steps Requested
Vonage action: In our initial letter to customer support at Vonage after the drop, we made two requests: The first was to restore the phone number to us, the second request was to pay what their dropping the number cost us. They restored the number, but haven't paid the bill. We now add a third request in addition: Fix the problem so that it doesn't happen again with any other customer.(Contact at Vonage: Russell Allaman, Executive Response Team).
FCC action: You take the leadership here. Hold Vonage accountable. Do this with other VOiP companies that don't take responsibility. Fix the problem so it doesn't happen again with anyone.(Contact at FCC: Martha E. Contee, Chief, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission). The best route here to to vote the Administration and Congress out.
60 Minutes: We've mailed them on 5/9/2006 to see how much interest the MSM (main streem media) has on this. I'm interested in seeing their response. 60 Minutes got hit hard by a blog swarm a few years ago over a memo about George Bush's military service. It will be interesting to see their take on blogs now.
BBB: We've written to them, asking them why they are letting Vonage be a member.
SEC: We've written to them, asking them why they haven't inititated action on what Vonage is doing.
Yahoo: We've emailed them, asking them why they are accepting Vonage ads for CNN. They say they are the messenger, not the message. No wonder Yahoo is going down the tube with their unethical paid advertising.
Blogs: We've put our comments in a long, long stream of blogs.
What We're Doing
It's over a year now since Vonage dropped us. The number was restored after almost two months. The liabilities are still there. Even if this is getting dated, the moral and ethical framework is the same - that hasn't changed.
Sounds like fun. Remember: This page isn't copyrighted! Link to this page as well. Contact us with comments.
Other People Are Having Problems
A quick search of the Internet blogs will show how serious the Vonage problem is and their lack of response from them. You judge for yourself. The list of some of the emails we get can be read at our vonage testimonials page.
Suggestions if you must use Vonage
One suggestion we got as to the proper procedure for transferring goes like this:
This is still a good idea. The problem with this is that it would NOT have worked in my case. The forwarding would have stopped on June 23rd when Qwest dropped the number. The line would have been dead after that for almost two months. The problem remains at Vonage, and they are still liable. You judge their ethics.
We are not alone - get get emails from others with this identical problem. To put it bluntly, Vonage doesn't care if they take you down the tube, even if it is their fault.
(We do not sell, rent, or give away email addresses or names sent to us through this page.Testimonials are listed without email addresses)
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