VoIP antics..

July 2, 2006

Alot of people have heard about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and there are plenty of players out there who would love you to hop on with them, Vonage for one.

VoIP is a neat way of converting your voice from the conventional phone to the Internet and back to conventional phone again… Sounds complex? Really isn’t.

Just going to outline my experience here and in a following post I`ll break down the technology..

The leading company currently is Vonage, for $24.95 they give you a ATA (A box that you plug your conventional phone into and it makes it into a VoIP phone) Free long distance and free calls to the UK! What a deal!..

Well I wanted to connect my Asterisk box the service so I could have complete control over incoming and outgoing calls.
The only way to do is was to acquire a Soft-Phone account, since the device they send you is all closed and cannot be altered in anyway.

No biggie I thought, I`ll use the soft phone…. So I call Vonage to get a soft phone account, for $9.95 per month extra
they will switch this service on. Oh deary me, not what I expected, the soft phone does not use the original plan you choose, so I had yet another plan for the soft phone, 500 minutes just for the soft phone.

Very disappointing, so I canceled my account and eventually went to EXGN, they are IAX compatible for my Asterisk box
and have great rates, porting my local number though is $25..

Lesson learned, if its to good to be true, it usually is… 😦

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3 Responses to “VoIP antics..”

  1. John O' Says:

    Try this on for size. I have been a Vonage customer for over a year. Pretty happy with the service overall. However. On June 8 (my billing cycle runs from the 9th of every month) I sent them an email requesting that they close my account. I got an email back stating that I had to call and speak with a customer service rep to cancel the account. OK, no biggie, I call the customer service number given. I am put into a call queue and told (via recording) that the current wait time is 40 minutes. I am not waiting 40 minutes to tell someone to cancel my account. I try calling the folowing day and pretty much the same situation (35 minutes). As far am I am concerned, I sent them a written notice which they acknowledged when they sent me an email that I had to cancel by calling in person. I figured if they want to talk to me in person they can call me on my “pots” (plain old telephone service). Well they did (after sending me a month’s worth of emails telling me they were unable to process my credit car for payment ( I shut them off). I told the customer service rep that I had disconnected my phone adapter on June 8th, sent the email, tried to call, and as far as I was concerned I and they were done. She said she would enter my comments in their database and someone from customer service would call in a day or two (they were backed up). Well today customer Service called. She said she could cancel my account but would require that I pay the month’s fee for June ($29). I told her I had sent the notice, tried to call, etc. And had made a good faith attempt to fulfil their request about calling in person, however, it is not my fault that they don’t answer their phones. She threatened me with “If you don’t pay it we will send it to a collection agency” To which I could only say “bring it on”. I look forward to a collection agency in a court of law trying to collect on this. This is almost like a scam. You must call to cancel and then never answer the phone…

  2. shough Says:

    I kind of got a weird “Gimme your money and good luck with out support” taste in my mouth when I called them.

    It seems that there Customer Support department is outsourced to an Indian call center and thier accounts department is here in the U.S. Big no-no in my book, shows me exactly where thier loyalties are at.

    The Indian chap really didnt understand a word I said when I was asking about softphone accounts, every
    sentence was started with “Mr Simon…” comical but annoying.

    Anyway I called the account department and they said I already used the service for two months and did not qualify for money-back.. At that point I started stating
    I have email proof of the fact I signed up and canceled on the same day, at that point I was put on hold for 5 minutes and a 1000 apoligies reigned down. 🙂

    Seriously, in this market, its not the product, its the support, if the support is non-existant, expect your customer base to reflect it.

    I hope you get your matter sorted out with them, seems like the right hand doesnt know what the left is doing… Good luck John!

  3. […] So we know how it works, my previous VoIP article explainedthe fundamentals, before I continue though, if I have not explainedanything enough or you don’t get a certain element please let me knowotherwise this blog will just be another blog with a geek throwingout terms and theories that nobody understands or cares about,thats pointless and a waste of bandwidth […]

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