I Fired Vonage

Yup finally got it done. I tried doing it on-line (like the goberment does) but they insist they need users to call in on a voice line. Presumably to verify orally that you are indeed who you say you are by providing a pin number. Never mind that you can go on line and change your pin number. I guess they are not that bright. Actually they are. They want to give you a hard time about cancelling. Probably because they are getting an abundance of cancellations now that you can get VOIP unlimited service from magicjack for about $43 a YEAR.

Okay, so I finally got to talk to customer service after (once more) suffering through their spanish language garbage. I was transfered to their accounts modification operator while being subject to some very loud and annoying music that had me holding the phone away from my ear to protect my hearing.

I finally got to talk to a real person with a heavy accent (probably located somewhere in the third world). First thing they wanted to know was why I was not calling from the Vonage phone. Then they wanted to know my phone number so they could call me back in case we got disconnected. Evidently these people are used to talking to fools and asking stupid questions.

I gave them my pin number to verify my identity and that seemed to open a new pandoras box of questions. How did I like the Vonage service? was the first question.

I was speechless for a few seconds. Then informed them this was not a social or courtesy call. I was calling to close the account and discontinue the Vonage service. More questions. Finally I got through to them by repeating the reason for my call, insisting they close my account effective right now, not bother me anymore with insane questions, and goodby.

I guess that finally worked because my vonage telephone is not working anymore.

They seem to make a big deal about ‘disconnecting’ when there is nothing to disconnect. I already did all the disconnecting needed by removing the phone cord from the modem. That is it. It is now disconnected. If it is a big deal for them to discontinue the service, that is their problem and I am not helping them solve it.

The modem? That is not an issue. I paid dearly for that thing when the service was started and I plan to keep it for now. Maybe put it on ebay later. Why keep it? Because I can run a router behind a router with it.

A word to the wise: When dealing with customers, be professional, attentive, and courteous. Don’t ask questions that are not appropriate. Don’t try to play good cop, bad cop. Don’t try to personalize what should be a business conversation. It is a very bad idea to try a hard sell on a person who is in the process of firing you. Don’t press your luck and respect people who call you. Also, if you need to put someone on hold, make sure they are not fed some annoying audio crap that will make them irritable and angry for the next person they talk to. A simple announcement verifying they are on hold and not disconnected is the way to handle that. No music, no sales pitch, no nonsense.

Lastly, this is not the first company that has angered me with their sloppy, unprofessional, arrogant ways. Makes me wonder if I am expecting too much. No, no way, these fools are expecting too much from their customers. Expectations that will never be filled as customers find alternate ways of accomplishing the same service. Thank God for free enterprise and open markets.

Oh, and for those interested in how I liked the Vonage service, it was fine for many months but recently it began to cut out during a phone call. Not a disconnect but a loss of audio like you get with a cellphone at times. Very annoying. The common diagnosis of this condition is that the bandwidth of the internet connection is causing the problem. (My guess is that it is not the bandwidth of the users ISP but the bandwidth that Vonage is providing. Less bandwidth, less cost.) Not enough bandwidth. Well, that might be a problem for Vonage but it is not a problem for the magicjack. Magicjack was loud and clear without interruptions running on the same internet connection as the Vonage device at the same time while the same internet connection was delivering flawless video to two TV set boxes at the same time. Bandwidth?, no, Bullshit! Evidently the highly qualified technicians vonage claims to employ can’t tell the difference.

Would I go with Vonage again? Sure would! At the time the MagicJack was not available and I really needed to fire ATT to prevent future improper billing, but that is another story.

The reason we went with the magicjack was purely economic. You don’t need a degree to understand that $43 a year for VOIP phone service is better than $333 a year with Vonage or $785 a year with ATT (landline).

So, basically we are getting cable TV, internet, and phone, for about $60 a month now. I know you can bundle all three together with other providers and save more but the fine print puts you at risk. We are not falling for anymore teaser rates for six to twelve months and then WHAMMO! We also don’t need to be giving out our credit card number to folk of questionable trustworthiness.

I would definately not return to vonage for service of any kind. I suspect they are dishonest if not outright crooked. I also predict they will not be in the VOIP industry in another year or two. Same goes for Comcast ( who is no longer in business in this area ) and Dish Network, but those are another story.

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