Vonage is Boneage

If V for Vonage then C is for crappy customer care.

Unable to keep pace with demand and explosive growth, Vonage seems more adept at distributing quirky advertising than delivering and servicing its actual product.

Despite having placed her order on May 6th, Holly has yet to receive her phone. In the meantime, she’s been forced to satisfy herself with rigmarole, broken promises and confused customer service peeps.

It’s a doozy of a complaint letter, and its yours for the low low price of clicking the word below that begins with an M…

Holly writes:

    “To: Vonage Customer Care
    From: Dissatisfied Customer
    Subject: Other

    Telephone:
    xxx-xxx-xxxx

    I am writing to reflect on my recent experience with your company. I ordered my service on May 6, 2006, and completed the necessary steps to transferring my existing business phone number to my Vonage account. Nine days later, I still had not received my equipment, despite receiving an email notifying me that my number transfer was nearly complete.

    I called customer service, and a very helpful gentleman assured me there must have been a shipping error, and offered to ship me a new device via DHL 2-day. I was pleased with the resolution to my problem, and also the customer service representative’s friendliness and helpfulness.

    Four days later I still had not received the second device. I called customer care once again and spoke to another nice gentleman who apologized and told me the shipment had failed.

    He had no explanation as to why it had failed, and why I had not been notified that I would not be receiving my equipment. Then he transferred me to the shipping department, where I was placed on hold for over 40 minutes. When I finally spoke to a representative there, I was informed the first shipment was lost; the second one was never configured and processed, therefore it never even left your warehouse. Then I was told I’d be shipped yet another device that would not arrive until Wednesday, May 24.

    Sadly, that is not the end of it. I was told by the customer service rep that I would receive an order confirmation via email for this THIRD attempt. After a few hours of waiting, I had no order confirmation, so I emailed customer service to ask them to please confirm the order was being processed. I received an email back saying that the second shipment had been successfully canceled, but that no new order had been placed and I WOULD HAVE TO CALL BACK AGAIN TO PLACE ANOTHER ORDER.

    An hour and two customer service reps later, someone finally figured out that they can’t order more than one device for the same account, and explained to me that is why none of the shipments had been successful. He then created a dummy line for me so he could ship out another device, via 2-day DHL. I was told I’d receive the device on Wednesday, May 24 AT THE LATEST.

    I still have not received a device. I can not fathom why it is so difficult for a new customer to obtain service from you. I have now been without a phone with which to conduct business for nearly a week. This is not a good way to begin a relationship with a new customer.

    As a public relations professional, I cannot stress enough the importance of good word of mouth about your business. My experience with your company thus far has not inspired a rave review, nor has it inspired any confidence in the service I have purchased. I can’t think of a single good reason not to cancel the “service” altogether.

    I would appreciate someone contacting me to resolve this matter, as I can not spare another hour waiting on hold enduring horrible, static-y muzak on order to speak to someone.

    I can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Don’t bother calling my Vonage number, since I STILL HAVE NO PHONE.

    Dissatisfied Customer”

Comments

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  1. Amy Alkon says:

    My friend Debbie, who sent me the “sign on a friend” promotion via email (thanks but no thanks), is now suffering two weeks without a home phone while she switches back to her regular phone after the quality of calls on Vonage was terrible. She spent 11 hours on the phone with customer “service,” she said. Fun! I posted something on my blog about this, and others hopped on to say the same.

  2. karl hungus says:

    A few months ago I spent way more than 11 hours on the phone with vonage because we wanted to get our phone number listed in the phone book. It would seem however, that Ma Bell has a mad-on for Vonage and told us we weren’t allowed to list a VOIP number unless we paid an extra few…joy.

    Plus everytime the internet connection slowed, the phones cut out.

  3. CMStrapz says:

    Don’t forget the ridiculous amount of time it takes for number portability. I paid 2 phone bills (my bell co. and vonage) for 6 months while I waited for my number to be transferred. Not sure who to blame there, though, because I suspect that Pac Bell (then SBC, now AT&T) intentionally delayed the transfer since they hate the competition.

  4. Hawkins says:

    Vonage isn’t for everybody. If you have a bad Internet connection (e.g., one that “slows”), then Vonage probably isn’t going to work.

    I’ve had Vonage for a couple of years, and when it’s working, which is almost all the time, it’s great.

    I will admit that customer service is about the worst I’ve ever experienced: it appears to be completely outsourced to India, and apparently to a cut-rate outsourcing operation.

    But it mostly works, so once you get it actually working, you probably won’t need customer service.

    Probably.

    Still, it gives me perverse pleasure to see that their IPO has been a bust, particularly after the greasy stock pitch to their customers (“we’ve reserved a special batch of IPO shares just for our customers!”). Vonage shares have lost 13 percent of their value since the IPO yesterday: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060525/wall_street_stocks.html?.v=…

  5. Ben Popken says:

    Anthony writes:

    “Don’t get me wrong — I love watching idiots bitch and moan. But today’s Vonage essayist doesn’t have as much of a problem as she thinks.

    She said “I can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Don’t bother calling my Vonage number, since I STILL HAVE NO PHONE.”

    However, Vonage subscribers can, from their internet control panel, have all of their calls forwarded to a number (i.e. her cell phone) of their choice in the event that their internet connection fails, or, in this case, in case the customer is incapable of driving to Best Buy to buy a compatiable phone or adapter.”

  6. factotum says:

    How can they make changes on their Internet control panel if their Internet connection goes down?

  7. disinterested 3rd party says:

    Vonage sucks. We ordered it for our office here in LA. Well, actually our boss ordered it. There are three of us in the office sharing a cable modem. If we were all talking and surfing at the same time our calls were dropped. If might be appropriate for home use but it was death to our business.