No New Customers: Judge Bars Vonage From Serving New Accounts

If we ever get framed for anything, we’re going to hire Verizon’s lawyers. Not only have they convinced a jury that Vonage is infringing their client’s patents and should pay Verizon $58 million dollars and 5.5% of future profits, but they’ve gotten a judge to place an injunction on Vonage serving any new customers. From Reuters:

Roger Warin, a lawyer for Vonage, told the court the choice between a partial stay and a total prohibition on using the Verizon technology amounted to “cutting off oxygen or a bullet to the head” for Vonage.

Rebecca Arbogast, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus, said Hilton’s order was a blow to Vonage. “If they can’t get new customers (while they appeal the case), I think it’s going to be tough to attract capital.”

Vonage’s stock sunk to an all time low of $3. Who’s getting hit in the head with a box now? —MEGHANN MARCO

Judge bars Vonage from serving new customers [Yahoo!]

Comments

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  1. Damn… Version is shitting all over my VOIP parade.

  2. Lewis says:

    Sniggity snap.

    I have no love for Vonage the company; I have found their customer service to be abysmal. They also seem to make no bones about the fact that their desire is to gain additional subs, not service the existing ones.

    However, I’ve been a customer of theirs since 2003 because their product JUST WORKS – exceptionally well.

    I went from paying Verizon something insane like $90 a month for local + LD to paying Vonage $14.95 a month. I’ve gotten quite spoiled.

    VZ and the other RBOC (no need to pluralize anymore) need to be careful with how aggressively they pursue this. In the unlikely event that Vonage goes away, I for one won’t be running back into the loving arms of VZ – I’d just get more minutes from T-Mobile.

    (These views are mine alone, and don’t represent anyone else’s.)

  3. Sam Glover says:

    Fucking lawyers.

  4. rekoil says:

    My view exactly – if my Vonage line gets killed I’ll just move to a $10 more expensive cellphone plan and go 100% wireless. And I’m not even in Verizon territory.

    The irony is, I live about 5 blocks from BellSouth’s HQ in Atlanta, and they *still* couldn’t deliver a DSL service to my home. Covad could, though.

  5. a haiku:

    the voip giant fell
    in the land lilliput
    telcos for the win

  6. Vinny says:

    @LewisNYC: I’d say that’s what’s going to happen. Verizon is suing to get people off the competitive field. What they don’t realize is that once all the competitors are gone, people are just gonna move to another game.

  7. EnderVR46 says:

    @LewisNYC: Exactly my position. Minus the CS part, since I’ve never had to deal with them.

  8. Red_Eye says:

    @Sam Glover: ROPTFLMAO pot and kettle, j/k

  9. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Verizon also offers their own VoIP service. My guess is that we’ll see less Vonage commercials and more Verizon VoiceWing commercials soon.

  10. wezelboy says:

    There are alternatives to Vonage, folks.

    I use sipphone and pay 1 cent a minute. (granted, I had to pay about $100 for a PSTN adapter).

    Skype is another alternative.

    Speakeasy offers VoIP too.

  11. Hawkins says:

    It gets worse: if you decide to switch from Vonage to another VOIP provider, it turns out you may not be able to port your number, because the number doesn’t belong to you like a real number does.

    And even if Vonage is willing to let it go, which they might not legally have to do, there’s no guarantee that your new VOIP provider will be able to service that number.

    I’m moving to BroadVoice. Reluctantly, because I love Vonage (horrible customer service doesn’t matter if the service is reasonably reliable, which is has been for me).

    But I can’t afford to have Vonage suddenly drop dead while I’m depending on them.

  12. holocron says:

    Use Grand Central( http://www.grandcentral.com ) and keep one number always.

  13. Scuba Steve says:

    Whenever we download anything, our vonage service sucks.. So while we’re getting the speeds of Cable, we’re still suffering the same problem of dial-up. Can’t download or Game while on the phone.

  14. remthewanderer says:

    Saying that the stock sunk to an all time low is a little misleading.

    The stock sunk yesterday when there was just a rumor about further injunctions. The news broke today and the stock market is closed so expect to see the stock tank on Monday.

  15. mac-phisto says:

    @Scuba Steve: yeah, don’t think vonage runs qos…try a voip provider that does. this will clear up your calls & reduce lag.

  16. niteflytes says:

    I’ll go without a phone if I have to. I refuse to give Verzion even 1 cent of my money.

  17. jmuskratt says:

    Vonage got an emergency stay on the judgment. Vonage can keep on selling until a hearing on that stay is held.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117587187185562221.html?mo

  18. Indecision says:

    @Hawkins: “I’m moving to BroadVoice. Reluctantly, because I love Vonage (horrible customer service doesn’t matter if the service is reasonably reliable, which is has been for me)”

    I’ve been a Broadvoice customer for two years. Their service is flaky — I frequently miss calls even though my internet connection is up and I can make outbound calls. And their customer service is terrible too. I only stick with them because they’re incredibly cheap, and I barely need it anyway. If I needed a reliable home phone, I’d switch in a heartbeat.

  19. Justinh6 says:

    Honestly, I got into skype when it was 14.99 for unlimited calls outbound for a year, and I added a local skype IN line for 38 bucks. So 52.99 for unlimited calling for a year, plus I bought a 10 dollar usb voip phone. Plus skype throws in voicemail.

    I’d call that a good deal. No bills, no nonsense. Call quality is better than my Sprint PCS cell phone by far. The only thing is skype has virtually no customer service, so you have to figure it out yourself, or post on their forums.

    I see that skype raised their rates to 29.99 for outbound calls, but its still a cheap deal.

    My girlfriend and I use it during peak time for our cell phones, so we don’t burn up minutes, and that plan has worked great for us.

  20. FLConsumer says:

    I dumped my AT&T Wireless/Cingular line over to Vonage when Cingular ate AT&T and proceeded to treat the former AT&T customers like crap. Vonage customer service (especially technical support) was useless, but overall the service worked as promised. Vonage wasn’t bad when I had it. At the time, it was one of the more reliable providers, which was good considering their tech support was just a bunch of off-shore script readers. It appears they’ve had quite a few outages as of late.

    I’ve been using Viatalk for over a year on one line without any glitches, hiccups, etc. For $8/mo, unlimited US/Canada service is pretty difficult to beat. The quality’s better than my landlines are as well. Ironically, I dumped my Vonage line last month and moved it over to Viatalk and can’t beat it. $384/year w/Vonage (and going up) vs. $99/yr with Viatalk (if you catch the right special). Great feature set, pretty good tech support, and they’ll let you use whatever SIP device you wish, no PC needed. No being tied to my PC, but at the same time, I also have my account on my PDA for those overnight trips where I’m packing light. Highly recommend.

  21. medalian1 says:

    $3.14 a share right now.

    I’ve tried other VOIP phones and vonage has been the best for me. Customer service does suck though.

  22. bluxed says:

    I’m curently a vonage customer for 4 months, will I be able to get ouf of my contract because of this? in the near future.

    No complaints about Vonage but I’d like to not be ina contract.

  23. jaysonjaz says:

    I have Vonage and I have been pleased with them, but I’m affraid they may be going down.

    Here’s a question I’ve had during this whole potential Vonage shutdown mess. Does anyone know if you can use my Vonage VOIP phone (1 device that plugs into my router and 2 wireless handsets) with other VOIP companies? I paid $70 bux for the things, so I’d hate to think it would be useless if Vonage went away.