Vonage Is Like, "We Are Totally Working Around Those Verizon Patents, OK?"

We’re not sure if it’s hip to be on Team Vonage, but to hell with it. We are. At least, we’d like them to stay in business so they can worry about things like improving their crap customer service and not “Oh God, are we going to be able to feed Tiny Tim this Christmas?” We’re pro-capitalism like that. Anyhow, we’re pleased to announce that Vonage claims to be able to work around Verizon’s parents.

We sort of find this hard to believe, because Verizon has, in fact, patented the internet. And they haven’t stopped there, no. For all we know, Verizon may have patented a process for working around other people’s patents. Ha, ha! Now what, Vonage!? Verizon is smarter than all of us. From Bloomberg:

`We will begin rolling these workarounds out shortly, hopefully in the next few weeks, and we believe they will work,” Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Citron said on a conference call today as the Holmdel, New Jersey-based company reported a narrower first-quarter loss….Vonage’s new technology can be installed through software downloads and shouldn’t be costly to deploy, Citron said.

Somewhere, off in the distance, a Verizon lawyer is laughing and counting her 2341 degrees from the University of Harvard at Yale-Columbia-NYU of Chicago-Virginia. Best lawyers, ever. —MEGHANN MARCO

Vonage Says It May Have Way Around Disputed Patents (Update5) [Bloomberg]
(Photo: moviescreenshots)
PREVIOUSLY:Vonage: Consumerist! Save Us From Verizon!
Verizon Sues to Shut Down Vonage
Vonage CEO Quits, Company Will Cut Jobs, Marketing

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  1. raindog says:

    Even if I wasn’t satisfied with Vonage, I wouldn’t be able to switch because I am totally dependent on receiving voicemails as WAV files in my email. I haven’t found another VOIP provider who’ll do this, so unless I’m gonna set up my own Asterisk PBX or something, I’m “stuck” with Vonage.

    Due to some medical requirements, though, we have to get a land line soon. Bummer. I wonder when medical equipment manufacturers will finally hear about this thing called “the internet”.

  2. TPK says:

    I don’t know what they have been doing, patent-wise, but they have been financing the USPS back into the black! In the past 2 days, I’ve received three different mail offers to sign up. I think that beats the best AOL ever had to offer back in the day…

  3. dragonflight says:

    I’ve been extremely satisfied with my Vonage service, so I hope that they remain in business!

    If not, it’s a pain and a loss of unlimited minutes will take its toll on my cell phone plan, but that’s why Sprint came up with 7p nights!

  4. DudeAsInCool says:

    Screw Verizon.

  5. RickyF says:

    @raindog

    Cablevision’s Optimum Voice delivers voice mail as wav files to your inbox via email. So if you live in their service area you can switch.

  6. Voicemail as e-mail, at least on your cellphone, comes free courtesy of CallWave. Your cellphone carrier doesn’t matter. You should sign up! I did!

  7. WillieS says:

    Sunrocket has the voicemail by email option. I’m now using them at half the price I paid Vonage.

  8. GearheadGeek says:

    VoicePulse sends wav files of voicemail messages from your VOIP number.

  9. GearheadGeek says:

    The problem, of course, is that if Verizon wins against Vonage, they’ll go after the next-biggest VOIP provider and then next and the next…

  10. Indecision says:

    @raindog: “I wonder when medical equipment manufacturers will finally hear about this thing called “the internet”.”

    Probably when Internet service becomes as reliable as land-line service. My Internet service (various providers in two states) has gone down more times than I can count. But only once in my life have I picked up a land-line phone and not gotten a dialtone.

  11. IndyJaws says:

    Here’s another vote for hoping Vonage can pull it off. I’ve had them for 3 years and have been 100% pleased with the service. During that time, I’ve had no outages (on their part), the monthly rate has dropped and the number of free international countries has risen. Of course, it’s their attempt to attract new subscribers, but I’m happy to be the beneficiary.

    And, oh yeah, Verizon is pure evil.

  12. rmz says:

    “Somewhere, off in the distance, a Verizon lawyer is laughing”

    So is that before or after they send out the winged monkeys?

  13. Primate says:

    Count me as another who has had excellent service from Vonage.
    The only problems I have ever had with the phone service were due to my internet or my router.

  14. Beerad says:

    “Anyhow, we’re pleased to announce that Vonage claims to be able to work around Verizon’s parents.”

    That’s great news, because Verizon’s parents really bug me and I just can’t get any work done when they’re around.

  15. RulesLawyer says:

    Sweep the leg, Johnny. Is a crane kick to the face patented?

  16. Hawkins says:

    @raindog: Broadvoice has the e-mail-as-.WAV functionality, plus a butt-kicking call manager tool.

    I love Vonage, and I hope they survive, but I can’t be without cheap phone service, and so I’m moving to BroadVoice.

  17. FLConsumer says:

    @raindog: Try ViaTalk. (viatalk.com) I’ve been using them for 2 years now, no problems. US-based staff, all speak English as their first language and all of them generally know how VoIP works, including the nitty gritty. More features, less expensive (I pay $9/mo for what Vonage was charging $32/mo for). And yes, they do have e-mailed voicemails. MUCH better format actually, as the Subject line shows you the number & caller ID of the person who called you. They also support SMS. Viatalk also lets you use ANY SIP device you’d like at no extra charge… nice Cisco IP phone sitting on my desk now, Grandstream Handytone ATA in my laptop bag, SIP phone software on my PDA & laptop. Even on the equipment they provide, they give you full admin access.

    On the requirement of a land-line, I’d be curious to know why. I’ve been able to fax, do old-school modem connections and even send alarm system status via VoIP. The only reason there’s a land line here is because my insurance co requires it for the alarm system, despite the alarm working happily on VoIP. Insurance co’s picking up the tab for the phone line, so I don’t really care.

    I DO hope Vonage pulls it off, BUT their customer service sucks and their attitude towards their customers is also very unfriendly. It’s been this way since the first day I signed up with them and hasn’t gotten any better. Despite what other people here have posted, they DO have quite a few outages. I’m one of those people who does 3,000+ minutes/month on the phone, so there’s a good chance I’ll probably hit any outages which happen. Vonage only has a single datacenter, which seems to be where many of the problems occur. Other VoIP providers use multiple data centers with automatic fall-back so that if shiat does happen, you’ll be routed to the next data center without hitting the fan.

    Add in that Vonage charges 3x as much as other VoIP providers and it’s a done deal. They’re basically the AOL of VoIP. Large media campaign, high prices, poor product & support, but many people use them because they don’t know any better.

    I had Vonage for 3 years, probably logged close to 30 hrs of technical support calls and e-mails due to problems on THEIR end with their proxy servers and crappy VoIP hardware. The worst part is if it IS a Vonage problem and you don’t have a contact deep within the bowels of Vonage, you’re screwed. “I shee no probleem seer!” the offshore tech would proclaim, or they’d want me to reboot my router, modem, etc… all quite difficult (and pointless) to do when you’re running enterprise-grade equipment, have commercial-grade internet with guaranteed service-level-agreements and everything else is working…including VoIP from other providers on the same setup. 99.999999999999999% chance it’s not on my end.

    In many cases, their own techs don’t understand how the system is supposed to work. The final straw for me was one weekend when I was out of town, Vonage had an issue with network unavailability / Simulring both operating at the same time. (Simulring is supposed to override, even if the adapter’s unplugged.) Well, it wasn’t… and their system would try to call my cell phone twice… So I’d answer the call, could talk with the person for about 10 seconds, then another incoming call from the same person would show on the phone, but at this point neither call worked. I was out in the middle of nowhere, didn’t have my laptop with me, and the “Wonridge” offshore tech (as he pronounced it) couldn’t for the life of him understand what I was talking about. He kept insisting that I reboot the modem, router, and adapter… which was left intentionally unplugged because I was going to be away. When I got back into town, the first thing I did was to add another Viatalk line. The second was to cancel Vonage. Not only am I saving $300/yr over Vonage, but that painful weekend with malfunctioning Vonage service easily cost me any “savings” that I might have had.

    I wish Vonage well, but they’ve failed to improve their service in any shape or form in the past 3 years. Other providers have made huge improvements and charge less.

  18. SexCpotatoes says:

    @raindog: Try ViaTalk, I think they are the third largest out there (behind Vonage and SunRocket) and have been working out quite well for me. WAV files in the email as attachments for all the voicemails…

    Oh, and buy a year of service, get a year free deals all the time. Works out to $10 a month for two years unlimited with equipment charges included.

  19. @raindog: Grandcentral.com. Voicemails in your email.

    LMAO @ rmz

    parents. funny stuff. :)

  20. raindog says:

    Thanks for all the alternatives to Vonage for the voicemail -> email feature. I can’t use most of them, but I know others will be able to, and now I know I’m not totally out of luck if Vonage does collapse someday.