Why Is Vonage Billing Domestic Calls At International Rates

Vonage charged J.R. $38.94 for a three-hour call transferred from Texas to Los Angeles because Vonage apparently thinks L.A. is somewhere in Algeria. After some digging, J.R. learned that if you transfer a call without adding +1 to the number, Vonage will mistake area codes for country codes and bill at the international rate, even though the calls are domestic.

J.R. writes:

I transfered a call from 213-520-XXXX to 817-284-xxxx. To my surprise when I got my phone bill I saw the following:

International Calls For 1-(254)-XXX-XXXX
Time: To: Rate: Duration Amount: Transaction ID:
12:42 AM 1817284XXXX $0.22 02:57:00 $38.94 XXXXXXXX

After being transfered 6 times from overseas customer support representatives that repeatedly claimed different reasons for why I was being charged that ranged from “Vonage charges for transfered calls”(They don’t!) transfered from the “213″ Area Code which is “Algeria”, or Country Code 81 is Japan(referring to the 817 number I called) and repeatedly asking for a US representative, as almost everyone in the US would recognize that 213 is Los Angeles and all you have to do is google to verify my claim, I finally got transfered to a technician in the US who explained what happened. You see there is a glitch in Vonage’s system where if you TRANSFER a call and any of the 2 numbers (the first number you called or the number you transfer the call to) were not dialed with a “1″ in front of it, but instead with 7 digit or 10 digit dialing, vonage’s billing system will not see the “1″ for country code 1, North America, and assume the call is international, and as such since the first number I called in Los Angeles, I only used 10 digit dialing on, Vonage saw the call as Country Code 213, Algeria. So Vonage customers, remember to dial 1 first!!!

Update: They did eventually credit me when I finally got the rep in the US who, by the way, said this was a known issue and any of the other reps who also have access to the SAME NOTES HE HAS, would have been able to recognize right away that 7 and 10 digit dialing without a 1 on transfered calls causes a billing glitch!