Score another point for consumers making it over the unyielding wall of “customer service.” Keith writes in about his recent struggles with Vonage, over an account he thought had been completely canceled six months earlier, “The carpet bomb instructions were inspired and within 3 weeks of sending my carpet bomb I got my resolve… The great part is I got my credit from the same person who stone walled me the months previous. Oh success is sweet.”
The short version of the story: after signing up with Vonage, Keith discovered it wouldn’t work with his company’s Asterix private branch exchange (ooo fancy telephone lingo), so he canceled and went with another company. The Vonage router was never shipped out, the company never connected to Vonage’s servers, and yet due to some easily-preventable email errors on Vonage’s side*, they claimed to have never received a request to terminate the service. So, from January to August, Vonage continued to charge the company.
Keith repeatedly contacted Vonage’s customer service, then escalated the issue to the Better Business Bureau, which contacted Vonage on his behalf. Vonage remained firm: Keith did not cancel the account properly, and whether the device was shipped out or not, he bought the service and they were going to charge him.
Keith’s email carpet bomb was short but comprehensive, respectful, dispassionate, and clear. It made a strong case for why and how Vonage screwed up, and Keith offered additional evidence for anyone who wanted to follow up. “I had to look online and find every name and email of every single employee of the company that I could. I searched through press releases and the investor website and so forth, after sending this complaint in to about 50 people over there I got a quick response that I would receive a full credit.”
* More on the email errors for those of you who are curious—Vonage sent an email that said they weren’t compatible with Asterix. Keith responded to that email to cancel the service. However, Vonage’s return address wasn’t a legitimate one, but their servers did not send back an “invalid address” warning to alert Keith’s company, so as far as Keith knew the email was received and the service was canceled—especially since they never shipped out the router. (return to top of post)