In response to Matt Hartley’s report, From Phone Age To Vonage?, Gnomie Jim Bell writes:


I subscribed to Vonage’s Voice over IP service about two weeks ago. First, the
good stuff. The call accounting platform is excellent. Being able to pick up
voice mail from Vonage’s Web site or in your e-mail box is a great feature.
Quality of Service is excellent. I also love the ability to have both my home
phone and any other phone ring at the same time. I notice no difference from
my old POTS line. By the way, I was paying about $80.00 a month to Verizon for
a “package” that included virtually all of their services including call
intercept and unlimited long distance. I have out-of-state, so I spend quite
a bit of time on long distance calls. Vonage offers a great package with 500
long distance minutes that meets my needs for $25.00. Obviously, a great cost

Now for the negative. Problem #1, I needed to make a call to Time Warner. The
number was a toll-free 866 number. There is a problem with calling some toll-free
numbers using Vonage’s service. There is an FAQ on their site explaining
the issue. Problem #2, I called technical and was met by a message telling me that all
technical support staff were busy so I should call back later. At that point I
was disconnected. If there is anything that makes me crazy, it’s this type of
service. I called back and after picking through a series of menu options was
able to contact a customer service representative. The customer service
representative told me they had dumped their technical support staff for
training purposes. I asked to have a “manager” call me to discuss what had
happened. After receiving no call back for two days I went to their Web site and
sent a message to them. I received an auto response from the Web site, but
still no call. After two more days, I called back. I was told my message was
never routed to the correct queue, so that was the reason I never received a call
back! I was also told that when I called technical support originally there was
no way I was given an “all staff busy message” and disconnected. When I pressed
them I was also told they are increasing staff to correct some minor problems.
I believe these folks have a great product but still have a way to go with
technical and customer service. In their defense, I can remember some very
frustrating experiences with support from my old carrier.

Hope this helps!