You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave

I have been given much fodder over the past several days that I could blog about…

Paula Deen on Oprah: I know it’s a rerun and old news to most of you, but it was so so so funny (you’ll have to copy the code into your browser)…



The VMAs: which I didn’t see, but when I opened my homepage the headlines were SCREAMING at me for attention… Kid Rock and Tommy Lee fighting in the audience! Britney Spears’ disaster of a comeback performance! (though seriously, she looks way better than I will one year after giving birth!! …oh, who am I kidding… EVER!)

How can I even focus on a well-written post with such front-page news!

I did go to Alabama to visit with grandmother, and I could certainly write a post on that… we had a fun fun time; my train-obsessed 1 year old had his fill of trains up close and personal while we were playing at the park; it was a busy day on the tracks of Alabama.

But for today, I’m going to write a complaint-post.

Do any of you have Vonage? If you do, GOOD LUCK trying to get rid of it!

When we first moved to Tennessee, we decided to use Vonage; their rates are good and they have those catchy ads with the catchy song. Other than the occasional outage of service, due to power loss, we had no problems with it.

But about 2 months ago, we started having some problems with our internet. It would go offline for hours and hours everyday. We couldn’t get online, we couldn’t make phone calls. For budgeting purposes, we use pre-paid cell phone service, which is normally perfect for us – we don’t make a lot of cell phone calls. But when it suddenly becomes your only way to communicate with the outside world, you burn through those minutes faster than a 2 week old baby goes through diapers.

Therefore, we decided to get rid of the Vonage and go back to using just our cell phones.

Sean made the first phone call, which apparently went through their outsourced facility… the lady couldn’t understand him and he couldn’t understand her. Any chance for proper communication was thrown out the window. She was not, apparently, able to “think outside of the box” and kept giving him scripted responses that didn’t go with his questions and concerns. But basically, it came down to “I’m sorry, I can’t disconnect your service.” and “No, you can’t mail a payment to us.” At the time, we had switched banks and didn’t yet have our bank card. We wanted to go ahead and pay our bill so we could disconnect, but the only way they allow you to pay is over the phone/internet.

I know Sean would have liked to have hit himself over the head with the phone to put himself out of his misery.

So service continued.

When Sean made our payment, he cancelled the service. Within about 3 minutes, our phone was off. We felt relief and freedom.

Imagine Sean’s surprise when he noticed this weekend that Vonage had taken out money for service. He called Vonage, and was told that they had no record of him canceling service. When he explained that it was funny they had no record of it but had still managed to turn off our service when we had asked, the guy still argued with Sean. He told Sean that if he canceled his bank card, they’d still keep submitting for payment (even though you pay BEFORE you receive service and we don’t have their service anymore!) and mess up our credit.

Sean called the bank and opened a dispute with Vonage through the bank. He also had to cancel his card in order to keep them from withdrawing more money from our account. Then, he filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

When he did a Google search on problems with Vonage, he found this same complaint over and over. (you can read over the complaints here, here and here – in fact, they were kicked out of the Better Business Bureau in NJ for not resolving customer complaints) Apparently, they use their Mafia type tactics frequently in order to dissuade people from leaving their business. In fact, the banker Sean spoke with said that she had tried to do the same thing and ended up just keeping the service because of all of the hassles they had given her.

What are your thoughts. Have any of you had problems?

Comments

  1. I don’t have Vonage, and haven’t been interested because I was worried about losing service. After reading this there is no way we would ever sign up. Good luck with this!

  2. WE’re so much more limited in our phone choices here – and suddenly, I’m glad of it.

  3. They were happy to cancel my service on the second line- for a $50.00 fee.

    Uh- yeah. That went right to disputes with the bank. I’m still trying to cancel the first line.

  4. I can’t comment on Vonage because we don’t get them here. But that is just insane. Something needs to be done with that company.

    I saw Paula on Oprah. That was just the funniest thing ever.

  5. Scott works fro AT&T so I’m not allowed to think about Vonage…LOL!

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