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On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 2:45pm, my wife of 34 years, Rebecca, died in my arms in an emergency room.

The last words we spoke were in perfect synchronization: "I love you with all my heart."

 

 

VONAGE - Nothing But Abuse

According to current news, the Vonage ship is sinking

This page contains my personal experiences and opinions.  Your experiences may be quite different.

If you think for one second that I'm the only one who's been mistreated by Vonage, try this:

Go to google.com and search for vonage sucks - no punctuation, quotes, or anything else. 

Just two words.

There seems to be approximately 1.53 MILLION results.

That is a LOT of results!

For many years, Vonage had a website named vonagesucks.com, but it disappeared. 

 

Check this link.  And this link, too.

How about this link - a former Vonage employee lets you see what's behind the door.

The more you look, the more you find.  Every week, more and more.

If that isn't enough, search for "customercare@vonage.com" and variations on that theme. 

And click the box below.

Links everywhere - more and more.

 

If Vonage is doing such a wonderful job for its customers, how can so many people be wrong?  Are we all liars, and Vonage is actually providing quality customer service?  Why are so many people writing pages, articles, and messages about exactly the same problems with Vonage? 

 

ARE WE ALL MAKING UP THESE HORROR STORIES?

 

Or is everything true - and Vonage has been raping people by the thousand since they went into business?


In November, 2005, I subscribed to Vonage.  Since then, the nightmares have continued endlessly.

First, trying to contact "Customer Abuse" is practically impossible - unless you don't mind being on hold for 45-90 minutes, and, frequently, twice as long.  However, if you're buying - in other words, ready to spend money - the representatives can't get on the phone fast enough. 

They WANT your credit card number.  Yes indeed, they do!

Once you discover the "Customer Abuse" rep has absolutely no ability or authority to help you with your problems, you request a manager or supervisor.  By now, you've discovered that the "Customer Abuse" employees have a very difficult time speaking English.  To the best of my knowledge, Vonage's "Customer Abuse" center is populated with employees from India or Pakistan.  So if you can understand their high speed, incoherent babbling, you're far more competent than I am.  On at least 6 occasions, I couldn't understand even one word.  The majority simply cannot speak English.    

My requests for a manager or supervisor rewarded me with another 45-120 minutes on hold, and nothing but more lack of authority to actually do anything to resolve the problems.

One of Vonage's "features" is a "referral service", in which they give you two months free service for anyone (any fool) you get to sign up with Vonage.  They credit this to your account, and consequently, don't charge your credit card for 2 months.  That's what they SAY .... what they DO is entirely different. 

In December, 2005, I referred a friend, who signed up with Vonage.  After repeated calls from both my referred friend and myself, three different Vonage "billing supervisors" acknowledged that the 2 month credit was due to my account, and would be applied immediately. 

It's now the last week of May, 2006.  No credit has been applied to my account.  5 months - no credit? 

Why is it that I can't charge Vonage for 5 MONTHS worth of late fees?

Trying to reach anyone with any authority?  You're kidding, right?

Trying to reach someone at corporate headquarters?  Lots of luck.


UPDATE:  call 888-580-4020.  If you want the ultimate runaround and excuses, talk to Seth Mellin.  

Here's one thing I learned: I believe Seth Mellin is a liar.

This webpage apparently has Seth Mellin (and his fans/pets) somewhat frustrated - click here.

Seth Mellin claims Vonage does not "port" or transfer numbers in or out of Vonage.  He claims another company, XL Communication, does this.  Seth Mellin attempted a 3 way call with my new VoIP company, SunRocket, and disconnected me 3 out of 3 times.  In all fairness, he did call me back.  He also claimed he spoke with the supervisor for number transfers at SunRocket, and gave him the proper info to transfer my number.  I requested that same information from Seth Mellin.

 

Then Seth Mellin claimed Vonage has NO CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THIS COMPANY, XL Communication!

Therefore, he HAD the information just moments before, when he claimed he supplied it to SunRocket, but suddenly DIDN'T have it when I requested it.

 

Do YOU find this believable?  I damn sure don't!

 

Later, I learned Seth Mellin lied again: the company is XO Communications.

Call 888-580-4020 - demand the CEO of Vonage.  Demand a person in authority.  Demand the secretary to the president.  Just demand.  The more you call, the more they realize you're NOT giving up.

Vonage is a classic example of a company that (1) gets your money, then (2) completely ignores your requests for help or customer service.  Once they get that credit card number, you're nothing but a waste of time.  They've made this obvious on dozens of occasions.  That's why I cancelled Vonage.

RECENT UPDATE: There are more ways to regain control of your life than "The Vonage Way".  Consider this possibility - it's a suggestion which may help, and I truly hope it does.

Contact a Customer Service Supervisor from your credit card company.  (The phone number should be on the back of your credit card.)  Pay the entire balance on your credit card so you owe nothing.  If that's not possible, at least try to pay a large part - while you are on the phone with the Supervisor - which indicates, without question, that you take your responsibilities seriously, and you're making an obvious good faith effort to be a conscientious, responsible credit card holder. 

It may be necessary to speak with a Dispute Supervisor.  Exactly the same suggestions apply.

Be absolutely certain to obtain a full name and direct phone extension for the Supervisor.  Politely (if possible) explain all the problems, issues, and lack of service and support you have experienced with Vonage.   

Ask that your credit card be frozen and a new account created with a new number.  File written, formal complaints with your credit card company, if requested.  Try to document each and every call, the call duration, and the outcome.  State verbally and in writing that you refuse to honor any further charges originating from Vonage.  Make yourself clear to the Supervisor: you do not feel obligated to pay for service which you are not receiving - that includes any part of the service: phone usage, customer support, referral credit, and any other issues you may have.  Your credit card company should work with you and help you resolve your problem with Vonage.  If not, ask for the supervisor's manager, and start all over.  If nothing works, cancel your credit card account with that company, and go to a different company.

Like me, you may not get all of your money credited to you, but you've learned your lesson, and sometimes it costs to learn.

LATE ADDITION: After being a victim of Vonage, I subscribed to SunRocket.  I paid for 12 months of service in advance.  Several months later, SunRocket disappeard - out of business.  My credit card company refunded the FULL amount I paid with no pro-rating for the months I had service.  GOOD PEOPLE.  They take care of their customers!

About 2 weeks ago, I subscribed to another VoIP service.  Naturally, Vonage will take their sweet time about porting over my existing phone number (of 21 years), enabling them to bill me for an extra month (possibly two) - even though I have acknowledged credit due to me, from their "billing supervisors" and their own Seth Mellin.  They also intend to charge me for "early termination" - which they caused themselves, with their "Customer Abuse"!  I didn't abuse Vonage - Vonage abused me.  I just paid my bill on time, all the time, and Vonage did the rest.

After this kind of treatment, I can't get far enough away from Vonage fast enough.

UPDATE:  Suddenly, Vonage has honored me with COMMUNICATION.  I received FOUR emails and several (unanswered) voice calls - I just let the answering machine get them.  I don't want to TALK to anyone - I just want my number ported and terminate the victimization by Vonage.  Note the dates and times.  I cleaned out a lot of the header junk, as well as my phone number and account number.  I also added some comments [BLUE, inside brackets.]  These comments are only on this webpage - I did not reply to Seth Mellin via email, nor return his calls.  I didn't feel that any further communication would be productive. 

As stated: I believe Seth Mellin is a liar.


Mon, 29 May 2006 06:41:17 -0500
Subject: [vonage.com ########] P1/###-###-####/Steve Leigh/ERT
From: "Vonage DigitalVoice Customer Care" <customercare@vonage.com>
Reply-To: customercare@vonage.com
RT-Originator: Seth.Mellin@vonage.com
To: steve at sl-prokeys dot com
Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 11:37:09 +0000 (GMT)
 
Dear Steve Leigh,
 
It was a pleasure speaking with you the other day.  [A pleasure for who?  Certainly not for me.] I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend.
 
As soon as your number transfers to Sun Rocket please either contact me at the number below or reply to this email so that I may disconnect your Vonage account.  As stated in our conversation the disconnection of the Vonage account will incur a $39.99 disconnect fee which will go against the credit issued to your account earlier today [TODAY?  My friend subscribed in December, 2005FIVE MONTHS of begging to receive a credit?  Now that's an interesting business practice.  And you're surprised I wrote this webpage?] for referring Mr. ------. [Name kept private.]
 
I look forward to hearing from you. [Oh, I just bet you do.  But I don't.]
 
Regards,
Seth
--
Seth Mellin
Executive Response Team
1-888-580-4020 Ext. 31604
Monday-Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM EST

Wed, 31 May 2006 07:09:07 -0500
Subject: [vonage.com ########] P1/###-###-####/Steve Leigh/ERT
From: "Vonage DigitalVoice Customer Care" <customercare@vonage.com>
Reply-To: customercare@vonage.com
RT-Originator: Seth.Mellin@vonage.com
To: steve at sl-prokeys dot com
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 12:05:26 +0000 (GMT)
 
Dear Steve Leigh,
 
Since your carrier has given you the port-out completion date of June 9th I will be back in touch with on that day to assist you with the closing of your Vonage account.
 
Regards,
Seth
--
Seth Mellin
Executive Response Team
1-888-580-4020 Ext. 31604
Monday-Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM EST

Tue, 06 Jun 2006 08:36:02 -0500
Subject: [vonage.com ########] P1/###-###-####/Steve Leigh/ERT
From: "Vonage DigitalVoice Customer Care" <customercare@vonage.com>
Reply-To: customercare@vonage.com
RT-Originator: Seth.Mellin@vonage.com
To: steve at sl-prokeys dot com
Date: Tue,  6 Jun 2006 13:31:38 +0000 (GMT)
 
Dear Steve Leigh,
 
I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know that I have not forgotten about you.  [Half of Vonage has already read this page by now, I'd guess you wouldn't "forget".  I have a website analyzer - it shows hundreds of hits from "vonagenetworks.net"] Hopefully you have received the voice mails I left you the past couple of days.  [Yes, I did - I ignored them.  All I want you to do is send the fax and let go of my number - nothing else.] I see that your number is still waiting to be transfered to Sun Rocket and I know you gave me the date of June 9th for that to be completed. [Hold on there, King Seth - I can't give a date based on what others do or fail to do.  I didn't - and can't - give a date about how OTHER PEOPLE do their jobs.  SunRocket estimated June 9 - Vonage is completely in control of actually releasing the number.  Vonage obviously doesn't want to.  Vonage obviously want to keep on billing me, rather than just release my number.]
 
If you have any updates from Sun Rocket about it happening any sooner please let me know so that once it is completed I can follow up with and facilitate the closing of your Vonage account.  [Pull your scam on somebody else, Seth.  You and your worthless "company" burned out my tolerance.]
 

Regards,

Seth
--
Seth Mellin
Executive Response Team
1-888-580-4020 Ext. 31604
Monday-Friday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM EST

Fri, 09 Jun 2006 12:33:36 -0500
Subject: [vonage.com ########] P1/###-###-####/Steve Leigh/ERT
From: "Vonage DigitalVoice Customer Care" <customercare@vonage.com>
Reply-To: customercare@vonage.com
RT-Originator: Seth.Mellin@vonage.com
To: steve at sl-prokeys dot com
Date: Fri,  9 Jun 2006 17:29:38 +0000 (GMT)
 
Dear Steve Leigh,
 
In our efforts to assist you with your escalated request, we have made multiple attempts during the past week to contact you on Monday June 5th, Tuesday June 6th, Wednesday June 7th and Thursday June 8th. to contact you.  [I didn't feel like talking to you, Seth.  I'm convinced you've already lied to me - conversation is meaningless.] At this time we have not heard back from you, and hope that your reported trouble has been resolved.  [My "reported trouble" is that VONAGE WON'T RELEASE MY NUMBER TO SUNROCKET.  And this WON'T be resolved until you do.]
 
Once your number ports to Sun Rocket please contact us back so we can disconnect your account. 
 
Your issue is very important to us [Oh, I'm sure.  I'm so important, I've essentially been on hold since December, 2005.  Vonage has repeatedly proven how important I am.] and we would like to ensure the issue is resolved to your satisfaction.  [Then release my number, and ensure my satisfaction.  What are you waiting for?  ANOTHER 5 months to go by?]  Unless you respond to this email, we will assume your issue has been resolved.  [Now you're giving me an ultimatum, and threatening me, too?  You - and Vonage - can KISS MY ASS.  I don't take ultimatums from you or people like you.] Please reply to this email if that is not the case. 
 
We value you as a customer, [Like hell - you value my CREDIT CARD.  I'm foolish, but I'm not stupid.] and are dedicated to customer satisfaction.  [If you're so "dedicated", just search the internet and see what so many people have to say about "vonage customer care" and/or "satisfaction".  There are hundreds - more like thousands - of people's opinions out there, consumer reports, warnings, etc.  I'm not the first, and certainly not the last, to discover the hard way - Vonage is a company I do not want to do business with.]
 
Regards,
Seth
--
Seth Mellin
Executive Response Team
1-888-580-4020 Ext. 31604
Monday-Friday
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM EST

RESOLUTION:  Consider the facts

 

Today, June 12, 2006, Vonage finally released my number to SunRocket, but numerous people have told me they're getting "this number is out of service" recordings when they call me.  I can call out OK (on SunRocket), but Vonage isn't finished playing their games yet.  Fact: I had $51.50 credit for referring a friend to Vonage.  (He won't be my friend much longer, I suspect.)  But $39.99 of that credit is being denied to me: I didn't stay with Vonage for a full year.  [Side note: when first subscribing to Vonage, I was never made aware of any "early termination fee", and I asked, before signing.]  Seth Mellin had another good time lying: I asked for the CEO's extension, and he claimed he didn't know it!  This is the guy he WORKS FOR, and doesn't know how to contact him?  Seth also had a lovely time refusing to forego the $39.99 charge, so I've been advised I have about $11 being credited to my credit card.  I'm not holding my breath for that - it could be 6 months or longer.  This was followed by 2 more emails confirming all this, PLUS this canned statement at the bottom of both emails:

 

It has been our pleasure to serve you. If you wish to subscribe to our service in the future, please visit our website at http://www.vonage.com/.
If you have any questions now or in the future Vonage Customer Care is eager to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please visit our help center at http://www.vonage.com/help.php or send us an email from our Contact Us page at http://www.vonage.com/help_contactUs.php.  You can also call us Toll Free at: 1-VONAGE-HELP (1-866-243-4357).
 
We appreciate your business.

I think I've experienced enough - more than enough - than to believe this babbling nonsense.  I'm fairly sure that when the day comes that I resubscribe to Vonage, I'll be locked in a padded cell wearing a straight jacket.  By that time, Vonage will probably be history in the world of VoIP anyway.

Once again, this page reflects my own experiences, problems, and opinions regarding Vonage.

 

Your experiences may be entirely different - I have no way of knowing.  Maybe your experiences with Vonage have been simply heavenly - or maybe they've been pure hell.  Only you know.

All I can suggest is that you LOOK VERY CAREFULLY before subscribing to Vonage.

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