Vonage: Good, bad, or ugly?

I really adored Vonage when I first got it, mostly because it was cheap and had a really great web interface with lots of knobs to configure things exactly the way I want them. However, it breaks a lot, and a recurring problem is that calls to my Vonage phone connect but don’t get audio both ways (or even one way sometimes). This happens often enough that when my neighbors tried to call me today from both of their cell phones and I got no audio, I assumed my Vonage box was broken again and harassed a tech support agent for about 20 minutes.

It turns out the neighbors were at a ski resort and had ski resort quality reception, i.e., just enough to fool you into thinking you could make a call but not enough to actually talk. But while talking to the Vonage person, I discovered that (1) forwarded calls are forwarded THROUGH YOUR VONAGE BOX at home instead of being switched from somewhere in the main network, (2) If your Vonage box isn’t available on the network, the call will be forwarded to your “Network Unavailability Number” instead and not go all the way to your house, back through the network, and then back through your forwarding phone. Given that I haven’t hooked up a handset to my Vonage box in two months, I think I’m just going to unplug the damn thing until I need to make some sort of expensive international call.

Unfortunately, this means that I won’t be able to use my totally 21st century voicemail-to-text-message conversion technology from Vonage. I detest listening to voicemail, and given the choice between long slow painful voicemail dialing and listening and taking notes or paying 25 cents to read a text message with a few phonetic misspellings in about 3 seconds – I’m gonna take the text message. Ahhhh. Hm. Now that I put it that way, I’m going to have to think about this a while longer…

3 thoughts on “Vonage: Good, bad, or ugly?”

  1. ditto. multi-tasking: i.e reading the text while doing another thing is something i can do easily.. but dialing voicemail requires me to stop what i’m doing, and it’s harder to reread too.

  2. If you call them and tell them you want to cancel, they will give you a ridiculous rate to stay. So…that may be worth your time. ;)

    BTW, I would love to be able to sign in with OpenID on your blog, but it’s disabled. It would be great if you could enable that!

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