Vonage is from hell

Okay, I gave it another try tonight, after getting several emails from people who got their Vonage to work. After following their instructions a couple more times, I called customer support again.

And then I was on a PHONE CALL FROM HELL.

First of all, the connection was terrible, as before. One has to wonder if it represents the quality of Vonage's service, but since I was calling India, I gave them a break on that.

But after going through my entire setup again with a technician, and him determining that my router was bad, I was transferred to another department to have it replaced. After explaining the situation to the next person, I was told I would need to be transferred to another department—two more times.

I kid you not. At every single transfer, I had to give my account number and verification information (name, etc.). And, what's worse, every transfer made the phone connection worse! By the time I got to the fourth guy, all I could hear was a scratchy "HELLO?...HELLO?...HELLO?," and he couldn't hear me at all. I had to hang up.

I called back (this time with a different cell phone, just in case it was me), and I relived it all over again. I got to skip verifying that my router didn't work, but then the second woman I talked to told me I had to buy a new one. I told her no, that the one they sent me didn't work, and I needed them to sent me a new one. At which point, she transferred me.

By the time I got to the fourth person, again, we couldn't hear each other, and I had to give up.

It was amazing.

(To their credit, the people were very nice, but they were dealing with a very broken system.)

The ironic thing, is that a big reason I wanted to switch to VOIP was the promise of not having to deal with the local phone monopoly and their complete disregard for any semblance of customer service or respect for people's time. But this was as bad as most of those calls from hell.

I'm glad that Vonage works for some y'all, but this is not a step into the future in my book. Back to SBC—or maybe a different VOIP provider.

p.s. - Guess what I have to do to cancel my account (despite the fact they have total account control on their web site)? Yep, call back. Argh.

Update: That call went a little better, but I don't know why I agreed to what I did. I pushed the number for billing on the call back. (There wasn't an option for "Cancel, cuz we suck.") And I got a dude who didn't sounded closer (the connection was a little better). I told him I wanted to cancel, and he insisted we go through the setup procedure yet again. I played along for a while until we got to the point where he agreed my router didn't work, at which point he insisted on sending me a new one. Thankfully, he didn't transfer me anywhere.

I agreed to try the new router if he'd credit my account for a month of service, which he agreed to. After getting that all set up, he informed me that I'd be charged for the new router until I sent the old one back. Like I said, I don't know why I agreed to what I did.