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Author Topic: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???  (Read 2736 times)

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Offline chainsaw_louie

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Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« on: December 02, 2006, 11:26:22 AM »
Hi,

It says you can talk about anything on this forum - so here goes.....

After having an outage of the regular phone service for almst 2 weeks, I decided its time to look into the phone services that use the broadband or highspeed internet instead of traditional copper wires.  I read various opinions about Vonage some of which said flatly 'service sucks' 'dont do it' etc.  I was wondering if anybody on the forum has used this internet phone service and what their experience is like.

Thanks.

Tim

Online Mooseherder

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2006, 11:57:52 AM »
Not qualified to comment on their service but will tell you I don't appreciate their Pop-up ads that come thru a couple of pop-up filters. :(
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Offline jbeat

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2006, 02:16:55 PM »
Consider that if you have 9-1-1 service through your current provider you will lose it with Vonage.
John B

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2006, 02:19:09 PM »
Vonage tech support was great, guy actually knew how to set up a router. Voice quality is not as good as land lines during peak usage. Then again, it is better then Comcast voice during peak periods! Though for the $19.05 (counting taxes - base is $14.95) for their cheapest call plan I can suffer  ;)

You get a lot of features too. I like checking my voice mail on-line where it does not eat into my minutes and I can easily dump calls I do not want.

I like Vonage a lot.
 8)

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2006, 02:20:43 PM »
re:911

You get 911 service, it is required by law. It just goes through a call center that is not local. Which if you see the quality of some local 911s, it is an improvement. fwiw.

Offline blaze83

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 03:16:04 PM »
I tried vonage for a few months...I'm sure people have had good luck with their service, I just wasn't one of them....I thought the service sucked ... the vioce quality was worse than my celll and it dropped more calls... plus when I tried to call tech support I couldn't get anyone that spoke fluent english.... on top of that they signed me up twice so when I went to cancel one service they tried to charge me the 150$ cancelation fee even though they admitted it was thier fault I ended up with a double service....to bad the service isn't as good as the commercials...

just one guy's opinion

steve
I'm always amazed that no matter how bad i screw up Jesus still loves me

Offline chainsaw_louie

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 06:09:11 PM »
Thanks for all the opinions - it confirms what I have been able to find, that is there are happy customers and then there are people who have been totally dissatisfied with the quality of the calls and especially with the customer service.  It sort of makes me feel like I am about to take a walk in a mine field.   

Actually, I tried calling their 800 number, not  to enroll but I just wanted to ask a few questions like :

              "if I sign up just to try it out and I like it, can I get them to bring over my existing telephone number later? "

Thats a pretty simple question, at least it is to me.  But the guy I spoke to first of all wanted my First and Last name just to proceed with the conversation - ok I can deal with that (he just gave his first name).  But then, he wanted my full address, which is just opening the door to a raft of marketing and and who know what all.  Remember, I am just a perspective customer that is asking a few questions, but he could not break out of their script and actually listen to me and answer my questions.  To me, that was a real bad sign. I told the guy he confirmed all that I had heard about the customer service.  Maybe I am a control freak, but I am the customer and expect to be able to have things my way at least before I sign up. 

Well, hope springs eternal and I will call them again and give them a second try, I am really hoping this will be a positive experience cause the $$ savings over local tel plus long distance charges, is in the $100's of dollars.

Tim

Offline wesdor

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 06:55:25 PM »
We switched to Mediacom phone service on November 8.  Not exactly like vonage, but quite similar. 

During the first week, their modem needed reset, but I wasn't aware that was the problem.  After more than 30 minutes on hold (using my cell phone during peak hours) I finally spoke with a tech who told me to reset the modem - unplug it for 30 seconds.  That seemed to work fine and the phone was back in working order. 

It happened again several days later, but hasn't happened since.  According to the tech I spoke with, it takes a few weeks to get the connections right.  Now that sounds very strange to me, but it seems to be how things have worked out.

I've called friends and asked them about the quality and they all report that it is better than my cell phone.  We figure that we are saving about $15 / month over our previous phone bill.  And the best part is that mediacom boosted us to a 10 mb line instead of 5.  Our connections was always great compared to a dial up, but now it almost flies.

One concern - if you don't have a cell phone, I don't know if this would be the thing to do.  We figure that the cell phone is our emergency backup.  Because the phone will go down - but so did our land line in the past.

Offline PineNut

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 10:14:02 PM »
I may be considering one of these phone services. Had another call from my current provider wanting to sell me some more services. Got fed up with them and told them that I was one of their customers but if they kept calling me, I would not be much longer. So far I havent heard from them but dont expect that to last. Several people around here have dumped their landline because it wouldnt work and the phone company would not fix it. My problem is I dont have good cell coverage here for backup.

Offline Furby

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2006, 10:58:05 PM »
I decided its time to look into the phone services that use the broadband or highspeed internet instead of traditional copper wires.
smiley_headscratch smiley_headscratch

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2006, 04:56:28 PM »
> But then, he wanted my full address

FWIW: They need your address and phone number to be sure they can switch you, carry the number, or service the area. Where I use to live, two miles from my current address, noone offered anything in the area (a 80,000 population city!) other then Bellsouth.

Then when I moved, Comcast at the time could offer regular phone service and cable, BUT, not digital phone service.

I know about the Federal law about carrying numbers, but, it is not -always- the case.

fwiw

Offline Larry

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2006, 05:51:25 PM »
Lot of smoke and mirrors.

After having an outage of the regular phone service for almst 2 weeks, I decided its time to look into the phone services that use the broadband or highspeed internet instead of traditional copper wires. 

99.9% of residential broadband is provisioned over traditional copper wires or coaxyea there might be fiber in the loop but it aint to the house in most cases.  Most problems with a conventional telephone line are in the outside plant.  And DSL comes over the exact same lines.  Cable in most cases has a lot of aerial plant in the loop.  Sothe question ishow does Vonage provide dial tone.  The answer is over the same loop used by the local telephone or Cable Company.

So guess the next question is how much ya wanta pay?  DSL or cable is not cheapthrow in the Vonage charge on top and it gets quite expensive for a phone.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

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Offline Furby

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2006, 07:48:43 PM »
Ah, Larry caught my point! ;)

Offline chainsaw_louie

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2006, 03:13:19 PM »
OK, well the test of  "Voice over IP"  is proceeding nicely. 

I got the Linksys router for Vonage and it cost $118 at bestbuy.  But they gave me 2 rebates !  1 rebate for $50 cash and another rebate for $100 Bestbuy shopping card...I cant figure that one out but I sent em in.

Next I signed up for unlimited US/Canada service for @$30/month . They give the first month 'free' but charge a $30 'connection' fee.  If I drop the service in the first year they charge me a $40 disconnect charge.

If I like the service, I'll pull my regular phone number over to this and drop the Local phone provider and the Long Distance provider. 

The voice quality seems to be quite good.  I have cable anyway and $30/month beats the $80 or more I pay for local/longdistance phone service.


Offline Roxie

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2006, 03:29:51 PM »
I've had Vonage for almost two years, and I love it!  I have 911, and unlimited calling in the United States and Canada...$24.99/month.  If something does go wrong, whether it's the cable, or the phone, or the computer line...I've got ONE COMPANY to call and it get's handled!!  No more expecting me to determine whether the problem is inside or outside....they tell me when they are coming...and the come when they say they will. 
Cowboy Bob, has kept the local Verizon company for his business phone.  Here's what he just went through to get it hooked up in the garage.  An appointment was made for them to come Thursday between 1 and 5...so he waited, and after 5 he called and was told they would come Friday between 9 and 5, so he waited.  They never came.  On Saturday morning at 8 AM the truck pulled in and the phone was installed and working, after about 3 hours.  Later that day we thought we'd test the line, and we got connected to a fax machine.  :D  Then we tried dialing again, but we got someone else's number.  Then we tried a third time and back to the fax!  We called and they said they could fix it but not before Wednesday, so they forwarded the calls TO MY VONAGE LINE which was working perfectly.  They did fix the problem, today, which is Thursday!   :D :D
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2006, 04:37:34 PM »
Back in 1996 I believe, we had what was called freephone over internet connections. Just wear one of those headsets with a mic  and talk. There was delay because most folks were on dial-up. Before that it was mostly real time text messaging and file transfer over IRC and DCC connections within the client software.

Some info about Freephone
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Offline rebocardo

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2006, 09:16:51 PM »
> I got the Linksys router for Vonage and it cost $118 at bestbuy.

I just want to point out if you bought it over the Internet it would have cost $00.00, at least mine did  ;)

I went with the $14.95 plan, I figure if we are talking more then 500 minutes a month the Internet connection must be broken.

Offline solodan

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2006, 11:09:05 PM »
I have been using Skype. Free calls in us and canada, free Skype to Skype calls or video calls around the world. They also have some paid plans and you get more. Actually the us and canada unlimited calls package is $14.95 a year but we make calls to land lines for free. ??? maybe there is a limit on calls to regular phones, but I have 4 other phones, and 3 of them are unlimited calls to north america. I remember the one SD was talking about. There was  a very bad delay, back then I had a cable modem at a speed of about 1.5 mbps. That is almost ten times faster than where I am at now, but Skype is way better. 8)

Offline Onthesauk

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2006, 11:53:24 PM »
Just a note here about our 6 - 7 day power outage in areas in the NW.  Comcast doesn't start repairing their lines until all the power is restored so some folks are going to be without high speed cable phone access for another couple of weeks.  I know this doesn't happen often but might be an issue if your business depends on it or something.
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Offline chainsaw_louie

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Re: Anybody try Internet Phone Service like Vonage ???
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2006, 01:12:34 AM »
That is sure the truth about the weaknesss of Internet phone service, without electricity the router and cable modem dont work and in some cases the phones wont work either.  Plus if the cable service is damaged forget it.  This kept me from using this service until the regular phone service became unavailable for 2 weeks.  I have MCI (soon to be bankrupt and become Verizon) and getting the notification about the bad line from MCI to Verizon (who maintains the lines) took 11 days.  Oh and when the bill came from MCI they of course did not deduct for the period while there was no service.  So, in my experience, no provider is without fault or weakness, I just thought I would give the Voip a try. 

One neat feature I discovered is that the voice mail messages are forwarded to my email and can be downloaded and played on the computer.

Tim


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