Me, Vonage, and This Here Shotgun

by Megan M. on January 13, 2006 · View Comments (Blog) |

Dear Vonage,

Boy, am I ever in a pickle.

I’ve been on the phone with you guys now for about an hour. The last twenty minutes or so – I am not certain, but I do have a ballpark – I’ve been on hold. On a silent line.

I have no idea if anyone is ever coming back to speak with me.

This started pretty innocently. I had a misunderstanding with the bank and the debit card I use for business transactions got cancelled. Since I was bound overseas and had plenty on my mind, I still haven’t had a chance to go and reopen the card.

So I had to switch a few cards around. All I needed to do was give you new debit information. Easy as pie, right? Erm. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to change my billing information. Not for love or money, dude. Okay, I thought. No big deal. The interface is just a little clunky, I’m sure they have instructions that would help me.

You did.

The instructions were wrong.

I swear, I swear I followed them to the letter. But the link you instructed me to click didn’t exist. I was flummoxed.

The next thing it said in your notification email (since by now your systems had noticed the lack of valid payment information) was to contact you via email, phone, or contact form. I was incredibly busy getting ready to leave, so I used the contact form. Certain you would get back to me to help me fix this situation, I calmed down.

The funny part is, you didn’t. You sent me more notification emails about not receiving payment… and you sent me a canned response to my contact form submission. Okay, I thought. Maybe it takes a few days. And anyway, at the bottom of the canned response, it said I could email your customer care address and someone would get back to me.

Okay, nifty! I thought. So I emailed customer care.

The next day I still hadn’t gotten any real people. I sent another message via contact form, got another canned answer, and sent another email to customer care.

To this day I haven’t heard a thing.

Every few days for the last several weeks I have attempted to change my card. It’s still the same problem. I have never heard back from a real person. Those emails happened right at the end of December. I do understand a delay because of the holiday… but it’s January 13 now. In fact, you’ve cancelled my account. None of my business calls can get through. My design firm is in utter turmoil. I am mortified. And you want to charge me a termination fee. And then you want me to pay the setup fees to reopen my account.

Now, hold on a second.

Granted, I didn’t use the phone. The phone has been a big problem, especially overseas. But nothing you sent me ever even implied that if I didn’t use the phone to contact you, instead of email or your website contact form, that you would simply ignore me and shut off my account. In fact, your email address is listed before your phone number in many of the emails I received. What the hell is going on here?

Today I finally got it together and gave you a call, now that I was back home and wondering why on earth no one had ever emailed me. Even after typing this entry thus far, I’ve been on the phone for an hour and fifteen minutes. And I’ve no idea how much of that now is silent hold time. Maybe a half hour? Maybe more? When I called in, I wasn’t on hold too long – but the fellow who answered was unintelligible. He had a thick sort of mumbly accent. I don’t mind accents, and I don’t even mind mumbling, but I could barely understand what he was saying. In addition to which, he kind of laughed at me and seemed… annoyed? Disinterested? …in my predicament. That was making me upset really fast, so I asked to speak with someone else who might be able to help me.

I was on hold for a little while, and a woman answered. I explained the problem. She seemed dubious but was genuinely trying to be helpful. She said that I would have to pay the termination fee, but they would waive the setup fees to reopen the account.

That is a problem, I told her. I’m sorry for it to be such an issue, but if I have made every effort to contact the company, using methods the company has asked me to use, and no one has responded to me in two whole business weeks… and a net savvy gal like myself can’t seem to make the FAQ instructions jive with the actual account interface enough to update a debit card… something that has always been EASY for me to do with other companies… why am I paying Vonage extra to keep my account open? When I don’t even know if I can get my numbers back, now that the account’s been unreasonably (ridiculously?!) terminated? When I can maybe pay another company that same dough to open a new account… and not have them ignore me for weeks at a time? Causing me more stress?

What she told me was that because I had not specifically used the phone, she didn’t know how she could help me. Despite the various emails insisting that there were many ways to solve my problem – not just by telephone!

Finally she said that she’d need to speak with a supervisor and try to see if they might be able to solve my problem.

Except now I’m sitting on hold. On a silent line. And I have a crick in my neck. And it’s been silent for what, a half hour? Forty minutes, maybe? Is that possible, that I am still on this phone thinking someone is going to pick up? Do I give up? And if I give up, do I have to start from scratch later? Because no one gave me a name… no one gave me a ticket number. I am all alone out on the telephone ocean.

And that’s it, I’ve had it, and I just hung up the phone.

In this day and age, a company should not be able to afford to be this casual about their customers. And I know Vonage outsources overseas like a crazy overseas outsourcing fiend, but you can’t possibly be unconcerned about having my business, and the business of countless others who would hear about this and think, You know, it just doesn’t sound worth it.

It’s sounding less and less worth it to me.

I am making one last attempt. Please, please, please get back to me. Please call me. I was told you called, but no one left a message and of course I was unable to get to the phone, so I can’t prove or disprove it. I have my phone now. Here is my cell number. Here is my email address. You guys have the chance to resolve this like the reasonable, upstanding company I know you must be. There was no doubt in my mind that this was just a mistake, some brief oversight, that would be resolved as soon as we were all on the same wavelength. Please, please, please let me be right.

Yes, this would be begging.

I’ll be watching the phone. AND my email.

Thanks for your time.

In friendly desperation,


(If you’re curious about how this issue progressed, go ahead and take a look at this post.)

  • Matt
    I'd just go after them with an axe.
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