More phone madness

I finally got my Vonage account cancelled. Many of their other customer services are available 24×7. But, to cancel your account, you can only call during certain hours. What’s more, I called once and discovered that I wasn’t able to cancel the account until my phone number had been transferred to my new provider. Once that happened (which took about 10 days), every time I called back to finish the termination, the wait time was over 25 minutes. Which is a waste of cell phone minutes. Which means I have to call from work. Which means I better not have anything else to do, like get up and go to the bathroom, in that half hour. When I finally got through, the guy was all business and pretty unfriendly, very unlike the other customer service representatives that helped me with account set-up.

Call me delusional. Call me naive. Call me a hopeless hold-out. But I’m trying hard to believe in good in the world and give folks the benefit of the doubt. But it’s not working. All of these delay tactics just seem unnecessarily opportunistic. All I see is greed.

Anyway, it’s over. I’ve already worked my way through MCI (who merged with another company and then, without notice, began charging me for services that they used to give me for free, and then gave me bad fax numbers to send my correction requests to, and against whom I eventually became part of a class action suit), Qwest (who screwed me on charges that weren’t mine and wouldn’t give me customer service without trying to sell me something else), Comcast (who mysteriously jacked up prices and eventually put themselves out of reasonable competition), and Vonage (who promised quality and customer service that they didn’t deliver). Now, I have a new phone company to complain about. C’mon, Cingular, restore my faith.

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4 thoughts on “More phone madness

  1. I’m curious…what trouble did you have with Vonage? We have Vonage and haven’t really had any trouble, except a couple of loss-of-service situations, but that was the cable company’s–Comcast–fault.

    • I whined about it in this post where I said …

      As for my 7 month Vonage experiment, let’s just say that you get what you pay for. $15/month seemed like a great deal except that people would call me and my phone wouldn’t ring. Or it would ring once and I’d pick up and there would be no one there. At first, I had trouble getting it set up to broadcast the calls through the entire house via the old analog lines. They sent me from initial tech support, to tech support in India, to tech support in the US, and by then the call quality was so bad I had trouble understanding the guy. I never did get call broadcasting in the house to work. So, I resorted to having only one phone that was tied to my cable modem. Then I had problems with calls getting dropped in the middle of the conversation. (Tech support fixed those, mostly.) But they never responded to any of my lesser complaints filed via the web. The customer service guy simply explained that they were growing too fast to keep up with their workload. When I called today to talk to Vonage about closing out my account, the guy asked me if I had also tried contacting my internet provider about my Vonage phone problems. I’m like, “Dude, phones are supposed to make my life easier. I have other things to do with my time than to get caught in the middle of buck-passing.”

      I’m glad you are having a good experience with them. I might have just been unlucky. My lack of patience when it comes to things that I’d rather pay money to some company to just make them work so that I don’t have to think about them probably doesn’t help.

  2. Oy VEY! I often try to remember if, back when we were growing up and were taught that “the customer is always right”, it was so in practice. I certainly don’t remember this level of bad service.

    For what it’s worth, my long distance provider is Working Assets (www.wald.com). They’re owned by Sprint, but they’re working the progressive angle… They donate 1% of all bills to lots of different charities, bills are online or on recycled paper, they’ll send letters & faxes on various causes for you, they tell you about new books on progressive issues.

    And they give you coupons for free Ben & Jerrys.

  3. I’ve been with Cingular since they took over AT&T. I really have no complaints with them. I have very strong signal on my phone, even in parking garages and elevators. Their customer service is pretty decent for the most part.

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