I signed my mother up with Vonage two years ago after my dad died (to help her stretch her limited retirement budget). She was given a Motorola Telephony modem and the setup was easy on her Time Warner high-speed internet. The service for HER was pretty good right up until two weeks ago (Feb/Mar 2010). She was suddenly unable to get through from NC to NY – kept getting ‘No lines are available’ message over and over and over again.
I myself had signed up with Vonage about a year ago. I received the black/orange custom Vonage Telephony modem/box. My service was also easy to hook up, but I am also a HEAVY internet user. Even with my Road Runner Turbo 10mbps service, my Vonage device would get easily effected by other internet activity. I set up my Vonage Device as priority 1 traffic on my router, and it pretty much solved THAT particular problem. HOWEVER – incoming callers were complaining that they could hear themselves back in an echo on my line. I called in from another office and, sure enough, there it was. Sometimes it was faint, other times it was very loud. Sometimes it faded out, other times it stuck around for the whole call.
I perused the Vonage support web site and found several articles claiming this is likely coming from MY home wiring. I didn’t undertstand how this could be given that I NEVER had this trouble with AT&T service on this very same home lines. Nonetheless, I went and pulled the plug from the home wiring and went directly from the Vonage box to my cordless phone base and removed any potential interfering lines, and relocated any potentially interfering electronics from the modem/base proximity. NO CHANGE! Worse, when calling to NY my call quality often degrades and even gets dropped.
I then asked Vonage customer support for help. Of course, I get a support rep with a very heavy non-English accent. After many attempts at configuring my modem, we realize nothing is helping and they send me a new (refurbished) modem. Same problem still. I decide to just grin and bear it.
About two weeks ago, I realize a new problem has crept in. When calling NY from NC on MY phone, I am also getting the frequent ‘No lines are available’ message. Yet, calling on my cell phone I get right through. Same when calling from a different phone service at another office. Vonage is having this problem exclusively! Same issue happening with my mother’s Vonage service!
I replace both mine and my mother’s Vonage service with Time Warner’s Digital Phone service and now we can get through to NY without ANY trouble. AND the horrible echo I experienced using the Vonage service and device is completely gone! Better still, Time Warner Digital Phone costs only $20/month and the install & phone number transfer was free!
But, as one last act of malice towards their already under-serviced customer, VONAGE CHARGED ME $130 TO TERMINATE BECAUSE I WAS ONE WEEK AWAY FROM 1 YEAR SERVICE! $80 for their device which was defunct, and another $40 cancellation fee! Vonage has SERIOUS issues – PLEASE STAY AWAY!