Vonage — totally inappropriate service for dsl
Vonage wasted days of my time installing their VOIP equipment and calling them trying to get my local telephone number switched to their service, only to find that the service is totally inappropriate for DSL and would have cost me more to use that just keeping the telephone plan I already have with my local telephone carrier.
I spoke at length with Vonage prior to ordering their service (perhaps the service rep didn¹t understand what I was asking as she spoke with an Indian accent). I was assured I could disconnect my local phone service and rely on the VOIP with my DSL connection. The truth is that you cannot disconnect from your local phone company if you have DSL as your DSL uses the phone lines and will no longer work without local telephone service. After a morning of waiting on various phone systems, I determined that the local carrier (in this case Qwest) would give me a dedicated ³dry loop² DSL connection (no telephone service included) at the cost of about $10 more than I already pay for basic telephone service. BOTTOM LINE--I would end up paying $10 more for the same services (local and long distance) I already have, but would no longer be able to receive and send faxes or have a direct connection to 911 emergency line. Instead of paying 2 companies I would be paying three companies.
If consumers already have cable internet, then Vonage might save them money, or if you use a lot of services like call waiting, forwarding etc., or require a second phone line (#) there may be an advantage to Vonage service. But my reading of the information on their website and the information I was given on the telephone would cause me to suspect that many people sign up for Vonage service without fully understanding how it works.
Though I imagine that the information on the Vonage website falls within the letter of the law, I found their presentation of how their service works and the cost savings to be very misleading. Nowhere did I find information that cost of having a dedicated telephone line for DSL service could exceed any cost savings that their service represents.
I am just now in the process of unhooking and repacking all their equipment and sending it back, so hopefully I will not have a problem in retrieving charges Vonage made to my credit card.