Vonage Customer Support: 45 Wasted Minutes I will Never Get Back

Time is very precious to me. I have a lot to do and not enough time to do it. Today I had the displeasure (second time now) of dealing with Vonage’s support via phone.

My issue: My outgoing caller id was incorrect. I thought this would be simple. My thought process on how this would go >>
Vonage customer support: Ok Jennifer, the incorrect name you see was the previous phone number’s contact name, let me update that for you and at worse, have you power cycle your Vonage adapter.
Me: Thanks!
Call time: 5 minutes. The end.

The reality.
I make the call, get connected to customer service, give my account info and verify my address and email address (yeah it is a southern male with a thick southern accent instead of someone from India like last time that did not know what I meant by “answering machine” even after repeating it 5 times (causing Amy to think I was talking to a computer). Please hold.

The southerner cannot help me so I get transferred. I get transferred overseas. I am already pissed. I once again give my account info and verify my address and email address…and explain the problem again. The person I am talking to is hard to understand so I have to ask him to repeat himself several times. Please hold.

He cannot figure out what I am talking about so I get transferred back to the US where I again I once again give my account info and verify my address and email address…and explain the problem again. This guy actually speaks English and looks into the problem. Please hold. Hold. Please hold. Finally I ask him how long this will take. I have now been on the phone for 41 minutes. At minute 42, my phone gets tired, beeps and disconnects me. Apparently the problem will take 24-48 hours to resolve. Meanwhile, I have now wasted almost 45 minutes explaining something simple. My outgoing caller ID is incorrect. Wow. Thank goodness a Coca Cola Classic is never far away.

Moral of this story. Vonage – the service is great. The customer support…sucks. Sucks is a compliment too. This is not the first bad experience I had and I expect it will not be the last.

[tags]Vonage[/tags]

blackberry 8700.

After much research and some procrastination, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a Blackberry 8700. I have been using it for three days now and it is by far much nicer than I ever expected. I thought I would miss my Treo 600, but really I only miss my Rocket Mania game.
First Impressions:

  • Great keyboard. It is easy to type quite fast and it it has a good feel.
  • Bright screen. The screen is plenty bright and the text is easy to read.
  • No buzzing! I can actually place calls without hearing crazy buzzing in the background.
  • Edge network is great. I am enjoying the high speed network very much during my commute and whenever I need a quick web fix.
  • Push email rocks. Automatically getting notified of new email is very handy…now I just need to pace myself.

All in all I am very happy with my decision to go with the Blackberry and I am excited to learn how to use all the features in the next few days. I also finally now understand why so many people are constantly stare at it 😉
[tags]Blackberry 8700c[/tags]

phone recommendations?

Once again I am looking for a new phone to replace my aging Treo 600. About six months ago I took my phone apart and performed a minor surgery on it to get rid of the buzzing….and now it is back. I have finally had it and am in need of a good phone solution.

  1. The keyboard/keypad is most important to me as I type a lot of email/blog posts from my phone while in transit to work (on the train…not driving) and while on vacation/when I am without my iBook. I do not want to press one key three times before getting the letter I want…so I need a good keyboard layout.
  2. I need the abilty to sync my mobile device to my mac via iSync.
  3. I would like a phone with good voice clarity as I use my cell phone to contact clients when I am away from my home office
  4. For the past eight years, I have been using an ATT plan and while it is not as good as some of the new plans, I will not complain. However, all my friends who have Cingular…hate it. So…I am also up to switching to a new serivce provider. (Suggestions would be greatly appreciated)

I have really liked my Treo 600 for the past years, but it is clear it is time for an upgrade. Hitting the side of my phone as hard as I can to stop the buzzing is getting old. I am really interested in the Sony Ericsson 910a but have never met anyone who has had it…and would like to at least hear about some experiences with it before I pay a lot of money for it. I like the Treo fmaily of phones….so should I wait until they announce the two expected new versions of this phone later this year? Help!
[tags]smartphone, Treo 600, iSync, Sony Ericsson 910a[/tags]

treo 600 surgery.

The problem: My Treo 600 has been buzzing for the past year or so when I get low on battery. Buzzing to a point where I decided I needed a new phone. Since the new phone did not work out, I decided I had to go back to my old standard: the Treo 600. Unfortunately, I still had to deal with the buzzing, so I finally decided to do a search for “Treo 600, buzzing” and finally found some documentation of a possible fix. Excited, I took a drive to my local hardware store, got the hex tool to open up my Treo and went to work.

Treo 600 Surgery workspace Treo 600 Surgery workspace 2

For those who know me, and know how I am with hardware, you might laugh a little (and appreciate the “clean work space” I decided to use), but I have to say…I did not break the case, ruin the phone, or even cut myself…and taking off the case gave plenty of opportunity. This is now my second successful, no injury take-apart in a row ;). All screws are back in place and the phone works. This weekend I am going to let the phone’s battery drain to see if I can get down below 50% battery level and see if the buzzing is gone. If so, I will be set for another few months until the Treo 700P comes out. If not, I go back in and try to wrap the cable a little better.

minute 1 back with the treo 600.

I finally got rid of the Nokia 6682. Even though I have issues with my Treo, the second I had to type in my password to access the phone, using the QWERTY keyboard…I made peace with my Treo. So far, so good with my Treo re-activation. I had some word with Customer Service yesterday about how it was going to be “impossible” to use my phone on the Cingular network, but after talking to someone else this evening, all is well. My SIM card has been re-activated and I am supposedly going to have service in 3 hours. Good to be back. Next up: Treo 700p…whenever that might be.

day 14 with the nokia 6682 and cingular.

Well well. I am not in the best of moods. After working on an important several paragraph email for 30 minutes this morning on the train, I have made my decision to turn in my Nokia 6682 phone in the next few days. Yeah, I am not even going to see the full 30 day trial. Perhaps at this point you are asking yourself…30 minutes on one email? Yeah, that is right. Without a QWERTY keyboard…that is what you get. So at the 30 minute mark…my phone decides to freeze. Freeze hard so I am forced to restart, and lose my message. This is not the first time the “messaging” features have caused havoc, but it will be the last. As I am writing this, I am thinking I will got to Cingular next week and turn my phone in….and wait for the Treo 700p. I am a heavy email user, as I have 45 minutes on the train each morning and night. I need to be able to reliably send and receive email. The email interface on the Nokia 6682 is horrible…and I miss my Treo stylus and touch screen. Even though I have wild buzzing noises when I call…at least I can get some work done. Now…will Cingular screw me into a contract for switching back? That is the question.

30 days with the nokia 6682 and cingular.

The time has come to retire the Treo 600. I got to the point where I actually cared about taking/making calls and the buzzing was driving me and my friends crazy. I have looked at multiple phone/wireless companies. I really liked the Sony Ericsson 910a, but it finally came down to price/technology. The 910a is an older phone (older=there is a new generation (990) already announced), and for $400 I had my reservations. The Treo 650 seemed like the perfect upgrade…but I have been so unhappy with the phone part of my Treo, I am not ready to try that out. The Treo 700w might be another option for some, but please…I should not even have to go there. I really liked the Nokia 9300, but with no Vibrate option (my choice notification since I am often on trains, I decided that was a deal killer. What is left? Well. I decided to give the Nokia 6682 as well as Cingular a chance (and a second chance for Cingular). So far, so good. There are definitely some gives and takes. I loved my past Nokia phones so I am enjoying having a Nokia again. It is wild though to go from a touch screen/stylus phone to a all button phone. More to come soon. I am going to be very critical of this phone and Cingular.

ahh, good to be back.

A few days without internet access is finally a great feeling for me, but comingback to what seems to be endless email…not such a great feeling. During these internet free days (and lots of phone usage) I have finally come to the conclusion that is time to finally leave Cingular. My reception is embarressing and I become violently frustrated when I recieve a call and all I (and the other person) can here is buzzing. Yeah…some is my aging Treo, but it really got worse after the Cingular transition (yes I upgraded the phone’s firmware). A couple of my friends have been using NEXTEL for awhile and I am tempted to make the switch…only question is…to blackberry or not to blackberry? Time to go in and play around. I am not sure if I am ready to go back to a “phone only” phone…but who knows. I just want to be able to have reception, not hear buzzing sound when I do “have reception”, and have not pay an arm or a leg for my service. Why not the Treo 650? From what the guys from Engadget say…does not seem like they worked out the phone bugs in that model. Treo 700w? No thanks.