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Sunday, January 06, 2008

VONAGE bites me in the ass!

Several months ago I switched from VONAGE to my local VOIP phone provider due to reliability issues. I ported the number and everything seemed to work out well. I did test to see if the port worked by simply calling the number and voila', it rang in my office, call hunted, etc. Beautiful.
Yesterday I received an email from a former patient of mine. "Dr Schoor, are you still in business? Your phone number has been disconnected for weeks" went the email.
What? The phone had been working fine and was ringing off the hook that very morning. I called him.
Apparently he has a VONAGE system himself and when he called from his cell phone or any other non-VONAGE phone, the call placed successfully. But from a VONAGE phone, the caller would always receive a disconnected message. I called VONAGE.
"Oops, sorry, our bad. We forgot to release the number from our system. I'll do that now. It'll take 24 hours. Sorry for the inconvenience."
Holy shit!!! For 3-4 months, anyone that tried to contact me from a VONAGE phone would not have been able to do so. Un-!@#$%-believable.
Think of the missed opportunity costs. I estimate that I probably missed 3-5 prospective new patients who called, got the message, and went to the next urologist on the list. Being that new patients are worth, over the course of a year ~$400, I can estimate a loss of up to $2000, maybe higher.
Yeh, I'm pissed!
My recommendation: if you are a business, do not get started with VONAGE. Their customer support is just not adequate for a business's needs.