Hello,I work at home using my home phone. I live in the USA in one state, and the company I work for is in another state. In a time of recession, when there are "just about" no jobs anywhere, I do what I can legally to make money to keep my bills paid. My husband and I first had the phone company Embarq aka (Century Tel). Since we thought we had unlimited long distance, we figured there would be no problem.
We had Embarq's Nationwide un"LIMITED" long distance package for approximately 2 months, BEFORE I got my work at home JOB, and had their home phone service for about 7 months total. After about 2 or 3 months of working from home, I got a letter from Embarq telling me that I had broken their rules and regulations for "UNLIMITED" long distance!! I was confused. I called them. They told me that there is a minute limit and certain other restrictions for unlimited long distance however, they would not tell me exactly what that minute LIMIT is! Wait a minute... let me look in the dictionary
UNLIMITED- boundless, without restrictions or boundaries; infinite
With that in mind, I told them that I am an "employee" and I DON'T telemarket or make continuous outbound calls. They said, oh no, you need to have a business account to run your business. I tried to explain to them over and over that , I don't run a business, I am an "employee" for a company that pays me and takes taxes out of my paycheck. I told them that this job is the reason they get their money every month.
Well, they said I have 3 choices. #1 stop calling that number. Okay, this won't work, because this is my job. #2 disconnect my phone service. Okay, this definitely won't work. #3 Switch to a business account. Of course, they want more money. So I went ahead and said fine, I'll get the business account.
This seemed ridiculous to me, but whatever will allow me to keep my phone line, and not get disconnected. After I "thought" I complied and got the business line, they asked me to make up a business name. I felt like I was doing something illegal as I do NOT own a business nor do I have a business license!
They told me that it doesn't matter that the business doesn't exist, they just need a business name so they can publish it in the phone book!They even went as far as telling me to use the name of the company I work for!! Remember I do not even have a business license! The person we spoke to is Stephanie operator # E99. Her work e-mail is Stefani.D.Choi@Embarq.com There were several other customer service reps we spoke to before and after this ordeal. However, Stephanie was very polite every time we spoke and e-mailed each other.
So I lied as they asked of me and made up some crazy fake business name!! Soon after complying and getting this new and more expensive business package, I get another letter and e-mails, that I have saved, stating that I now needed to get a second phone line mirrored off of the first line!! More money!!! About $60.00 more per month to be exact and that NONE of this will even allow me to work from home for much longer through Embarq!! They gave me yet another alternative that they said I would have to switch to in the next few weeks or so!!
They said I can get an account with .5 or .10 cents a minute long distance charges!! Well either of those options EXTREMELY OVER EXCEEDS my weekly pay check by SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS per week!! We are NOT looking for any favoritism, free services, or hand me outs, just an HONEST & AFFORDABLE phone service!!
Might I add that, to me It does NOT matter who the specific people were that contacted us regarding this matter. As it was not their fault they were contacting us, it was the manipulative company they work for, Embarq's fault. These employees were just doing there jobs!! Our complaint DOES NOT rest with these employees,but the manipulative and deceitful company they lie for and represent....Embarq!! These employees did not write the companies "Terms of Service", they just lie for these companies or are not even aware of the tariffs and are under trained (good excuse for them anyway)!! However,there IS DEFIANTLY someone in these companies who can fix their deceit and lies and stop falsely advertising and manipulating to gain revenue! Ill gotten revenue!!
We were so fed up by now that my husband and I called Vonage. Vonage advertises everywhere their (version of) unlimited long distance. There is no * DIRECTLY by the word unlimited, so as to cause confusion! So my husband calls Vonage. We didn't have any money on our pre-paid credit card, WE WERE JUST ASKING FOR SOME INFO. My husband explained to the rep that we would get the service in 2 days when we had the money available, we just wanted to know if it was really unlimited!
My husband went on to tell the Vonage rep in brief about what was happening to us through Embarq. The man promised him they wont treat us like Embarq did (he meant WORSE). He told him "yes, it is completely unlimited", he could talk 24/7 if he wanted to. MY HUSBAND EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT I WORK FROM HOME FROM THE BEGINNING, and he needed to make sure that it was COMPLETELY UNLIMITED. My husband and I told EVERY other Vonage rep we spoke with that I work from home. EVERYONE of them ensured us their unlimited plan is good for 24/7 talk time be it if we went with their residential or small business un"LIMITED" packages!
Again, the guy convinced my husband saying yes it is completely unlimited. "No restrictions what-so-ever"! Obviously,the man was adamant on signing us up that second. We explained that there was no money on our card. The guy told us that because he valued our business, he would wave ALL of the first time fees, and start up our service for free. He even said he would wave the shipping and handling charges without us even asking! He put us on hold while he checked with his supervisor. He came back and told us yes he could set us up with Vonage for free! So we agreed.
We gave him our credit card number for later billing, with the promise that he wouldn't charge it now. This was the first time we have used any kind of over the phone credit card billing. Shortly afterwords, the guy got disconnected from my husband (how convenient). My husband called back and got another operator. When she looked up the account, she saw that we had been charged $42 and she did not have any info on who set up the account!?! We were irate! We had been lied to about EVERYTHING! This is when my husband went on a mission to investigate. He read through all of the terms and conditions on the Vonage website. In section 5.4 Inconsistent with Normal Use, BURIED in the middle of their terms of service, he found a section that said that there was a LIMIT to unlimited !? Vonage has "LIMIT" of 5,000 minutes per month for residential lines and a "LIMIT" of 10,000 minutes for small business lines! So what is limited unlimited ??!!
There is no such terminology in language history!!
We have seen the Vonage commercial everywhere and have never once seen it say: *Unlimited long distance or even Unlimited* long distance . So that you can read down below and see that it says SPECIFICALLY 5,000 minute monthly LIMIT for home and 10,000 minute monthly LIMIT for small businesses!
They are false advertising, lying and manipulating to gain business!! I have to fight in order to keep my job with most of these phone companies! How is that right? They are changing the English language! Unlimited means one thing, how are they allowed to put limits on that word? We are not running a business out of our home, I am a wife trying to make a living for my family! I am legally EMPLOYED and paying my dues (taxes and bills).
Please don't take my word for it, I challenge anyone to look it up yourselves. Also test out their customer service reps and call them for some information. None of them will tell you that their so called unLIMITED packages are really LIMITED!!! Also see what happens when you point out their own policy to them!!
Here are some Vonage phone numbers: 1-800-705-7092,1-877-816-5911, 1-800-910-8108
Please note that after hours, and some of their phone numbers called will direct you to an overseas Philippines department. That is where my husband was directed to when we gave our credit card numbers in good faith, and got scammed! Still a department of Vonage though!
Here are some web links to Vonage:
www.vonage.com notice there is no * DIRECTLY by the word UNLIMITED !
Then go to their other link :
Please read section 5.4 Inconsistent with Normal Useand take note of their "LIMITED" unlimited scam!!
These companies are going as far as changing the English language and confusing people who are just learning English!! They need to be held accountable legally for their deceitful and manipulative actions !! As we are held accountable for our actions!! These companies should not be allowed to use the word unlimited if they put ANY restrictions, boundaries, or tariffs, or in other words LIMITATIONS on that word, PERIOD!
My husband and I finally found a TRULY HONEST and AFFORDABLE company named Cox Digital Services and they stand by the true meaning of UNLIMITED!!! At least for us, their customer service and honesty has been an uplifting and an awesome experience!! Cox has known from the beginning that I work from home and they are OK with it!! Cox has told us as long as we are zoned "residential" then we do NOT need a "business" account with their company! All other phone companies need to be modeled after Cox! Cox has even backed up their honesty with their amazing customer service, like I said earlier, at least for us. Keep up the great service Cox, and you will possibly gain most of your competitors clientele!!
So to all consumers who are needing to get truly UNLIMITED long distance home phone services, please BEWARE of lying and manipulating phone company scams!! Also ALWAYS ask customer service reps about their tariffs or "Terms of Service". Better yet read the individual companies terms yourself, BEFORE signing up with them.
Knowledge Is Power (ful) !
Beaufort, North Carolina