• Report: #440887

Complaint Review: Vonage

  • Submitted: Sat, April 04, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, June 08, 2009

  • Reported By:Bedford Virginia
Vonage
Holmsdale, New Jersey U.S.A.

Vonage DON'T USE VONAGE! Deceptive marketing, evasive tactics, runarounds - your basic scam Holmsdale New Jersey

*Consumer Comment: Free Modem

*Consumer Comment: You agreed...

*Author of original report: More news on my fight with Vonage! File a complaint at the NJ OAG!!

*Author of original report: UPDATE on Vonage's rip off

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Since I had cable TV and Internet, I decided to check out Vonage's phone service on their website. In August 2008, after reading everything I could on their website, I signed up for a home phone. On the website, they had a FREE cable phone modem, which I opted for. A few days later I received said modem and installed it. Nowhere on their website did I see where it required a contract of any specified length of time.

When I knew that I would be moving at the end of February 2009, I called them in early January '09 and told them that I would be moving at the end of Feb. and I'd need to cancel my service. I was told by someone in Asia, who could barely speak or understand English, that there would be a $39.99 disconnect charge since I was on a 12-month contract. This was a total surprise to me! If I had known there was a contract, I would NEVER have signed up for it!

Then I asked if I could at least put the service on hold since I didn't know where I was moving to and if I'd have cable service. They assured me that I could do that. So I called back in early Feb. when I knew where I was moving to, and again told them that I needed to cancel the service or at least put it on hold. I was resigned to having to pay the $39.99 disconnect fee. I was told THEN that it was for 24 months and effective Jan. 1st, they could NOT put it on hold!

Now, here's the thing - I'm a widow on social security and I cannot afford to keep paying thru the nose for something that I'm not able to use. I was ready to lose my temper so I just hung up on that person. After I finished moving to the new location, in early March I tried one more time - I called them to cancel the service. NOW I'm told that in addition to the $39.99, I'd have to ALSO pay $59.99 for the modem - that was FREE!

Also, my service was for the 500-minutes per month plan, at $15.99 per month. After fees/taxes, it came to just under $20 a month. In February, I got a notice in the mail that it was going up to $17.99 per month - but when I saw the debit charged, it was nearly $24. HUH? How did approximately $4 a month go to $6 for the same service?

So - A WORD OF WARNING - DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT USE VONAGE! They raise the rates, one CSR told me one thing, the second one told me another, then the third said that my FREE modem wasn't FREE - I'd have to pay for that, that I couldn't return it!

Rebecca
Bedford, Virginia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/04/2009 06:01 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Vonage/Holmsdale-New-Jersey/Vonage-DONT-USE-VONAGE-Deceptive-marketing-evasive-tactics-runarounds-your-basic-sca-440887. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Free Modem

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

This was not a free modem they were sending you. What they do is send you a modem and they fill out a rebate offer for you to pay for the modem. if you recind your service during the first year, then you are obligated to pay for this modem. They only gave it to you free as part of the 1 year contract you agreed to by signing up for their service in the first place. From their website, front page:

""" RATES EXCLUDE BROADBAND SERVICE. OTHER FEES APPLY. A DISCONNECTION FEE OF $39.99 WILL APPLY FOR CANCELLATION BEFORE 1 YEAR. IF YOU CANCEL WITHIN THE MONEY BACK GURANTEE PERIOD, YOU MUST RETURN THE DEVICE. IF YOU CANCEL AFTER THE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE PERIOD AND WITHIN 1 YEAR OF YOUR ORDER DATE, YOU WILL BE CHARGED A REBATE RECOVERY FEE EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF THE REBATE INITIALLY GIVEN TO YOU FOR THE EQUIPMENT.^"""

That is in the agreement that you confirm when you sign up for service. I wish you luck with your lawyer, but if you at any point clicked confirm on a terms of service pop up box on their site you agreed to a year of service.
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#2 Consumer Comment

You agreed...

AUTHOR: Jersey_guy_732 - (U.S.A.)

to their Terms of Service on their website, when you signed up...If you didn't it wouldn't let you procede. Ignorance or failure to read is not a rip-off. I am a former Vonage employee, and most of the things they do are borderline legal, at best. But not this, you agreed to this and you owe it. Changing your credit card on file is a good start, in fact everyone that signs up for Vonage should put an invalid credit card number on their account, so that they can't be double charged. But, when they charge you the Termination Fee and the Rebate Recovery Fee for the Vonage ROUTER, the payment will not go through and they will send the amount you owe to a collection agency. I wish you luck.
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#3 Author of original report

More news on my fight with Vonage! File a complaint at the NJ OAG!!

AUTHOR: Rebecca - (U.S.A.)

In mid-April, I went to the website for Vonage and emailed the Board of Directors. I also emailed Tom Ridge - yes, Homeland Security chief is on the Vonage Board! -- and told him that he should be ashamed to be associated with such scam artists. Then I went to the website of the NJ Office of the Attorney General and filed a consumer complaint, listing everything that had happened. Then I went to my bank and cancelled my debit card. A couple of days later, I received an email from someone in their "executive assistance team"... we went back and forth for several days, with her telling me that I was on a 24-month commitment and I'd have to pay the $39.99 plus the $59.99 "device fee". I kept telling her over and over, NO - I'm not paying for a FREE modem, and there was NO contract terms when I signed up for Vonage. About 2 days after I had cancelled my debit card, I got an email telling me that my account was cancelled with NO charges to pay whatsoever. Finally!

This Friday (June 5th) I received a certified letter from the NJ OAG informing me that they had forwarded my complaint to Vonage. With their letter was a form that they said to fill out and return to them when/if Vonage offered a settlement, and if I accepted or declined their offer. I have no idea what Vonage may "offer" me, but at the very least, they need to refund me the 2 months of Vonage service that came out of my bank account because they were giving me the run-around on cancelling the service. I'll have to wait "30 to 60 days" (according to the NJ OAG) to see if I'll hear anything from Vonage, but it looks like the thing to do is FILE A CONSUMER COMPLAINT WITH THE NEW JERSEY OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

I'll update this report when the next thing happens -- stay tuned!
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#4 Author of original report

UPDATE on Vonage's rip off

AUTHOR: Rebecca - (U.S.A.)

UPDATE: 4/18/09

Since my initial report here, I cancelled the card that my Vonage account was being billed thru. I had emailed Vonage's Board of Directors and filed a complaint. I also filed a complaint to Tom Ridge (yes, Homeland Security! he's on the Board!). Couple of days later I got a reply from someone on the Vonage "executive team" telling me that I was on a contract, I'd have to pay for the FREE modem and pay the 39.99 disconnect fee. I told this person to look at THIS website's complaints against them, and I reiterated my problems with Vonage - they wanted to charge me $50 for the FREE modem in addition to the disconnect, PLUS there was NO contract when I signed up for their service. I wanted an RMA so I could send the modem back to them. She said they wouldn't issue me an RMA, I was on a contract, and I'd have to pay. I replied "no" and I wasn't going to pay for something that was given to me for free, PLUS they were asking a new price for the "device" that was re-built! This went back and forth for several days. Finally she said that she'd waive the disconnect fee but not the "device" fee. I said "no". Then I didn't hear anything for a few days. On the 15th, I got an email telling me that this was my last opportunity to cancel the service and she'd waive the disconnect fee. By then, I had already filed a complaint to the Ofc of the Att'y General in New Jersey. So I replied "okay, cancel it". NOW I get an email (dated yesterday, the 17th) that my Vonage account is cancelled and ALL fees are cancelled, that there will be no further charges on my debit card.
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