Report: #218345

Complaint Review: Avaya

  • Submitted: Mon, October 30, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, September 03, 2008
  • Reported By: Washington District of Columbia
  • Avaya
    3795 Data Dr
    Norcross, Georgia

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

My company has been a customer of Avaya for probably 2 decades. We have had a contract to provide maintenance to our Merlin phone system. Each year, when the contract was up for renewal, Avaya violated their own contract by failing to notify us of pending increases in the monthly rate. Last year, they did it again and after several phone calls, we got them to roll the rate back to the previous level.

This year, we can't even reach anyone who knows what we are talking about. For more than 2 months, I have been calling and leaving messages which are never returned. On 3 occasions, I actualy got through their maddening voice mail barricade to a real person, but those people also failed to follow up with a return call.

So now I am attempting to cancel my contract and Avaya is trying to impose "early cancellation fees" of several hundred dollars. This despite the fact I never renewed the contract in the first place. (Automatic renewal applies only if the rate stays the same; in this case, it did not.)

They don't even know the meaning of the phrase "customer service."

Washington, District of Columbia
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#1 Consumer Comment

Not trying to sell you anything.


I replied with a specific point about your maintenance problem. Even though increases are standard in the industry they should have set your expectations in a more clear manor.

I didn't try to sell you anything, I was just giving a particular suggestion. If you haven't seen any applications that you believe will help your business run more efficiently or save money with some form of ROI then you surely haven't seen any demonstration from Mitel (Which has moved into the #1 place for marketshare for small to medium sized businesses for 2007).

If you don't want a new system then don't get one. But don't be so closed minded to not even look at prticular applications that will save you money. You might just need to change something to be more profitable.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Cost justification


I was just informing you that the industry standard is that annual maintenance does rise. More things are likely to go wrong with your system and they don't make parts anymore so they are harder to come by. Another thing to think about is some people see it as a waste of money when they are paying x amount of dollars on replacement parts that are 10 years old.

The difference is that you look at your telephone system as a cost of doing business. With this philosophy you should stay with your current system and buy the cheapest thing you can when you are ready.

Most of our clients view telephany as a way to improve their business. With these clients I spend up to 6 months learning about every aspect of their business before presenting the correct system that can save them thousands of dollars in other costs. Reporting and recording are incredible now for sales and customer service. How many calls come in at what times to what phone number (advertisement specific)? How many were dropped, of thoes dropped calls, how many did we get back in touch with? When calls enter my business, where within the auto attendant did they go before getting to where they needed to be, then did that person trasnsfer it or take care of the client? Record calls and save them in a file on your PC. Helps with bill collections when you get commitments from companies that don't pay.

All of the functionality doesn't necessarily fit every client but there are always a couple of things that can and do improve your business. The costs are much less than they were when you bought your last system as well so you get more for less.

I would not wait until your system goes down (unless you are fine with running your business without any telephone service for a few days).

Good luck..
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#3 Author of original report

Avaya Communications - response to responses

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

I find it really odd that this complaint sat here for almost a year and a half without getting a single comment and then, in the matter of a couple of days, it gets two responses, both of which seem to be more interested in selling me some new product/service than in responding to the original complaint.

For the record: I fired Avaya shortly after leaving my initial complaint here. It took several months and lots of frustrating phone calls, but they finally removed all charges from my account.

As for our ancient Merlin II system, guess what -- it still works just about perfectly for our needs, has great flexibility and all the features that we really need. I've seen nothing in more modern phone systems that would justify their cost for us. If our Merlin system ever fails, I suppose I'll replace it, but until it does, I'll keep right on using it. The original complaint had nothing to do with the Merlin system but was, instead, all about Avaya's attempts to violate the terms of their own contract and rip off the customer (me) in the process.
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#4 Consumer Comment



Keep in mind that the industry standard is that there is an increase in maintenance of 7-12% per year. However there are companies that let you prepay your maintenance for 5 years and it is calculated at the original rate.

Look into a Mitel system and ask about the Total Solution Package. I'm positive you will be impressed as to how it can help your business.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Update your phone system

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

The Merlin system is a legacy small business system from over 20 years ago. You should really upgrade your phone system, with anyone. The technology now is really incredible.

To get thru to our CEO, just call the main number at headquarters, 908-952-6000, and ask for Lou D'Ambrosio. Of course you will not get him, but your call will go to an executive response center and you will get resolution.
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