Vonage, the broadband phone company has been near perfect in keeping its hype machine humming nicely. The company continues to garner favorable coverage, has managed to rile the established phone company giants, and forced some to change their ways. Not bad for a company with less than 100,000 users. Its growth curve has been pretty steep. It reminds me of the early days of dot-com. However, till this morning, I never wondered about the service quality issues of Vonage. Then I got an email from Steve Sachs, a resident of Washington who had this to say:
I have had Vonage for about 7 months, and the experience has been a disaster. The problems: people say they call me and the phone doesn’t ring; sometimes there is no dialtone; sometimes I get a fast busy signal; some calls get dropped; and then the worst problem of all: I forward my calls from my Vonage line to my cell phone whenever I leave my home. If people leave a message on my cell phone, when I go to pick up the messages I am told that the message is 6 seconds long and it is almost always blank, i.e., no voice. Occasionally people are able to leave messages. Now that Vonage is working on it, they have made it worse: the calls don’t get forwarded at all. Add to that the fact that level-2 techs don’t appear to work over the weekend, and you’d better hope and pray that your problem gets solved by Friday afternoon! Except mine has been going on for months.
I am now wondering if the company’s popularity has resulted in all the issues that come with “scaling.” Is anyone else experiencing these same problems. I think Steve’s email shows that things are not that rosy yet in the VoIP land, despite what our friend Jeff Pulver might like us to believe. Don’t get me wrong, for I am a believer in the power of packet voice. But still quality of service is still an issue to be explored and I want your help. I would like you to share your Vonage/VoIP experiences and post them in the comment section.