vonage tech support madness

So I’m trying to call my fiancee in India over my Vonage phone, and I get the following message from the Indian local-end of the VOIP call:

“This facility is not available on your telephone. [Insert Hindi version of previous statement]. [Insert Bengali version of previous statement].”

No matter how much I keep trying, it still happens. It’s not the first time either. But this time I was annoyed enough to call Vonage and ask them to please fix the problem.

My tech support conversation went something like this:

TS: Hi, what can I do for you today?

Me: Hi, I’m having a problem calling certain mobile numbers in India, I’m getting a message from your Indian local end provider saying that “This facility is not available from your telephone”.

TS: Sorry, we don’t provide voicemail in India.

Me: Yes, I know, it has nothing to do with voicemail. The message is from your local provider in India.

TS: I’m getting a lot of static right now on your end [probably because I’m downloading something while I’m on the phone], I’m going to push a new firmware out to you. I think that will solve your problem and your calls won’t get dropped.

Me: No, that won’t help me. What happens is that when I place a call from here, it gets routed to India, and in India, a local call gets placed from your VOIP provider to the number I want to call. That last step is failing. You can push me a new firmware if you want, but it certainly won’t help me solve my problem. Usually this happens at night or during the early morning, and when it happens it happens for hours at a time and I can’t get through.

TS: [It dawns on him that I might actually be having a real issue.] What times does this happen? It sounds like you’re trying to connect at peak usage times.

Me: It happens usually very early morning, like 2:00AM or so through the late morning. It seems unlikely that you’re getting a lot of calls placed at 2:00AM Central.

TS: Well, it’s probably a peak usage time issue.

Me: That’s possible. But it’s not acceptable to me that just because it’s a peak usage time, my phone calls should not go through. When I place a call, I expect that it will go through. Whether or not it is a peak usage time and you have the appropriate call capacity is an issue for your technical staff, not for me.

TS: [Is quiet for a few seconds.] I’m going to escalate this to our Tier 3 tech people, hold on a minute so I can get you your ticket number.

Me: [Waits.]

TS: Can I get the number you’re trying to call?

Me: 9198313xxxxx

TS: You mean 0119198313xxxxx?

Me: Yes. [Obviously.]

TS: Your ticket number is xxxxxx.

Me: Thanks.

TS: [Seems like he’s waiting for me to say something, but then says:] Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Me: No, that’s all. Thanks.

TS: Bye, sir.

Me: Bye.

I’m somewhat hopeful that my issue might actually get resolved, but it would be nice if these tech support people didn’t treat us like idiots when we call in with a real problem. I thought it was pretty obvious what the problem was, but yet before he took me seriously, he tried to tell me:

a) They don’t have voicemail in India. Well duh…
b) He’d push a firmware update to me. This is going to help how?
c) It’s a peak usage time. Sorry, not my problem. That’s what I’m paying them to deal with.

And after that, I had to explain to him what the problem was. Nice reversal of roles there.

In all fairness, aside from this one issue I’m having with calling my fiancee in India (which as you can imagine is a big deal to me), I’m very happy with their service. The line quality is good, and I’ve not had any other problems. If any of you are planning on signing up for Vonage (yeah I know, my post is a shining review 😉 ) please do let me know, and I can refer you. We’ll both get a month free.

One thought on “vonage tech support madness”

  1. Well if you find that strange, you should have listen to a talk I had with some HP tech support guy.

    I had a problem in a month old notebook, the screen had some kind of scramble of frequency, also know as “can’t see shit due to garble”. This phenomenon happened everywere, Windows, Linux, BIOS screen.

    So I rang HP tech support. The guy who talked to me advised me to reinstall Windows to sort it out. I told him that it couldn’t be a Windows problem cause I had it in BIOS and Linux. That stupid smart-ass stood by his feet that the problem was with Windows all during the conversation, you couldn’t reason with him.

    Final solutin? Returned the notebook to the HP dealear, wrote a complain letter to HP and went to buy an ACER.


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