Vonage Canada: Crossing and Recrossing Our Wires

Ah when life was simple – “I want to cancel my phone service please.”…and then it’s cancelled. TADA!  This is the request I found myself requiring after a few months on Vonage Canada.

The phone reception was spotty at best.  Every time I spoke with someone, I heard them fine but I broke up too much for them. It was so bad I detached the phone and let it sit rather than have anything to do with it.  Of course I didn’t do that until after I spoke with their tech department with little success.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand now the cancellation:

The Order:
I called their customer service line to cancel my Vonage VOIP service. Though it was only around $20 a month for the phone, the reception was unusable so why should I pay for it?

I kid you not, this is how it went down, transfers and all:

1)      Customer service agent
2)      Advanced IT – customer service
3)      Customer service agent in the U.S.
4)      Customer service agent
6)      Customer service agent
8)      Customer service agent
9)      Manger/Supervisor
11)  Billing

After forty-five minutes, I spoke with a billing agent who finally resolved my situation and responded.  But even through that “Seven Voyages of Sinbad” type adventure, was the service any good?

The Service:
Actually it wasn’t bad.  Even though I was bounced around like the unwanted child of divorced parents, every person I spoke to was courteous…even if I wasn’t anymore (come on I was frustrated).  But frankly, having a patient, nice tone does not a complete customer service experience make.

This is really the nature of the beast when it comes to these call centres.  It took me almost an hour to find out that the Billing department was the one that could help me with cancelled service when the “touch tone service” sends me to customer service for cancellations.

The sticking point was that I was going to be charged $49 to cancel my service (bullcrap) on top of $79 for cancelling before my contracted 2 years were up. BUT MY PHONE DOESN”T WORK!  So I could either pay close to $120 to walk away OR keep my phone that doesn’t work for $20 bucks a month for 1.5 years.  Great deal for me. It’s probably my fault for not reading the contract thoroughly but even if that’s true, Vonage wasn’t upholding their end of the contract either (reliable service). The manager stonewalled me and basically said I didn’t have a choice paying…but if I had a problem, to call the Billing Department.

The final agent was fantastic.  I was really at my wit’s end but he understood that it would be better to make me happy and let me walk away than prolong my terrible experience and subsequent shouting to the heavens my hatred of this experience.    Wish I hadn’t had to have wasted 45 minutes to get there.

Vonage Canada Conclusion: Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.” You and I started out with so much promise.  All I wanted was a cheap but solid relationship and you were that for me. Then you stopped giving…your time, your attention.  Even when I called you, it didn’t get any better.  I don’t want the run-around, I just want it to be over.

Service Rating System:

Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major.

The Tip:
The 2010 Winter Olympics are coming..and restaurants are getting prepared.  I just don’t think they’re being smart about it.

CTV reported yesterday that Vancouver restaurants are charging more during the 2010 Games to cover added costs – storage, deliveries, etc.  Really?  Shouldn’t the added influx of business help out with that?  Ahem “cost of doing business” cough.  Sorry, I’m sure they have bottom lines to cover but I just see that as a cash grab. Did they do this for Expo 86?

The big issue I have is with some restaurants automatically charge gratuity to ensure those nationalities that aren’t use to tipping still do. POOP! You take the good with the bad.  For every German tourist that stiffs you, there’s an American one that over tips you.  It all balances out, whether it’s the Olympics or not.  I use to work on Robson Street in Vancouver (tourist central) and the good always balanced the bad.  I just know a lot of service will suffer if servers know they are getting tipped no matter what they do…and they’ll never see them again anyway.


  • jasonfinnerty

    Great to see a customer service blog here in #yyj –
    i’m looking forward to more posts – keep em coming!

  • Thanks Jason. With the amount of restaurants and other businesses on the island, there’s no lack of opportunity. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and experiences in the future. I look forward to hearing them.

  • Your “Seven Voyages of Sinbad” to my nine circles of hell. I guess phone companies are always the same. But why do communications companies have to be so bad at communicating?
    I love the ratings system, and no, I’m not coming onto you.

    • It’s true. I hear far more complaints about phone companies than I do positive experiences. Odd that I have to use their product to get treated badly by them.
      Thanks for the kind words on the rating system. And yes, you’re coming on to me.

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