Barrier to Exit? Vonage Kicks Me on the Way Out (Updated)

by Barry Moltz on March 11, 2010

I have struggled with VOIP and using Vonage for over a year. The sound quality when I made phone calls was worse than Skype. Unless I would reboot the system before a call, it would always be choppy. I couldn’t download information from the Internet and talk on the phone at the same time.

So this week, after a special $10 offer from my cable provider, RCN, I switched to using their phone service (I have their cable and internet now). I called Vonage first to see if I was under any contract obligation. They said no, so I went ahead with the installation.

A day later, I received this note from Vonage:

We’ve transferred your phone number(s) referenced above to another phone service provider as requested.

Here are a few more important details to keep in mind:

o  Your cancellation is effective March 09, 2010. You will no longer be able to make or receive calls using your Vonage service.

o  You’ll continue to have access to the account details in your online account for 90 days from March 09, 2010.

The following details represent the status of your account as of today, not including charges for usage not covered by your service plan (addressed below).

Invoice Details
****************************************************
Item                                        Charges
****************************************************
Disconnect Charge                             $39.99
State Communications Service Tax               $2.80
Local Communications Service Tax               $2.80
State Telecom Infrastructure Maintenance
Fee                                           $0.20

Sum Total balance:                            $45.79

I am protesting the charges since I was at the end of my service term, but this is not really the point. Your barrier to exit for your customers should not be a hefty surcharge especially after a year. Your barrier to exit should be your great product and service. Why kick a customer on the way out? Many customers that leave come back if they had a good experience exiting.

Do you think I will go back to Vonage again after the exit fee?

3/12/10 Follow Up

On Friday, the executive response team from Vonage called me. I had not contacted them. They called me on my cell phone to apologize about the termination charge. They gave me a credit and they are relooking at their policy.

This is a victory for social media and kudos to Vonage. They are watching the blogsphere and reacting to what customers think.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil Grinstead March 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm

No, I don’t think you’ll go back to Vonage, but answer me this – why are you with RCN?

Barry Moltz March 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Well the devil you know is the devil the better you do not know…

Christine James March 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

If you think RCN is wonderful, just try transferring your numbers out of their company, they will keep you in red tape for months and months. As for RCN internet, It goes down more times than the stock market. Do you watch TV? I believe the cost of leaving FIOS is $360, have you written to them to protest this fee? Of course not, they would hang up on you.

Christine James March 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

If you think RCN is wonderful, just try transferring your numbers out of their company, they will keep you in red tape for months and months. As for RCN internet, It goes down more times than the stock market. Do you watch TV? I believe the cost of leaving FIOS is $360, have you written to them to protest this fee? Of course not, they would hang up on you.

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