"Vonage Tech Support Pathetic"1.5 starson by SandFarmer
Pros: Basic Features - When they work.
Cons: Many - Read on . . . .
Summary: My Motorola VT-1005 (on the outside - 1000 on the inside) got hammered by the latest firmware update. I have been without service from the first minute the update went out. So the second I realized that I had no service I did due diligence as a user for the first step in troubleshooting. After that failed I called Tech Support, immediately I bypassed Level 1 (India - they have no clue, more later) support and requested Level 2 American support. I was transferred and got a really great helpful rep. But he could not help me after 1 hour, 47 minutes. He then informed me of the update that has caused a lot of the VT-1005's to fail and that it was only a matter of time before "the problem on their end" was resolved and the unit would grab the update and all would be fine. Trusting what he said, I sat back and waited. Then yesterday, after no apparent resolution, I called again (57 minutes) to see what the status was and was told that they were still down and all I could do was wait. . . Until this morning after I received an eMail from Tech Support with step by step instructions (which I had already done many times and in many different ways with the two previous techs) on how to fix my MTA since the "the problem on their end" was resolved. I tried what they suggested and it didn't work. The last step was to call Tech Support if this failed. So I did. . .
This time I got a rep that had been on vacation and hadn't heard of the outage. What company does not post this type of thing for their support personnel? Any way, 74 minutes later after not being able to get into the UI on the MTA, we both decided that is was a moot point until the unit got the up date. He then said that he had just received an update and they were still down and it was only a matter of time. So again I waited. . . Until a little while ago (9:45 pm MDT), I started to get “upset” about this and jumped in. I figured it out and afterwards I came here to this forum to see what others had or were doing, the level of success, and to see if people were getting compensation for the downtime. What I list below may have already been posted but I could not find anything and usually when you do the instructions are limited. So . . .
Here's what I did:
1. Unplugged the MTA from the network and power.
2. Plugged directly from CPU to MTA, bypassing the router.
3. Plugged back in the power adapter to the MTA. It only can blink once since it can not connect to the Internet. Once it gets to 4 blinks, it locks you out. That’s the problem.
4. Selected (on my Mac) the Vonage Direct setting that I had previously setup to access the MTA. This gave my machine a hardwire/Ethernet IP address of: 192.168.102.5.
5. In (as per TS. They said that only IE would work) Internet Explorer, I typed: http://192.168.102.1. Hit return.
6. WHAM! Got right in. And I mean instantly!
7. Navigated to the Advanced page.
8. Found the "Reboot" button at the bottom of the page. Pressed it and waited about a minute.
9. Plugged the MTA back into the network and the light went through the 1-2-3-4 blinking phase and then started flashing very fast. Vwalla! It was downloading the update.
After a couple of minutes and it does take 2-5 minutes for the download. The light went out then back to the 1-2-3-4, then ON. I HAVE SERVICE! So they were back up and no one knew. I have wasted many hours on my own and with them, when they should know what to do. I could have been up and running days ago.
Upon this wonderful occasion I called Tech Support to get a refund for the time down and to ask why none of the 4 plus people that I spoke with knew how to do this? I got a rep that treated my call as if I just had a regular outage. When I informed him that this was part of the FW update, he said that there was no such thing. I thought I was going to puke. I told him to read my TS log and then we’d talk. He did and said, "Oh I heard something about that". I asked if there was a fix yet and he said yes. So I asked what it was. He professed to know what to do, but couldn't tell me. He asked me what I did. At that point I mentioned that in fact he didn't know, there was no published (on their end) fix, and was going to learn from me. I asked why none of the techs knew. He said that I had only ever gotten to Level 1 support in India and they don't know what to do. I said why have them? No answer. I told him that I had bypassed India by asking for US Tech Support and if he would check the names of the previous reps he'd see that I was in the US Level 2 support system. I then asked for refund for the time that I was down. This was after I read in this forum of people getting refunds and new gear. He said that that would not be possible because and then mumbled something I couldn’t understand. I asked him to speak up and he did the same. I then asked to speak to a supervisor. He said he was one. Oh great. He said that I was not eligible for a refund under these circumstances. WHAT?! I told him that I had read that people were getting them and in some cases new gear. He said he’d check and be right back. Well it sounds like he went nowhere, no typing, no talking (he left his headset on), no nothing. Upon his “return” he gave me a phone number for the Account Management group and said to talk to them.
There is something seriously wrong here. Level 2 techs not knowing there is a network wide problem, and then not knowing the gear well enough to trouble shoot it. Me having to do my own troubleshooting, and having to come up with a fix on my own because it’s obvious that if I hadn’t done what I did, I’d still be waiting. So it’s not that there is a snag on there end anymore, it’s that the initial snag caused a problem on the user end that no one there knows how to handle.
I just received an eMail informing me that my problem was being escalated to Level 2 and that I should hear from them within 24 hours. Unlike the previous two, it is a “no-reply”. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry because this is so pathetic. Another sad thing is that I have referred 5 people to Vonage and they all within three months dump the service because it was nothing but trouble. I have had relatively no problems, until now, with an overall service of 7-8 on a 0-10 scale. But all these people had the new Linksys Wireless gear. Also with their failed IPO and a 2% loss of clientele per month, I’d say dark days are ahead.
So there it is. I hope this helps.