On the phone with Vonage

As I still have no traction on resolving my Viatalk troubles, I’ve decided to move my service back to Vonage. I’ve called up Vonage to reactivate my account. It’s been quite a smooth process, though quite a long one. It’s taken about 30-45 minutes, but they’re on the phone with me to make sure my device works and is hooked up.

So this ended up taking over an hour, all in all a pretty positive experience and inspiring of confidence. I’m not really sure that the process should take an hour, but c’est la vie.

Open Letter to ViaTalk

John,

I resort to filling your inbox as only a last resort. I signed onto Viatalk at the recommendation of a colleague. He’d converted to Viatalk from Vonage several years ago and had been quite satisfied. I signed up for Viatalk back in July and early indications were mixed. On one hand, I received very quick replies to the tickets I filed, but I ran into problems almost instantly that seem to have plagued my setup since then. I filed a ticket on 8/11 to attempt to find a resolution to my troubles. I followed up on this ticket twice, but to this day I’ve only received a canned response that I needed to reopen my ticket if the issue persisted. I finally called 9/26 late in the evening (EST) and waited for ~45 minutes to finally speak with someone who was clearly not concentrating on the phone call as appropriate. He changed some configuration and told me he’d connect me with billing to discuss remediation for the poor quality of response to my issues. I filed another ticket 10/4, and updated it today 10/11 with more issues of people not reaching me despite having just spoken with people on the phone not 10 minutes earlier.

The issues I’ve experienced include:
1. dialing out to receive nothing but busy signals
2. calling in to receive a choppy voicemail greeting
3. calling in to receive a fast busy
4. calling in to receive no ringing or voicemail or busy
5. checking voicemail to hear 10-15 second pauses in playing voicemail
6. picking up the phone with no dialtone

As a comparison, my experience with Vonage included 1 support call in 3 years to inquire about fax machine support, knowing that marrying fax machine over VOIP was a pretty far-fetched concept to begin with. My switch, while not dissuaded by price, was in fact motivated by more freedom to customize call routing, response, and have some flexibility with alternative hardware if the fancy struck me. In fact, I’ve almost no time on any of these ventures as I sought to achieve basic dial-tone, incoming, outgoing, and voicemail functionality first.

I implore you to let me know what I should investigate as options. Do note that I paid up front for 2 years of service as a testament to my faith that Viatalk service would be comparable and of acceptable quality.

I realize there are mitigating circumstances with the influx of customers from services which have gone out of business, like SunRocket, but the degree to which accepting these accounts marginalizes both the quality of service you can provide and additionally blemishes the reputation for your long-time customers will ultimately jeopardize any revenue and customer count gains that might seem so attractive to you and your investors.

-David


-David Rasch
Chief Technology Officer
iContact

bandwidth monitoring

We’re looking for a good way to take our bandwidth usage from web servers, database servers, and mail servers and do monitoring so that we can answer questions like:

  1. How much bandwidth is site www.example.com using (hourly, daily, monthly, yearly)
  2. See historical graphs and trends of said bandwidth

Do tools already exist? Is the best place for monitoring on the servers? at the router? as a silent observer?