Vonage is imploding. Let’s say for the sake of argument the patent thing is a non-issue and Verizon can’t take Vonage down. Vonage’s biggest problem is Vonage. We’ve been with Vonage for just under 3 years now, and the quality and reliability has never been worse. The website admin back end is slow to load and support is difficult to get. When you have to tell someone “call my cell phone” as the best way to reach you, there’s something wrong. Enough already. It’s not a matter of “if” we’re leaving Vonage, it’s when. Today I decided that the process starts now.
I don’t have the stomach for a fly-by-night VOIP provider, and I want to keep our phone number. We still want Verizon FiOS as soon as it’s available in our area, so it made the most sense to go back to a traditional phone line while we wait for FiOS.
So on April 27th, Verizon will take my phone number from Vonage. I went with the $45/month calling plan which gives unlimited local and long distance in the United States. About $15/month more than we’re paying with Vonage after taxes and fees, but worth it to get some call quality back. I’m tired of people telling me that they’re getting an “all circuits are busy” message when they call me.
I have a virtual number with Vonage in the 202 area code that I use for work. Now that we’ve moved to Alexandria, VA it makes sense for me to have a 703 area code that matches the office. This was a good opportunity to start using GrandCentral. I reviewed the service for Web Worker Daily last month and really liked it. You give out one phone number, and incoming calls ring on as many phones as you set it to. You can set your contacts into groups and have the calls forwarded to different numbers, or go right to voicemail. This way, work calls can find me wherever I am, or go to voicemail when I don’t want to be bothered. Calls that are taken on the cell can be switched to the landline without interupting the caller.
Of course, now that I’ve started the process to port my Vonage number to Verizon, the call quality on Vonage is beyond bad. April 27th can’t get here soon enough.