Friday, August 31, 2007

Frustrated with Vonage

What seemed like it would be the perfect answer to communicating with family and friends in the USA while we were in Mexico isn't the perfect answer. Voice over the Internet Protocol or VoIP via Vonage isn't all it is cracked up to be but then some of the other competitors aren't either. Packet 8 has been sending messages to users in Mexico that they can not continue their service into Mexico. Skype has been totally down some days in the last few weeks. The Vonage sometimes works fine and at other times from here in SMA it doesn't work fine. Ned has spent time with Vonage tweaking all the settings and we have even bought new equipment. Still it isn't dependable.

I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is when I get a call from one of the sons and we can't hear each other. At other times it is amazing. One son was recently in Playa del Carmen and used his USA international cell phone to call us here in SMA. There was some delay but for the most part we could hear each other.

What about some of the other ex-pats who read this blog. What has been your experience with services using VoIP?


pitchertaker said...

I've "heard" you pain a couple of times. Thankfully we still have email....


Anonymous said...

I talk with a number of Vonnage customers with similar results to yours.

Being that I am a satellite Internet user I can’t use Vonnage. I do talk with friends on SKYPE and it was down for two days a week or so ago – but their downtime is very seldom.

It is interesting that we have these amazing and inexpensive ways to communicate and yet we are often frustrated and dissatisfied.

In the not too distant past a call between countries was incredibly expensive and difficult to instigate - as well as really bad connections.

We older folks remember having to wait for a call back from a long distance operator and shouting into the phone with crackling difficult communication.

Technical advancements can be very frustrating. In some cases it will get better, but customer service from a barely English speaking support person from India doesn’t seem like progress either.

I guess you can count on it getting different – not necessarily better – hang in there.

Juan Calypso

Babs said...

Hi Billie - I have Cingular's "North American Plan" have had it for 4 years. It is $70 a month and it is as clear as a phone line in the USA. I can call the USA and the USA can call me on a Houston number. I NEVER use all my minutes. Oh, and I can use the phone to make local calls wherever I am in Mexico. I have this rather then VOIP because I drive alone so much that I wanted the security of having a phone with me.........AND the kids can catch me on The street , on the bench or wherever I might be and whatever town I might be in......I'm not sure if they still offer this service but it sure has come in handy when my phone in the house hasn't worked! As well as when I'm "on the road".

Brenda said...

We use Yahoo Phone Out, much the same as Skype. We have had really good luck with it. Very clear reception, etc.. We only use the Phone Out part; but you can also pay for a Phone In number so that others can phone you. No actual telephone involved,(as with Skype), just your computer, mic and speakers, or a set of headphones with mic.. It has worked every time that I have tried to use it; but then I don't do a whole lot of phoning either, so it could have its problems also. I just know that it works well for us.

LeAnn Roberts said...

I was just told about Telcel's new North American plan. I went right down and signed up! With this plan you can call the US or Canada for approximately $11 pesos per 20 minute "block" 20 minutes costs $11 pesoes...21 minutes to 40 minutes costs $22 pesos. This plan uses the Amigo cards, so you can always immediately check on what a call costs. I'm loving making inexpensive calls to family and friends...after almost 7 years in Mexico, I can finally afford to keep in touch by phone!

Cynthia said...

All this is interesting to me as a new homeowner and Vonage subscriber. So far, I have liked my Vonage service, though I've had disconnects, it always seems to work when I redial.