Originally Posted by BunsGettingFirm
It sounds like CFB's old VOIP companies were startups in the late '90s and early '00s.
Vonage, AT&T's Callvantage and Sunrocket, all between 2003 and 2005. Three of the largest companies at a period in time where they were fairly mature as businesses.
Vonage took over a week to respond to emails and while their tech support people were friendly and quick to offer a monthly credit, they werent that good about solving problems.
Callvantage closed down with 30 days notice. After the pacbell/sbc thing and renaming to at&t, I see they offer a service with the same name these days. The service worked fine until they made some firmware changes to their TA that caused a bunch of problems. Then they decided to stop selling the service due to lack of customer interest.
Sunrocket's product, on the same ISP with the same modem and router, had sporadically awful call quality. They blamed everything on every other part of my setup, even though vonage and callvantage had decent call quality with the same components. To say their tech support was staffed by trained monkeys would be an insult to trainers and monkeys everywhere. Then they went out of business by posting a message on their web site saying they were gone. Took me a couple of weeks to get my phone number back and ported since there was nobody left at sunrocket to 'release' it.
Whenever I had problems, all three blamed everything except their TA and service as the culprit. I was regularly asked to run exhaustive tests, reboot and reconfigure equipment.
To be fair, I think I had some troubles with my ISP from time to time that contributed to some of the sunrocket problems. Cable and DSL are more geared to provide overall throughput for downloads and uploads with some packet loss and short periods of no traffic. VOIP doesnt require much in the way of raw throughput, but packet drops, latency and jitter are very important.
But I do know a lot of people who just plug the thing in, only use it for phone calls, and never have a problem. Vonage has been around a while and their product is good. But they've been cutting tech support staff and the patent infringement lawsuits are threatening to put them out of business.
Just be advised...you can run into a bunch of trouble. For me it wasnt worth saving $10-15 a month and getting a very low Wife Acceptance Factor. Plus having a toddler in the house made the phone a little more important.