The first year with Vonage was a pretty good Honeymoon; not too many issues, good call quality, and the price was excellent. However, 2007 has not been a good year for Vonage and me; numerous outages, terrible call quality, and times when I could only receive calls, not make them. Very frustrating.
Before you jump on the “it’s because your Internet connection sucks” bandwagon, let me say that I have Verizon Fios at 15Mb downstream and 2Mb upstream bandwidth. Lots of pipe. “But it’s not just about bandwidth” you say. You’re correct, it is not just about bandwidth. Latency is the real name of the game, and I have very little of it. I’ve done all the speed tests anywhere I could find them and my connection is fast and fat.
Now that Verizon has lost the patent infringement lawsuit that Verizon filed, it puts another giant hole in my confidence that they can move forward without some kind of interruption in their business. 58M is not a lot of money to a larger company, but to Vonage it is probably going to hurt a lot. Sprint has a lawsuit coming up later this year that could hammer another nail in their coffin.
One of the attractions to Vonage was their flat rate all you can eat plan for $25. If they have to pay Verizon a little over 5% for every customer you just know where they are going to make that up – they will have to raise their prices. Verizon’s plan for similar service is still too much money. It’s twice as much as Vonage. If Verizon really wanted to compete with Vonage they could very easily just by pricing their VoiceWing VoIP service around the same price, or a little less, than Vonage.
But I expect Verizon to go the opposite direction. I believe they are really not interested in competing with Vonage at all. It makes more sense to just destroy them. I think Verizon has just taken the first step of that very plan.
I have never had any issue recommending Vonage to people over the years, but for now I can no longer do that until they prove that they have their act together. For me, I plan on sticking with them a while longer to see what happens, but Verizon could easily pull me away from Vonage if the price was right. Phone service is a commodity. It took a long time for that to happen, but it finally did. The cheapest flat rate price with the best call quality will win.