Vonage Deceptive Business Practice

Be aware that Vonage is deceptive in its advertisement and service charges

We were told that the monthly charge for phone services was $25.99 for the unlimited calls, including domestic, long distance and international. So, we signed up in October 2010. We were also told that we must use a credit card for payments. So we gave our credit card number.

Since then, Vonage has charged $33.59 to our credit card. I was puzzled by this higher cost than the advertized $25.99. When I called Vonage, customer specialist explained that this monthly charge included taxes and fees. So, I requested for the breakdowns of taxes and fees in my monthly charge of $33.59. Unbelievably, I was told that Vonage does not provide billing statements. Furthermore, the customer specialist refused to provide any information regarding their surcharges and other fees.

The difference between the advertized price ($25.99) and the actual charge ($33.59) is $7.60, which supposedly includes taxes and fees. Because this amount seems too high, I did some calculations as follows:

Federal tax at 3% è 0.03*25.59= $0.77

Ohio state tax at 6.75 è0 .0675*25.59= $1.73

Thus, total taxes = 2.50

If you subtract these taxes from $7.60, Vonage charges $5.10 for surcharges and other fees. With local phone company, I used to pay $1.46 monthly for surcharges and other fees. Thus, Vonage charges almost $4.00 more for surcharges and fees than my previous local phone company does.

To keep unfair (perhaps illegal) surcharges and other fees secret, I now realize that Vonage have used clever tactics such as charging to credit cards and no provision of monthly statements. By the way, is the refusal to provide information about surcharges and fees legal?

Paying $4 more for these unknown, secret fees is not big deal in our monthly budget, but I am appalled by Vonage’s dishonest and deceptive business practice. I am going to switch back to my previous local carrier

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