Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vonage, Protectron: nasty hidden fees, deceptive practices, bad experience

This is just to document my horrible experience with Vonage customer service and hopefully put a little dent into Vonage PR. While Vonage may seem to be a pretty cool service at first, turns out they have a clause in their terms of service (which is completely hidden from view of a customer at the time of account creation) that there's a $50 disconnection fee if the account lasted for less than 2 years (that's given the fact that they don't subsidize the equipment and their service is absolutely overpriced compared to Skype or other VoIP providers). I'm going to dispute those charges through VISA chargeback, but as a note to anybody considering Vonage service: look to some other company, or be stuck with mediocre service from Vonage and be prepared to discover unexpected charges when you need to cancel the service.

Same goes for Protectron, a security alarm company providing services in Canada: I was deceived by the representative of the company, Jeff Friend, about the terms of service. I was lead to believe that the service was month-to-month with no term obligations: a call to Protectron after a year of shelling out $55/mo for their service (not including equipment, which we paid for competely) revealed that they apparently have a clause that says that if you cancel before 48 months (48 fucking months!!!), you have to shell out all of the money ($55/mo times number of months remaining) upfront. Not to mention that this is ridiculous, it's also completely unjustified since the company doesn't subsidize the equipment in any way, either. Once again: stay clear of Protectron with their deceptive practices.

I hear that the consumer protection agencies are working here in the States to stop the practice of lock-in cell phone contracts -- well, we should really have the same thing in Canada, and it should also apply to any other service company, like Vonage or Protectron, who abuse the trust of their customers and should hopefully not survive the economic downturn. Meanwhile, stay away from them if you can.


  1. Ouch, pashka. Is there anything that can be done regarding the Protectron? Better read that fine print next time :)

    - Sania

  2. I didn't know that Protectron offers services in US ... are u sure of that? don't want to be abused...