Posted by Garth on Friday, July 27, 2007

Ok, despite all their hardships, Vonage rocks. It's simple, and it's flexible. I'm in the 416 area code, and I have a friend who has a phone in the 347 area code. I hate calling his 347 number from my 416 cell phone cuz it's very expensive. So just now, I decided I'd set my Vonage SimulRing to ring his 347 # when I call my Vonage #. After about 10 seconds, he answered.


So I can basically call any North American number as a local call from my cell phone. The prerequisite is that I need to set their # up in Vonage SimulRing first. If I'm in front of a computer with an internet connection, not a problem. But if I'm out and about (which I obviously am on a daily basis since I'm such a superstar), this is a challenge. So Vonage, please, give me a mobile-friendly page that I can change these settings on-the-fly and can set up a macro on my phone, in turn giving me a one-click long-distance auto-dialer. Lots of hyphens there. But seriously, help me out. Cuz the functionality is there, but the ease of use is not.

Maybe this is why you're bleeding cash... you need to sell the features that are already there, as opposed to throwing money away on catchy jingles.

My $0.02.

UPDATE: So I emailed this post to Vonage tech support in hopes that they would say "Wow. You're right! We can add value with very little investment and might actually start making money again!" But that was not the case. However, Vonage tech support never ceases to amaze me. Next to MS's $350/incident support, Vonage is probably the best support structure I've ever dealt with. Sure they don't always solve the problem, but they always seem informed and intelligent. Email reply follows:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting Vonage Canada Customer Care. I apologize for any delay in
responding to your email.

In regards your concerns, our SimulRing feature was not designed to allow our customers to call long distance with no long distance charges, from their cell phones. The SimulRing feature is included in order to allow our customers to have both their Vonage line and their cell phone ring when a call is incoming. Unfortunately, I do not think that our engineers will be attempting to make this mutation of the SimulRing feature any easier. Certainly this is an added bonus of the SimulRing feature for our customers, however, you will require access to the internet in order to set this up.

I hope I have addressed any and all of your concerns.

If you require any further information, please visit our website at
or call us at 1-877-272-0528. You can also reply to this email and I will respond as
soon as possible. Thank you once again for contacting Vonage Canada.
However I've been discussing this with my friend, and we've determined that creating a server-side script to trigger this update would be pretty straightforward. Essentially I could set up a mobile-friendly web page or an email monitor which would trigger the server to log into my Vonage account and update my SimulRing settings. If anyone out there would be interested in something like this, let me know in the comments. I'll probably end up coming up with some sort of hack for myself, but if others are interested I'll make sure it's more portable and user-friendly.


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