V is for Vonage, V-phone, and Velda! When I moved to my new apartment and found out I’d only have wireless internet, I was somewhat sad to have to say goodbye to my old Vonage V-tech phone that I’ve enjoyed over the past three years. To make matters worse, after moving in I found out my Sprint signal here is absolutely worthless. So if you’ve been expecting a call from me so I can update you on my life, I’m sorry, the phones aren’t working for me. So send me a note on facebook, or read on to hear the Vonage saga…
When I called Vonage to cancel, they offered me a v-phone instead, and I thought my problems were solved. I mean, my old v-tech phone worked flawlessly all around the house, so I thought the usb v-phone would work just as well. I actually started out this article thinking I’d be able to write a glowing review, but so far, no such luck. I tried calling a friend and she acted like she couldn’t hear me at all. So I tried calling my cell phone’s voice mail, and it sounded downright awful. With microphone boost on, I sound like I’m on space shuttle, complete with Beep Beep Beeps and a neat echoing wah-wah playing about two octaves lower. And when I speak it sounds like i’m firing photon torpedoes or something. Given the fact I could hear just fine, I tried troubleshooting the mic and got the same effects when recording using Audacity.
As it turns out, mic boost on gives me the neat effects, and with mic boost off, I sound almost normal — that is, as normal as I would sound if I had my mouth full of socks. So I posted something on twitter and the friendly Michael @ Twitter, official Vonage tweeter, sent me a note recommending a few steps and asking me to try support if all else failed.
So I tried his steps, got similar results, and decided to call support using the v-phone. Hee hee. After a, “Sorry, I’m having trouble hearing you. Let me connect you with a representative” from the interactive voice response phone system, I was connected to Joyce, who hesitantly said she could hear me OK but understood I was having a problem and sent me to tech support. Tech support on the other hand said they couldn’t hear me, and had to call my cell. It took several attempts just to get my call back number right, but when she got it I did get a call indeed, and once I took the cell outside where she could hear me, the conversation progressed fairly quickly and she soon came to the same conclusion I had: the mic was bad.
The problem? They can’t replace it. They’ll only replace the vphone itself. Sadness. The tech girl suggested I just go buy a new mic, but with having to reorganize my life, getting a new place, and going back to school, buying a new much-better mic is a non-option at the moment. Michael @ Vonage from Twitter is working on this but the girl at the support dept said that was all she could do. I’m going to see if I can borrow a mic from someone to see how much that helps.
So for now, I’ll be continuing to make calls from my car, and if you need me, send me a note via email, or find me on facebook.
— Update! I was able to borrow a cheap mic and test that and THAT worked great. I am sure the mic on the complimentary v-phone headset was screwed up. Can’t imagine Vonage shipped them all that way or we’d be seeing tons of stuff in Google. Now to see if I can allocate $15 toward a new mic, or maybe Vonage will replace the headset for me. We’ll see!