I have been using Vonage since July 2004 and have had zero complaints with the service. It constantly works well and the price was right. That’s what I thought until I just noticed that my rate plan went up from $14.99 to $17.99. Sure, not a huge increase and a warning would be nice, but it’s the fees and taxes that have slowly been added on over the years I have beef with. My first bill for the 500 minute basic rate plan came to $16.94 once taxes were added in. My latest bill was $23.18 for the same plan, which includes a ton of extra fees and taxes now.
Altogether the fees and taxes add up to $5.19 for a $17.99 rate plan. That’s almost 29% of the total bill. Still, I know Vonage is a great deal even at that price but I was curious about why I am paying three different fees for 911 service so I called Vonage up. No one could answer why I need to pay these besides that’s what my county, state, and the US Government requires Vonage to charge its customers. Alright, then what about the Federal Program Fee?
Again, I was told it was required for them to charge this fee. Same thing goes for the Regulatory Recovery Fee. The strange thing is that when I first signed up for Vonage, the only extra fee was the Regulatory Recovery Fee and FET, which totaled$1.95 together. I totally understand that prices change and Vonage has had dealt with some hefty legal issues over the years, but charging 29% in fees is a little ridiculous.
So I called up Comcast and inquired about its Digital Voice service. If Vonage’s VoIP service has these fees, then Comcast’s service probably does as well I thought. Nope. The lady I spoke with went over the fees and taxes with me and there isn’t anything extra besides sales tax and a equipment rental fee of $3 per month, which sounds about right.
Listen, Vonage is still an okay deal at $23.18 post fees and taxes, but the fees are extremely high and need to be addressed. At least reps should be able to explain why customers need to pay ’em. I am convenced — and could be wrong — that a few of the fees are there to pad the bill for Vonage.