In which Vonage pretends their prices haven't changed

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I just got an email from Vonage announcing fee increases. In logic that only makes sense to a telco, they’re saving me money.

Here’s a translation from telco marketer speak to plain English.

At Vonage, we’re committed to providing our valued customers with the best experience possible through regular updates to our services. Effective April 23, 2010, we’re making the following changes:

Remember when we said we reserve the right to change our rates at any time if we give you notice? Here’s eleven days notice.

We’re adding free, unlimited Enhanced 411 to all Vonage calling plans – saving you $1.49 per 411 call! This added benefit is included in the Emergency 911 and Information Services Fee which also ensures we provide nationwide E911 service in accordance with FCC regulations.

No one was paying for or using 411 services from us since there’s this thing called the internet that has all the info you’d already need. So we’re going to charge you for it whether you use it or not. We’re going to make it sound like the FCC requires it by attaching it to a completely unrelated 911 service. That should make you think the government is to blame. Then we’re going to tell you you’re saving money on all the calls you aren’t making.

In addition, the Regulatory and Compliance Fee becomes the Regulatory, Compliance and Intellectual Property Fee. This fee covers our regulatory-related and legal compliance expenses, including those related to customer privacy protection, anti-fraud protection and number portability, as well as intellectual property-related costs enabling our services.

We keep getting hit with patent infringement lawsuits. We’re passing the costs on to you and attaching them to an official sounding line on our bill, one that makes it sound like we’re required to bill you for them, even though we aren’t.

Both fees will increase from $1.49 per month to $1.99 per month beginning with your first billing cycle on or after April 23, 2010. This change will allow Vonage to maintain our commitment to safety, innovation and customer service.

We don’t have the balls to raise our prices by $1.00 per month, so we’re going to add a few hidden fees. This allows us to still advertise that our price has never increased, even though it has. It’s called marketing and it’s complicated. You wouldn’t understand.

If you have any questions, please visit Vonage Customer Support.

Your money is important to us. Your question will be ignored in the order it is received.

Aaron Klein
April 12, 2010 4:14 PM

Somebody has been sitting at the DMV all day... ;)

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