Friday, April 06, 2007

Juge says Vonage cannot get new customers

vonageCNN reports that a federal judge has ruled that Vonage can continue to infringe on Verizon's patents for all existing customers, but cannot add new customers and must post at $68mil bond.  The CNN article does point out that although Vonage feels that this is not an equitable solution, this really is a "middle-road" solution that allows Vonage to continue to service existing customers rather than completing shutting down the Vonage service and allows Verizon to not worry about additional patent infringements while knowing quantifiably the amount Vonage is infringing.

I used to love Vonage and would recommend it to everyone until I had that horrible experience trying to cancel my service (and, no, I have not had any response at all from Vonage).  The big challenge for Vonage in the face of the national attention that they're receiving is going to be existing customer retention as there are certainly going to be customers that want to switch off of the service to ensure no interruptions, they get to keep their number, etc.  If I were Vonage, I would take all of my marketing and business development and new customer acquisition people and stick them down in the call center so that they are fully bought into the process of retaining existing customers.  My guess would be that if they don't, they will continue to produce the same sort of lousy customer service experiences for their customers who will then convert into not being customers and tell everyone they know to stay away from Vonage.


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