I thought I would be writing this post to say how great Lingo is, and how you should all sign up for their service. They answer their phone within a couple rings, no matter when I called, and sounded like they would be able to fix any technical problems I had. However, after spending hours on the phone with customer support, I discovered that their customer support (in India, like so many other companies these days) doesn't really know anything, and can hardly speak English.To get any problem really solved, you have to talk to technical support, which is in the US, and takes 30 minutes just to speak to someone. They were fairly helpful, although if it was a difficult problem, such as my timezone is incorrect on my voicemail, it would have to be escalated to a supervisor, and then it might take up to two weeks for them to figure out how to fix it. I cancelled the service a couple weeks ago, and I just got a return call from technical support yesterday. I didn't bother calling back, since the number they told me to call back was a non-800 number. I am not going to wait on hold for a half hour when I have to pay for it.
Lingo received the modem the other day, but has yet to refund my money. I will probably end up having to get Citibank to go take the money out of their account. By the way, Citibank is the best credit card company I have ever dealt with.

As for getting a voice over internet phone provider, I am thinking about Vonage or Speakeasy. Speakeasy is my DSL provider, and they have excellent customer service. Everything is always taken care of quickly and pleasantly.
Vonage has been doing VOIP for longer, Speakeasy just started in October, and doesn't have a trial period, and has a hefty cancellation fee, which after my experience with Lingo, I need to have a trial period to make sure that our phone rings when we get calls, that outgoing calls go through when I dial them, etc.
Lingo's service was significantly worse than our cell phone, and I had the modem set up to give the best voice quality, and computer data at the worst. And, we have a reasonably fast DSL connection, so I can't imagine what their service would be like on a more standard DSL connection.

My favorite quotes from Lingo customer support:
Lingo: Thank you for being on line with me.

Me: What do I need to return in order to get my money refunded?
Lingo: Everything that came in the box.
Me: I am not sure what everything is, can you give me a list?
Lingo: You should know what is in the box, you opened it right?
Me: Yes, I did open it, but I didn't save everything in the same place, so I not sure how many phone cords, pieces of paper, etc. were in the box. Do I need to return all of that?
Lingo: Yes, everything that was in the box.
insert 15 more minutes of this
Me: I am still not sure what I am supposed to return, and I don't think you know either. If Lingo doesn't even know what to return, how would your customers?
Lingo: I already told you what you need to return.
Me: Hmm... I don't remember you telling me. What do I need to return?
Lingo: Everything in the box.
Me: Which is?
Lingo: uhh.. two power cords, the lingo modem, the... uhhh.. I already told you, everything in the box. If you didn't know what was in the box, how did you put it together?
Me: I guess I am a genius.
Lingo: I will transfer you to technical support.
on hold for 30 minutes
Me: Customer support wasn't able to tell me what I need to return. He said two power cords and the Lingo modem, is that correct, as I never received two power cords.
Lingo: Hrm. No, there is only one power cord. You need to return the modem, the power cord, and the ethernet wire.
Me: That's it?
Lingo: Yup. Customer support should know that.
While I was on the phone with technical support, customer support called, and left a message saying that I needed to also return the manual. So, I called Lingo again
Me: I just got a message from Lingo customer support saying I need to return the manual. I never received a manual
Lingo (first person I talked to that morning, not the annoying one): Didn't I talk to you before?
Me: Yes, I have been on the phone with you guys since I last talked with you.
Lingo: Oh. That was a long time ago.
Me: Yes.
Lingo: Well, I guess if you never got the manual, than you can't return it.
Posted by Jon Daley on May 2, 2004, 6:04 am | Read 17719 times
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I called to cancel USA Datanet today, and they convinced me to talk to their tech support, who of course blamed it on my ISP. They tried to say that I had my router hooked up wrong, and so that is why it is broken some of the time.
I called Speakeasy to double-check that USA Datanet doesn't have any ground to stand on, and found out that the reason Speakeasy wasn't able to offer me service before is that they have always adhered to the then-non-existent FCC rules that say you have to have real 911, which Speakeasy now has in Pittsburgh.
Another reason I didn't want to go with Speakeasy initially is that they used to charge a "disconnect fee" if you cancelled within a year, so if the service didn't work, and you cancelled it the day after receiving the phone, you had to pay $200 or something. They no longer do that, and don't charge you anything, as long as you return their modem.
Last reason I wasn't going to sign up with them is that they told me their VOIP box wouldn't work if I wasn't on their DSL connection. It turns out the reason they say that is because 911 won't work from someone else's DSL (it would be directed to the East Liberty police station, which probably isn't where I am) and they won't guarantee the quality of the line (which they do guarantee the voice quality to be the same as a landline if you are using their network). The sales guy said it works technically, just not from a policy standpoint, and they won't support it, etc. but will work as good as anyone else's VOIP box.
They seem pretty smug about it, that all other VOIP companies are scrambling due to the new FCC ruling, where Speakeasy doesn't even have to think about it. A mark of a good company, I think, that they only offer reliable service, and don't let you give them money if the service won't work correctly. Time to cancel USA Datanet and switch. If Speakeasy doesn't work, then I am done with VOIP for a long time.
Posted by jondaley on August 16, 2005, 4:19 pm

I hope Speakeasy works for you! I'm particularly happy about the 911 availability. We have AT&T's CallVantage which has had none of the problems you've had with other services, but their 911 -- while better than many -- isn't yet up to what Speakeasy claims. If you don't like Speakeasy, you might look into CallVantage and see how their 911 works in Pittsburgh.
Posted by SursumCorda on August 16, 2005, 6:00 pm

Well, just made the plunge. Speakeasy was going to charge $40 extra if I don't port our Verizon number now, but instead get a different number, and then switch later.
So, I decided to go ahead and switch it, since I have more faith in Speakeasy to actually get it right. But, it means we won't have a land line at all.
Posted by jondaley on August 18, 2005, 1:16 pm

I know it's scary not to have a land line; it was having two cell phones to fall back on that made it easier on my nerves. The good 911 service relieves one worry; the other is power failures, but I suppose you are less likely than we are to have a hurricane knock yours out for a few days. We don't have to worry about ice storms, though!
Posted by SursumCorda on August 18, 2005, 3:32 pm

I would not use Lingo, the company ripped me off, please read on:
I contacted Lingo to sign up for their service. They took my credit card info and signed me up for an account. I never received their product to connect up to their network. They have been charging my credit card since 2004 until Jan 2007. I could not use their service because I had no means to connect to it: they had to provide the box, they never did. I escillated my complaint to the executive level, they cited their contract that said billing starts 3 weeks after signing up. A company that bills it's customers, does not provide the product required to use their service, and then will not do ANYTHING to compensate is not a company that I would want to do business with. My email is posted (john.govern@gmail.com) and I will be happy to forward my email correspondence to anyone to prove what I am saying is true. I cannot comment on their service because I was NEVER able to use it. My question to you is: Is this the kind of company that you want to do business with? I cannot recommend anyone else because I have never used their services, I just know that Lingo ripped me off.

Posted by John Govern on February 2, 2007, 3:29 pm

"They have been charging my credit card since 2004 until Jan 2007"

...That's a long time...

Posted by MichaelQ on February 2, 2007, 6:52 pm

Yeah, when does your credit card expire? Have you been paying it, or has your credit card been reversing the charges? It should be pretty easy to get them to stop charging it, if it isn't, you should switch to Citibank, which is the best credit card company I know of.

Posted by jondaley on February 2, 2007, 7:47 pm
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Excerpt: I don't think I have written about USA Datanet on this blog.  They just reminded me to tell everyone how great they are, so I will gladly do so.USA Datanet is our long distance provider.  They provide a local number that we call when we t...
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