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Vonage customers can get refunds

Posted November 16, 2009

The state of North Carolina has reached an agreement with Vonage to get refunds for customers who had trouble canceling their voice-over-IP phone service, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Monday.

VOIP service, like that offered by Vonage, uses an Internet connection rather than the telephone network to carry voice and fax transmissions.

Vonage cut a deal with attorneys general of 32 states to improve the company’s cancellation practices and customer service. The company will pay $3 million to the states and will provide refunds to customers.

North Carolina customers seeking a refund should file a complaint with the state Consumer Protection Division by March 16, 2010. Complaint forms are available online at www.ncdoj.gov or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

Customers nationwide complained that it was extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to cancel their service with Vonage. An investigation by the attorneys general showed that Vonage customer service representatives were paid incentives if they “saved” accounts of customers calling to cancel.

Under the terms of Monday’s agreement, the company put strict limits on this practice and will require that calls be recorded. It will also more completely disclose that voice-over-IP service requires high-speed Internet access and additional equipment.

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