Russell Shaw asked, in a post tonight, why has Vonage stopped selling WiFi Phones.
Russell, I have the answer:
It is not really the WiFi phone, or the manufacturers behind them, it is the mere fact that the increased number of “moving pieces” creates a customer service and quality of service nightmare for Vonage. As a someone who has used a half dozen or so WiFi phones, I can tell you that in many cases the user experience is less than optimal and while I chalk this up to a poor connection, many a end user, who is probably less informed about the technology would blame Vonage.
More so, I bet to venture that more than 95% of the people who purchase a WiFi phones expect them to work like a cellular phone. And because of this, the end user would likely place a support call to Vonage, and over time I imagine that Vonage was receiving more customer service calls about the WiFi phone than any other device they offered.
From that, I imagine the decision to yank the WiFi phone was nothing more than a move to improve the customer experience and minimize the cost associated with an increased number of customer support calls. Hopefully one day WiFi phone technology will progress to the point where it works well enough for the mass market consumer, but unfortunately I don’t see that day coming very soon.