Chris Pirillo
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Archive for January 28, 2006

Gnomedex is Already 1/3 Sold Out

Okay, general registration is now open to the public. I announced it to past Gnomedexers a week ago and have since sold 1/3 of the main hall. We'll have overflow rooms open again, but the conference officially sells out in about 200 more seats. See you soon!

Vonage Alternatives?

I hate Qwest - they screwed me over one too many times. Months ago, I looked at all the possible options out there and opted to go for Vonage (after all, name recognition goes a long way). I'm beginning to think I need to start looking for another “local” line provider.
My Linksys RT31P2 router went haywire the other day, and no matter what I tried, I couldn't reset it. I got online immediately with Linksys live tech support, and we walked through it together - just to be sure. He told me that I'd have to go to Vonage and request a replacement. So I did:

I came home today, and the router's power light was flashing incessantly. Immediately, I got on with Linksys tech support and we ran through the troubleshooting options. However, it seems the adapter/router has been rendered non-functional. It is not covered by Linksys, and they told me to come back to you since you sent it to us in the first place. We can't use our Vonage service without this very important piece of hardware, so please get back to us with due speed. :)

A day later, I received an email message with specific instructions - steps which I had already run through repeatedly. I responded with answers to their questions, including the MAC address of the router (I even inserted spaces between every two digits). One question really threw me off “6. If you are unable to log into the router page please let us know what is the ip address of the computer.” Ignoring the fact that they didn't capitalize IP, I answered:

The IP address of what? My computer? Do you mean my regular ol' Internet connection? I'm not certain why that has any bearing on the matter. I need a replacement unit ASAP.

What I received in response made me laugh out loud. The first sentence in the second message from Vonage support was: “Thank you for contacting Customer Care We understand that the power LES is flashing.” Yes, it's my Claypool port that's fried. They again asked me to step through the Linksys hard reset options. It didn't work, so I had to answer another set of questions, including having to enter my MAC address again. That's akin to calling up a service, entering an account number by keypad, then being asked by the CSR what my account number is again. Bah. I gave 'em what they wanted, and they immediately responded:

From your previous mail we have confirmed that your Vonage device has gone bad. Since your Vonage device is out of warranty period we wont be able to give a replacement for the device.

Well, JESUS F'ING CHRIST. Why didn't they tell me my router was out of the warranty period up front? Why wasn't this information somewhere on their Web site, in an easily accessible place? They want me to pay $99 to get another RT31P2 through them… but I'm wondering if I should just drop the service altogether at this point.