A review of my Netfone VoIP service
This is actually more of a rant than a review. But hopefully it will serve the purpose of other people avoiding Netfone in the future.
To start with, I've never received worse service at a company than this, not even with Telus if you can believe that. The service is so bad, that I even have trouble believing it... until I try to contact them again. I've used them for about a year now and never really needed to contact them. My VoIP phone is basically only used for forwarding to my cell or receiving voicemail. I almost never use it as an actual phone.
This past September I had an odd bill that was double my usual amount with an item that said "Credit card charge failed" date two weeks earlier. All my invoices had been paid for previous months and the charge showed up as double on my Visa statement. I contacted them to inquire.
A week later with no response I emailed them again. A few days later there was still no response, so I went to their "live online support" where it's basically a one on one IM chat and had this conversation:
Umar says: Welcome to Netfone Support, how may I help you?
Scott Hadfield says: Hi, I sent a couple messages recently regarding a billing problem but never heard back from you the first one was last monday i think..
[email removed for brevity]
i'm not sure why my last invoice was doubled for some reason as it seemed i paid for august and also september my phone number is 6042484875
second, i'm wondering why the email was never responded to after more than a week and two emails
Umar says: Therqe was a glictch in the billing and hence you were charged twice
Umar says: So to compensate that we will not bill you for [October]
Scott Hadfield says: ok... so was my original email received? if there was a billing error why didn't you guys respond to me?
are you still there?
After waiting for 30 minutes I gave up on him. I felt the "hence you were charged twice" comment was a bit cheeky, but could easily have just been a ESL error, and I was happy to be getting credit for October at least. But I still wanted to know why my emails were being ignored so I emailed again asking what was up and this time I actually wanted an apology for the error.
Again no response, so I sent another threatening to contact visa and have the charges reversed if they didn't respond. This was really an empty threat, it wasn't worth it for me to go through the process over a $10 over billing error. Today I contacted live support... and conveniently got Umar again. (I've edited out the boring parts for brevity - most of the conversation was me repeating the exact same questions over again until I got a straight answer).
Umar says: Hi
Scott Hadfield says: hi. can you please cancel my account and refund any money still owing to me if there is any?
Umar says: I am sorry that you wish to cancel
Scott Hadfield says: well the service with you guys has been absolutely terrible
Umar says: Sorry to hear that
Umar says: If you wish I can try helping you...
Scott Hadfield says: maybe you could start by explaining why you just stopped responding to me the last time i spoke with you
why i didn't get an apology for the over billing error
and why ALL of my emails to support were ignored
Umar says: I am sorry. At that time my tools were down so I could not respond to you.
Anyway, I guess that meant his computer froze... I asked him why he didn't email me to tell me that since he had all my details a couple times, but that question was never answered. My favorite part was towards the end... after repeatedly asking him "why are all my support emails ignored?" he finally answered with this:
Umar says: We dont ignore any emails
Scott Hadfield says: did you receive my emails?
Umar says: what email address did you send it to ? So that i can check
Scott Hadfield says: email@example.com
Umar says: Yes we received it
Scott Hadfield says: did you respond to it?
Umar says: We did not because there are a lot of email that we work on daily
Scott Hadfield says: the first email i sent was on september 29
it's now october 13
Scott Hadfield says: so by my definition, you ignored the email. all i was asking for in my last email was an apology. if you can offer me 1 year of free voip service for the terrible service i've received i'll consider staying with you for the next year.
Umar says: I am sorry for all that happened. We will make sure that this wont happen again
Umar says: The reason why you were billed twice is because there was a problem with our billing system. So in order to compensate it we are not going to charge you for the month of October. We are very sorry for any troubles that it incurred. We have worked on it and it will never happen again.
Scott Hadfield says: ok... how much credit do i still have on my account from the over billing error?
Umar says: Let me check
Umar says: There is no credit on your account because though we tried twice we were able to charge you only once...
Umar says: We took the payment only once
Scott Hadfield says: yes, there was only one charge, but it was double what it should have been.
Umar says: Please wait for an email from our end. I will make sure we email you the exact info with all details.
Scott Hadfield says: it's really too late for that. just cancel my account. i've wasted enough time with this.
Umar says: We accept cancellations only be email. Please send us an email for the same to firstname.lastname@example.org
So now I'm expected to email another address that I have no belief they have any intention of answering. I've emailed them and still waiting to hear back. I'm not really sure what's going on, or why he would tell me there was a billing error if he now doesn't believe there was. Totally unbelievable, and after a quick google search I found this:
Which seems to mirror some of the same support issues I've had. At this point I still fully expect to continue to get billed by them, fortunately the visa they have on file expires this month. If you're looking for a VoIP provider... avoid Netfone.ca at all costs! I'm just glad I didn't have the 911 issues like the person who posted on dslreports.
To top it all off, the number I had originally assigned to me was a Richmond number... something only very few VoIP companies can provide, so I've had to lose my number and get a new one which I'll be posting about shortly.