Attorney General Jackley Announces Settlement with VONAGE
PIERRE, S.D.- South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley recently filed a $3 million, thirty-two state settlement with VONAGE, one of the nation’s largest providers of a service known as ‘Voice over Internet Protocol,’ an Internet-based phone service. “The settlement requires VONAGE to make significant changes to its marketing practices, honoring of consumer cancellation requests, and provide refunds to eligible consumers,” Attorney General Jackley stated.
This settlement addresses complaints in which consumers alleged having difficulty or being unable to cancel their VONAGE service. VONAGE formerly paid incentives to customer service representatives for retaining or “saving” customers in lieu of cancellation, when consumers called to cancel. As a result, consumers reported that cancellation was extremely difficult and sometimes impossible. Today’s agreement puts strict limitations on this practice and requires recording and verification of these telephone calls.
This settlement also addresses a number of other marketing practices, which have led to consumer confusion about the cost associated with VONAGE equipment and service. Specifically, VONAGE will be revising its disclosures regarding the offer of “free” services, money back guarantees, and trial periods.
The settlement puts in place a broad restitution plan requiring VONAGE to make refunds to eligible consumers who filed complaints regarding unauthorized charges from January 2004 to March 16, 2010, which have not been resolved. If you believe you are entitled to a refund or have questions about this settlement, please contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986.