Don’t fear the Vonage annual prepaid small business plans

vonage001.jpg Was checking out my Vonage plan today and lo-and-behold, I was getting dinged for some tax. Regulatory fees. E911. The works. I was like, what the heck?
Reason being… I had pre-paid my plan for the year already. Saved 20% and paid out for a small business plan. And it really pays off you know? The savings is actually really awesome. And you prepay all the taxes too so you don’t have to worry about it.
OR so I thought.
Here’s the thing. If you have a small business plan, you get a free fax line. Now you have to pay for the taxes associated with that line, but otherwise the line is free. But when I pre-paid the small business plan, I had already paid for the E-911 and regulatory charges?
So I called Vonage customer service. Great guy. He was as baffled as I was so he called finance. Finance tells him that the taxes I already paid on the “pre-pay” only consisted of my main number, not my fax. I concurred after doing some quick calculations. What we both couldn’t understand was why Vonage couldn’t have just included those taxes in with the free line. If people don’t have or want the free line then they can drop it and Vonage can refund the rest of the tax money or what not. Either way, there isn’t really a reason for me to get dinged every month still.
Who’s fault is this? Vonage’s marketing and billing departments I’d say. It’s not clear why the taxes couldn’t be rolled into it, and why they didn’t actually write this up into their actual marketing thing in the first place. All they had to do is explain that taxes for the fax line could be extra monthly charge because it’s not rolled into the usual plan. Not a huge deal to me but this wasn’t evident when I bought it and they didn’t make it clear. Bad Vonage marketing department. Bad. Bad.
Does this make me not want to use Vonage? Not a chance. They’ve been good to me every time I’ve ever called about my service, and they’ve never once screwed me over. But if you see an extraneous charge coming in monthly after you did a pre-paid, then it’s probably this. Don’t fear the Vonage annual prepaid small business plans. Embrace them and the savings. Just be forewarned so you don’t go through your bills and mutter expletives before realizing that everything is fine and dandy.