Vonage v. Comcast Voice: There is No Contest

We have had Vonage for our home telephone service since November 29, 2003. From then until now, I have loved it.The service has been consistently good, I have never had any problems, and the features are great. Our two favorite features were the silmuring feature, which allows any call to the house to also ring my wife’s cell phone, and the voicemail feature, which automatically emails a wav file of any received voicemail to us.

Recently, in an effort to reduce costs, we opted to switch our phone service to Comcast Digital Voice, as part of their Triple Play bundle. For some reason, I was expecting similar service. I was wrong.

First, although Comcast offers call forwarding, it does not offer simulring. Inquiries with Comcast have revealed that they have no intention of offering simulring in the foreseeable future. Fine, I knew this going in, I just didn’t expect the call forwarding to be as difficult to remember to do as it has become. This has made us realize how simple and easy to use simulring has been. If this were the only problem, however, we would probably stick it out with Comcast.

However, the voicemail system is awful. First, when we receive a voicemail,  we  get a voicemail from Comcast telling us that we have received a voicemail. Unlike with Vonage, we do not get an audio copy of the voicemail. We just get a notification that we have a voicemail. We actually have to go to Comcast’s website to listen to the voicemail. This is a problem for two reasons.

First, getting an email with the voicemail attachment is quite convenient when we are away from the house. We can retrieve the voicemail in our email and listen to it with our smartphone, all with just a couple of clicks. With Comcast, however, we have to go from the email, to Comcast’s website to access the voicemail. This is a convoluted process and there is no reason for it. Second, the link in the Comcast email that is supposed to take us to the voicemail, never does. After we click on the link, we always have to end up manually signing into Comcast’s webpage to find and access the voicemail.

That brings me to the next complaint that I have. The webpage is terrible to try to navigate. When I first set up the service I had to go to multiple pages to set my preferences for my account. There is no easy way to get around and the titles for the various sections don’t really relate to what is going on in that section of the webpage. The one thing Comcast has done with their webpage is ensure that I truly appreciate the simplicity and easy navigation offered by Vonage’s webpage.

If all of this were not bad enough, I suffered a final indignity at the hands of Comcast. When Comcast came and installed our service and one of their cable modems (we have to use a Comcast modem because it also has the telephone ports on it), the installer stole my cable modem. He didn’t even ask if the modem was mine or if I was renting one from Comcast. He just walked off with my cable modem. I am still flabbergasted by this.

In sum, we switched our home phone service to Comcast for less than a month. Despite the savings, we are in the process of switching that service back to Vonage. I know that not everyone is thrilled with Vonage, so your mileage may vary. For me and my house, however, there is no contest.

4 thoughts on “Vonage v. Comcast Voice: There is No Contest

  1. Thanks! That offer from Comcast looked very tempting, although I’ve been happy with Vonage for as long as you. Now with your tale I’ll not make the switch.

  2. I appreciate the review. I, too, have used Vonage for several years. I only run into trouble when my son was downloading large files while I was on the phone so voice quality would suffer, but I’ve loved the extensive feature set (most of which I haven’t used), and the Simulring feature has been great. It’s not perfect, but when compared to the trouble my mother has had with Verizon, Comcast, and who knows who else, I’m sticking with what works.

  3. i have reason to believe comcast was interfering with vonage traffic, and gave up with Vonage and signed up for the Comcast tripleplay…only to find the exact same things described here. i found this by looking fo r a way to get the emails as an attachment. stay away from comcast voice until they offer proper service@!!!!!

  4. Thanks for the reviews & comments everyone. I’ve been with Vonage for over 4 years and was contemplating moving to Xfinity Voice due to sporadic call quality issues that Vonage customer service could not resolve (using Comcast 20MB service).

    I am currently testing Xfinity Voice and they do NOW offer voicemail audio attachments, BUT the other features/options are still lackluster compared to Vonage.

    I think I may stay with Vonage and figure out another solution. One of the other features I like about Vonage is the multiple voice-mail greetings. On the weekends I have an “off-hours” business greeting, and during the day a regular greeting. Comcast does not offer this.

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