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Dear Qwest

Starting today, you'll have more bandwidth opened up on your phone lines as I will no longer be a paying customer. You see, I've saved a bunch of money on my phone service by switching to Vonage. You just aren't providing the "Spirit of Service" that you seem to advertise so well. I know many friends and colleagues who were tired of your company, for one reason or another, but my gripe always has been, and always will be features per cost.

You were charging me $37.52 per month on average for basic phone service including caller ID. No voicemail. No call waiting. No call forwarding. No long distance. No nothing. For the longest time, I had been meaning to change phone carriers, as I think your rates are just outrageous. Personally, I would just rather ditch a "land line" service altogether, and just use my cell phone, but alas, my wife isn't excited about that idea. Vonage seemed to be the next best choice.

Vonage is only charging me $24.99 per month for a feature-full service. Caller ID. Voicemail (which can be forwarded to my email as an attachment). Call waiting. Call forwarding. Unlimited long distance anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. International calling. Refer-a-friend programs. And more. Vonage seems to be doing things right with a phone service. Sorry Qwest, but you seem to be stuck in 1980. And because I have a high speed cable Internet connection, I don't need anything that you can offer.

I hope that you can get the true meaning of your "Spirit of Service" campaign, because as I see it, your business model is failing. To me, it means more than just helping the customer when they have a problem. It means providing a service that is competitive and desirable. It means running a finely tuned engine under the hood, when no one is paying attention. I understand that not everyone wants VOIP, but would rather have a traditional phone service. Companies like USTel seem to have the idea of competitive rates and features.

I think your engine needs some tuning. The '67 El Camino just isn't competitive against the '07 Shelby GT.

Anyway, good luck with your company. I think you'll be out of business soon.


Aaron Toponce

{ 13 } Comments

  1. Christer Edwards | June 19, 2007 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I thought "Spirit of Service" was in reference to their service being dead and gone and only the spirit remained. Qworst sucks.

  2. Mike | June 19, 2007 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Hey Aaron,

    Take a look at, before you switch to Vonage. It gives me all the features I need, at a fraction of the cost of Vonage. In addition, if you are like me and enjoy playing with technology, you can set up your own home PBX and have as many voice mail boxes, extension numbers, as you could dream of (using TrixBox).
    I know that Vonage charges a fixed monthly fee. However, with SipPhone you have no fixed fees. Each call within the US is $0.01 per minute (calls to other SIP (as in protocol) phones are free. Internation rates are extremely competitive. There is one yearly charge for your phone number, so that you can be called from normal phone users (land and cell phones), which is $35 per year. My average calling costs are about $5 per month. That breaks down to under $10 per month for unlimited features (limited only by the features of TrixBox).

    Please feel free to contact if you have questions.

    The only draw-back with SipPhones is that they still do not have 911 service (all you need is a regular phone plugged into you non-activated land line. They are required to keep 911 service on all phone lines, regardless of activation).


  3. Mike | June 19, 2007 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I wanted to add that I avoid services like Vonage and Packet8 because they are not using open protocols that can be leveraged by anyone (SIP is an open / standard protocol). Instead they use proprietary protocols, and leverage cost that way. With Vonage you still end up paying over $20 / month (add in taxes and what-not), and you have only a minimal number of features.

    Total agreement regarding Qwest: for the 5 years I had them back in the 90's, while they were the only local carrier, I only had problems with them. Never any satisfactory servicing, and their support / phone department was the last place on earth I wanted to call. I'd rather call the IRS! Good move :).

  4. Tristan Rhodes | June 19, 2007 at 7:58 am | Permalink


    I recommend for full-service VOIP for less than $17/month. This service does include E911, which I feel is very important. If you decide to go with SunRocket, let me give you my number to use as a referral, so I will get $25.


  5. Aaron | June 19, 2007 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    @Mike- I definitely agree that SIP is probably superior to Vonage. However, I've already made the switch, paid money for activation, and would pay money to cancel the account this early. I'll see how Vonage goes, and if I'm not impressed, SIP will be the way to go. For the time being, though, I'll be sticking with Vonage.

    @Tristan- Vonage also includes E911, which is a major advantage. However, I've already signed up with Vonage, so as I've mentioned to Mike, if it turns out that I don't like it, then I'll look into other options, such as SIP and SunRocket. Thanks for the info though.

  6. matt harrison | June 19, 2007 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    What are you using for internet? I'm using Qwest for DSL (and phone). (Frankly the number additional of charges and taxes per month is outrageous). I think I looked into cable/voip but that combination didn't offer much advantage costwise over the qwest combo....

  7. LaserJock | June 19, 2007 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Man, that certainly brought me back to the days growing up in Montana where Qwest was the *only* telephone provider. They would charge a $30 activation fee every time an elderly person would switch rooms in the nursing home. That's some spirit. What a stupid company.

  8. Aaron | June 19, 2007 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    @matt- I am using Comcast cable for my Internet. I've had it for years now. Including the TV, I'm paing $66 / month. I think for just Internet, they offer it for $45 / month. I know- pricey! I plan on changing ISPs as soon as Xmission becomes available in my area.

    @LaserJock- Such a great company, no? 🙂

  9. Jerome | June 19, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Consider the service. Highly recommended! I even use it to connect to my Nokia E61 over wifi along with some phones at home. And I'm not in the USA even!

  10. Jerome | June 19, 2007 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Heh i'm pretty shocked that my mobile phone and S60 browser registered as IE and Win2k *death rattle*

  11. Jerome | June 19, 2007 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Learned that Google Reader mobile uses IE/Win2k as browser id when rendering via their transcoded page rather than using Symbian's 😉

  12. Steve Spigarelli | June 20, 2007 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I've been meaning to write a similar post recently. I really wish providers would remove the silly long distance fees they charge. Eventually they might get smart and remove the fees that they don't need so they can compete with the new services that their consumers are switching to.

  13. phoenyx | June 20, 2007 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, Qwest is the only alternative to Comcast for high-speed internet in a lot of places in Utah and I'm not much of a fan of either.

    /me dreams of moving to a UTOPIA area someday

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