Monday, September 14, 2009

Vonage Talk Alpha Abandoned/Decommissioned

Vonage Talk for people unfamiliar with it was a free softphone application for Vonage customers similar to Skype, Gizmo5, etc. where customers could make phone calls to Canada/US numbers and have their Vonage numbers display on the call display of the recipient's phone. Another feature of Vonage Talk was that anyone calling you could answer calls with the Vonage Talk software whenever someone called your Vonage number. The Vonage system accomplished this by creating a SimulRing to an additional number which represented your VonageTalk software client login. The Vonage Talk software also allowed you to enter and use certain instant messaging protocols like MSN, Yahoo, and GoogleTalk somewhat similar to Pidgin and Trillian. Vonage Talk Alpha was abandoned/cancelled earlier this month. I received a voice mail from them informing me that it was cancelled. A transcript of the voice mail message is here:
"Hello from Vonage. We want to thank you for helping us try out our Vonage Talk Alpha feature. Since the Alpha test of this product is now finalized, Vonage Talk Alpha has been decommissioned. If you like Vonage Talk, give our updated product Vonage Companion a try. It's available as part of our Vonage Pro plan. You can sign up for Vonage Pro online at Thanks again for your participation."
Since I had a hardware USB Vonage solution with limited minutes (my plan no longer exists on the Canadian Vonage website.), I was able to use Vonage Talk for free. Since I almost always had access to a phone whether it was a cellphone or a landline, I was only an occasionally user of Vonage Talk. I used it whenever I travelled and had internet access and my laptop. The quality was not the best but for short calls, I found it okay and since it deducted from Vonage minutes which I rarely used, I didn't have to pay extra to call anyone in Canada/US. Even if I was interested in paying extra and signing up for Vonage Compagnion as outlined in the voice mail message (which I'm probably not because my current Vonage price plan suits me), it isn't available in Canada (to Canadian Vonage subscribers). It is only available to US Vonage customers. Vonage Talk was one of the things that I liked about Vonage because without the USB Vonage adapter, I could appear as if I'm making the call from "home" regardless of my physical location. I could also accept the call on my laptop regardless of whether I had the USB Vonage adapter with me or not. Even though I wasn't a frequent user of Vonage Talk, I'm sorry to see it go. Without Vonage Talk, since I don't use my Vonage USB account a lot, I might give it up as I'm currently investigating some other Canadian VoIP companies. The only thing is that is giving me some hesitation is that my Vonage price plan no longer exists and once I cancel it (and port the USB number to another provider), I won't be able to get it back. Even though I don't have an iPhone (yet), one of the reasons I still haven't cancelled my Vonage account yet is because of the Vonage iPhone application. The Vonage iPhone application has apparently has been approved but is currently being tested before being released. If the Vonage iPhone application has the features that interests me and doesn't require a new Vonage subscription/account (similar to what Vonage Talk Alpha offered), it might make me stay with Vonage as well as make me purchase an iPhone 3G/3GS.

If you have any questions/comments regarding my post on Vonage Talk Alpha, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section.

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