Struggling Vonage Stumbles With “Visual Voicemail”


Vonage (VG) is in a tough spot: it’s still burning tons of cash on marketing, losing share to cable giants like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and fighting a patent war with Verizon.

So how might the Holmdel, N.J.-based VoIP player survive? By rolling out innovative features that stodgy phone companies would hesitate to implement or would charge too much for. So it’s not surprising that Vonage would pick a service like visual voicemail — one of the more attractive iPhone features — and offer some flavour of it to their subscribers. One problem: their voice-to-text technology doesn’t work.

Allen Stern has a hilarious post at CenterNetworks showing how badly Vonage’s new “feature” butchered one of his voicemails.

Intended message: “Hey Allen, It’s Bob, its about noontime on Wednesday.”
Convenient text translation: “Hey. Elements bonds a chair and it’s Oh new time on wednesday.”

Back to the drawing board…

See Also: Vonage: About that Churn Problem…