Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Vonage Patents Stop-n-Go

A federal judge on Friday made a compromise with Vonage at VZ's suggestion: Vonage could keep operating during the appeal process, but could not sign up any new customers. (Vonage also had to put up a $66M bond). Vonage won an appeal late Friday to remove that injunction. This drama now continues on this Friday in the Appeals court. [source: xchange]

Who is likely to win from this? Not VZ. Consumers will likely go to SunRocket -- or Cable for voice service. VZ doesn't realize that people left because they finally had a choice and that VZ customer service sucks!

So once again VZ sets its sights on the wrong target. It battled CLECs and ISPs, while Cable took the broadband market. VZ battles Vonage, while Cable munches away at the residential voice market. Cable is working with triple-play and quad-play packages that include cellular.

VZ thinks that price alone will win. Wrong. People move to BH Digital Voice and other MSO's even when the price is similar. Consumers used to have a choice in voice, then VZ and its brethren litigated and lobbied to kill that choice. Now that consumers have a choice again, they are leaving the phone company. VZ ought to spend that money Venezuela is giving them to pump up its customer service. One big idea: Your techs are not friendly. Their stock answer: "That's not my job." Yeah. Want to hear my stock answer?!

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