Update on Vonage/Caller ID/Fax/Call Forwarding problem


A few weeks ago I reported an unusual problem with Vonage, where if a Vonage number was forwarded to a fax number (FORWARDED, not connect to the Vonage modem, but using the Vonage call-forwarding feature), and the caller ID of the given caller was blocked, the fax call would at all times fail.

Thus, if you forwarded your Vonage number to a fax machine (or some combined voicemail/fax machine or service), and callers wished to leave a fax, if the caller's ID did not display or the "privacy bit" was present indicating that the caller did not wish to present his ID on the recipient's fax/voicemail, Vonage's system would detect the fax CNG tones (the high pitched tones you hear when a fax starts), and then drop the call.

As noted in the previous post, it took a bit of convincing to show to them that there was a problem, but when we got someone at Level III Support, told him to call our Vonage number from a POTS line (a Verizon line) not on Vonage, and hit *67 first, he saw it happen as well, and after a number of tests, concluded that there was indeed a problem.

After a few days, we heard back, and were told that they use T38 for faxing (a relatively robust fax protocol which is used to carry fax traffic on VoIP connections), and that something in their code was not written properly so that if T38 kicks in (upon hearing the fax CNG tones), and IF the privacy bit was presented, their software would immediately "tear down" the call, and thus no fax could be sent.

They indicated that the problem would be fixed shortly, and as of two weeks ago, it seems to have been. We have sent a number of tests since then and they all seem to work fine, with or without the privacy bit.

I was actually surprised that they were willing to duplicate, let alone fix, the problem, but the fact that we had to call the corporate office before anyone even agreed to review our results and see that there was a problem was quite discouraging. Their escalation procedures are useless -- one can call and call and be told that a higher tech will review the matter and call back within 72 hours, and no one ever does.

While I am glad it was finally resolved, we should never have had to call their corporate office just to have them force a Level III Support Technician to call us back -- this could have all been handled by moving us up the chain of support staff, yet they were all too incompetent, lazy, or otherwise inattentive to properly resolve the matter.

Bill DeBello Interpage Network Services Inc. (510) 315-2750

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contact me, go to:
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and select the "Web Submit" option, Attn: Bill.

(The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect those of Interpage NSI.)

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