Vonage price increase (again)

Vonage prices have gone up again – their socalled $14.99 package now costs $19.02 (up from $18.12 last month) with the extra costs being 99c Regulatory Recovery Fee, 99c Emergency 911 Cost Recovery, $1.15 sales Tax (45c in april and now $1.15????), and the new 90c Federal Universal Service Surcharge. These prices do not vary (apart from sales tax if I make over my 500 minutes) which means that they should really be advertising their 14.99 package as 19.02 – In the UK it was nice to know that the price you were quoted (and on the sales tag) was the price you paid. It is bad enough when you go into a shop here and buy something marked as 99c and it ends up being about 1.06 but the “extras” for the phone system are crazy (and vonage isn’t the only company doing it – they’re all just as bad as each other 🙁

Exchange and Avaya voicemail

Whilst the server was down we also took the time out to prove the fact that if a voicemail message is left on the avaya IP Office system whilst the mail server is unreachable, then the user NEVER gets the voicemail. The voicemail box fails to queue the voicemail for delivery at a later date -something that the tech’s didn’t acknowledge as a problem. The fact that users could end up not receiving voicemails or have any trace of them yet the caller knows they left it seems a pretty major bug to me. I’m looking forward to bringing *that* up at the wrap up meeting.

Google Talk.

From the bbc I found a link to Google Talk – their latest beta product enabling free voip for computer to computer chat.
What I can’t understand is the need for yet another im/voice chat running on yet another protocol. Surely all these conflicting services mean people end up with too many ways of communicating so they need to buy faster machines and bigger screens to cope with all the icons in their system tray (I have 19 at the moment!). This also seems to be moving away from the “one number gets me anywhere” philosophy that people would like. Now to get hold of me you can send me an email, ring me on the home phone, the mobile, send me an sms, yahoo, google, msn, aol message me (and you used to be able to contact me via irc but I don’t do that anymore).
The big drawback of this app is that it doesn’t do talk to landlines.
Update I’ve added my systray picture to flickr tagged with systray – what does yours look like?
My systray