After SunRocket abruptly closed up shop a little over a month ago, there was a mad-dash by other VOIP providers to scoop up some 200,000 stranded customers. Not too surprisingly, Vonage was one of those providers. According to Sherwood Partners, the company in charge of selling off SunRocket’s assets, Vonage got a hold of and has been using one of SunRocket’s customer lists without permission.
Back on July 16th when all of this went down, Vonage and SunRocket were apparently trying to work out some sort of deal wherein Vonage would by all or part of SunRocket’s subscribers and assets. When the two companies couldn’t reach a middle ground, Vonage allegedly breached a confidentiality contract by contacting former SunRocket customers directly. Sherwood Partners is suing Vonage for the safe return of the customer list and monetary damages for any trouble that’s been caused.
Vonage’s claim is that it purchased the customer list legally from an outside broker and that, by doing so, hasn’t violated the terms of the confidentiality agreement with SunRocket/Sherwood Partners. Sherwood Partners, on the other hand, is now saying that former SunRocket customers are complaining about Vonage hounding them for their business. Furthermore, since SunRocket decided to hand customers off to two separate VOIP providers (Unified Communications and 8×8), Vonage’s tactics are being seen as threatening to the new arrangement.
Not to editorialize too much, but as a former customer of both SunRocket and Vonage I can tell you that my experience with Vonage has been rocky at best. In my opinion, it’s a shady company with questionable business practices that’s been in the news time and time again for patent infringement, poor customer service (try quitting Vonage — it’s harder than quitting a gym), and dubious sales tactics (see above).
SunRocket Sues Vonage Over Use of Customer List [WashingtonPost.com]