The Vonage IPO and post IPO saga is getting stranger by the day – in a way that could get them a direct nomination for Business 2.0’s Dumbest 101 Things list that comes out at the end of the calendar year. On paper it seemed like such a good idea – customers, the biggest evangelists for Vonage would get to participate in the upside in the stock if they invested in the company as well. In fact they left aside the 15% of the 31.25 million shares the company was offering to the public.
Well, that was really optimistic. Still, about 10,000 Vonage customers took the bait and bought the shares at $17 a share. The stock, as predicted tanked, and well, some of the customers who saw their cash simply evaporate decided that they were not really interested in the stock.
So Vonage has to make the bankers whole, and pay for those shares. Now other customers who paid for the stock are upset that they got cheated and are clamoring for a buyback.
Okay so this can be fixed with cash, but what happens when this stock-fall leads of a customer exodus. Someone who has lost money on the stock isn’t likely to be a loyal customer for long?
The problem is that the worst might not be over for the stock. In a snap poll of GigaOM readers, we found that nearly 63% expect the stock to go below $10 and about 27% who voted thought that the stock is going to skid below the $5 mark. Okay, so perhaps that’s not scientific, but the trend line calls for pain.