How many times have you looked at your home phone bill and thought you were being robbed? I’ve had that thought every time I’ve looked at my bill for the past three years. My local service plus a few add-ons was costing well over $40 a month and long distance was costing another $50 to $60 a month. I’m willing to pay for my services and maybe even pay extra for an exceptional service, but plain ol’ telephone service should not cost $90 to $100 every month – that’s way too much!
I’ve been thinking of moving over to a voice-over-IP service, which is telephone service over the internet, for the last two years or so. Besides being somewhat time challenged, my biggest deterrent was my phone number — all our friends and family know it and the thought of changing to something else was not a happy thought. A while back, legislation was passed that required carriers to offer number portability. Thankfully my number qualified, but my research indicated that it could take as long as 20 days for the migration to take place.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to bite the bullet and move to a voice-over-IP provider in order to save some money, even if it meant a little pain. Interestingly enough, there are ample choices for service providers, but I opted to go with the best known service which is Vonage. I surfed over to their web-site, filled out a form, and they gave me a temporary phone number while they worked on moving my existing number over from another carrier. That was it. In five minutes, I was signed up and ready to go.
In order for everything to work, you need an adapter that sits between your phones and the internet. This came with my order and arrived via UPS within two or three days. I plugged one end into an internet connection and then plugged in my phone and made a call. I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth everything had worked. Another pleasant surprise was my number migration. While Vonage told me it could take up to 20 days, within 7 days my number had moved over and we never missed a phone call.
We’ve been using the service for a couple of weeks and haven’t noticed any difference in quality but gained a number of additional services such as web-access to voice-mail and call records, web management of all of our services such as call forwarding, call hunt, ring lists, and many other services we didn’t have before. In addition to the increased services and similar quality, I’m saving between $60 and $70 per month.
If you have broadband access at home already and are paying more than $30 a month for unlimited local and long distance and other service such as caller ID, voice-mail, call back, call hunt and more then you should consider a voice-over-IP service.