My Little Corner of the Net

Goodbye Telephone

I recently gave up my landline phone. Sort of. I wanted to upgrade my cell phone to a smartphone, and in order to offset the extra cost of the data plan, I was looking for other places to cut costs.

Since I’m often on the go, my home phone gets little use. I make most of my calls from my cell and most people who call me these days call my cell. Still, I like being able to give some callers—businesses and the like—a number at which they can’t interrupt me at any hour of the day, and I didn’t want to give that up. Paying Frontier, the local phone company, $40 a month for that privilege seemed a little excessive, however.

I’ve thought about switching to a VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol, phone provider for a while, but most of the VoIP providers I’ve seen sell themselves on the fact that long distance is included in the base price. As such, they claim that they’ll save you money (and for many people, they probably do), but since I rarely use my home phone for long distance calls, these plans would only save me a few dollars a month which, IMHO, wasn’t worth switching.

In my quest to find a truely inexpensive VoIP provider, I asked around. As the result of a post I made to the DSL Reportsforums, I was introduced to VOIPo, a texas-based VoIP provider. VOIPo was able to provide me with all of the features I was receiving from my local phone company, plus free long distance, and even 60 minutes of free international calling to select countries each month (not that I’ll likely use that very often) for just $8.25 on their current special (I signed up for a full year).

Not only is VOIPo inexpensive, their service is excellent. I sent them a couple of emails with questions about some unique service needs that I had, and I got answers within hours. One of the answers even came directly from the CEO. I also scoured the web for comments about VOIPo, good or bad, and I was impressed to see that the CEO personally followed up on all of the negative comments on DSL Reports trying to correct the problem situations.

VOIPo gives me a ton of features that I couldn’t get from the phone company, too: I have access to a log of all of my calls, I can program the caller ID that gets displayed when my phone rings for incoming numbers, and I can even set up multiple incoming numbers with distinctive rings and/or separate voicemail—and I can do it all right over the web. I can also get my voicemails sent to my email and can even run a soft phone on my computer or cell phone, so when I’m traveling I can still get and make calls from my home line.

As I said, I decided to sign up for a full year of VOIPo service from the start. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so I figured I’d try the service out with a temporary number and, if I wasn’t happy, I’d ask for a refund. While there is a little more line noise than there was on the old phone, the sound quality was still very good, so I decided to keep the service. VOIPo let me port my phone number away from the local phone company for free, and the whole switching process was pretty painless. I’ve been on VOIPo’s service for a few months now, and I couldn’t be happier.

If you feel like you’re throwing money away with your landline, but you aren’t quite ready to give it up, I encourage you to give VOIPo a try. I think you’ll be happy that you did.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>