There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to let go of something they’ve held dear to them for years. Well, actually, I can’t say that about what we’ve gotten rid of – mainly because it’s too expensive!
You see, we have had the same phone service from the same phone company (albeit with a name change when they were absorbed into one of the amalgamated “Baby Bells“) for at least as long as I’ve been alive, and I know a lot longer than that. We’ve been happy with their service, but with the advent of VOIP services and much cheaper phone service, it was time to change.
On a month to month basis, we’d been paying somewhere around $40 for the privilege of having a landline telephone, with unlimited local calling (which, in this part of the state is our town, and a couple of neighboring cities; calling anywhere outside of an around 10-mile radius cost anywhere from 9 to 24 cents per minute). The only “extra” we had on the line was Caller ID.
Of course, like any good natural “monopoly”, our phone company knows how to soak you for the extras. I was perusing their site last night and found out that our Caller ID cost us $9.25 per month, almost a full quarter of the bill. How ridiculous is that?
I have a cell phone and pay $5.28 per month for a basic pay-as-I-go plan (that’s including all taxes and fees); of course, that goes towards my account balance and I pay 25¢ per minute for all calls for the first ten minutes each day and all texts are 5¢ to send or receive. All in all, I don’t mind the high per minute rate, since I’m getting the service for a dirt cheap rate per month; it also includes caller ID (though without a name).
A long time ago, we had looked at Vonage for our phone service, but the biggest hurdle was that we couldn’t keep our phone number (which is strange since customers of the same phone company in a certain much larger city to the east of here are allowed to keep their phone number). However, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I found a bargain when it comes to VOIP service.
For those who don’t know, Vonage charge you $24.95 per month for unlimited local, long distance, and calls to certain countries. Another service, Packet8, charged $19.95 a while ago, but have raised their price to $24.95 for unlimited domestic calling. However, the service that I found, Phone Power (direct link, not an affiliate link 😉 ), has a great deal – $9.95 for unlimited local and long distance for the first six months of your subscription.
You have to switch to a regular plan after the six months; that’s it. There are no contracts, no set up fees, and you get a free router (they charge $14.95 for shipping – not bad for a free router).
We’ve fired the phone company, and are switching over to a new company over the next few weeks. I’ll have to keep y’all updated on the quality of the service (it should be pretty darn good since we now have 5 meg internet service (5000 down, 512 up)). 🙂