You’re Fired!

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 25Β’ per minute for all calls for the first ten minutes each day and all texts are 5Β’ 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,Β  Phone Power (direct link, not an affiliate link πŸ˜‰ ), has a great deal – $9.95 for unlimited local and long distance for the first six months of your subscription.

The catch?

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)). πŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “You’re Fired!

  1. Good luck with that. A few years ago I switched to Vonage and then…nothing. I was without service for about three days while they sorted something out and then…still nothing. When I work from home I kind of need a phone. It’s very humbling to have to stand at a pay phone and ask Verizon to come back and hook up their service. It felt like I dumped my girlfriend for a cheap floozie and then had to beg her to come back. And before she would come back she charged me a butt-load of money. Sad.

  2. Good for you!!

    Costumers should take the initiative to look for the best deals and force these companies to compete a little better.

    It’s not fair that unfair monopolies exist and I guess we have the power to help dislodge them (and that means you Google!!! πŸ™‚ )

  3. Cugat – Interesting; I can totally understand your need for a phone. Right now, we actually don’t have a dialtone. People can call us, but they get sent to voicemail; not the best thing to happen. Fortunately, we can phone up and get the voicemails (nothing important has been missed though). Now, if the blasted router would get here! πŸ˜‰

    Forest – I agree; we should all have the right to decide who we get our phone/internet/etc. services from. However, in my area, the controlling phone company probably doesn’t care about competition since they have a franchising agreement with the local communities (as far as I know).

    Thanks y’all! πŸ˜‰

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