View Poll Results: Which type(s) of voice communications services do you normally use?

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  • Cellular - Verizon, AT&T, etc.

    11 73.33%
  • Traditional - Ma or the Baby Bells

    1 6.67%
  • VoIP (Voice over IP) service owned by your Internet Service Provider (Comcast, Cox, Qwest, etc.)

    1 6.67%
  • Independent VoIP (Voice over IP) - Ooma, Skype, Vonage, MagicJack, etc.

    7 46.67%
  • Couple of cans and some string

    1 6.67%
  • Yodeling

    1 6.67%
  • Hollerin'

    1 6.67%
  • Jungle Telegraph

    0 0%
  • Message in a Bottle

    1 6.67%
  • Carrier Pigeon

    0 0%
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Thread: Saving Money Series - Local and LD Phone Service - Which do you use, and why?

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Saving Money Series - Local and LD Phone Service - Which do you use, and why?

    YES, it's related! The more money you save elsewhere, the money money you'll have to buy firearms, ammunition, and supplies from one of OCDO's advertisers or your favorite online or local supplier!

    As many of you know, I just moved. While shopping for new Internet and phone services, I happened across Ooma.com. For $180, I bought their Telo at Costco. The unit connects your own phone to your cable or DSL modem. Features are managed via their website, and both local and long distance really are free and unlimited. The only monthly charge is for phone access tax, which in my area is less than $4 a month.

    Over a three year period, my Ooma phone bill will average less than $9 a month! Monthly Calculation: $8.45 = $180/36 + $3.45

    When I was stationed overseas, I used Vonage, but the quality was so bad I dropped it and paid the low per-minute cost (about 1.5 cents per minute) through my German phone service. My monthly phone bills routinely topped $60/month. Still, when I moved to Colorado Springs, and when I moved a second time last month, I looked at Vonage, but the best deal I could get was $15 a month for a few months (three, I think) followed by $25 a month thereafter. Both Comcast and Qwest were asking around or over $30 a month for VoIP service after the initial 6-month $20 per month trial.

    When I read a Consumer Reports article showing Ooma had an inexpensive, high-quality solution with a very high customer satisfaction rating, I said, "Why not try it?" Besides, Costco's returns policy would accept a return of the product, no questions asked, so it wasn't like I'd be stuck with it if it didn't work.

    Setup time was less than 1 hour from the time I cut the tape on the box to when I made my first call. I needed to call customer service only once, within that first hour, and they fixed the problem in 60 seconds! I've been using it ever since for a month and I am very happy.

    I haven't paid $8.45 a month for phone service since 1981, when I was a freshman in college, and that was for local calls only! Talking with my girlfriend a couple of times a month would easily double that. Now I can talk to my son all I (or he) wants without it costing a single extra penny.
    Last edited by since9; 08-20-2011 at 02:51 PM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  2. #2
    Regular Member HeroHog's Avatar
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    Verizon is my cell provider and I use PhonePower for my home phone and am real happy with it and it is CHEAP!

    Includes Free Calling to US & Canada
    60 Minutes International Calling Every Month
    Over 45+ Free VoIP Features
    Free 2nd line
    with FailsafeTM
    30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee
    8.33/month
    GrandstreamHandyTone 502 Home Adapter
    Free Lease
    Compact size and powerful functionality
    Simple configuration settings
    Easy to hookup with no existing network
    Built-In Port Router
    Plugs right into your broadband modem
    Last edited by HeroHog; 08-20-2011 at 09:56 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Straight talk wireless:

    30 days of service 1,000 min., 1,000 txts, and 30mb of data. for $30
    Or you can have unlimited talk, txt, and data for $45.

    No contract.

    They have both CDMA phones (that use verizon's network) and GSM phones (that use AT&T's network?) so you can pick what one works best in your area.

    I switched several months ago and have been pretty happy overall.

    Caveat: Most of their phones are pretty basic, so if you need a full web browser and fast internet on your phone they may not be for you.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

  4. #4
    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    I only have a cell phone so that saves some money. VZW now but may switch back to U.S. Cellular.

    I don't see a whole lot of use in having a land line anymore. I do have DSL, it's kind of slow but it's pretty much the best I can get out in the boonies.

    I don't make a lot of international calls but google voice can be used for that to keep costs down.
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  5. #5
    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    People who haven't looked at prepaid cell phone plans lately might be missing out. It used to be if you had prepaid it was "So, you have bad credit, huh?" Now it's "So, you like saving money, huh?"

    Howard forums is probably the best place I can think of offhand for cell provider and related talk.

    There are plenty of deals out there, ranging from $45 or so unlimited minutes and text, (taxes included), to I think Page Plus is $30 or $35 for 1200 minutes a month. Then there's an AT&T or Sprint one that is 5 cents a minute, 5 cents a text. Then of course Tracfone which has so-so rates but the best cell phone coverage in the country.

    Then there's things like the Page Plus quarterly and yearly plans. If you don't use your phone a ton, $80 for 2000 minutes and one year expiration is a darn good deal. Plus, it uses the Verizon prepaid network. Plus, you can use Any Verizon Phone You Want (except iPhone) including the ones that normally require a data plan. Want a fancy touchscreen phone with WiFi? You can have one with no data plan on some prepaids. Pretty sure you can have an iPhone on Tmobile's prepaid, although their rates are mediocre last I looked

    The main bad thing about prepaids is generally if you use more than like 100mb of data per month the savings just isn't there.

  6. #6
    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    And then there are folks like us ... no text, no internet on the phone, just want minutes and don't need very many of those either.

    Won't give up the land line (200 ld min. per month) as my hi-speed dsl and premiun pkg dish network are tied to that ... one bill, one place to call to get my charges dealt with ... all 3 for under $150 per month. And we have had the same phone number since we moved into the house 17 years ago

    Ah, well, I suppose we are going to have to bite the bullet and take a talk/text plan and phones. If only AT&T had a plan bundle for $200 I would jump at it ... I only need 2 phones on the mobile plan and I have never used all the 200 long distance minutes on my land line plan, old fogyies that we are

    I guess I should add that AT&T does offer us a mobile plan each month, but it is 'top of the line' and muy espensive
    Last edited by okboomer; 08-25-2011 at 01:01 PM.
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  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Wow, when I see package rates of $200, I cringe. I'm paying $30 for DSL, $8.50 for phone, $11 for NetFlix, and $3 for TracPhone. My entire bill month bill comes to less than $55/month.

    Shop around!
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  8. #8
    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Wow, when I see package rates of $200, I cringe. I'm paying $30 for DSL, $8.50 for phone, $11 for NetFlix, and $3 for TracPhone. My entire bill month bill comes to less than $55/month.

    Shop around!
    I was saying a bundle with HighSpeedDSL, home phone, at least 2 cells, DishNetwork. NetFlix ... well I still need FoxNews, local news and other network programming, so how does NetFlix provide those? Or do you have a seperate cable bill?

    Our local cable basic is up to $65 per month Dish Expanded is $45. My HSDSL is $35 per month. Home phone service w/911 is $35 and the rest is in line fees, taxes and another $10 package on the phone I have.

    As for cell phones, I was bemoaning that I couldn't get it to a 'reasonable' rate bundled with my home phone service ... I can get Tracfone, etc. for about $25-30 per month for one phone, but I need 2, so that is up to about $40 cheapest we can find out here, but that is 'another' bill that I would have to take time to pay/go buy rather than one payment.

    The local providers are all sitting around $35-50 for the basic package/phone, even the options at WalMart.
    cheers - okboomer
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Lead, follow, or get out of the way

    Exercising my 2A Rights does NOT make me a CRIMINAL! Infringing on the exercise of those rights makes YOU one!

  9. #9
    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okboomer View Post
    Home phone service w/911 is $35 and the rest is in line fees, taxes and another $10 package on the phone I have.

    As for cell phones, I was bemoaning that I couldn't get it to a 'reasonable' rate bundled with my home phone service ... I can get Tracfone, etc. for about $25-30 per month for one phone, but I need 2, so that is up to about $40 cheapest we can find out here, but that is 'another' bill that I would have to take time to pay/go buy rather than one payment.
    I called ATT last week to cancel my 6mb DSL one-year $19.99 deal that was ending. They gave me 50% off the regular $45 price for the next six months. I was all set to cancel due to their new 150gb monthly limit, but they haven't implemented limits yet and said they have no idea when or if they actually will.

    Anyway, got sidetracked there... we then started talking landlines. With only local service and callerID, it's $23 before taxes. Shoots up to $32 with 3-way calling and call forwarding and other things. Unlimited long distance was like $6 more. If you wind up getting a cell phone, depending on LD minutes usage, you might be able to save $100+ a year on your landline. I don't know if their rates depend on area or what, but just mentioning it since I didn't realize a basic plan could be that cheap if you drop 3-way calling and things.

    If you would hardly use a cell, you could get the Tracfone yearly plan for around $100, (sometimes on sale for $75), with somewhere in the 1500-2000 minutes range (not sure of exacts at the moment), phone included. That'd be less than $10 a month as long as you don't go crazy with the minutes.

    Or, like I said, Page Plus uses Verizon prepaid network and has a $80/2000 minutes/1year expiration. You supply the phone, but it can be nearly any Verizon phone, including the fancy ones that would normally require a data plan. Various nice touchscreen phones out there for around $50. Or get a cheapie kind. That'd be, not counting phone, $6.60 a month, average of 166 minutes usage a month. If you really don't use the phone much, then the next year you can use a $10/100-minute(?) card to extend the expiration another four months. If 2300 minutes would last two years, total cost is $110 plus phone, ($4.60 a month).

    Whether there is Page Plus coverage in your area, I don't know. But there are similar providers and deals.

    If you don't like taking the time to pay monthly bills, getting a 4-month or 1-year prepaid cell plan might work well since you'd only have to pay it 1-3 times a year plus have the freedom of no contract.

    Verizon tried to screw me over after they bought out Alltel. It took going through multiple customer service people on multiple days to get them to not charge me an extra 25% or so a month, while also claiming the higher cost wasn't a change of plan so I couldn't cancel. "We're charging you more every month, but it's not a change of plan." Yah. I was stuck in my contract and there wasn't a whole lot I could do. Was going to cancel and pay the early termination fee just because they were a-holes, until the very last CS person said what the other CS people were doing isn't a good way to treat customers and left the remainder of my contract alone like they should have done in the first place. ...so, I'm not big on contracts anymore.
    Last edited by DangerClose; 08-27-2011 at 09:06 PM.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerClose View Post
    With only local service and callerID, it's $23 before taxes. Shoots up to $32 with 3-way calling and call forwarding and other things. Unlimited long distance was like $6 more. If you wind up getting a cell phone, depending on LD minutes usage, you might be able to save $100+ a year on your landline. I don't know if their rates depend on area or what, but just mentioning it since I didn't realize a basic plan could be that cheap if you drop 3-way calling and things.

    If you would hardly use a cell, you could get the Tracfone yearly plan for around $100, (sometimes on sale for $75), with somewhere in the 1500-2000 minutes range (not sure of exacts at the moment), phone included. That'd be less than $10 a month as long as you don't go crazy with the minutes.
    You're seeing the light. I think the key is to determine what download speed meets your needs, go with the cheapest ISP. After that, mix and match other services as needed. It's WAY cheaper than any package plan, and less than half of what my folks are spending for LESS.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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