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Thread: VOIP Price Drop in Aisle 3!

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    VOIP Price Drop in Aisle 3!

    Voice Over IP (VOIP) telephone service just got even more affordable. I've been a happy AT&T's CallVantage VOIP (or "phone service for broadband," as they call it) user since early this summer. I signed up with a half-rate deal. Since that time, AT&T has slashed rates and increased services. On Wednesday, their newsletter announced a bunch of new services, including unlimited VOIP calling to Canada at no additional charge ...

    When I signed up for the CallVantage VOIP service, the initial cost was $39.99 per month. The half-price offer cut it down to $19.99 per month for the first six months.

    CallVantage service has just dropped down to $29.99 per month, with the first month free. Not to be outdone, competitor (and market-leader) Vonage has cut the price to their Premium Unlimited plan (with unlimited calling to the USA and Canada) to $24.99.

    AT&T's also just launched "Simple Reach Numbers" that allow you to add up to 9 additional phone numbers to your account (at $4.99 per month for each number). VOIP allows you to place your Simple Reach Number "anywhere in the country AT&T CallVantage Service is located." The intent is to make your Simple Reach Number a local call--perfect for far-flung family members who needs to make frequent calls at no expense (to them, that is).

    Of course, VOIP isn't for everyone. You'll need a good 2-way cable modem or DSL connection if you plan to run it at home. (Business applications will need a much more serious pipe.)

    To help spread the word on VOIP, AT&T is trying the viral thing, pinning a couple of twenties onto a string. Their latest CallVantage email offers a $40 Bill Credit for existing users: "The AT&T CallVantage Service Refer A Friend program rewards current AT&T CallVantage members when they refer friends, relatives, neighbors, or co-workers to the service. Just click the Refer A Friend link and provide us with the name, email address, and location of your friend. We will send your friend an email describing the service. If your friend signs up you will receive a $40 bill credit off your AT&T CallVantage Service!"

    You might want to take advantage of the current lack of VOIP taxes while you can. It's not bound to last forever.


  2. #2
    Titanium Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    blk helo target, WA
    the new Lingo service offers consumers unlimited calling in the U.S., to Canada, and to Western Europe for only $19.95 per month, something no other broadband phone service provides at such a price.
    I'm thinking of getting the free D-link VoIp router I posted in Hardware deals. Is the servie reliable as regular phone service? Should I discontinue regular phone service? Thanks for input.

    **edit - The "fine print"

    Additional Charges:
    $29.95 one-time activation fee
    $.03 per minute for U.S. and Canada minutes out of plan
    For Western Europe minutes out of plan and other International calls please use the International rate calculator to the left
    $.75 per Directory assistance call
    $4.95 per month for additional U.S. phone numbers
    $10.00 per month for International phone numbers.
    $5.00 per month for Canada phone numbers.
    $9.95 US shipping fee. International shipping is currently not available.

    $39.95 if you choose to cancel after 30 day money back guarantee and before 1 year.
    My concern is outages and this quote:

    Techsupport: If you have VoIP and your line is down, you have to call them. Uh, how do I call when my phone is down.
    What about emergency calls if cable is down - I guess cell phone then.

    Can I keep Comcast and still use another service?
    Last edited by lynchknot; March 20th, 2005 at 20:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    I don't know how it works stateside, but here in Japan I have VOIP. I pay 8 yen per 3 minutes for international calls and about 1-2 yen per minute for local calls.

    I get my own VOIP telephone number. My calling charges have been cut by about 75%. The calling quality is superb. Every once in a blue moon, on an international call, I'll hear some feedback... but that happened with my regular phone as well.

    It really depends on your internet connection. I am on Fiber, so I can download and do VOIP and all that. If you've got a slower upload, your internet might effect the quality of the VOIP service... but I am not sure because I don't experience with VOIP stateside.

    And what do you do for emergency calls when your regular telephone is down?

    As for regular calling service, we still have that. But we have the minimum of services... barebone calling available. No three-way, caller ID, or any of that. It's really great to have two. Often my wife will be gabbing with her sisters and I'll get on the phone to speak to my family back in the US. It works really well.

    But you'll have to talk to someone who has VOIP for more information that applies to your setup.

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