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Review of Vonage VOIP Phone Service

03/30/2007

It’s been a year since I signed up for Vonage’s service. And I have to say that I am very happy about it. Before I signed up, I did tons of research on the web and compared them with other services. Back then, I felt that Vonage offered the most value for the money. It was cheaper than Verizon VoiceWing. Comast did not have their phone service yet (it is still more expensive) and a couple of other VOIP services that were much cheaper were not so well known, hence I did not take the risk with them.

The package I got was the standard unlimited calls (including long distance) within the US. The international rates were low and competitive compared to other VOIP players. The monthly fee was and still is $24.95 (without taxes). With taxes, it came up about $27 or so. If I do make lots of oversears call during the month, the bill comes up to about $30.

The service came with most features which are common in VOIP providers and which you have to pay extra with traditional land lines. Call waiting, voice messages, 3-way conferences, free fax line are included. Once I subsribed to the service, I had to get a new phone which can receive wireless signals. I got the Vtech 5.8GHZ cordless model.

I applied for the service over the phone and had to give my credit card number. With this service, you have to pay by your credit card (which was fine by me). By the way, I charged it to my Blue Cash to earn cash rebates. The service also came with a free Linksys wireless router. You get to keep this if you stay with Vonage for one year.

So how is the service. Well, firstly, the voice quality is very good. That may be a function of the Vtech phone that I bought, but the reception is always clear. One of the things that bothered me in the beginning was that my calls were dropped occasionally (like how it is in the Cingular advertisement). I was very frustrated but still kept the service because I was too lazy to change providers and also because traditional phone lines still cost more. Then one day, a Verizon salesperson came knocking on my door and sold me on their FIOS fiber optic internet connection. I signed up for it and immediately, my dropped call problem stopped. Previously, I was using Comcast as my internet service provider. But I always had problems with it in the sense that if I leave my computer for too long, my internet connection also drops. I suspect that had to do with my dropped calls on Vonage.

After switching to verizon FIOS, my Vonage has been working like a charm. I have not had to make a single customer service call. Every month, my bills comes through my email and my credit card gets billed. I would highly recommed Vonage to anyone who is looking to save money on their phone bills.

Recently, it has come to my attention that another provider SunRocket Internet Phone Service is offering an even better deal than Vonage at $199 a year or about $17 a month with essentially identical features. I do not use this service, but it is something that you should also consider.

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