Business of local telephone compay is really hurting due to strong competition with mobile phone and the rise of Voice-over-internet phone (VOIP) via broadband internet connection. I can’t really say I feel for them because I ditched my local phone about 4 years ago. Honestly, I don’t see the advantage of having a home phone line vs. the cell phone anymore, while the cost of a home phone line with full features as the cell phone is almost as much, or some case even more expensive.
You gotta love all features the VOIP phone service offeres. Features such as call forward, call blocking, caller ID, voicemail are pretty much stardard. They’re not add-on features for extra charge. There’s no per-minute charge, long distance charge, or limitation of when to make phone call for cheap rates. They also have cheap international calling rate as well. The deal sealer is really the price. In average, VOIP phone service is about $14/month in contrast with at least $50/month charge to local phone company. With promotion such as pay full year for $199 and you get another year, that just sweetens the deal.
Anyway, I first jumped on the VOIP bandwagon with SunRocket few years back. I had no problem with it, though the company went under about two years after that. So I switched to AT&T Callvantage. It is more expensive, and less features than what SunRocket offered, though it still costs less than the plans with local phone company. After two years with AT&T Callvantage, they now send letter to advise switching to different company because they shut down their VOIP service.
I guess this is the disadvantage of the VOIP phone company. You just never know when they will go kaput on you. Why don’t I just have a cell phone instead? Well, the home alarm system still requires a landline. I don’t have DirectTV or Dish Network now, but in future when I decide to hook up, it will require a landline as well.
I looked around for different options. I think Vonage is expensive. ViaTalk has great deal, but I also hear their customer service is bad, and their quality is not so good either. So I decided to go with Phone Power. People give thumb-up for their service, and it currently has good deal to offer as well. Phone Power also gives a free cloned 2nd line. Well, I placed the order, and it processed my order quickly. The hardware has already been shipped to my house few days later. Service is switched over supposingly today or tomorrow.
I still keep the same phone number by the way.