I hate the phone company. Reading my phone bill is like reading hieroglyphics. I thought that the break up of ma bell was suppose to make it easier for the consumer. We were suppose to get more choice. The choices seem to all be the same. For instance, I was so elated last year when the phone company offered me a lower rate. Yes, 29.99 and that was all I had to pay. Well, they forgot to tell me about all the special charges. My 29.99 became a towering $55.00 a month. I went from jubilation to silent despair. Is there anyone who could rescue me from my prison?
But then freedom came from the most unlikely source while visiting a friend's office. He told me that he had unplugged his entire office from the phone company. He was running his phone over the Internet. It's called Voice over IP. It has been around for a few years. Voice over IP allows you to make calls through a broadband Internet connection. I have always been reluctant to try it. I was concerned about quality of the sound, loosing my old phone numbers, and what happens if the cable goes out.
My friend convinced me to take the plunge. I decided to go with Vonage, they are a fast growing Voice over IP service and they provide a plethora of goodies. At 24.99, I get unlimited long distance calling to US and Canada; voicemail, caller id, call waiting, call forwarding, and 3 way calling. I purchased a router phone box for my cable modem. Cost after rebate, $29.00. It took me about 30 minutes to get whole thing up and running.
So far, so good. The sound quality is great. I was able to transfer my personal and business number to my new service. Even If I loose the cable connection, the calls go to voicemail or I can forward them to my cell phone. All my services are completely accessed via the web. I can see all the calls, and make any changes via the web. My entire cost to switching is less than one month's phone bill. I estimate that I will save over $400 this year alone.
Reginal Smith is a dynamice speaker, trainer and writer. He is the author of Speaking Secrets for the Bored Room.