New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Phone Home

We have been paying too damn much for home phone service.

We have been writing checks to both Verizon and AT&T totaling more than a hundred bucks every month. To be specific, the last Verizon bill was $73.65 and the last AT&T bill was $66.23.

Combine that with my recently acquired cell phone ($52 a month) and Jenn's cell phone (probably the same) and we're spending a pretty penny to yak on the phone.

The frustrating thing is, we don't even yak that much. Even Jenn, who, admittedly uses the phone a good deal more than I do, doesn't talk all that much compared with other people.

Well, the cell phone scenario probably won't change much, but it's nice to have alternatives when it comes to home phone service.

Enter VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Make calls over your broadband cable line instead of the old-school copper telephone wires.

Today I took the plunge and signed up with Vonage. So far everything seems good but I'm withholding my full endorsement until everything gets up and running.

I was able to sign up online pretty easily, but now I have to wait for the phone adaptor to arrive in the mail, and for my existing phone companies to release my phone number (yes, we get to keep our classic 718 Brooklyn number).

I had to pay a $30 activation fee, and $25 for the first month. Going forward it's--supposedly--$25 a month for unlimited calling, local and long distance, anywhere in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. (There are special plans for international calls, which I almost never make.)

I'm guessing that with taxes and fees I'll be paying more like $30 a month for the Vonage phone service, but it's a heck of a lot less than the $140 we paid for home phone service last month. That's a difference of $110, which pays for both of our cell phones and gives us a round of beers on top of it.

Why did I pick Vonage over the other companies that offer cable/VoIP phone service? Well, for one thing, the guy at the Cingular store who helped me pick out my cell phone two months ago told me that he had just gotten Vonage at home, and he seemed like a sharp guy who knew a lot about telecommunication.

And for another thing, I simply can not imagine giving the vile cretins at Time Warner Cable any more business, and the thought of having those mouth-breathers visit my home again was simply too much to bear.

So, watch this space for my impressions on Vonage VoIP phone service. It might be three weeks or so before I can give my full report.


Blogger Sandi said...

That I will be waiting for. I have unlimited long distance now but I wind up paying 100.00 a month for phone. What I get is local, long distance and cell phone. The cell phone is very limited minutes though, 300 day, 5000 night/weekend.
Plus I really look at my phone bill and I figured I am paying about 35.oo a month just in fees.

4:37 AM  

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