March 12, 2009

VOIP Gets Cheaper, and I Get Smarter

Need to buy, rent or borrow? In a recession, everything's up for re-valuation. That's exactly what the stock market is—a re-valuation or re-pricing of the value of a company every day. And with the stock market valued lower, everything else might as well follow.

Which is why I cannot figure out why Vonage just increased my phone service cost by 20% effective April 1. To $29.63.

I have since discovered a newer, cheaper alternative, which, also being VOIP, will likely give me similarly reliable service. I signed on with ALLVOI.com.* After paying $47.48 for the equipment and getting free activation, the cost is $3.99 /month for the first six months and $6.99 /month thereafter. I can't yet speak to the service, since haven't received the equipment yet. (No contract; no cancellation fee.)

I also happened into a T-Mobile retail store last week where the sales associate quoted VOIP phone service at $10/month. Once taxes and fees are added in, I am sure it is still a decent savings over Vonage. Goodbye Vonage, hello ALLVOI.

You really have to keep up with communications service providers. One year ago I discovered that Vonage was billing me for a service that I did not use. AT&T also charged my dry loop DSL service for a speed that, as it turns out, they are entirely unable to deliver in my service area! So once I figured that out, I insisted they put a stop to that nonsense!

Net, I currently spend less for the same wireless, home phone and Internet connectivity than in the past. Here is the drop in my costs for equivalent services over two years:

Monthly exp, Feb 07: $ 150
Monthly exp, Jul 08: $ 140
Monthly exp, Dec 08: $ 115**
Monthly exp, Mar 09 : $ 95**

The drop in rates over time—with the same services, mind you—has always been a result of my reviewing bills, or calling to ask about what I am charged versus what I am actually being provided. I am getting smarter, or just paying better attention, I suppose.


*I, of course, have no relationship with ALLVOI other than that as a just-signed-on customer, and receive no advantage, discount or payment for naming the company on this blog.

**Sometime in 2008, I actually received more services for my expenditures, having added email and Internet connectivity to my iPhone—
an additional $20 /month, so the effective service cost reductions are actually closer to $95 and $75 for Dec 08 and Mar 09.

1 comment:

  1. These things get harder for those of us in areas where you effectively can't take a phone number with you. Skype offers an incoming line at a better cost than Vonage, too: my brother ported all his house phones to it awhile back.

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