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Firing your local phone company to save money!

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Cliff:
Just FYI...I have no financial interest in Vonage, (or any telecommunication company).  This is only information for people looking to cut down on their expenses.

If you have broadband you can sign-up to have your phone serves done over the internet (any number of companies now offer the service).  The quality is usually fine but the savings is the main benefit.  For me, I had Vonage when I was back in the States.  Since I generally don't make too many calls, I signed up for $14 a month package (it may be higher now) that gave me 500 minutes a month (anywhere in the US).  I was able to even keep the same number.  This saved me about $15 a month as my phone bill with SWB was usually $30-40 a month.  When I moved to NYC I was able to keep my Houston number (so my family didn't have to pay long distance to call me) and I was able to add a second NYC number (which rings on the same phone).  I think the second line cost me $5 a month.

The phone had all the same services of your local line (call waiting, caller ID, 911 calling, voice mail etc) and you can even check your voicemail messages online or have them emailed to you (great for when you're on the road).

I'm sure all the internet phone companies have the same services and are priced competitively.  So check them out!

Lisa:
I've been watching the Vonage ads here on TV. When I get myself financially squared, I believe I'll give them a whirl.
A couple of months ago, or so, I simply added 200 minutes of long distance to my residential phone so I could have the ability to call my friends here. For an extra ten bucks a month, I can call anywhere I wish. Wish I would have known about Skype before I did that, but its kosher, cause there are many of my friends here who don't have it.
I've always been a  Cingular girl, but the Vonage deal is sounding mighty tempting.

Lwood:
I also have Vonage. It has all of the advantages that Cliff mentioned. We had to pay a phone specialist to add a hookup for the Vonage box but the savings made up for it within two months. The phone guy said that phone over internet setups were 90% of his residential business and he put in half a dozen a week.
One friend with Vonage dropped it however hen he found out that they were charging him $1 each for faxes, which didn't work with him running a business out of his home. In my area, Vonage is not as reliable as the regular phone since theyre constantly working on the lines to upgrade to fiberoptics ,but thats just me , The quality is better as well, a phonecall across the country sounds as good as a local call. We have an unlimited plan which is less than half the cost of the old phone co. rate. and I can easily yak for a couple of hours a month with my Mom in another state so its really a good savings. Thumbs UP !!!

Biggums:
Thanks for he heads up guys.  I too have seen their ads.  A coouple  of questions..........can you accept collect calls through them?  Also, what about 911 calls?  Can you make them as usual?

Cliff:
I don't know about collect calls, but would assume so (they may answer that on their FAQ page).  911 can be made as usual, you just need to provide some information when you first set up the line (basically your address).

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