Going through my email this morning, I came across a promotion to refer friends to my home phone service, Ooma. Well friends, consider yourselves referred.
In a nutshell, you spend $160 to $200 up front in exchange for what’s currently a $6 monthly phone bill (pour moi). It’s a VoIP service, allowing you to make phone calls over the Internet. So you cut the landline cord, but not the Internet one.
I’ve been using VoIP for years now, thanks to a recommendation from a former newspaper colleague (Thanks, Craig). I started off with Vonage, but ditched it after my bill started climbing with an alphabet soup full of government and other surcharges. I came to Vonage after complaining about a $24.99 phone bill that was up to $65 with various taxes and surcharges. I think it’s almost inevitable that sooner or later some taxing body is going to start feasting on your phone bill, so you may as well get in some savings while you can. My Ooma bill was only about $3 when I started the service a couple of years ago (Thanks, Keith). When I signed up, there was a menu on Ooma’s website that let me see what my state’s taxes and other surcharges would be.
“Why bother with a second phone bill at all?” you may ask. I just like having a back-up number. And the cost is definitely cheaper than a traditional landline. I have to say I almost consider traditional phone service a rip-off now, though I do have friends that insist they need a landline (for that fax machine?). Seriously, you can now hook up your home security system to a VoIP service.
Yes, you will lose service if your Internet goes down. With Vonage, I just had my calls forwarded to my cell. Not sure if Ooma offers this service, but it does push an upgrade package that likely offers call forwarding.
Not trying to sound like those Westwood College ads, but what are you waiting for?