Flutterby™! : Long Distance

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Long Distance

2008-01-29 17:32:15.677974+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Okay, anyone got preferences for long distance providers? We thought we weren't going to be using our land line, but Charlene doesn't like the cell phone all the time, so we're going to have to set it to something reasonable. I just called Sprint over a billing issue with the old phone number, it looks like AT&T's screw-up, and when I asked about moving my old service to the new number they said "we're not doing any new sign-ups".

Charlene had Working Assets, but we've decided we'd rather take the savings and donate it directly rather than pushing it through their overhead. Places to start on this would be good.

[ related topics: Wireless Invention and Design Work, productivity and environment Real Estate ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-29 18:48:00.397026+00 by: ebradway

Asha and I keep our land-line for the same reason. Cell phone sound quality isn't nearly up to par with land-lines.

We've been using PowerNet Global for about four years now. Asha calls her sister in Canada regularly, so the 3.9 cents/minute pays off. The deal with have has a $4.95/month service fee if we don't use $15/mo in long distance. We rarely ever get the fee waived...

The trick is signing up. They don't seem to offer service directly, signing up appears to only occur via a "partner" site. I just noticed that they now have a flat 99 cent monthly fee. I may have to see if we can switch to the newer plan.

I've never had any problems with them. When we moved, we turned off the service and established a new account a few weeks later. I think they even pro-rated the $4.95.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-29 21:53:35.379147+00 by: ziffle

I switched to VOIP. http://quantumvoice.com I like it.

Of course all long distance is free. Seeing you discuss long distance charges makes me feel like I am looking at a museum.

I can manage the whole thing from their web site. I set the calls to also ring my cell phone in case I am out of the house.

You need an internet connection of course.

They give you a box with an RJ11 and an RJ45 connector which you plug into the internet and your phone. If you are going somwhere for an extended time, just plug it into the internet connection there and your phone rings there.

I got one box for the office and one for the house and it now rings both places at the same time - way cool.

Tell Brandon or whomever answers Frank in Chattanooga sent you. I get a credit :) and I think you get a discount.

Its cheap, easy, fun.

I switched and never looked back.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-29 23:18:42.680896+00 by: dexev

Second the VoiP. Been with Vonage for...*scratch head*...four years now? I rarely use the landline myself (or my cell, for that matter) but the only time I hear complaints is when the cable modem is having problems.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-30 09:02:27.414576+00 by: meuon

Been without a landline for a while, missed it when I needed to fax something, once. I bought a new 'house server' ala MythTV and I'll be running Skype on it and will be adding an optional phone number and some land-line time. Skype's impressed me with the voice quality, especially when using good headsets or speakerphones.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-30 14:33:24.317968+00 by: ebradway

My wife is a luddite. She likes the fact that she can pick up our house phone and dial her sister in Canada and hear her clearly.

Ziffle: As for "all long distance is free"... Well, you are paying for a broadband connection - and as far as I can tell - at least $19.95/mo to Quantum Voice. QV does include Canada in their "Free Long Distance". But if you need to call Alaska - well, I can't even find the rate on their site but they are pretty clear that:

Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the US Territories are not part of the Continental US

I haven't tried the newer VOIP solutions, but there are inherent QOS issues with ANY synchronous mode of communication over the inherently asynchronous IP network.

I spend about $25/mo to keep a basic landline and usually $10/mo for long distance. I happen to think that spending an $35/mo to ensure that I can clearly hear my loved-ones and my wife can easily make her phone calls is money well-spent.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-30 20:00:16.217813+00 by: radix

I buy calling cards on a cash back credit card at Costco for landline long distance. Since I work for a major telecom I'm hoping my LD becomes free this year.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-01-30 21:13:47.808214+00 by: m [edit history]

I am happy with Vonage. I had a problem once, and that was fixed within a half hour of emailing them. No extra charges beyond setup and taxes. I haven't called anywhere but CONUS and Canada, but they claim Western Europe is included in the plan for free.

The following URL has a review of some VOIP providers. I know nothing about the reviewer, only saw the link on a blog somewhere.


#Comment Re: made: 2008-02-02 12:58:04.126533+00 by: TheSHAD0W

I use Packet8 myself; they're a little less expensive than Vonage, and their equipment ties right into my phone set-up. I did have some issues with their software phone program, though.