Saturday, September 16, 2006

Switching to VOIP: READ THIS FIRST

Since early 2004 I had been enthusiastically promoting VOIP, especially Vonage services because I was one of the earlier adaptors and the features and the value and the performance was great. But I guess just the growing pains have crept in. For about 6 months now my Vonage services have been spotty and I no longer recommend it to my friends and clients.

In case you don't know, Verizon has this pretty good deal in their Verizon Value Freedom package. For $35 you get unlimited local and long distance in the US. That's only about $10 more than the unlimited plan of Vonage. Of course you don't get the cool features of Vonage and all the web-access stuff, but if you're in the middle of an important phone call and suddenly the other party can't hear a word you're saying, you'll run back to a regular land line in no time.

I still have my Vonage line but I dropped it to their 500 minute plan and if I need to make an important phone call I use my Verizon land line.

I think VOIP is here to stay and over time the quality will become more reliable. But if you're thinking of switching over to VOIP, make sure you're ready for spotty quality and a few headaches every now and then. Think back to when cell phones were new, or even when you had your first AOL account back in the mid-90s ... and be patient when you call or email their tech-support folks ... they're a little busy these days.

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