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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 10:25 AM
Original message
Alternatives to Vonage voip help.....
Ok so I have Vonage as my home providers and the service has been wonderful and I have no complaints. But the problem is I live in a sorta "big" family with two preteens, two adults, and an elderly inlaw. Although Vonage promises unlimited usage, I think they actually restrict usage to 3000min/mon. I have received noticed of my heavy usage and they will force me to change to their premium service for $50/mon from my current lower cost plan. And this premium plan is not so premium as you are alotted 3000 minutes and get charged in per minute overages wtf.....

I personally use only a fraction of those 3000 minutes but I cannot blame the others as this is the reason I got their service originally. Can you suggest some alternate voip providers? I would like international calling included and for ease of use a box similar to Vonage to connect the home phone.

I was looking at www.rocketvoip.com any comments pro/con.

Thank you and I will research any and all suggestions....
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OriginalGeek Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Most high speed internet service providers
also provide voice services. I never used them though because I was using the Verizon home phone VoIP service until they cancelled it (I had The Verizon Hub which was really cool but they stopped doing it). I now have a different Verizon service that doesn't come in over my high speed internet. The only reason I use Verizon (besides pretty great coverage) is that all my family cell phones are on Verizon and Verizon is the cell provider for the company where I work - and any calls to another Verizon phone are free and don't count against my minutes. About 98% of my calls are to Verizon phones.

Brighthouse, Comcast and AT&T all have some type of phone solution but it just depends where you live and what services you have and what you want. You can get deals on bundles but the bundle needs to have a majority of stuff you wanted anyway to be a really good deal.

On the other hand, my brother has used MagicJack for years and he says he doesn't foresee ever changing. Pretty sure that is limited only by your internet connection - as long as it's up, you have phone. ANd I think it's only 20 bucks a year? If so, at that rate, a little extra for International calls every now and then would still be less than a lot of provider plans. And you can take that thing anywhere - as long as you have a computer to plug it into and an internet connection, your phone number stays with you.
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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Dont like Comcast voip....
I have Comcast for my internets service and they do provide a phone service but no international calling plans to my knoweledge. I have seen Magic Jack before but I think you have to connect to your computer not a stand alone service.
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OriginalGeek Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yep - definitely a computer for MagicJack
but it doesn't have to be a good computer. It could be some cheap thing sitting in a corner somewhere all by itself but it would have to be on all the time. My brother is a single guy who travels for work for extended periods of time but yeah, it might not be the most elegant solution for a family.

My current Verizon service is basically a box with a cell phone inside it and 2 analog phone jacks. You just plug in whatever regular phone you want - any analog home type phone will work. We use some cheap cordless that came with an extra handset so we have something at both ends of the house. The Verizon device only needs electricity and it's about the size of generous ham sandwich on thick-cut country style bread...* They can usually port your old number to the device.

I have no idea about international plans although I suspect your chances are better at Verizon than MagicJack lol.




*it seems lunch time has permeated my metaphor factory
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. I've been with vonage since their beginning. Have multiple lines and what I'd imagine to be
relatively heavy usage and they've never said a peep. I'm on their $25 "unlimited" plans. Heck I even use the lines for business and technically it's not the business plan. I haven't heard of this 3,000 minute business. Are you sure it's legit? Are you all sharing one line?
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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I have only one line for all of us.....
And I am not making this stuff up......
I am a new customer, maybe you got grandfathered into another "unlimited plan".....

Dear XXXX XXXXXXX,

Recently you were informed that your account, 1XXXXXXXXXX, is not in compliance with our Terms of Service (TOS) or our Reasonable Use Policy. As previously communicated, we review our customers' usage and calling patterns to ensure we are able to provide the best value possible to all of our customers. Over 95% of our customers on our unlimited residential calling plans use less than 3000 minutes per month* and do not exhibit a combination of patterns suggesting impermissible or abnormal use, including but not limited to, excessive:
Unique numbers called
Call lengths
Call forwarding/transferring
Conference calling
Short duration calls
Number of minutes used
As your usage on this account has not been modified to be within permissible patterns, we can offer you the following options at this time:


Remain on your current plan, and adjust your usage patterns so that they are within the guidelines outlined in our Terms of Service and Reasonable Use Policy, or
Continue with your current usage patterns, which will result in Vonage automatically changing this phone number to the Power User Plan at a rate of $49.99 per month (plus taxes and fees).
The Power User Plan includes free domestic calling and 3,000 in-plan international minutes. Additional in-plan minutes are charged at the rate of $.03 per minute. The Power User Plan includes features and benefits such as Vonage Visual Voicemail, SimulRing and some of our lowest per-minute rates for calls made outside of the countries included in the plan.

If neither of the above options meets your calling needs, you may disconnect your service without penalty. For additional information, please respond to this email and one of our associates will be glad to assist you.

Vonage Customer Care
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I can't say I'm all that surprised I guess.
Especially since they've essentially become like the landline phone companies with all the bullshit "taxes" and fees. Seems fitting that they'd adopt the cell phone companies' "Unlimited Use does not mean Unreasonable Use" policy.

Well of course 95% uses less than 3,000 minutes... because if they use more than that, they get the boot.
I'd call them and ask them what the maximum number of minutes is that they feel is reasonable.

I must say I'm pretty impressed that you can rack up that many minutes all one one line and still keep some harmony. If any particular family members were using the bulk of the minutes, I would be tempted to ask them if they'd like to get their own line.

Even if you pay for it, you can get two """unlimited""" residential plans for 50$, same as the "pro plan". At least then you'd have some flexibility in terms of not waiting for someone else to get off the phone.

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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Ummm......
No, I am quite unhappy with the whole thing and plan to move. No I wont cut down on usage, that's what I am paying for. Heck even the "premium plan" is a ripoff. Hence my original post asking for alternatives.....
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I understand.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-11 02:59 PM by Shagbark Hickory
There used to be some others like packet 8 and broadvoice but they're gone.

The only voip companies I know of now aside from Comcast are for business and would be cost prohibitive for 1 line.

Comcast advertises $25 for theirs but probably have the same "unlimited does not mean unreasonable" policy.

Good luck though. I understand why you'd be upset. Unlimited should mean unlimited.
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