A few months back, my parents decided to opt for a digital internet phone. It’s not the same thing as Skype and it’s the same as a ‘regular’ phone line, but there are a lot of distinct disadvantages and advantages to it.
- It is $20 less expensive (~$10/month) than the company we were using before (for the last 19 years…) for the landline.
- The service comes with caller ID (a service that we previously didn’t have).
- The service comes with nationwide calling (international isn’t too bad either).
- It’s connected to the internet – when there’s a power outage, the phones will not work and we are left with only cell phones.
- It’s connected to the internet – when someone is on the phone, the internet speed will lapse (not for me though, just for one of the desktop computers).
- It doesn’t always work, example #1 – I tried calling home and got a “This number has been disconnected.” message.
- It doesn’t always work, example #2 – I tried calling home and while I was not moving around at all (signal strength was full for my cell phone), my dad kept on cutting in and out.
- It doesn’t always work, example #3 – My dad tried calling the bank this morning, he could get through, but the person on the other end couldn’t hear him and he resorted to using my cell phone to place the call.
- It doesn’t always work, example #4 – The calls keep on dropping. Constantly.
- We couldn’t carry over the old number (you know, the one that we’ve used for everything that we’ve ever signed up for?).
We only kept both lines going for about 2 weeks. 2 weeks was obviously not enough time to judge if the new service was on par with the other one. The first issue that we had (when I got the ‘This number has been disconnected message’ when trying to call the new number) occured 4 days after we canceled our landline service. 4 days! My sister and I both agree that the period of overlap should have been a lot longer. At least one month, due to the fact that we could have noticed a lot of these issues during tha time frame. While there’s some great pros to getting a digital internet phone service (like it costs about $10 a month!), it’s not worth all the dropped calls and the fact that it just doesn’t work part of the time. And this is really just a review for the one company that we tried (they were having a promotion, of course my parents jumped at it). Personally, I think we should have just sticked with the other service for a longer period of time. Or just sticked with them, period. I know there’s a lot of digital internet phone companies out there and I’m sure a lot of them are really great – but so far my experiences have not been good at all. Honestly, I think my parents should have done a lot more research into it instead of just taking my aunt and uncle’s word for the fact that it was “really good service”.
1. What kind of phone company do you use? (Regular landline? Digital? Don’t have a home phone?)
2. What kind of issues have you had with it? (If digital.)
3. How much does your family pay (per month) for all the phone services used? (Cell phones included.)
1. Digital… Unfortunately.
2. Read above.
3. ~$10 for digital, $10 for my sister’s pay-as-you-go cell phone, $36 for my cell phone (3 year term contract, whoot?) = $56/month (CAD)