Month: June 2012

Some tips to save money with telephone bills

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When it comes to telephone services- there are following options:

  1. Traditional telephone service providers like AT&T, Verizon, etc.- Fixed line telephone service.
    The benefit is the reliability and use with home security services like ADT.
    The cost: They are costly- they normally cost around $20-$30 per month plus you will normally be expected to pay for your long distance charges.
  2. Unlimited calling-local and long distance- offered by VOIP companies like http://www.Vonage.com/ or by you local Time Warner or Comcast. They charge around $30- same as your local telecom companies but you get all local, regional and long distance calling free.
  3. Use OOMA. Ooma Telo offers a new alternative to calling. There is no monthly fees that you have to pay for unlimited calling within the USA and probably Canada too. For 911 service and to cover taxes, you may be required to pay around $3 per month.
    The catch is- you have buy Ooma Telo box. It normally costs around $200 but you can use the link here and get it for $150. Click here. However within around 6 months, the savings in monthly bills will pay this off.
    Once you get the box, connect it to your Internet modem and with little bit of configuration, you can user every phone jack in your house. This way, there is no distinction between a landline and Ooma Voip line. I am personally using Ooma for last one and half years and the phone line has never been down. The quality of talk is also as good as a landline if not better.

Some details about Ooma:

  • What is Ooma?

    Ooma provides free home phone service once you purchase our device for a one-time fee. Plug your high-speed Internet and existing home phone into Ooma and call anywhere in the U.S. for free. You pay only applicable taxes and fees. You’ll enjoy clear, landline quality voice and bundled features like caller-ID, call-waiting and voicemail.

  • What do I need for the Ooma system to work?

    All you need is a high-speed Internet connection (cable, DSL or fiber-optic) and a regular home phone.

  • Do I need to use a headset or use a special phone?

    Ooma works with your existing corded or cordless home phones. Use your phone exactly like before – only now you don’t have to worry about the bill!

  • Can I call anywhere in the U.S. for free?

    Ooma allows you to make local and long-distance calls within the 50 states for free. A few exceptions apply: Ooma does not support 900 numbers and phone chat services. Directory assistance (411) calls will be charged to your prepaid calling account and cost $0.99 per call. Pay only applicable taxes and fees. Federal universal service charges, state and local taxes, fees & surcharges and regulatory and compliance fees are billed monthly and are subject to change. To determine the specific charges in your area, go to http://www.ooma.com/rates.

  • Do the people I call need to own an Ooma device for the calls to be free?

    Nope. Unlike some other services, Ooma lets you call anyone, at any number, anywhere in the U.S. without charge.

  • What about a phone number? How do people reach me?

    When you register your Ooma device online, you will get to pick a new phone number in most any area code in the US (except Alaska). Go to www.ooma.com to check if we have a number available near you.

    Due to the high cost of Hawaii phone numbers, numbers in the 808 area code carry a surcharge of $29.99/year per number. This fee is waived for one 808 phone number if you subscribe to Ooma Premier. To activate your Ooma system with a Hawaii phone number, please contact Ooma support.

  • Can I keep my current phone number?

    In most cases, yes, Ooma can transfer (port) your existing phone number to Ooma. Normally there is a one-time processing fee of $39.99, but if you sign-up for an annual subscription to Ooma Premier ($119.99/yr), we’ll waive the porting fee. To confirm that your number can be transferred, go to www.ooma.com/products/port.
    Please note that porting typically takes up to three weeks and you must keep your current phone service until the transfer is complete.

  • Do you support 911 calls?

    Yes. Ooma provides E911 service where supported. We will collect your address when you register your Ooma device online, and send it to emergency response personnel when you dial 911. Since Ooma works over your Internet connection, you will need to call from a mobile phone if your Internet connection is down. If you’re concerned about relying on your Internet for phone service, we’ve built the Ooma system to work with a landline back-up. In this case, your 911 calls will always be routed over your landline.

  • Do I need to leave my computer on to use Ooma?

    No, Ooma is a standalone, low-power, always-on device that works independently of your computer. This saves you from the hassle of installing anything on your computer and from having to leave your computer turned on to make and receive calls. That alone could save you up to $20 per month in energy costs!

  • Is the Ooma system difficult to install and operate?

    Our patent-pending auto-configuration technology makes set-up as painless as possible. Most customers are up and dialing in less than 15 minutes. Using the Ooma system is even easier! Use your existing home phones just like always, only now you don’t have to worry about a phone bill!

  • How much does Ooma cost?

    The Ooma Telo has a list price of $199.99 and includes a 60-day free trial of Ooma Premier.

  • How does Ooma compare with other VoIP services?

    Ooma is a standalone device that does not require a computer. There is no software to install and no need for a headset. Ooma replaces your current phone service and delivers clear, landline quality calling over your existing phone and high-speed Internet connection. Ooma will make your phone bill a thing of the past and save you hundreds of dollars per year over other phone/VoIP services.

  • Is there a maximum amount of minutes per month?

    Like all other “unlimited services” such as cell phone data plans and other VoIP services, we do have a limit of 5000 minutes per month (for outbound calling) that we can enforce on a case by case basis in the event that a subscriber is clearly abusing the service (i.e. call centers, commercial purposes, etc.). We have never terminated a customer that has used the service for residential purposes.
    You can learn more about this in this blog post.

  • Can I use the Ooma system internationally?

    The Ooma system can be used anywhere there is a high-speed Internet connection. Regardless of where you use it, calls to the US will be free and calls outside the US will be subject to low-cost international rates. If you plan to use the device overseas, be sure to use a phone that meets US standards, and be aware that the power supply that comes with the Ooma Hub is built for US power specifications. Also, if you choose to install and use the Ooma system outside the US, you’ll be solely responsible for compliance with international laws and subject to all associated fees, taxes, tariffs, and legal penalties.

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