There’s been a few articles I’ve read recently that have me intrigued at the possibility of switching my traditional phone service to one of the various VoIP services being offered. PC Magazine had an article comparing Vonage, AT&T CallVantage and VoicePulse on price, quality, and extras and declared that VoIP is “finally worth a look.” Of the three they said that AT&T’s offering had the best call quality, but was also the most expensive at $34.99 a month so when I saw today that AT&T is cutting their rate to $29.99 a month I was once again pondering the possibility.
Currently we’re using MCI’s The Neighborhood for our phone service and we’re pretty happy with it overall. When we first signed up it was $64.99 or so for the plan that allowed unlimited local, local-toll, and long distance calls to anyone regardless of whether or not they were an MCI customer and with taxes it’s closer to $75 a month. We’re pretty happy with it seeing as our phone bills prior to that were easily double that amount due to the fact that all our relatives (whom we call most often) are all long-distance from us. The service has been fine and the monthly bill consistent so the only reason I have to consider switching would be price. Checking their site I notice that they’re currently advertising this same service for $49.99 a month and I’m not sure if this lower price has been applied to my bill or not (I’m assuming not) so I’ll have to check and see if I can get the lower price.
Of course the other option would be to go with some form of cellphone plan. We used to have cellphones, but the expense of maintaining service combined with our general lack of need for it caused us to drop them over a year and a half ago. With Courtney getting older and spending more time away from home with friends the possibility of signing up for one of the family plans offered these days is more attractive, but I don’t like having to worry about how many daytime minutes we’ve used and three of us on a single plan will chew them up pretty quickly if it’s our only phone service. There’s also the expense of buying the phones for all of us. The only reason I’d switch to VoIP would be to save money as it would cost me nothing to make the switch and cut my bill in the process whereas switching to cellphones would probably require an expense and wouldn’t necessarily be all that cheaper than what I’ve got through MCI right now. Another plus in favor of cellphones, though, would be not having to worry about not having phone service if the power or my broadband connection goes down for some reason.
Decisions, decisions. So if any of you folks are currently using VoIP—especially if you’re using AT&T’s offering—let me know what you think of it in the comments. Or if you know of a ridiculously good deal on a family cellphone plan that would actually save us some money, let me know about that as well.