Tell Your Phone Company to VoIP Off!

By: Michael Brito
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of being ripped off by my local phone company. For years, I have been held captive by this monopolizing regime with no hope of moving on to something better. It’s been a financial struggle that has caused me to seek counseling numerous times throughout the years. Why? Because my phone company charges me for everything: I want to add voicemail, they charge me. I call to change my number because I am getting crank calls, they charge me. I want to add call waiting, they charge me. I want to disconnect, they charge me. I’m surprised they don’t charge me when I call into a customer support.

So the question remains. Is there an affordable alternative to local phone service? The answer is yes, and it’s called VoIP, short for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is an emerging technology that allows telephone calls to be transported over an existing Internet connection.

Here is how it works. First of all, you absolutely have to have a high speed Internet connection, either DSL or Cable. Then you have to subscribe to a monthly service plan offered by a VoIP service provider. Most plans range from $20 and $30 per month, plus applicable taxes and fees.

Once you sign up for a plan, most VoIP service providers will send you a phone adapter.

This is a little black box that resembles a modem. There are several connections in the back of the phone adapter. One is for your existing Internet connection, using an Ethernet cable. Another connection is for the power supply. There should also be a connection for a phone line. That’s right. Whatever phone you have at home (unless it’s a rotary phone) will work. Simply plug it into the phone adapter, wait a few seconds and you should have dial tone. Hopefully, whatever VoIP service provider you sign up with will also send installation instructions on how to set up your phone service. It’s really easy and takes about five minutes or less to get set up.

Why Choose VoIP?This is simple question to answer. Say goodbye to the counseling bills you have accumulated over the years because you were inches away from bankruptcy. Say goodbye to all the additional charges for the features that should have already been included in your service plan. With VoIP, not only do you pay a low monthly fee for unlimited calls to the U.

S. and Canada, but you also get all the features included like: voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, and three-way calling. Better yet, you get additional features that the traditional phone companies cannot even offer like voicemail to email (when someone leaves you a voicemail, the system will send you an email with an audio attachment so you can listen to the message from any computer), follow me – find me, call forwarding and the ability to choose your area code. This means that you can live in New York and have a California phone number.

What to look for in a VoIP service provider.

First and foremost, ensure that the company offers true 911 emergency calling (E911). This is vital since the FCC might shut them down if they don’t. Also, find out if they have a trial period. This is always good practice because if you don’t like their VoIP service, you can always cancel without penalty. Other things to keep in mind are the following:

1. Are they a stable company? 2. How long have they been in business? 3. How many customers do they have? 4. What is their customer service like?You can find out most of these questions by doing some preliminary research in any VoIP forums or blogs.

Hurry up and switch to VoIP!So what are you waiting for? Make the switch to VoIP so you can start saving on your monthly phone bill and finally tell your phone company to VoIP Off!

VOIP
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