I'm thinking of getting Time Warner digital phone, primarily because it'll save a few dollars a month and provide caller id. They claim that 911 calls are not a problem any more and I can't recall the last time we lost internet access.
I'm sure there are lots of folks out there that have ditched the land line altogether. Is anyone using digital phone? If so from which provider? Has it been reliable? Anyone ever had to use 911? Any other words of wisdom?
FWIW: I faced this decision a week ago or so. Was thinking about Comcast Triple Play. Could not get straight answers to my questions so I visited local office in person. Huge line of disgruntled customers at the customer service window (which looked like it might have bulletproof glass; bank tellers have less protection around here). It was like being at DMV, I kid you not.
If you have a good cable system I would not worry so much, but Comcast is not well loved here and for good reason. The service is not that reliable and they just lie to you about reasons it goes out (always blaming your inside line when you know they're monkeying up at the switch boxes in your neighborhood).
911 was a slight issue for me, because our power goes out not infrequently during storms. Battery backup might not be long enough for the lengths of our outages, and we aren't reliably in cellphone range (not for Sprint PCS anyway).
Another reason I bailed on it was that to do digital voice they said they were going to have to do something with the POTS line. Not just have me shut down service but they actually would cut it and splice it into some adapter, and then into the cable, blah blah blah. If the procedure were more cheaply and easily reversible that would be one thing. But in the end I decided against it.
How could anyone trust a cable company that bought the rights to the University of Maryland basketball arena?
I will mention that the call issues seem to involve calls made to one specific carrier, and all other calls are fine. One other thing to consider is how you will connect your phone lines. Since you have to run calls through a modem, unless you rewire your existing phone jacks, you may end up with only one working jack in the entire house. Rewiring for vonage is not that hard if you have someone who knows how to do it, but it's not intuitive.
Also, check to make sure your security system (if you have one) supports VOIP.
"There can BE only one."
I can usually identify digital phone callers before they finish answering my "hello." Of course, if the problems really are fixable then I wouldn't know any better now, would I? ;-)
Just curious-- I might give it a shot if these problems seemed curable.
I've had Vonage for about 3 years now. I am a VERY satisfied customer. Call quality is excellent, 3-way calling works great, and I just love the "simultaneous ring" feature, where incoming calls ring both on my desk and my cell phone simulaneously. This is not call forwarding, but both ring together, so I don't miss incoming calls if I'm out. If I don't answer my cell (Alltel), the call goes to my cellular voice mail; I've never used Vonage's voice mail, but they make that very easy to use to.
I was so satisfied with my phone service, that I ported my fax line number to Vonage, which saves me another $28/month (I pay $9.99/month plus fees for the fax line instead of ~$42/month from Embarq.)
BTW, I accidentally called 911 today on Vonage. I really dialed 9119-number instead of 919-number. I was really surprised when the local emergency responders answered, so I guess Vonage has finally worked out their 911 problems, at least here.
Poster Jarhead used a referral from me a couple of years ago to sign up for Vonage, but I think he dropped the service after some problems. But I have never had a problem. Check that, my line got real noisy at one point about 2 years ago, but when I replaced my old OLD router, the noise cleared up, so it was my problem and not theirs.
If anyone would like a referral, you get free equipment and a free month of service, pretty much the standard deal for Vonage, but I also get a $50 credit. A win-win situation, so email me privately and I'll send you the referral email. And if you don't like the service after a couple of months, you can cancel it and it costs you nothing.
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
I'm another satisfied Vonage user. I've been with them for over two years now with very few problems.
We moved to Europe last year, and brought our vonage router with us. Despite living here, we still have a US phone number for communicating with american friends and family. When we call europe, we usually use our cell phones, but the long distance charges on the vonage phone are cheaper than getting a land line here.
We've happily used the $15/500 minute plan. Only once have we gone over our minutes; Vonage to Vonage is free, and my family all has Vonage, so there are a ton of minutes to use. The ring-over to the cell phone is GREAT. I love the voice mail feature that it emails me a .WAV with the recording, as well as letting me access it on the Vonage website. Or I can call in for it. The only thing I don't like is that if my cell phone is off or I'm on the phone, it leaves a message on my cell phone, because the cell phone company picks up on the first ring of the ring-over. That's fine if it's for me -- not so good if someone else in the family is supposed to pick up the message.
You do have to be aware of re-hooking up the wiring to your house so you can use the jacks in your house instead of just the one on the back of the box; or get one of those fancy extension phones (get the 5.8mHz so that it doesn't interfere with your microwave or your wireless network).
I really like Vonage. Like Ozzie, I'll be happy to give a referral so you get free equipment and I get a credit.
As Oz says, I was a satisfied Vonage user for some time, but...
To make a long story short, a lightning strike nearby got a TV set, our irrigation system, the garage door opener, our Time/Warner cable and broadband service, and our Vonage. Everything was fixed by the next day, except for Vonage. TW was at the house within 45 minutes.
My mobile phone call to Vonage support took me to India. They told me that my service was running. I told them it wasn't. They apologized, but there was nothing else they could do. So what else was I to do? I switched to time/Warner digital, and for a few bucks more I now have the most reliable telephone service I have ever had. Anyhow, thanks Oz, for switching me to digital.