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Thread: Digital Phone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Derm

    Digital Phone

    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?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmymax View Post
    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?
    I've used VOIP (Vonage) for several years - switching from several years of Comcast digital. I am very pleased with the service. I had one problem - after a power outage - and it ended up being fixed by Vonage at their end. Took about 5 minutes and all has been ok since. I have my address listed for 911 but have never, in my life, called 911.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmymax View Post
    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?
    I've used Time-Warner digital phone service for two years now. I have never had a problem, the voice quality is excellent, and so is the customer service.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Two miles south of Cameron
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    I've used Time-Warner digital phone service for two years now. I have never had a problem, the voice quality is excellent, and so is the customer service.
    Same here - close to 3 years now.

    Regarding 9-1-1 they sent me a sticker a while back to put on the modem which says among other things if I move the modem to a new location then 9-1-1 won't be able to find the location properly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    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.

  6. #6
    How could anyone trust a cable company that bought the rights to the University of Maryland basketball arena?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmymax View Post
    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?
    I've used VOIP (Vonage) for about 6 months. My wife has not been happy with it, basically because the connection is flaky. She's called to her parent's house next door, and there's a delay on the line like she's calling England. They've also had trouble hearing her on the line, and it seems like the connection sometimes doesn't go through. We've also had issues with call forwarding, and people calling home have been forwarded to my cell at work even though I've turned off call forwarding. I've also never gotten the call waiting voice mail to work right. She's all over me to switch back to a regular phone service.

    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."

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    I've used VOIP (Vonage) for about 6 months. My wife has not been happy with it, basically because the connection is flaky. She's called to her parent's house next door, and there's a delay on the line like she's calling England. They've also had trouble hearing her on the line, and it seems like the connection sometimes doesn't go through. We've also had issues with call forwarding, and people calling home have been forwarded to my cell at work even though I've turned off call forwarding. I've also never gotten the call waiting voice mail to work right. She's all over me to switch back to a regular phone service.

    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.
    Try this: Call Vonage support. They can fix the problem. It is sometimes a problem at their end and they can make software adjustments that will cure the issue you describe. My son dealt with the same thing and Vonage support cleared the issue in a few moments.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    Try this: Call Vonage support. They can fix the problem. It is sometimes a problem at their end and they can make software adjustments that will cure the issue you describe. My son dealt with the same thing and Vonage support cleared the issue in a few moments.
    Is this for real? I ask because all the symptoms mentioned above sure seem to be standard across everyone I know that has Vonage-- overseas style delays, crackly sound, and missing caller ID data. (That last one is really irritating, because enough friends and family have Vonage that I now have to answer when the ID says "unavailable," which about half the time turn out to be one of the 5,473 Police/Fireman Benevolent Associations operating in NC.)

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    I've used VOIP (Vonage) for about 6 months. My wife has not been happy with it, basically because the connection is flaky. She's called to her parent's house next door, and there's a delay on the line like she's calling England. They've also had trouble hearing her on the line, and it seems like the connection sometimes doesn't go through. We've also had issues with call forwarding, and people calling home have been forwarded to my cell at work even though I've turned off call forwarding. I've also never gotten the call waiting voice mail to work right. She's all over me to switch back to a regular phone service.

    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.
    Oooh, in-laws live next door? I feel for you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!

    Vonage: A+

    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
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  12. #12
    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.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Is this for real? I ask because all the symptoms mentioned above sure seem to be standard across everyone I know that has Vonage-- overseas style delays, crackly sound, and missing caller ID data.
    I've been a happy camper for three years or so, too. Yes, I had delays, crackly sound, echos, and such. There are a couple of things you can fix on the Vonage website that can help (bandwidth savers, for example), and if there are still problems, a call to Vonage will usually cure it. One thing I haven't figured out a good cure for is that if two teenagers are downloading pictures/videos/music, there just isn't enough bandwidth to get the voice down without it sounding "bubbly." Fortunately, that doesn't happen very often. Most of the time, it's very clear, great sound.

    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.

    - della

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    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.

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