Switching to Low Cost Home Phone

This device allows you to have home phone for $4 a month.
Sometime last year, I told my mom how much we paid for our home phone service.

Actually, she asked me how the service was at our previous home phone provider and I told her we were no longer with that company.

She wondered if the reason we left was if the service was bad. I told her it was the price.

Previously, at our old company (you may have heard of them, they currently use a former Toronto Maple Leafs "legend" as their spokesperson), we were paying $14.99 + tax and fees for a total of $17.74 a month. Currently, with Ooma (our current company), we're paying $3.98 (for regulatory and 911 service fees, no tax) a month. A small savings of $13.76 a month. When I told my mom how much we were paying a month, she thought she was having hearing problems due to her age. I assured her she heard correctly.

Of course, the reason my mom was curious about our service was due to the fact that she felt she and my dad were paying too much for her home phone and wanted to switch to our previous company... as $14.99 a month was cheaper than $24.99 a month.

With their old company, they weren't just paying for home phone either. They were given a bundle that included Chinese TV on demand. They got a deal for the first few months, but then their bill was $69.97 a month for home phone and Chinese TV. From their perspective, $3.98 is a huge bargain compared to $69.97. Additionally, since they retired, they found themselves watching less TV! Amazing.

So taking into account the taxes on top of the $69.97 and the fact they were watching less TV, they were paying almost $80 a month for home phone service! By switching to Ooma, they would save almost $76 a month!

In order to switch, they would need to buy an Ooma Telo. When I switched, I bought my Ooma Telo at Best Buy for $149.99 + tax. Fortunately for her, the price of the Ooma Telo has dropped dramatically. Additionally, I told her Costco occasionally has Ooma Telo on sale. for under $100. As neither of us have Costco memberships, my sister was tasked with buying the Ooma Telo from Costco. My mom kept an eye on the Costco website for weeks and when the price was $99.99, she asked my sister to buy it for her.

Despite the fact that the Ooma Telo costs $113 (total with tax), considering how much my parents were going to save each month, it would only take them 2 months to get the full benefit of lower home phone costs. In our case, it took us 13 months before switching paid for itself. Counting the fee to port the number, 15 months.

Yesterday, my parents made the switch as their contract with their old provider ends on March 31st. Originally, they planned to port their phone number as well. However, they were given a phone number that my mom really liked* so they decided to forego the whole porting process and saved $40 in the process.

There are a couple of downsides with these low cost home phones. First, is the slight delay. It's barely noticeable, but sometimes, you're talking over each other. Not a big deal, you just need to pause for a second before speaking. Second, is the fact that your home phone service is reliant on your Internet connection (it's VoIP). No Internet? No home phone. Not a big deal either as aside from the big players (Bell and Rogers), everyone else is offering VoIP.

My mom called me last night with her new home phone service and she was pleased with the clarity.

She'll be even happier when she gets her first bill.

*Previously she had a 647 number. For some reason, she doesn't like the 647 area code and prefers the old 416 one. The number my parents selected from Ooma was 416. Additionally, the number contained a lot of 8s. The number 8 is considered lucky as it sounds like the word for prosperous in Chinese.


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