Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Decisions, Decisions.....leave my reliable Vonage to save money with Skype?

What to do...what to do?

I am a very happy Vonage customer of about 9 months or so, and the cost of Vonage actually lowered our phone bill in half or MORE. (and gave us a much better calling area all at the same time)

You see we have cell phones, so we took our long distance phone service off our phone. With long distance, our phone was running about $100 per month. When we took the long distance company off...it went down to about $50 per month.

When we went to Vonage, I believe the fee went to $24.95 per month and this included unlimited local and long distance calling! (after all the government taxes and fees, I think we are looking at about $29 per month)

So my first thought is to drop down to the 500 minute a month plan which drops the cost to $14.95 per month.....but then this Skype plan shows up which blows that right out of the water.

Yes, the $14.95 per YEAR Skype plan is only a first year offer.....and only good until January 31st...but then it only goes up to $29.95 per year....still a huge savings!

I have used Skype from my computer and spoken to people all around the world...and there have been times when it was a bit choppy, but I would say that it has been perfect about 90% of the time. (Vonage has been perfect just about every time.....no issues)

Yes, it means investing in new hardware to route the Skype packets. (I don't think the Vonage router is going to be configurable....I am not sure) The cost benefit analysis should be quite simple. I will be paying about $1.25 per month for Skype vs say $14.95 per month if I cut back to the 500 minute Vonage plan. If the hardware required for the Skype upgrade costs $250, the $13.70 per month saving will pay for the hardware in 18 months. (about 9 months if I compare Skype to my current $24.95 per month plan)

I guess it is not rocket science. I actually think I might just go for the less expensive Vonage plan..unless I can score the Skype router hardware for less. (which I think is possible) At that point, Skype sounds like the way to go!

Anyone out there have Skype experience...more than me? What do you think?

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Blogger moonfever0 said...

Apparently, Blogger has abandoned some of its outdated feeds and this feed quietly fell off my Bloglines list (as did mine I assume). My 2 cents on this is that even with the Vonage plan at $15, you need to go over the 500 minutes by 256 minutes (at $3.9/min) to breakeven on the equivalent $25 unlimited plan. For us, it is a no brainer, and since you have less people using your phone now, it should work for you as well. Then again, since you will be the only user in your household, it may make sense to completely dump the landline and go with your cell only, as I know many people who do that. In terms of Skype, I don't know what equipment they need to be able to use regular phones with, but since it is that cheap, even I may check it out.

11:20 AM EST  
Blogger moonfever0 said...

Can this product be used the same as the Vonage phone adapter? http://us.accessories.skype.com/direct/skypeusa/itemdetl.jsp?prod=2957
Skype seems to the more interested in hocking their phone systems (which is more lucrative) as opposed to promoting this device. It says that you need to hook it to your computer so it does not connect directly to the internet.

I believe this deal with Skype is basically SkypeOut, and does not include SkypeIn where you have an actual phone number people can call you.

Also Skype does not have emergency dialing (9-1-1) whereas Vonage has some facsimile of it (and we get to pay a monthly recovery fee for it). The cell phone emergency dialing e911 is not up to speed yet either, see this CNET article: http://news.com.com/2100-1039_3-6144331.html
So Vonage will have to suffice for us for now.

1:48 PM EST  
Blogger Bigqueue said...

The only issue I have with my change is that I apparently made it in mid-month, and it did not get made exactly the way I would expect it to.

That is my billing is from the 15h of the month, and I would have expected that my plan change would have taken hold after the 15th of this month. (and I would have paid the full amount for this month)

But what they seem to have done is start the new plan RIGHT NOW, and with me already sitting at about 396 minutes used! (all the calls to friends and family for my wife's arrangements) So given this, I expect them to charge me the lower monthly rate.....but I am nto sure if they charge at the start or end of the month.

Either way, I think they sort of pulled a fast one on me....anc charged me $9.99 for the privilege of doing so! (IMHO)

7:19 PM EST  
Blogger Bigqueue said...

Yes, given that I am the only one at the house (when the girls go back to school) I might just consider the Cell only option.

Not only would I save money, but it would make it easier for people to reach me. (though I am currently having Vonage ring my cell phone when the home phone rings too)

I don't know how easy it will be to get my home phone number away from Vonage now that they have it.

I like that idea though.

7:22 PM EST  

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