Phone Power (Voice Over Internet) review by Charles Young - August, 2010

There are some things about a traditional home phone that I did not like, so I switched to VOIP (Voice Over Internet).

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I did not like the fact that a normal landline phone is quite an expense every month, and I either had to pay by the minute for many calls, or I would have to pay a high flat rate every month for unlimited long distance calling. When AT&T started adding fraudulent third party charges to my bill, that was the last straw that motivated me to look elsewhere for phone service.

&figured out that with high speed internet, I could save a lot of money by using my internet connection for phone service. Instead of paying a big bill to my local phone company, I now pay a lot less to a VOIP company. There are many choices available. I considered Magic Jack, but did not like the fact that I would have to leave a computer on all the time, and their service did not include all the features I wanted. One of Magic Jack's shortcomings was that they could not port my existing phone number. I also looked at Vonage, but their prices are too high.

] basic requirements in a VOIP company are:

Phone Power was my choice, and I have been pretty happy with the phone service for over a year. I am not especially happy about their business practices though. Some of the things I do not like:

Phone Power's web page says that their regular price is a special that is expiring today, but in reality that has been their price for a long time.

Phone Power's monthly cost calculation for prepaid plans is not correct, but even so their prices are still competitive. The monthly cost they advertise for a prepaid year plus a second free year does not include cost of shipping their phone adapter, and does not include about a $40 charge they will levy at the end of the first year for "taxes and fees". Also they are not likely to honor referral credits -- at least they did not for me or the person who referred me even after I complained about it. So save yourself the grief, and do not expect to get any referral credits or rebates.

Some things I like about Phone Power

Some minor things I do not like about Phone Power

Switching to VOIP

If you have chosen a VOIP service and are ready to switch, here is my advice -- from the voice of experience :)

  1. Skip this step if you have cable internet.

    If you have phone service and DSL from your local phone company such as AT&T, you call your phone company and tell them that you want DSL only (dryline DSL), and that you are porting your number to another company.

    You could just port your number, but then AT&T will assume that you also do not want DSL, and will turn everything off . Without DSL (or cable internet), VOIP will not work.

  2. Order your VOIP service -- either by phone or online. Port your existing phone number to your new VOIP company. Tell them that you want the start date to be a least a week from now so that you receive the VOIP adapter before the service starts.

  3. When your existing phone stops working, follow the instructions to connect your home phone to the VOIP adapter. Note: your VOIP adapter will probably work for making outgoing calls even before your number is ported.

Will VOIP work via wireless? If you live in a condo or apartment that provides wireless internet, there are some things to consider:

After the special 2 year price for new customers was over, our cost would have gone way up with Phone Power. I wound up paying $25 for almost an extra month of service with Phone Power because I did not cancel my account right away after my number ported. Also I had to pay shipping to return the Phone Power adapter, or else would have had to pay a $100 fee. Porting my number away from Phone Power was trouble-free and only took a little over a week. In May of 2011, I switched to Vitelity -- a cheaper alternative for us, but less like a traditional phone company.

Summary: Overall I was pleased with Phone Power. I really appreciated getting much more for less money compared to having an actual land line phone. I do not miss AT&T home phone service a bit. I have written a review of AT&T which details a few of the troubles I have had with them over the years.