Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hello Ooma! Goodbye bloated Cox phone bill

I admit it ... I got "bundled" by my local cable company, Cox Communications.  While I've been pretty happy with our Cox service over the years, my cable bill has exploded and has simply reached an unacceptable level.  Sorry Cox but I'm just not that into you.

Since my only option at the time seemed to be bolting a hideous satellite dish to the house, I decided to see what I could cut and then I'd contact Cox to look for any type of a better deal. A close look at our TV, internet, and phone package led to the realization that Cox was charging well over 50 dollars a month for our home phone, with the total closer to $58 if I understand the "FCC access charge" and several of the other taxes.  I have crypto problems at work that are easier to break then a cable company bill.

We still like a land-line.  I guess we're just old fashion. Also, we live in a area with poor cellular reception so many other wireless options were out. For us, the solution was to buy an Ooma Telo device for $119 and signup for service. Ooma advertises "free phone calls" which isn't totally true since you since still need to pay certain fees and taxes.  For us those charges only total $3.84/month.  On top of that, I signed up for the Ooma Premier service for an extra $10/month to get Caller ID with name and to try a couple of the added features. Even with those upfront and recurring costs, I should break even after three months and save $40/month going forward.

I've been very happy with Ooma so far.  The calls sound great but maybe with slightly less dynamic range than using the Cox phone service.  There is no noticeable latency which I tested making calls to friends and family on the other side of the country. I also love getting a text message when someone leaves a voicemail and the voicemail system itself is easy to use. In almost every way, I prefer the Ooma solution over Cox so it was a no brainer for us. What are paying for phone service?