Seeking angels on earth who can help me. I need advice and opinions on the most reasonably priced, clearest reception, easiest to understand, and most reliable way of communicating long-distance, without having to worry about the expense each and every time I make a phone call. In other words, a specific cell phone carrier, Magic Jack, etc.
For me, it is long-distant to call any of my family; and I stay constantly depressed because of it, as my better judgment tells me, "I just cannot afford those individual phone calls." I even bought a Magic Jack 3 months ago, but have yet to hook it up. Because of so much negative feedback, I'm almost afraid to try it. Should I?
Someone please help to put my mind at ease, by sharing with me your own advice, opinions and/or personal experiences. I will be forever grateful. Thanks in advance, dear web friends.
Earthly Angel Mom
By Lois from Brandenburg, KY
We use Verizon and have a set rate for our bil . All my family lives long distance away and I too had bills that I wanted to hide. Now no mater how much I talk (and I'm gabby!) my bill stays the same. They told me that unless I abused it (meaning used it for a business I quess) it wouldn't go up. You can go on the Verizon web site and read all about it. I don't know anything about Magic Jack.
Magic Jack is a good way to spend your money wisely assuming you have a decent internet connection and a computer. The call quality is good, but you need to use a computer to connect the Magic Jack to; without a computer, there is no phone.
There is a new product marketed by Nettalk (http://www.nettalk.com/) where you can get lifetime unlimited calls for $99.95. The nice thing about this product is that you can hook it up to your computer or directly to your internet modem. I have done some research on 2 different forums and people are pretty happy about it. So I am planning to get this product for myself.
I don't have long distance on my phone. I use prepaid phone cards for long distance. They cost more per minute, but when one is used up that's it for the month. A lot of people that I know have cell phones with a large amount of free minutes to be used at certain times.
What I have found that works for me is Verizon. Here are the highlights and some tips.
First - anyone you call who has Verizon as well is free. Period.
Second - they have free calls at night and all day weekends.
Third - they have the coverage. I had AT&T when I moved to Tennessee and in my new location I had no signal, and in many places in TN I had no coverage. Verizon did.
I highly recommend, no matter what service you buy, BUY your phone out right. I went into the store and asked if they had a used phone I could buy and they had 4 or 5. Perfectly good phones turned in for trade.
By purchasing your phone you don't have to have a contract (usually for two years). In a contract you have to pay the amount every month whether you can afford it or not. Off a contract you can cancel your service for a month if you need to and start it again later.
This would have saved me a lot of cash when I was laid up in a hospital for 6 months. I was paying for a phone I wasn't using.
And if you happen to go abroad to a country that has no service for your phone you can stop your service.
If you're a senior you can get a discounted monthly service. If you have an elderly relative that trusts you, get the phone in there name for the discounted service but use your address so you get the bills. Be responsible.
I use my local cable company for a basic 'bundle'. That includes land line phone with 24/7 long distance in all fifty states and Canada plus caller ID and call waiting. It also includes high speed cable for my computer and oodles of TV channels. All three services cost $115.00 a month (including all taxes) total and the price is good for one year. One month before the year is up I call the cable company and let them know I can't afford a rate raise and they extend the same price for another year. I've not had a rate raise in three years ;-)
I have taken long distance off my regular phone provider. The lowest rate they had was about 15 cents per minute and a long distance fee of about $3.00 per month. I now buy Long Distance calling cards. Sometimes they are on sale 2 for 1. The minutes (including sales tax) come out to about 3 cents. Watch because some cards must be used within a year from your first call. Be careful when you renew card because they charge more than I originally paid. So just buy new cards when on sale to keep on hand.
I use Vonage. They have free long distance. I only pay about $33.00 a month. You also get free caller ID and free call waiting. You have to have high speed internet in order to use it. It hooks up to your computer. I have not had any problems with it.
I have a friend in Texas who can not call long distance. She calls me hangs up and I call her back on my cell phone. It is legal as far as I know. I have many extra roll over minutes so I can call her with no charge to her home phone. It works for us.
The Magic Jack is easy to use. Just plug into your computer and plug the phone line into the Magic Jack device. It will download and give you a phone number.You have to answer a couple of questions so it will know what area code to give you. But, it has a drawback! Whoever calls you will be charged with the call unless they have long distance on their home phone or they can use a cell phone. I just tell my family and friends to call, I won't answer, and I call them back. Problem solved.
I too use pre-paid calling cards for long distance. Presently I can ring London for 1.8 cents/min; no connection fee; no maintenance feel. I put the 'access' number in Memory and it's just one push of the button to connect. Been doing this for years. Just do a search on-line for 'best pre-paid long distance card' [or International].
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