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Cutting long distance costs for USA Phone - ideas?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hoping someone can help. We are trying to cut the long distance portion of our phone bill {currently we pay around $25 for long distance on top of local service}, and I'm trying to find something that works for us. We've tried magicjack - had to dial out through the PC which didn't work for my low-vision mother who lives with me. 

 

We used to use a 10-10-xxx dial around years ago for long distance, does anyone know of one still working that offers a good rate?

 

I've also considered using a phone card of some type as long as it is easy to use for my mother, since we really don't make that many long distance calls {maybe 500 minutes a month or slightly more}. I just can't see paying $25 a month for long distance when we really don't use it that much. 

post #2 of 7

Does anyone in your household have a cell phone?  They usually come with free long-distance (or, rather they count as regular minutes).  It's why my mom always calls me from her cell, or I call her house phone from mine.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

Does anyone in your household have a cell phone?  They usually come with free long-distance (or, rather they count as regular minutes).  It's why my mom always calls me from her cell, or I call her house phone from mine.



At the moment, no. We are waiting for our 250 minute assurance wireless cell to come in the mail, but I know we'll use the full 250 minutes while out for safety reasons {calling to check in while out} and calling for bus times. So that's not an option either. 

post #4 of 7

I used Vonage for a while.  It worked pretty well.  They had a low cost plan, maybe $15? for a certain amount of minutes, but it was for all calls.  After I used it for a while I started it more and I got a better deal bundled.  What tipped us over the limit (and there was a slightly more expensive plan with more minutes but I didn't try that one) was all of a sudden my dd started using the phone and staying on for very long periods.  When it was just me doing most of the phoning we were fine.  http://lp.vonage.com/searchbrand?LPID=searchgooglevonage

post #5 of 7

With that much long distance (8-9) hours a month I would probably just cancel the land line and get a cell phone.  There are some pretty cheap plans available.  You can still keep the Assurance phone but get an additional line for the 'house phone'.  I started with Virgin Mobile years ago and like them to this day.  No contract, monthly direct billed to my account.  I think I pay $60.00 and i have unlimted phone, text and internet.  Just phone is going to be much less.  But I really like the no-contract part of the deal.

post #6 of 7

We have our home phone through the cable company. It is about $45 a month, free long distance, caller ID and some other features I've never used. We don't have cable TV - just the internet and phone. There is a small discount with the two bundled together (around $80 for the two services).

post #7 of 7

We purchased an Ooma from Costco 2-3 years ago. We paid less than $200 (including tax, it was $180-something). We never paid another cent. All calls are free within the U.S. It replaced our entire landline bill once we canceled the landline service (after a few weeks of trying Ooma). Our landline bill was down to $22/month because we had already dropped long-distance and used our cell phones for that, so it took 8 months for the initial cost to be mitigated by the savings. Our mobile phones don't work well in our home, though, so we would have to be out and about to make long-distance calls. Dropping the landline and only using our mobile phones was not an option for us (for several reasons, but mostly because they are not reliable in our home and we have obligations that require reliable phone service).

 

Starting next month (Jan 2012), we have to pay the government taxes of $3/month.

 

Our Ooma works with our existing phones, so it is just like using a regular phone. We pick up a regular phone, dial, talk, hang up. The Ooma device (about the size of a router) connects to our incoming cable after the cable modem and before our home wireless router. We don't need a computer to use it, like we did when we trialed the MagicJack. The call quality of Ooma is awesome for us! Far superior to MagicJack. Some folks find MagicJack good quality, so your mileage may vary.

 

Ooma has a website with many free and paid services. You can pay very reasonable prices for calls to other countries, for example. Voicemail is free, for example. We only use the free services and it is great for our family! There are no service contracts, but you do buy the unit upfront. It has worked very well for us and has saved us a lot of money (and has greatly increased convenience and joy with telephone communication).

 

Check it out for yourself.

 

(I don't work for Ooma nor would I personally gain from anyone buying one in any way. I am just a very satisfied customer!)

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