Everyone loves to save money right? So when it came time for me to examine my home phone bill I knew it was time to revisit my monthly payments and review what real utility I was receiving from a land line phone. Now before I get all those comments about how it is the 21st century and who has a land line anymore, let me just say that there are still some merits to a traditional land line phone in your home. Besides, my wife insisted we keep our longtime number. I am here to tell you that there are home phone options out there besides your local telco.
So here are the numbers. Essentially, our monthly home phone bill was about $35 a month. It varied a little higher or lower depending on the taxes and fees charged for that particular month. Now, what did this $35 a month really give us? Not much. We had no long distance service and calling out of our area code was a “local toll call” as the phone company liked to advise me each time I called to ask about certain charges. So in essence, all we had was a phone that we couldn’t call out, unless we wanted to incur extra toll charges and all it was really good for was for receiving calls. At $35 a month or about $420 a year, depending on fees and tolls, for a phone that was pretty much useless I knew a change had to be made. I mean what’s the point of paying for something that you can barely use? Enter, Ooma, an Internet phone.
Ooma is a digital box you plug into your existing high speed modem that allows you to make unlimited calls from your phone with your current number for “free.” Now, free is in quotes because you still have to pay regulatory fees and taxes for your city. See, even though Ooma is a digital phone service the “powers that be” consider it a phone utility so those taxes and fees must be paid. But here is the kicker, those fees in our area come out to about $4 a month. Alas, we have a home phone for a fraction of the cost and the best part we can actually use it now. We have unlimited calling nationwide without any additional fees or tolls. Just $4 a month and we are set.
For those that are curious, we have been using Ooma for about 8 months now with zero issues. The call quality is perfect and we have become less reliant on an expensive cell phone bill as all our nationwide calls can be made for free from our home thus saving us cell phone minutes. So let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
After switching to Ooma as a land line alternative our monthly phone bill went from $35 a month (without really using it) to $4 a month (chatting up a storm long distance) saving us about $31 a month or $372 a year. Maybe put that extra money into a nice dividend payer like AT&T, Inc. (T) or Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
Do you still have a land line at home? Still paying crazy monthly phone bills?