Plans and Pricing
For residential customers, Axvoice provides four domestic calling plans and two international plans. The domestic calling plans start with a free plan that allows you to use it like a calling card. With this plan, you won't be able to receive incoming calls, and you'll pay for outgoing calls at the rate of 1.5 cents per minute, but you won't pay a monthly fee for the service. The next plan up gives you unlimited incoming calls for $4.99/mo and charges you 1.5 cents a minute for outgoing calls.
Most people interested in replacing a landline telephone with VoIP will probably want either Axvoice's US/Canada 200 Minutes plan or the US/Canada Unlimited plan. For $5.99/mo, the 200 minute plan gives you unlimited incoming calls and 200 outgoing minutes per month. For just $8.25, you can upgrade that to the unlimited plan, which gives users unlimited incoming and outgoing calls throughout the US and Canada each month. There is also a pay-as-you-go option for $4.99/mo, which lets you pay just for the calls you make at 1.5¢ per minute.
Axvoice charges $19.99 for shipping and handling.
Axvoice offers two international plans, the Residential International plan, which includes unlimited calls to more than 45 international destinations for $16.58/mo, and the Residential International Plus plan, which includes unlimited calls to more than 60 international destinations for $29.99/mo.
For customers who do not have an international plan or those who call countries not included in their plan, Axvoice offers fairly low per-minute international rates, which you can look up by country or calling code on their website, under the "International Rates" tab at the top of the page.
Equipment and Setup
Axvoice asks you a few questions about your network and your internet provider when you sign up so they can send you the correct device. Our test system consists of a Linksys router and a Motorola cable modem, and Axvoice sent us a fairly standard Grandstream ATA, or VoIP adapter.
Our ATA arrived completely without instructions. The small box contained the device, the power supply, and nothing else—not even an invoice. To begin setting up the system, we had to head to the Axvoice site to look for installation directions. Luckily, the directions provided on the Axvoice site were fairly straightforward, and we soon had our service up and running.
Call quality was solid, though we did notice a slight lag during a few of our test calls. The people on the other end of our calls reported that we sounded clear, and did not notice any unusual echoes or other call problems.
Axvoice offers the usual array of VoIP features, including call blocking, call forwarding, do not disturb, call waiting, caller ID, failover and enhanced voicemail. The company also offers a few less-common features, including "Find Me Follow Me," often known as "Call Hunt," which forwards calls to a pre-set series of numbers if you don't pick up, in an effort to find you when you're away from home.
You can manage features and see your calling history from the main admin panel on the Axvoice website.
Axvoice offers customer support via email and web chat. Though the site describes chat support as "live web help," we found that the support offered that way was anything but live. The system had us leave an email-style message for a support representative, and then made us wait for someone to reply to it. Though we could not find this information on the site, a representative later emailed us to say that live chat support is available between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm E.T., but since we'd previously tried within those hours without success, we were skeptical.
The real problem, however, is Axvoice's complete lack of phone support. Other than the slightly abrupt phone call we received to confirm our billing information just after signup, the company is completely unreachable by phone. They do not provide a phone number on their site, nor will they call customers to provide support. Since their "live chat" hours were on East coast time, when we had questions we had to set up a chat during a few select hours on a Saturday—the only time they were available while we were home with our test system.
Axvoice offers a money-back guarantee if you cancel your account within 15 days of activation. You must return the equipment they sent you when you ordered your service, and Axvoice will not refund any activation fees (if applicable) or shipping and handling charges. After the first 15 days are up, Axvoice charges $39.99 if you cancel an annual plan during the first year. Axvoice also offers monthly plans if you think you'll only need a few months of service or would like to try out VoIP without making a year-long commitment.
With good prices but very limited customer service, Axvoice is not as great a deal as our top picks, but it does have a few redeeming qualities. We like the flexibility of their calling plans and had no complaints about call quality. That said, any customer who needs personalized assistance or responsive customer service should look elsewhere.
International Plus: $29.99/mo
|Setup Fees:||$19.99 S&H|
|$ Back Guarantee & Cancel Policy:||15 day money-back guarantee minus S&H and activation fees (if applicable); $39.99 cancellation fee after 15 days within first 12 mo. of annual plan|
|Promotions:||Free hardware; discounted annual plans|
|Countries Included:||US and Canada; International plans include 45+, 60+ countries|
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