Voip.com Review: VoIP
|Visit Voip.com Website|
|Great value on feature-packed plans with multiple payment options, but buggy service and ineffective customer support|
Voip.com has been part of Phone Power since 2010, and its packaging, technical support pages, and customer service make it abundantly clear that in many ways you're dealing with Phone Power. However, while Voip.com hangs onto the value of its former self, it also acquires some of the features and the problems of Phone Power.
Plans and Pricing
Its unlimited residential calling plans come in many flavors, depending on how long you want to continue your home VoIP service. All plans offer unlimited calling in the United States and Canada and low international calling rates. The best value is the One Year Prepaid plan for $99.95 for the first year (that comes out to about $8.33 per month), which requires an up-front payment. Those who want to pay monthly have a number of choices: the Month to Month plan at $19.95 per month, the 12 Month plan for $16.95 a month, and the 24 Month Plan for $14.95 a month. Besides federally mandated taxes and fees and shipping on the equipment, Voip.com doesn't charge setup fees.
Equipment and Setup
The equipment is a small VoIP adapter box. Instructions are extremely minimal: a diagram of how to plug it into your router, a card for contacting tech support, and a card asking the user to recommend Voip.com to others. However, the help pages and tutorials on Phone Power's wiki (who uses a wiki when they already have a website?) are no more explicit than what comes in the box. We used an AT&T router and an AT&T phone, and we needed to wait an unusually long time (20 minutes) before we had a dial tone.
Voip.com's call quality was acceptable. It had a few echoes and a cold, flat voice tone, but that's expected with VoIP. We did notice a big lag between dialing and ringing, up to 10 seconds at some points. We also had trouble getting a dial tone after hanging up on a call. Despite hours of chats with customer service and numerous attempts at changing firewall settings, the only way we could get the phone to disconnect from the last call was to unplug everything and start over.
The MyAccount portal on Phone Power's website has many useful features: Softphone downloads (lets you take your account with you anywhere), managing your contact list, Click2Call, changing your services or adding lines, and more.
Voip.com offers extensive calling features, including caller ID, voicemail to email (which sends copies of voicemail messages right to your inbox), remote voicemail access, do not disturb, keeping your old phone number, 60 free international minutes to select countries, call blocking, and three-way calling. The most novel feature is Failsafe, which forwards your calls to an alternate number in the event of an Internet or power outage. One main pitfall of VoIP in general is that it won't work if your Internet or power is down, so this is a creative way to counteract that. Another great feature worth noting is Fax Catcher, which sends incoming faxes to voicemail, where they will become a file you can open, view, and print through your MyAccount portal on Phone Power's website.
Chat and phone support are offered from 8:00am to 4:00pm (EST) Monday through Friday and 9:00am to 1:00pm on weekends. Chat support was time-consuming, frustrating, and ineffective. We were handed off to three different agents in the course of four hours, and they all seemed unable to understand or fix the problem. Phone support was more friendly and accommodating but still rather unknowledgeable.
There's a 30-day money-back guarantee, assuming you return your hardware, and no cancellation fee if you cancel a monthly plan after that. It's important to note that there's no prorated refund on the yearly plan. While $14.95- and $16.95-a-month plans divide up the payments into more manageable sums, there is still a service contract. If you cancel after the 30-day grace period, you will be charged a fee of $99.00 or the remainder of your contract, whichever is less. If you've paid in advanced for a year's worth of service, you will not receive a refund. However, Voip.com does not allow you to cancel over the phone, which we found rather odd. You must do it by fax, mail, or its online cancellation form.
All Voip.com plans include 60 free minutes of international calls to more than 55 countries, including some cell phone numbers. Users can see a complete list of countries included in the plan on the Voip.com website. The website also offers a searchable list of the per-minute rate to countries not included in the plan. After using the 60 free minutes, additional calls are billed by the minute. If you upgrade to International Plus, you receive 1200 international minutes per month to the countries included on the regular plans.
Although we didn't go crazy for Voip.com the last time we reviewed it, the service has changed marginally since it was purchased by Phone Power. While its rates are good and its features are many, we found the service buggy and the customer support lacking.
NextAdvisor VoIP Blog Headlines
Can I Transfer My Number to VoIP?
Q: I've had my phone number for 20 years, so it's really important for me to keep it. If I change to VoIP services, would I be able to keep my current phone number? A: We know how important it
How Does VoIP Faxing Work?
Q: I have a fax machine that I depend on for work. If I switch to VoIP would I still be able to use my current fax machine? A: Good question! You might be able to continue faxing on your
What Is The Required Internet Speed for VoIP?
Q: I have high-speed Internet from Comcast at my home. Will my Internet work well with VoIP? A: Since you have high-speed Internet, VoIP should work well for you because all the the VoIP services work the best on high-speed.
Will I Lose My Home VoIP Service If the Power Goes Out?
Q: I'm very interested in getting VoIP, but I live in a somewhat secluded area where the power goes out relatively often. I'm worried that if I sign up for VoIP that I'll lose service every time we have a power outage.
Voip.com Forum Posts
- Voip.com Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Voip.com: http://www.nextadvisor.com/voip_service ... review.php