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 Post subject: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:14 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Husband and I have cell phones but a home phone is not necessary but nice to have. We also need internet access.
I am fed up with current provider (Frontier). They upped my bill from 55 a month to 75+ a month. I talk with them to get on the cheapest plan they have (1 mb speed, only 30 minutes of phone a month) which was going to bring the bill down to 55-62 dollars a month (depends on who I talked to). For 3 months in a row, I get the 75 or 77 bill, call them correct. The last time I call they say the 55 price was an error. The best they can do is 65 on most primitive plan. I confirm this is inclusive of all fess, taxes, etc, and agree. Next month, bill is back to $75.
I guess I'm tired of paying this price for essentially pretty crappy internet access. I'm willing to give up our home phone. Where should I go to get internet access? We don't use cable.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:37 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
Wow sorry to hear that. What other providers are avialable where you live?

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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:48 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1120
I have Comcast (maybe Time Warner in your area) & as much as I gripe their rates, the speed & connection seems pretty good. I have cable & internet with them. They ain't cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:27 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1757
Who provides services in your area? In most areas around here, you have 2 choices for Internet: the local cable company or the local phone company.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:29 pm
Posts: 167
I don't have cable TV but I still have cable internet. I really like it and its about $65 per month for 25 Mb which is fairly fast. Don't know if you live in a city but that might make a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:59 pm
Posts: 28
In addition to the cable or phone companies, you may be able to use your mobile as your service provider if you have access to LTE/4G service. If your usage requires superfast downloads (such as for gaming) this may not work for you. You could try it out and compare the cost/performance.

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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
I looked it up, and it looks like all I have available is Frontier, or TimeWarner, unless I go farther afield to more exotic choices, which I'm not sure how they work.

It looks like I maybe could do something like phone via Frontier, and then internet via Earthlink? Has anyone had any experience with that?


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:29 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1757
Why not check out Time Warner? They offer Internet, phone, and TV services via cable. You don't have to take the TV services. I'm with Charter Communications. I take their Internet service but not their TV or telephone services. I'd actually take their phone service but since my security service doesn't work with VoIP, I'm stuck with Verizon for a landline.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:22 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
We had Charter for about a year. Was pretty pitiful. Switched to AT&T. Still not great but it works. Sometimes it's really just a matter of "choose your poison" lol.

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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:42 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:24 pm
Posts: 87
Call around and check. Ask about special offers. For internet, check if your community has a WiFi or connection program (some do, some don't, some limit eligibility by income).

You might be able to go internet only as far as your service provider is concerned - if you get internet and your internet service is pretty reliable, you can save $ by using a VOIP phone service or Skype or one of its competitors and not have a separate phone service. Some folks feel more comfortable doing this if they also have a cell phone for "back up".

4 years ago in CT, for our small business (4 active computers, 6 phone lines, no tv) it was considerably cheaper to switch to cable (Cablevision) than local phone company (AT&T) - if I remember correctly went from $650/mo to about $300/mo AND stopped losing the connection every Thursday afternoon (it would immediately return, but we had to reset the server & routers to get our computers to admit that).

"Business" cable gets you more bandwidth but typically costs more. However there is usually a 'cheaper' tv package (vs lowest cost residential) that is a partial offset.

Watch for 'gotchas' - in my experience we have twice gotten a much larger than expected 1st month bill because the 'stub' period (less than a full month) doesn't get any discounts applied, although the first full month makes sense and matches what was promised.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:19 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
Good idea babysteps re: skype or VOIN inestead of a traditional landline. Also have you considered MagicJack? Check them out at http://www.magicjack.com/plus-v05/ I believe the first month is free.

My parents and uncle/aunt have replaced thier home phone with Magicjack. There are some limitations regarding call waiting and caller ID but overall it saves them a ton. I think they paid just under $30 for a year of phone service. MagicJack connects to your computer and runs a program that simulates a landline. You use a regular phone for it. ;) You can also get MagicJack plus which allows for regular phone service. Worth a peak.

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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Well I don't know where I left off, but I had gotten to the point where I was calling them every month. They changed me to a plan that was to be $55 a month after taxes. After a couple months of getting either an $81 or a $78 dollar bill, they apologized and say they fixed it. Then the third time, they said that the plan I was talking about didn't exist, and the plan they could offer me (30 minutes phone, and slowest internet speed) they will change me to, and is to be around $65, after taxes. Didn't we already do this? But OK. Yep the $78 bill again. I got tired dealing with this and didn't call them for a few months. Last month called again. They look it up, I'm on some completely different plan, but they can put me on this plan that is 30 minutes a month, and lowest internet for $65. Hmm deja vu. But it seems we are on the same page, and the representative promises to switch me that day, so the changes will be prorated. Well, get my bill this month, and yep, $78. :evil: At this point, they are either grossly incompentent, or willfully malicious. Perhaps an emotion-based response, spent $130 on getting an ooma for home phone. Fellow employee has one, seems to like it. Basically costs nothing but fees ($5 a month) so the device should pay for itself in 5 months. I would like nothing to do with frontier, but until I figure out the internet part (Time warner is still more expensive) will stick with Frontier for internet, and completely drop the phone. After paying off device, will save about $30? a month.
I would just completely drop phone but the school wants a home number, and my elderly Dad doesn't like calling me on my cell phone.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:26 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:20 pm
Posts: 19
partgypsy1 wrote:
I looked it up, and it looks like all I have available is Frontier, or TimeWarner, unless I go farther afield to more exotic choices, which I'm not sure how they work.

It looks like I maybe could do something like phone via Frontier, and then internet via Earthlink? Has anyone had any experience with that?


We have never had a home phone and we never will.

I have Earthlink through Time Warner. We also tried to negotiate our bill down, which sometimes they are willing to do on a short-term basis. Our internet is relatively reliable and the speeds seem fine. Our bill just went back up (after somehow holding onto a $5 discount for awhile) and now they have begun charging everyone with a $4/month rental for the modem just because they felt like it. My bill for this is now somewhere around $50, I think. Doesn't matter where you go---they'll up your rate at some point for something.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Posts: 5293
We've basically gotten free internet for most of the last 10 years. In 1999 we first got DSl through USWest, a baby bell that was the predecessor to Qwest which was recently bought by Century link. In the early 1990s we got married and cancelled our dual phone book listing (people used to do that back then). It went away in about 1993.

Somehow when Qwest took over it reappeared. I called to correct it (like $1 per month) and was told that it woudl cost a "programming fee" fee to remove it. I said "BS, that's illegal, and the rep threatened me with all sorts of legal fees etc for not paying and for accusing his company of fraud. He also reinstated about 7 years of fees.

We reported this to our state utility regulator and filed a formal complaint criminal with our state's attorney general after finding out that there had already been findings and a consent decree against the company for a lot of things including teh phone book cramming and using "programming fees" to discourage changes to regulated service (a criminal act).

The response was a call from the CEO's office offering a refund, dropping charges, and free internet for life in exchange for dropping our complaint. We agreed. Even though we had been charged a small amount, what the company did and we documented was a clear and direct violation of both a court order and an order from our state regulator. The company was fined millions over this and I think a couple of people went to prison.

We had it free through 2010. In principal we pay for it now but in late 2011 I got 18 months refunded by documenting crappy service with calls about every 2 months. Honestly, I would rather pay and get good service but that doesn't seem to be an option. We get good service most of the time but it's really slow every few weeks and we can document this on Century Link's own web site.


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 Post subject: Re: web and phone services
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1596
Location: Seattle, WA
partgypsy1 wrote:
Perhaps an emotion-based response, spent $130 on getting an ooma for home phone. Fellow employee has one, seems to like it. Basically costs nothing but fees ($5 a month) so the device should pay for itself in 5 months.


I got an Obi instead. Lower up-front cost (only $50 for the equipment - setup time might be more) and lower ongoing cost (optional $2/month for e911 service).


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