Vonage Broadband Phone Service Vs. Verizon’s Freedom Essentials

Verizon is part of the old established generation of decades past. In fact, it can be said that Verizon, formerly known as Bell Atlantic, has been around almost as long as the telephone itself. Over the years, there have not been many real changes to the status quo. The closest thing to a challenger would be from the proliferation of cell phones that has spouted up in the last decade or so. However, even that has not really made a dent in Verizon’s home phone product. Thus far, Verizon’s response has been to structure home phone packages that feature free long distance while simultaneously offering their own cell phone service. Again, no real ripples in the status quo. Until recently, that is.

Vonage, a broadband Internet phone company, is threatening to change the landscape of home phone service for many people. Having used both, I must say that I am a fan of what Vonage offers. In my opinion, Vonage is a far superior option in a great many ways.

Let’s begin with price. Verizon’s current best offer for a package that features unlimited long distance is $39.95, a very competitive rate. Meanwhile, Vonage offers phone service including unlimited long distance for just $24.95, a savings of exactly $15. In addition, that savings gap is increased when you factor in the additional taxes and fees associated with phone service that every analog service has to charge. Vonage, since it is offered through the Internet, happens to circumvent most of those charges. Moreover, Verizon’s $39.95 offer comes with only a small handful of features, including caller ID, call waiting and voice mail. On the other hand, Vonage’s $24.95 comes with practically every feature you can think of. Truthfully, I do not even use them all, or even use them that often, but I enjoy having the option.

Even things that are similar between Vonage and Verizon are not the same. Take voice mail for instance. With Verizon, the voice mail is fairly standard. Remote access, the whole nine yards. With Vonage, however, they added a couple of pluses that help make it even better. For example, Vonage’s voice mail can be accessed via the Internet, at which point you can then email the voice message to yourself for safekeeping and/or future listening. It comes in handy if you are on the move.

The only real negative involving Vonage’s service is something that is native to all broadband phone services: if the Internet goes down, so does your phone. This is something that cannot really be avoided; only endured. On the plus side, Vonage does have an automatic call forwarding service available in the event of an Internet service connection loss. This might reduce the possibility of missing important phone calls. Another service they offer that I have not taken advantage of yet is the capability of hardwiring the phone into your home’s existing wiring for just under $100. This has the advantage of allowing you to use any jack in the home with your Vonage service, as opposed to requiring a cordless phone to move away from the modem. I am not sure, however, if this might also reduce the chance of service loss.

Meanwhile, Verizon’s service was fine, but their customer service was not. I cannot count how many times I dealt with ignorant people whenever I called into Verizon. It actually got to the point where I just expected to be treated badly but as long as I eventually got my question answered, I stopped caring. Meanwhile, Vonage’s representatives were quick, professional and courteous. The difference was practically night and day.

In the end, the only real drawback is that Vonage requires a functioning high-speed Internet connection to work. Even still, Vonage is a very high quality yet cost effective option. The money you saved by switching from Verizon to Vonage could pay for a backup cell phone in case of those outages.

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