While I was in New Orleans this past weekend (on a fun trip), I got email confirmation that my home phone number port to VoIP.ms is now complete. I originally wrote about my intention to make this move in August 2011, but I never got around to doing it until now.
My relationship with Rogers is now over, except for a Fido cellular connection which I intend to keep for now. But even with Fido, I’ll be routing most of my outgoing calls through a VoIP number so they are treated as incoming calls and billed very cheaply.
It started with Cable TV. I cancelled my service after I got home from our big mini-retirement trip to France last summer. The replacement of Netflix, Plex, and Unblock US (to access US networks) has been great. You can read about my experience using Unblock US in Canada.
Then I cancelled my Internet service with Rogers, but that’s not really true since I moved to TekSavvy, which runs on the Rogers network anyway. I just happen to get 300 Gigs instead of 60 Gigs, at a cheaper price.
All that was left was my home phone. I had the pleasure of paying over $40/month for something that I found to be unreliable, and hardly ever used. Unreliable? Yeah. I’m not sure why but probably 20 percent of the time when I’d pick up the landline, there was no dial tone. I’d have to open the line, close the line and repeat a few times until I got a dial tone. This was causing some calls to go directly to voice mail. Not good.
VoIP.ms has been awesome since I started using it last summer for business. So finally, around one week ago, I initiated a local number portability action for my Rogers line. All I had to do was email a copy of my phone bill showing my account information and my signature to authorize the port. The folks at VoIP.ms sent me automated email updates letting me know where things stood every step of the way. I was shocked at the quality of the communication. It could not have been better.
A couple of days ago I woke up in New Orleans and got an email telling me the port was finished. Oops. The speed of the move lead me scrambling to email my inlaws, letting them know the home phone wouldn’t work until I got home. But even that wasn’t true! The home phone DID work, because the number just got automatically added to my account, so calls would show up on my business VoIP line instead of the home phone. Zero downtime!
This morning I updated the settings on my Cisco (Linksys) PAP2T terminal adapter. All I needed to do was assign my new phone number to a sub-account on my VoIP.ms account, and then direct that sub-accont to “line 2” on my digital adapter. Then, plug it into the same spot that my Rogers home phone was previously plugged in, so the new phone service would be distributed throughout my house.
I’m looking forward to being able to ban calls form annoying telemarketers. But then again, I enjoy messing with them. My favourite technique has been to play the role of a keenly interested idiot. Who are you? What’s the promotion all about? Where did you say you’re from again? Right … and what’s the offer again? Ok, did you say you have a promotion? What’s the promotion? Endless loop. Hilarious.
Not paying for something you don’t really use: I just didn’t want to be paying money for a phone service I don’t really use much. But I still enjoy having a landline (it’s much better quality than mobile). So VoIP.ms is my perfect solution. Having my phone number costs a whopping $0.99 per month. Then all I pay for is my actual voice traffic. Premium call routing is a penny a minute. It’s crazy cheap.
Most of my home phone calls are inbound telemarketers (serious). The rest are usually quick chats with friends. Most of the meaningful conversations I have these days are done via Skype. That includes my parents, my inlaws, my friends, my business partners, etc.
So .. goodbye Rogers. It’s not you. It’s me.
P.S. I spend about $135 per month now for ALL telecom serivces including cable Internet (used for TV too), Netflix, two cellular phones, one home phone VoIP line and two business phone lines.