Goodbye Rogers

by Chris on November 7, 2012

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.

Cory Houston November 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

Hey Chris,

I use VoIP.ms as well for my business line. I also have a DID to give me a Los Angeles presence for another venture I’m involved with. So people dial my LA number thinking I’m in LA and I pick it up here in Ottawa. It’s not used a whole lot, but for 99 cents I think I can still justify the cost! Instead of using a PAP, I am using a TalkSwitch IP Phone with my Ottawa number on line 1 and my LA number on line 2. All for $1.98 per month plus a few pennies for connection time! I’m about to migrate my home number as well as soon as I figure out how to unlock my Linksys PAP2 that is locked to Primus.

Chris November 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

Hey Cory! Great to hear from you. Yeah, I totally hear you on the international DIDs. I have a toll free number that costs me $1.49 per month plus use. Unreal how cheap this is.

What did you pay for the TalkSwitch phone? I’m using a really junky DECT analog phone and I’d honestly rather use a VoIP phone for my biz line.

Unlocking the PAP2 can’t be that hard, but I just bought an unlocked version on Amazon.ca – pays for itself in two months of phone bills.

Cory Houston November 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I don’t recall, but the phone I got was something like 25% off list price. I bought a TalkSwitch phone system for my wife’s business two years ago directly from the marketing director at TalkSwitch and she gave me a healthy discount on the system and the phones for being a nice guy and buying local. I ordered an spare phone which sat around for a year so I decided to commandeer it for my use!

Between simple systems like TalkSwitch and cheap systems like VoIP.ms, I can see why Mitel and Aastra have stagnant revenues – they’re loosing the small business installations, which is the large part of the customer triangle for those companies. Dead money.

Quincy November 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Ok let me get this right. I pay right now about $40 buck for a home. It gives me messages and caller id on my tv as well as 200min cdn long distance as well as call waiting.
Do you only pay for out going calls right now with voip and can it be used if you have a scuriety systems as well. seems like it makes sense.

Chris November 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hey Quincy – when you move to VoIP you aren’t going to get call display on your TV anymore, but it will still be there on the phone.

The cost is $0.99 for the phone number and between 0.5 cents and 1.2 cents per minute for calls (doesn’t matter whether inbound or outbound). That’s for Canada / USA. International still very cheap, if that matters.

If you use your phone a LOT, switching isn’t worth it. But if you hardly talk, it saves a ton. Say you do an hour a day and go with “value” pricing. Cost would be 10 bucks a month. We use our phone even less than that!

Henri June 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm

“If you use your phone a LOT, switching isn’t worth it. But if you hardly talk, it saves a ton. Say you do an hour a day and go with “value” pricing. Cost would be 10 bucks a month. We use our phone even less than that!”

Well… VoIP.ms has two packages available : 1) $0,99/month for the phone number + usage OR 2) $4,95/month for unlimited (read 3000 minutes) local calling. Calls that are not local are added on top of the $4,95, at ridiculously low rates ( average of 1,25 cent or chaper in Canada/US)

Noel November 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I use:

- Fido unlimited voice, texts, Voice Mail, Caller ID & 6GB wih my unlocked iPhone. I dropped my landline 18mos ago (and, my cell phone actually does have the same quality as a land line). I use local SIM cards in other countries to not pay those ridiculous roaming fees & to get a ton of data for almost nothing and freephoneline.ca to forward my voicemail as audio files to my email instantly when one is left when I am out of the country so I don’t have to keep calling long distance back home to pick up my voice mail (it’s Free!);
- 24 mbit Teksavvy internet with 300 GB (cheaper, faster & more GB than my old Bell Sympatico, not to mention way better customer service)
- free magicjack iPhone app for free outgoing US/CAN long distance to any phone # or dialing to US/CAN # from anywhere in the world;
- Skype for outside US/CAN or when I want to have a video call;
- rdio for listening to any song in the world (almost) or my playlists from wherever I am. I also love that I can listen to streams of the iTunes top 100, Billboard top 50 and other compilations, and so on without having to look up the individual titles. Also, Tuneradio (120,000 radio stations) and Songza (curated playlists by mood) are incredible free apps for listening to music for free anywhere;
- Netflix for movies & TV shows; and
- iTunes for movies & TV shows that Netflix doesn’t have. I get 20% off as I pay for iTunes by buying the cards when they go on sale (which seems to be every couple months at Best Buy, Future Shop, Staples, etc)

My total cost for this (excluding iTunes & non-Skype-to-Skype calls) is $140 (this includes tax).

However, unlike you Chris, I have not dumped my Rogers Cable and that costs me $80/mos. There is just way too much that I like to watch that you just can’t get using the other methods, not to mention even if I could for many of them I wouldn’t be able to watch them on my 65″ plasma or any of the other screens around the house. I did install an antenna on the top of the house and found could get a dozen HD channels in higher quality than cable for free, but the problem is two of the most popular stations would not come in at the same time (only if the antenna was pointed in the right direction). Since I watch everything on a PVR, having a motor to turn the antenna wouldn’t work.

This does increase the monthly cost of my home entertainment and communication costs by over 50% of course.

Cory Houston November 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

You’re paying too much for cable. Call in to Rogers and tell them you want to reduce your cable bill, or that you’re going to switch to Bell. Customer retention kicks in and they will offer you some discounts. Right now they’re offering 50% the Digital VIP package and your PVR rental. That’s about a $50 savings if rent a PVR, or around $35 if you don’t.

Tosh November 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

What if you have an alarm system and need a dedicated phone line for home monitoring??

I’m waiting for the day I can be freed from the shackles of Rogers and switch to Teksavvy. And using VoIP.ms sounds amazing… Only concern is the alarm system…

Any ideas or suggestions??

Chris April 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

If you use VoIP from somebody like VoIP.ms it is probably a bit less reliable than a traditional Bell line, but I think it’s as reliable as my old Roger Home Phone. You can easily get a dedicated line for the alarm and it will cost you a whole dollar per month :)

Jason November 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm

VoIP.ms is great. I use a BC number for business but am unable to switch over to any of these VoIP outfits until they can do SK numbers!!

Jo April 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Hi Chris
Just looking to do a switchover to Teksavvy and maybe VoIP.ms
Looking at your monthly cost for all your tech services, (woohoo) but am wondering how your cell phone costs are so low. I understand the outgoing looks like incoming but would you mind giving me a breakdown of the plan you have? I am not a tech wizard and am working hard to understand the options in order to make as seamless a switch as possible. Also not looking forward to Rogers messing with the line when I cancel. Thanks.

Chris April 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Hi Jo – I’m on a pretty cheap Fido plan right now. It’s $50/month which is $5 higher than I was using before. I upgraded to get more data because my BlackBerry Z10 is not as efficient as my old Bold 9900. Anyway, cellular is $50 for me and $15 for my wife (she has a basic voice plan and doesn’t use any data except over Wi-Fi, and wants to keep it that way for now). With this $15 plan we get unlimited calling and texting between each other.

So, $65 for cellular. I bumped up my TekSavvy plan to the $46 plan because I need the upload bandwidth for video (I do a lot of video editing). It’s crazy that I pay more for mobile than for broadband at home, but that’s life.

Add in Netflix and href=”http://www.unblock-us.com/3821.html”>Unblock-US,and a few bucks for VoIP and I’m currently spending about $130-135 per month. Total.

Jo April 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

Thanks for that Chris.
Any advice regarding the Rogers cancellation/to Teksavvy issues to avoid Rogers messing with the line? Appreciate your time. These tech bits are a bit of a hump for me. Thanks.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: