Every Friday, Clark answers a viewer's e-mail question.
What's the best VoIP phone deal for a small business?
There's a phone service that I've been using for years called Ooma. You pay as little as $100 to $200 to buy the device, which provides phone service for the life of the Ooma service. (I long ago expected the service to go bust, but it just keeps on going!)
The way Ooma works is that you plug it into your high-speed Internet connection and then you plug your phone into the Ooma unit. You don't even need a computer. Ooma offers all the normal calling features like caller ID, call waiting, etc., and there's no monthly bill. You just pay a $3 monthly FCC pass-through charge and that's it for the life of Ooma.
The question I get that gnaws at people is about the call quality. I've always said that Ooma offers phone calling that is much better and clearer than a traditional monopoly phone company.
The June 2012 issue of Consumer Reports ranked phone services and the absolute highest score again went to Ooma, for the second year in a row!
On the other hand, Consumer Reports gave a different VoIP provider, MagicJack, poor scores on reliability, call quality and customer service. But the pricing makes it the cheapest option for local and long distance calling. The first year is effectively $60 and each year after that is $30.
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