VoIP Checklist Before Switching to VoIP Phone Service

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You’ve learned a long list of benefit about VoIP phone service (see What is VoIP? FAQ if you need more info). And you are at the brink of cutting your regular landline to save plenty of money.  To avoid any unpleasant surprises you may encounter using a VoIP phone service, we have a checklist for you before you make the final decision.

 

Is my Internet connection speed adequate for VoIP phone service?

You would need a high-speed Internet connection equivalent to at least a typical DSL connection with 384 kbps upstream and downstream.

What kind of VoIP phone provider am I comfortable with?  

Those who offer free service but no technical support? Or ones offer low yearly fee with limited support? Or paying a monthly fee with live-person customer service and support?

Am I keeping my existing phone number?

If yes, find out which VoIP phone provider offers it and how much?

Are there any hidden charges?

Some VoIP phone providers advertise that you don’t have to pay for anything except for monthly taxes and fees. Find out the exact amount of these taxes and fees. Some VoIP phone providers list their monthly charges but do not include certain fees. Find out what those fees are.

Which call features are important to me?

VoIP phone service generally has a long list of call features, narrow down the ones that are important to you and make a short list of VoIP phone provider that offer these calling features.

Are long distance rates competitive?

If you make any long distance phone calls, find out the VoIP phone provider’s international rates for countries that you call most frequently.

Does the VoIP phone provider support E911?

Find out from the VoIP phone provider.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

Does it work with my monitored home security/alarm system?

Talk to your home security/alarm company about your plan to switch to VoIP phone service. If your home security/alarm monitoring company is fine with you switching to VoIP phone service, ask if they will charge for any system upgrades or wiring changes.

Do you need to send and receive faxes?

Ask the VoIP phone provider about their compatibility with your fax machine.  Some VoIP providers say you need to use VoIP-ready fax machines, however, we can’t seem to find any fax machines designed for VoIP.

What kind of customer/technical support can I expect?

Find out if the VoIP phone provider offers any customer service and technical support. If so, how is the service and support delivered and what are their hours of operation.

Does the VoIP phone provider have a good reputation for service and support?

Research customer reviews online and Better Business Bureau reports about the VoIP phone provider you are considering. We suggest looking at recent user reviews because reviews which are a few years old do not reflect current VoIP phone technology and Internet connection speed.

Is there a money-back guaranteed or good return policy?

Find out if the VoIP phone provider offers a free-trial or if the VoIP product could be returned in case you are not happy with their service.

Try not to port your current phone number right away after switching to VoIP phone service.

Refrain yourself from porting your current phone number right away, especially if the VoIP phone provider charges a fee for porting.  Allow sufficient time to determine if you are truly happy with the VoIP phone service.  This may mean paying some overlapping phone costs (you can keep your existing landline while getting VoIP phone service).  But it may save you from headaches of trying to switch back to a landline phone provider if you are not satisfied with VoIP phone service.

Finally, do you have another way of contacting others if your VoIP phone service stops working?

This is very important because it affects your safety, you should have at least mobile phone as a backup.  Otherwise, we do not recommend using VoIP phone service as your ONLY telephone because you might be stranded in case of an emergency.If you are a landline user, you need to know although a regular landline telephones works during power outages, you might be out of luck if you have a digital telephone that requires power to run. Therefore, you should always keep an analogue telephone in case of a power outage.

 

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