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Hot Deal: Free Lifetime Phone Service for $150!

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Free Phone Service

Free Phone Service

I got a heads up the other day that Amazon has a deal on free lifetime phone service through Ooma for $150. Before you jump on the deal, here is a little bit what you need to know. The Ooma Telo service looks highly rated based on the Amazon reviews. While the Ooma name isn't exactly a brand like Apple that jumps off the page, Vonage wasn't always a big name.

I bring up Vonage, because the device seems to work a lot like Vonage. You simply plug it into your high speed Internet and plug your phone into that. Unlike something like MagicJack (which does cost $20 a year), you don't need to have a computer on and active to use it. That seems to be all there really is to it. You get free US calling and cheap international calling through your regular phone handset (my picture shows an optional Ooma handset which is not included in this deal).

Why jump on this deal? The Ooma device usually costs $250. It's on sale for $200 on Amazon... but if you buy from the first link I mentioned, you get a $50 Amazon gift card for free. I consider Amazon gift cards to be very close to cash since you can buy almost anything (and usually at a competitive price). By the time you are done it's effectively paying $150 (hence the title). You only have until December 26th to get in on it. They might go quickly, so it's probably not worth waiting.

This is an offer that I'm seriously considering. Ooma has a very handy cost savings calculator. I currently pay around $17 a month for 500 Vonage minutes (more than I ever use, but that's the cheapest plan they offer). In the first year, it says that I'd actually lose $46. This is actually incorrect since I'd be effectively paying $150 via Amazon rather than the $250 retail price. I'd be coming out ahead before the first year. And since Ooma is free while the Vonage bills keep coming, I'd be saving $258 by the end of the 2nd year. In the third year, I'd see $462 worth of savings. If I can save that on my very cheap phone service imagine what you might be able to save if you pay more than $17... and the savings would continue to add up for the life of the device. I imagine this device would live for a long time as well, since there's no motors or moving parts.

There are very few opportunities to take a monthly recurring cost and turn it into a fixed cost. Getting them to pay off in the first year is even more unusual. If you can grab a deal like this... well, it seems like the deal of the year.

Posted on December 22, 2009.

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8 Responses to “Hot Deal: Free Lifetime Phone Service for $150!”

  1. Nick says:

    Also factor in the risk associated with “lifetime services” from a tech company like Ooma, a startup no less.

    There are also fees associated with a phone line (any line) for taxes, gov’t fees, etc. that run about $12 a year, so it’s not “free” but extremely cheap.

    I’d still be concerned that Ooma will be around in 3 years, let alone be around for a “lifetime”.

    http://gigaom.com/2008/04/23/ooma-not-dead-yet/

  2. Lazy Man says:

    Well, again, they’d pay off if they are around in about 8 months for me. If you pay $30 or $50 a month (some do), that payoff comes in 3 or 5 months… really not a bad risk.

    The article that you cite is a year and half old… at this point it looks like consumers (at least on Amazon) have decided that they’ve delivered on their promise.

    You are right about taxes, gov’t fees, and stuff of that sort, but that’s subject to all phone services (that I know of) and probably different for everyone… I think my $17 Vonage bill includes that dollar a month or so of fees, so maybe my calculation was off a small amount.

  3. I don’t get it. I used to work in web hosting. I’ve seen one of Vonage’s installations (at One Wilshire in LA.) Hundreds of servers; gigabits of bandwidth.

    That stuff doesn’t come cheap, and the monthly fees associated with power and datacenter real estate go up over time–as opposed to hardware, whose price goes down. Not to mention staffing…I presume they don’t have much?

    I just don’t get this model, and as such would be extremely leery. Maybe for a throwaway number, but not great for a dependable service.

    -Erica

  4. Lazy Man says:

    I see what you are saying. I could go with with a cheap, less dependable service because I have my cell phone, as well as SkypeOut credits.

    They look like they’ve had a history of working which is encouraging even if I can’t exactly figure out how they can maintain it long term.

  5. ken says:

    this is how it works… its on the amazon website.
    the free service doesn’t do much but call out and in, and it has caller id.
    if you want anything else it will cost you $9.99
    a month or $119.99 a year for ooma permier.
    and keeping your number you have now is $50.

  6. PennyStocks says:

    Thanks been hearing the commercials and wasn’t sure what the ooma actually did. Not sure if I get it still in the long run, is this a viable option?

  7. “it will cost you $9.99
    a month or $119.99 a year for ooma permier.”

    Hmm. If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with $9.99 a month – since it’s less money over the course of the year :)

  8. They’ve had a history of working which is encouraging even if I can’t exactly figure out how they can maintain it long term. Nice post.

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