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.