Nearly two years ago I wrote about how you can get free lifetime phone service for $150. The product is called the Ooma Telo and it’s something that I’ve been using the for many months now. It is a great savings over both a standard landline phone and alternative VOIP services such as Vonage (which I had before I switched.)
Here’s how it works… you buy the hardware, and you get free calling over your cable modem connection. It’s essentially, what Vonage and Comcast charge monthly fees for… but without the fees. I need to mention that there’s taxes and E911 charges, but that’s true of any landline or VOIP service. You will end up paying about $2 a month, but feel good that the money goes to help the telephony infrastructure in the US. It is much better than paying $20 or $40 a month.
Normally it costs around $200 for the hardware. That means it can take 6 months or a year for you to save money from the switch. However, today there’s a special deal on a refurbished product on Woot.com. You can get it for $140. That means that many landline customers can start saving money in 4 months and Vonage customers in around 8 months.
At the time I wrote about this originally, commenters brought up that the company was new and untested and that it might not be around long. Well it is still around about two years later. At the time, I thought about their technology and I realized that their costs were minimal. Telephone over the Internet is cheap – millions of people talk for free on Skype everyday and have done it for years. Ooma just brings the Skype experience to a physical phone. That’s what most consumers expect, to use their own phones throughout their home. They can do this by selling the hardware, since they don’t have to pay for stringing phone lines from home to home.
If you are interested, I’d jump on this soon. I’m late to write about it, and it should have already sold out.