Vonage has announced plans that its going public. Its had a steady growth in revenues but its still deeply in the red. While I think a lot of people will get rich off its stock, its not a value buy nor is it a long term hold.
There are a slew of companies that offer similar services at Vonage. Although they don’t have as big of a marketing budget and thus aren’t as popular, their services are comparable. [well somewhat comparable]. I recently tried out sunRocket’s service. After being billed erroneously for an 8hr phone call to Australia in the middle of the night on a weekday [which just doesn’t work for me, i go to sleep by midnight most fridays too] I decided I’d cancel. They wouldn’t pick up the phone nor would they reply to my emails about cancelling their service. I had to dispute the charge with my credit card company.
So whats the cheaper alternative to Vonage? Vonage currently charges $17/mo for 500 outgoing minutes. Unlimited incoming minutes are free. To replicate this service all you need is a Dlink VOIP router which costs the same as Vonage’s VOIP router. You’ll need to buy a telephone number which you can do at GizmoProject.com for around $35/year and some prepaid minutes. Calls within the US are 1 cent/minute. So you’re 500 minutes will cost you about $8/month as opposed to Vonages $17. Also using the GizmoProject softphone, you can make calls anywhere you can plugin your laptop and you can buy a service that rings multiple phone[both regular and soft] simultaneously. I have a Gizmo softphone at home and it works exceptionally well. Even for international calls the quality is great, something which I found lacking in sunRocket [and even SBC where I often had to shout].
I hope this proves my frugal nature to Lazy man et al! [I’m just teasing]. Like they say, “A penny saved, is a penny earned”.