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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-05-28, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Fongo home phone

I recently started hacking away at our ridiculous Bell bill: knocked $50 off FibeTV by dropping to the 'Starter' package and adding an a la carte bundle with just the channels we actually watch, and took $15 off internet by upgrading from Fibe 50 to Fibe 150 (someone will have to explain that me sometime).

Now I'm looking at our phone package...$71 for something we really don't use that much. I'm ready to ditch it completely (the cheaper options don't really save much and we'd lose features) and go for a standalone VoIP service. I looked at Ooma, but then I see Fongo is a lot cheaper to set up and seems to have a better customer service reputation. I also like that Fongo is pretty basic. I just want a phone that works. I don't need home automation integration, online voicemail access, or any of the other bells and whistles that Ooma has.

The most recent mention of Fongo I found on this site is from 2017 and only for the phone app.

Does anyone have recent/current experience with Fongo home phone? The one good thing I can say about the Bell service is that it is reliable, and I'm going to get all kinds of grief if whatever we switch to ever acts up.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-05-28, 10:07 PM
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Another option that has become available is a wireless cellular home phone. Prices vary from $10-$30 depending on carrier and what type of mobile phone plan it is tied to. I see that Ooma is advertising 4G home telephone "coming soon" but no costs are provided.

Don't know if Rogers is an option but they sometimes include home phone in their internet/TV bundles for free or at low cost.

There are lots of VoIP services available. It shouldn't necessary to pay more than about $5-$10/mo. They are basically the same as Ooma or Fongo but can be a bit more work to setup. Voip.ms has been discussed a lot and can be as little a $1/mo plus $0.01/minute of actual use.

The Ooma or Fongo home phone devices are going to be about as reliable as the phone apps. It's all VoIP and works over home internet. If the internet goes out so does the phone. It may be cheaper just to use the mobile app. The upside to the mobile app is that it will work over mobile data or another wifi connection.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-05-29, 06:35 AM
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It's all VoIP and works over home internet. If the internet goes out so does the phone.
That's the way it's going to be. Even Bell is moving away from pairs back to the CO and going with VoIP. The difference between the carriers and others is they use a dedicated network, rather than sharing the Internet connection. Regardless, it all still goes over the same cable.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-05-29, 09:46 AM
 
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I tried Fongo but changed to Textnow, it seems a little more stable plus I like to support local Canadian businesses. Totally free phone calls in Canada and the US via wifi.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-05-29, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JamesK View Post
That's the way it's going to be. Even Bell is moving away from pairs back to the CO and going with VoIP. The difference between the carriers and others is they use a dedicated network, rather than sharing the Internet connection. Regardless, it all still goes over the same cable.
Yeah, our Bell service is VoIP. So, in theory, if our internet is stable and reliable (and it is), most providers should function OK. I guess I'm worried about how good the support would be when something goes wrong.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-05-30, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Zank Frappa View Post
I tried Fongo but changed to Textnow, it seems a little more stable plus I like to support local Canadian businesses. Totally free phone calls in Canada and the US via wifi.
Fongo is based in Waterloo Region.

I've used Free Phone Line (same company as Fongo) in conjunction with an ATA device for many years now. I've got one of the grandfathered free plans. It's great. Sounds and acts just like a landline. My ATA (analog telephone adapter) and cable modem are connected to a UPS to enable use during a power failure. Free long distance to just about everywhere in Canada. Call display, voicemail, call forwarding, call waiting, etc., are all included. Note that Fongo charges a high fee for 911 use...if you need 911, use your cell phone to avoid the fee.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-06-13, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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So I ended up going with Voipmuch. The pros for them were free unlimited Canada/US, a low monthly rate, and what seems to be pretty good support. Before I ordered, I sent them a technical question. It was off-hours (late on a Friday night) and I got a meaningful response within an hour.

Now I'm waiting the ATA to arrive so I can set up the new service. I ordered a new number because I want to try it out for a few weeks before I port my existing Bell number.

flaminghomer
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-07-28, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Just a follow up: Everything has been painless so far. The ATA arrived a few weeks ago. Plugged it in, one click on the user portal to provision it and it was up an running. VoIP Much ported my Bell number for free, and it's been fine ever since. I wanted to increase the number of rings before their voicemail picked up so I could keep using our phone's answering machine, so I started an online chat and they did it immediately.

Oh, and I just got a postcard from Bell saying they're sorry to see me go and I should call them to talk about what they can do for me

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-16, 02:53 PM
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Angry

Bell only cares after they lose your money...
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