Teacher and coach

Vonage vs. VOIPo [Updated]

A few months ago I compared my three-year experience with Vonage to my 6 month experience with Skype.  After my Skype phone died, I decided to try VOIPo, the new VOIP service from HostGator, and wanted to share my experience with them.

VOIPo customer service can’t be beat.  Though it’s not available 24/7 (only 9-7 Central, M-F), they’re really good.  Minimal hold times, the reps are technically competent, and they speak to you without a script, just like you’re a real person.  The few times I spoke with Vonage customer service, they were always trying to sell me some additional feature that I didn’t want.

The prices are pretty similar.  I give VOIPo a slight edge here, but only a slight one.  It takes a little work to cut thru all the verbiage to get to the real price of the service, but once you do, you find the following:

  • VOIPo’s introductory rate comes out to $11.25 a month, once you include the $36 annual taxes and fees, and assuming you buy a whole year of service at one time.
  • VOIPo’s standard rate comes out to $19.67 a month, again including the $36/year taxes/fees and the annual contract, though according to VOIPo existing customers can always take advantage of any special promotional pricing that’s being offered.  So if the $11.25 a month price is available, you can always buy another year (or more) at that price.
  • Vonage’s standard rate for its most popular plan with an annual contract (which they call Annual Prepay) is $239.99 a year (including all taxes and fees), which comes out to $20 a month, almost identical to VOIPo’s standard annual price.  Though Vonage publicizes this plan as costing $24.99 a month (with no annual contract), my experience with Vonage was that once taxes and fees were added in, that price was never less than $30 a month for me; if you get this plan with Vonage, I definitely recommend the Annual Prepay option.

When it comes to call quality, I found Vonage and VOIPo to be almost identical.  Both provide high-quality sound, every bit as good as any standard landline.  They also both have a nice online interface which you can use to check voicemail, set call forwarding, etc., though I found VOIPo’s to be much simpler and easier to use.

Bottom line: I like VOIPo and plan to stick with it, though Vonage’s features, quality, and prices are comparable, especially if you go with their Annual Prepay option.

I suspect at some point my wife and I will drop the landline altogether and just use our cell phones, but right now it’s still handy to have a VOIP home phone line, especially since a) I work a lot from home and b) we have three teen/pre-teen sons and don’t plan on getting cell phones for them.

Update (12/29/2011) – I’m still with VOIPo and I’m still happy with them.  The price is still right, the call quality and online interface are still good, but mostly the customer service is outstanding.  On three occasions over the past few years I’ve needed to contact VOIPo with an issue: one was an erroneous double-charge to my credit card, and the other two were technical problems in which my incoming phone calls were going straight to voicemail, even though my settings said to ring 6 times before going to voicemail.  Each time the issue was resolved quickly and easily with a short (5 minutes or less) phone call.

13 Responses to “Vonage vs. VOIPo [Updated]”

  1. STL clutch says:

    I’ve been a customer of Vonage for over 5years I think i’m switching to Voipo also. If I can get the same quality for a cheaper price CHA!!! CHING!!!

  2. bledsoe says:

    Racer X, I don’t have a dedicated fax number with VOIPo, though I do have a fax machine that I pull out on the rare occasion that I need to send or receive a fax. I just unplug my telephone from the VOIPo adapter, plug in the fax machine, send or receive the fax, then unplug the fax machine and plug the phone back in. As far as the fax machine knows, it’s using a regular phone line.

  3. Kaffeguy says:

    Yes, Voipo can assign a dedicated fax number if you need one. You are able to receive a fax through that number via Email, then print it if you so desire. You can fax by scanning the page or pages into the computer and sending them that way as well.

  4. Racer X says:

    Can a FAX be used with VOIPo?

  5. Denaya says:

    VOIPO isn’t a bad service, and I would say they are definitely better than MagicJack

  6. Kaffeguy says:

    I have been a Vonage customer for 10 years. I started checking the fees and so forth and it is as much as a regular telco landline. A friend switched over to Voipo and the call quality is the same if you have a good high speed connection which we do. The Fetures that Voipo offer are superior to Vonage’s features. I’m expecting to receive my ATA from them next week. Thier promotion special this time is excellent. At $8.25 per month for 2 lines, (with the cloning) this can’t be beat.

  7. Ryan says:

    I’m in Canada and pay a flat fee of 15.95 a month with vonage. Unlimited minutes anywhere in North America. This is the preferred customer package.

    I threatened to cancel, they gave me this deal. It’s the way the world works, you always need to push buttons to get what you want. Never settle for an advertised rate.

  8. Don says:

    With all VOIP serivices, if you have a cell phone, you can put yoour cell phone numer in as the Failover Forward. That means, if by any reason your phone is not working, anyone calls your phone will ring on your cell phone. Or you can set up to have your home phone and cell ring all at the same time no matter what.

    This is America, there is a solution for every problem.

  9. bledsoe says:

    Since most households now have at least one cell phone, even if you lose your VOIP phone for a time due to a power outage, you still have a phone available if you need it. If it’s really important to you that you have a “home” phone that’s available even if the power goes out, you probably don’t want a VOIP phone.

  10. Alan Scott says:

    I have been thinking about switching to Vonage for a while now. The $55 monthly ATT for basic service is getting absurd. Looks like I also need to consider Voipo. My big hang up with voip is the potential unreliability factor. Say like sever weather and the like. Power goes out, no more voip.

  11. bledsoe says:

    Hi Don,

    It’s good to hear from others who appreciate VOIPo. I plan to stay with them as well.

  12. Don says:

    I think VOIPo’s price is much better than Vonage’s. I left Vonage because of its practice of ever increasing funny fee structure. My 500-minute plan has gone from about $12 (fees taxes included) 5-years ago to $26.50 (base rate is $17.99, rest is fees and taxes). You do the math.

    I signed up with VOIPo one-month ago after 5 years with Vonage, prepaid for two years. It cost me $8.25/month everything included. Plus an hour of free international call.

    I cut my monthly phone bill by about 70% moving from Vonage to VOIPo. I wish I had done it sooner.

    If VOIPo can keep this pricing structure. I don’t ever plan to move to another provider. I did a lot of research before I made the move to VOIPo, some providers out there maybe still a little cheaper. But I am happy with VOIPo’s service at this price point.

    I must disclose that I am not a high volume user. With cell phone, work phone, internet chat, email all part of my regular communication tools, I use about 300 minutes a month on my home phone.

  13. VoiceData24 says:

    These services are good for the consumer but there are much better options for businesses.

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