We are living in a new era. Gone are the days of one phone company holding a monopoly over a service area. They say the monopolies were broken up long ago but that isn’t entirely true. I’ve moved around a lot in my life and I found that the local phone company did everything they could to make sure I was using their services. If I opted for a different long distance carrier they made things difficult for me.
Having had experience with many different phone companies I came to feel that there are no good ones, just ones that are a bit better than the rest. There really was no reason for customer service to treat you like a human because you had no choice but to use their services.
A gentleman I know suggested I try Vonage phone service. This digital phone goes through your cable Internet connection and completely bypasses the phone company. Intriguing! I did some research and liked what I heard but never got around to making the switch until now. Instead of going with Vonage I went with my local cable company Time Warner Cable.
Why We Switched
I finally came to the end of the line with my phone company. I was three days late on my bill when I got a call from my phone company. The message stated they were going to shut off my phone service. I was dumbfounded. They are shutting off my phone because my bill was three days late? When my husband phoned them they said they have no choice because people are running up bills and then switching to digital phone. They were pretty nasty about it.
I think if people are running to digital phone it may have more to do with customer service than anything. I find this kind of behavior unacceptable. They also told us if they turned off any of our services it would cost us 26 dollars. It was also cost us 26 dollars to get it turned back on. This phone company considers local, long distance and the optional services to be three separate things. That’s a whopping 78 dollars!
What We Got
I had been seeing advertisements in my area for Time Warner Cable’s digital phone service. They claimed they could save me a bunch of money and I could kiss my phone company goodbye. We called and were blown away by what they were offering us. They have a package called “All In One” that consists of high speed Internet, residential phone services and digital cable with DVR. They offered us this package for $125.00 a month. After I did some math I realized I would be saving over $100.00 a month.
The Good and the Bad
I can happily say that we are very pleased with our new phone service. There are a few downsides to the digital phone but they are minor. It is a relatively new thing so the quality is not the best. If the power goes out so does the digital phone. I have only been without service once in the few months I’ve had digital phone and that was because my modem needed to be reset. A quick phone call on my cell phone and it was fixed within minutes.
One fabulous benefit of digital phone is the features. You get caller ID, call waiting, and a whole host of other goodies at no extra cost. The caller ID even comes up on my television. It’s not as precise as the phone company’s caller ID however. It gives the number but only says the state where the caller lives, not their name. It doesn’t handle international calls well either. A call from Australia came up as ‘Maryland’ and I almost didn’t answer.
The best bonus of digital phone is the long distance. You can call anywhere in the US and Canada for free. International calls are substantially less than traditional phone rates. I can call my friends in Australia for ten cents a minute.
If You Switch
Digital phone is not available in all areas. If you live in an area where you cannot get cable you obviously cannot get digital phone. If you do live within the service area and you are thinking of switching this is what you can expect.
Time Warner will handle all of the details themselves. They can port your number so you don’t have to deal with a new phone number. This takes seven to ten days. They will ask you not to notify your phone provider. If you let your current service know you are leaving they can cancel your account and you will lose your phone number. A technician will come to your home and set everything up for you. You can use your existing phone.
Time Warner is a dream to deal with in comparison to the phone company. They are always polite, prompt and exceedingly helpful. They answer their phones at any hour of the day unlike the phone company in my area that closes at six PM. They are still working out the kinks but over all this service is amazing. There was a mix up with our work order, which caused the old phone company to keep billing us. Time Warner took care of the problem for us. It not only saves you money it also makes life a whole lot easier.