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baggage

Never used Vonage's 911. Do you have a cell phone that you could call 911 with if the vonage went out?

Rosemary Grace

I nearly switched to [email protected], but have to wait until my current contract is up. They include free calls to 5 countries in Europe now, one of those contries contains my parents. Score.

But...I hadn't thought about the ability to make a phone call in a power outage. Living in Southern California the likelyhood of an earthquake knocking out power temporarily is fairly real. The likelyhood of rolling blackouts is even more real.

denise

Hey, cool! I got mentioned in a post! I'm glad the assessment was helpful. I hope your fears have been alleviated a bit.
Anyway, [email protected] We've had it for about 6 months. We got it primarily for the cheap, cheap (oh, so cheap!)long distance, as we make daily calls from Canada to California.
The sound isn't fabulous; there's a constant low buzz in the background, but I've gotten used to it, and don't notice it anymore.
Power outages can be a problem, however. Plus, when our ISP does maintenance and our cable modem goes down, so does the phone, as it uses the internet. With a supplementary cell phone to be used in case of emergency, that problem is mostly solved.
We've not had to use 911, and hope to keep it that way.
All in all, I guess I would say we're fairly satisfied. That being said, if it weren't for the cheap long distance, I'm not sure I would bother. Honestly, it makes me a little nervous. What if we've forgotten to charge the cell, you know?

meghan

We use SkyRocket. Same idea as Vonage (VOIP), but a better deal for us and a little more comforting in terms of their 911-compatability, at least according to Pete's research. Where we live, Time Warner will also bundle VOIP in with cable TV and cable modem. I don't know if they do that in NYC, though. Also, I totally covet this so that even if we haven't charged the cell, it isn't an issue (well, in a short blackout, at least).

Wendy

Since VOIP uses the internet, once your cable/DSL modem loses power, you won't have phone service. We have two lines at home and we're going to use VOIP for our fax line (and use it for outgoing long distance) as well as keep the "land line" for incoming calls. We have a standard plug-in phone we used during a power outtage.

Lisa V

I really preferred the 10 year joke over the more realistic 80 to 90. An "inconvenient" truth, indeed. Our poor kids. Our poor grandkids.

I know nothing about vonage, though I have considered it myself. We have a regular phone too for emergencies. I'm not willing to give that up. But our phone bill is $25. We don't use it for long distance. We use really cheap calling cards and our cells.

Anne

Do what we did. Drop the LD on your house phone and use the cells for LD calls. Local phone service in our area is $14 (we had to have a line to get DSL last year). We have the cell phones anyway for travel and such so we just found a better plan and call our family and friends on the weekend, when minutes are free! ;-) Sprint has nice programs where if you go over, it's something like $5 for each 100 minutes over.
Anne

elecriclady

Wish I could help, but I also pay through the nose for a land line because I'm not willing to risk switching to VOIP and having no phone service next time we have a man-made or natural disaster. Same reason I won't go all-cell--given how effed up cell phone service was both on 9/11 and during the blackout, I won't risk it. Anne's idea of dropping long-distance on the land line is a good one...except wait, then if cell phone service goes out I have no way of contacting my parents in the Midwest to let them know I'm alive. So I guess in this case, my paranoia wins out over my penny-pinching propensities.

Heather

Moxie,

I'm sorry but I personally don't trust it. Having been in NYC for 9/11 and the Blackout, I still pay Verizon $40 per month for their most basic service and have a corded phone with the ringer turned off hooked up to it.

I don't mean to freak you out, but I've personally dialed 911 from my cell and gotten connected to THE WRONG DISPATCH twice. The most recent time was only about a year ago I was driving on the Deegan on the Bronx/Westchester border and there was a German Shepard running in the middle of the highway.

Summer

So I immediately went and did that questionnaire for Dorian, and the only things that weren't a "no" were the items about lining up toys, watching the same video over and over, and obsession with (in his case) trains and numbers, all of which I rated "mild." I know a lot of smart, happy, interactive three and four year old boys, and EVERY ONE OF THEM is at least mildly obsessed with either Thomas the Tank Engine or Bob the Builder. How much of it is behavioral dysfunction, and how much of it is the power of the Hit Entertainment marketing machine?

KidKate

We switched to [email protected] about 6 months ago and have had good luck with it. From what I understand, the only catch to the 911 thing is that you have to have your address on file with [email protected] so that they can provide it to emergency services should you dial 911 (but I believe this is automatic). The trouble arises when people don't update their addresses with them when they move.

That aside, I would heartily recommend it. However, the phone lines in my building in Brooklyn are so old that we kept losing service altogether, so in our case it came down to [email protected] versus taking time off work a couple of times a year to wait hours and hours for repairmen that didn’t show (and thus having no 911 service anyway)...

Menita

We pay very little for our landline as we only have the most basic service, and no LD. For LD we either use our cellphones (for calls within the US), or we always have a stash of phone cards, which have incredibly cheap rates both for calls to South America (where we call most - about 1 cent per minute) and the US) - and you can still use them in the case of a blackout on your land line.

Mary

We have Vonage, and I really like it. However, I have not ever had to dial 911 from it. I also do not live in the NYC area, so I don't have to worry about some of the stuff the other commenters are mentioning. But I do have to say that it is nice to pick up the phone in the middle of the day and call long distance without worrying about what the rates are right now...

Heather

We have used vonage for over a year and are happy with it. The only problem is if you ever have internet problems, you have phone problems. We haven't had to call 911 either though. It is so cheap, I think it is worth it. They also have a great voicemail thing where you get an email with a wave file (instead of having to call in or play a message machine).

Heather

And as for the asperger/PDD bldg curse, I wouldn't worry about it. In my experience (which includes relatives with both of those) there isn't really a question that something is wrong. If you're gut isn't telling you Something Is Wrong, then I would let it go. Global warming needs you.

Joie

On the advice of my father, who has a police officer/school security director background, I keep a land line in our house in case of 911 calls. We never use it for LD and we don't use any of the $$ features (caller ID, call waiting, et. al.) and the total cost is about $28 month. For LD calls I use my cellphone or calling cards.

Personally, I would feel that relying on [email protected] and only cell phones would be too risky in this day and age. The cellular systems can get overwhelmed and calls won't go through, and our internet/cable/electricity goes out when we have big storms. We also have a rotary phone *just incase*, and well, they are so cool and vintage!

Carrie

We have V-nage and I love it. I wouldn't agree to it until they had enhanced 911, which we have actually used and it worked just fine. The negatives I see are that it is still computer based, sometimes we need to reboot and unless you have a battery backup you have no phone service when the electric goes out. We have had some problems with static but my hubby is computer savvy so he has always been able to remedy the problem. All in all I like it, but if I didn't have tech support in house I wouldn't have the service at all.

Effective Nancy

We've been using Vonage for four years now, and it's been really very reliable except when there's a general power outage, as others have mentioned, or when the cable's out. In the past, we've used our cell phones to cover those times, and it's been fine. Now that we've moved to a house with an alarm system, we have had to get a bare-bones local phone line just in case the system has to make a call. Because it's local-only service, we're still paying less overall to the combined two companies than we would if we got all the same services (voice mail, caller ID, call waiting, etc. not to mention the online message retrieval and call logs from Vonage) from the local phone monopoly. So I still think we win.

Plus the 911 should work as long as you keep Vonage up to date on your location. Are you aware that next time you go visit out of town, you can take your phone number with you if you have Vonage? As long as you connect to a cable modem, that number lives in the box and can travel anywhere. It came in handy when we were doing some remodeling and had to stay at my parents' house for a week; we never lost touch with anyone despite being 30 miles from where a land line would have lain silent. Pretty cool.

Sydney

Call your carrier. The phone only has A-GPS which means that it reqiures the network assistance in location tracking. Most carriers can track the phone IF its still on the network. However, many will require your companies approval since they issued it and/or a court order to do so or a police emergency

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