Save Hundreds of Dollars on Phone Bills

August 11, 2011 by
Filed under: Utilities 

MagicJackA couple of weeks ago I posted a blog about how I save money on my cell phone bill. At the end of that post I mentioned a future topic would be how I save hundreds of dollars on my land line. Well, the secret is MagicJack!

About a year-and-a-half ago, we disconnected our home phone service with CenturyTel and switched to a VoIP provider. A VoIP is a Voice over Internet Protocol–that means our home phone runs over our internet connection. We still use our cordless phones–it’s just connected through our computer, and we save a ton of money in the process.

When we made the switch, the only company we really knew about was MagicJack. We paid $40 for the equipment which included the first year of service. I believe we bought it from Walmart around the holidays. It was in  one of those “as seen on TV” displays.

For $20 a year, we get unlimited local and long distance calling, directory assistance, call waiting, caller  ID, 911 connection, and voicemail! For those of you that know me, you know how much I like to talk on the  phone! As a stay-at-home, it’s my lifeline to the outside world, and my family is spread across the country.

Now, here’s the glitchy part about MagicJack. The connection can sometimes (a lot of times) be not that  great. Remember Max Headroom from MTV in the ’80s? Sometimes my phone calls sound very ss-ss-s-similar to  Max. I have the most trouble when I try to use the phone and the computer at the same time. I also can’t sit near the computer or the microwave while I’m on the phone. Also, no one can use the computer while the phone  is in use.

Now, having said that, I will say that I think the problem is with my computer, not necessarily MagicJack.  The reason I think it’s my computer and not MagicJack, is that when my husband uses his laptop while he’s on  the phone, the audio quality is perfect. Our computer is due to be replaced soon and I’m hoping the new  computer will eliminate our audio issues.

I’m pretty sure that my friends and family are ready to pool their money and pay for my phone service just  so they can have a normal conversation with me! I’ve been close several times too, but it’s $20 a year! That’s such a huge savings that every time I get frustrated with the audio quality, I just pull out an old  phone bill to remind myself that it really is worth it.

Now that MagicJack has been out for a few years there are several other companies to choose from and perhaps  the answer is to switch? From what I’ve seen online, MagicJack is still the cheapest.

Do you use a VoIP  provider? If so, please comment about your cost and experience.

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6 Comments on Save Hundreds of Dollars on Phone Bills

  1. Daphne on Thu, 11th Aug 2011 4:47 PM
  2. Hi,
    I just found your website and I really liked this article about saving money on my phone bill. I am just wondering what kind of internet service you have, in town or a dish. We have a dish and are very restricted as to the amount of download we are allowed. Do you know if this system takes very much download, or is it similar to an email or something. Sounds like a great way to save a lot of money.

  3. abe on Thu, 11th Aug 2011 8:01 PM
  4. I nevernotice the audio when talking to you.
    Sitting near the microwave is probably related to a 2.4 ghz cordless phone. Same with sitting by computer if your wifi is near there.

  5. Abe Degnan on Fri, 12th Aug 2011 12:20 PM
  6. Here’s another VOIP option on Woot today.

  7. Jill on Sat, 13th Aug 2011 3:47 PM
  8. Hi Daphne–Welcome to Madison Consumer! I believe our internet connection has a 5 MB download speed. offers a free trial program–it’s a great way to check it out before you buy it.

    Abe–Sometimes the connection is just fine–I’ve learned how to work around it most of the time, but if I need to be on the computer and the phone at the same time (which is often for work-related calls) then I run into trouble. Our phone runs on a 1.9 GHz frequency and shouldn’t interfere with the microwave. It could just be a glitch that has nothing to do with the microwave–I’ve just noticed it from time to time. Thanks for the link regarding Ooma. Milwaukee Consumer did a post regarding Ooma as well:

  9. on Sat, 22nd Dec 2012 2:06 PM
  10. Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements
    would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your theme.
    Thanks a lot

  11. Joe Schultz on Tue, 26th Mar 2013 11:48 AM
  12. Magic Jack comes with a price. Their software is designed to bombard you with ads, and it is devilishly hard to remove the Magic Jack software once it is installed. Just be warned, nothing comes without a cost.

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