Buh Bye Bellsouth

Today, Turkey – 2, a process I started back in June has finally come to fruition. The second and last of the business lines I had with Bellsouth are now safely and completely ported over to “Vonage”:http://www.vonage.com (as in Voice over IP). If you’re just a residential kinda guy, it shouldn’t take that long, but with biz lines, one should always proceed with caution.

Not to get into boring details, but let’s just say that I ordered service back in June *in addition* to my existing biz lines with Bellsouth. It took a few weeks to work out some funkiness with my internet connection. Basically, my dsl connection at my current location has never been as stable as the one I had with Mindspring when I lived on the other side of town. Three ISPs, 2 truck rolls and it’s still flakey after all these (3) years. VOIP doesn’t like a flakey connection, nor does it like latency in the network. Packets get stalled and stack up, resulting in a chattering conversation over a telephone. Most people have good luck with voip and dsl; I didn’t. After I set up a cable internet connection, I had much better throughput and basically, voip calls aren’t any different from calls made over a pots line.

Anyway, two months to get the chatters worked out, and another 6 weeks apiece to get my telephone numbers ported from Bellsouth to Vonage. Porting the lines is apparently something Bellsouth doesn’t like to do. A lot of roadblocks appeared along the way, but eventually I got it done. Talking with Bellsouth biz support people, I thought there might be a fraction of a chance that they’d try to entice me to stay, with a deal of some sort. The closest I got to that was one of them remarking, “hmmmm…looks like you’ve had service with us since 1977.” That’s 27 years of paying ~ $180/month for two biz lines with caller id, etc. Oh well, just more churn to them.

So what am I paying now? Let’s see, $42/mo for the cable internet service (even though I don’t just use it for telephones). $62/mo for two business lines from Vonage, which come with more bells and whistles than I know how to use, caller id, voicemail, call hunt, unlimited long distance in the US and Canada, it goes on. Then I’m paying another $7.95/mo. for “Send2Fax”:http://www.send2fax.com/. You see, I could never get reliable fax reception with VOIP. So instead, my 27 year old published fax line is now ported to Vonage, but it auto-forwards to Send2Fax. So, you add all that up and get roughly $112.00/mo. I also had a fairly cheap long distance company over the Bellsouth lines, so add in another ~$20/mo for long distance and you get….tada…..$200/mo over Bellsouth land lines vs. $112/mo, voice over IP. Since $42 of that is my cable internet connection (after the 6 month deal of $22/mo runs out), getting rid of Bellsouth is like getting a big discount plus free broadband.

Yes….I know….I need to get out more.