If you’re a Vonage customer, or thinking about becoming one, I have a bit of news for you. Did you know they have lower-priced plans than what they advertise?
I’ve been a Vonage customer for almost 5 years now, but I simply don’t use anywhere near as many minutes as they give me each month. At first, I was on their $24.99 unlimited calling plan, but I called to cancel after about 2 years. At the time, they offered to lower me down to the $17.99 plan (was $14.99 back then), plus give me 2 months free. I took the deal and left it at that plan, until today.
I recently got a phone number with Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral) which is a free service that offers everything Vonage offers, except for a physical VOIP router, or a calling plan. You can make calls with your Google Voice number, but it has to be from an existing line. For example, if I wanted you to see my GV number, I would call my GV number, punch in my PIN and then dial your number. You can make long-distance calls for cheap rates, but that’s not why I got the number.
Basically, all I need it a single “home” phone number than can easily forward to my/our cells. If we need to make phone calls, we can and do use our cell phones. I just don’t like giving out my cellphone number except to people I specifically want calling me directly. Both Vonage and Google voice, and a few other providers, offer that convenience (but Google offers it for free).
Canceling My Vonage Service
So now that I’ve updated all my friends, coworkers and service providers (credit cards, utilities, etc.) a few weeks ago with the new Google Voice number, I felt it was time I could cancel Vonage. First, I logged into my Vonage account to see who called me in the last month. Well, all of 2 people, and one was a telemarketer, so obviously it’s not going to be a problem to turn off Vonage.
Next, I called up Vonage customer service. I got through to a rep who took my information and offered the “I’m sorry you’re choosing to close your account” response. Unsurprisingly, the rep offered me another 2 months free, but the surprising part was that Vonage has an even cheaper plan than what I currently have!
$9.99 Residential Basic 100 Plan
Since I’m a “VIP” customer, the service rep offered to lower my plan down to a $9.99 plan, which is currently unadvertised on their site. The plan offers 100 minutes versus the 500 I previously had, but I haven’t gone above 100 minutes more than once in at least a year.
So I decided to take this plan, and the 2 free months. They already gave me the credit, which was about $28 and shows that the total each month with taxes and fees would be about $14. Still too much considering Google Voice is free.
Given this revelation of a secret $9.99 plan, I searched online to see what others had to say. Turns out there’s yet another secret plan…
$4.99 Residential Account Hold Plan
If you’re currently a Vonage customer, you can request the “$4.99 Residential Account Hold Plan“.
You DO get unlimited incoming call minutes, but you’re charged 3.9 cents per minute for outgoing calls (rate may change). You still get the voicemail box included, but one forum mentions that forwarded calls (which is what I would want) are subject to the 3.9 cent charge. After taxes and fees, you should expect the final bill to be about $8 per month.
If you’re familiar with this plan, let me know what charges, features, etc. are included. I’m sure when I call back in 2 months to cancel, they’ll offer it to me then.
Honestly, Google Voice offers a voicemail box, call forwarding, and even voice-to-text voicemail. It even allows me to choose when to and not to forward calls on a per-phone basis. It’s exactly what I need, and no additional cost. I can cut out yet another line item on our budget and reduce the complexity in our lives just a little bit. The downside is you need to request an invitation from Google, which took me about 2 weeks to get accepted.