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I just signed up with http://www.vonage.com so I could try Voice over Internet Protocal. Basically I'm using my home phone over the internet. $24.99 Unlimited calls in Canada and the US. You must have high speed internet.

I got a pre programmed phone router the mail last night, plugged it into my cable modem, got my home phone and plugged it into the router. Picked up the phone and started dialing. It sounds perfect.

In case you are wondering if I am affiliated with them, Im not. I just thought it was too cool not to share with others. I can't believe I waited so long to get it. ( I do get a free months service if I refer someone.) Thats not my motive for sharing it with you. :D

Sprint charges me $33.87 per month just to provide my normal phone service.
 

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Hey Brian,

Dumb question. Do you still get telemarketers from it or is it too soon to know? I have a feature with pac bell that goes WAY beyond caller ID where the caller has GOT to have ALL there info broadcast or my phone does not even ring. Of course, this costs extra still. Just haven't found ANY other company who has this feature called "Privacy Manager" yet?

Mike
 

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Pappy said:
Hey Brian,

Dumb question. Do you still get telemarketers from it or is it too soon to know? I have a feature with pac bell that goes WAY beyond caller ID where the caller has GOT to have ALL there info broadcast or my phone does not even ring. Of course, this costs extra still. Just haven't found ANY other company who has this feature called "Privacy Manager" yet?

Mike
My Sprint is still connected to the house. My Sprint has a similiar blocking service as you described. At the moment I have a temporary number for my VOIP. The switching of my old telephone number from Sprint to Vonage should take approx 3 weeks.

Telemarketers will get thru as normal since there is no block.
 

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Stormsteed said:
Pappy said:
I have a feature with pac bell that goes WAY beyond caller ID where the caller has GOT to have ALL there info broadcast or my phone does not even ring. Of course, this costs extra still. Just haven't found ANY other company who has this feature called "Privacy Manager" yet?
Mike... if you don't mind me asking, how much more is the cost for this Privacy Manager? And will a call from "916-000-0000" slip through?
It's about $8.00 per month. NOTHING gets through! I love it so much I can't say, had it 2 years now. If it's a know jerk, they just get a recording stating we don't TAKE junk calls. If it's unknown, it rings through and I get a message asking me what to do with the call. Take it? Send it to my phone machine? Or give the caller a message to BITE ME! (well, to that effect). If it weren't for this really neat feature, I'd just go pure wireless as my entire family is now dead and no real need for a phone anymore.
Guess I just love screwing with telemarketers so much, it's all I have left? :p
 

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I miss the "good old days" of torturing telemarketers. <sigh> I know they're just doing their job .... but they always seemed to call when I was eating.


A few of my favorite ways to torture telemarketers :

  • Tell them that "I'm rather busy right now and if they'll give me their home phone number, I'll call them back later." Wait for the opportunity to say, "What? You don't like people calling and annoying you at home?!? [/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Hum / sing to them. Try to be offkey as much as possible.[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Ask what they're wearing. (Warning! - sometimes spawns into an interesting conversation)[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Try to sell them something (ie - life insurance)[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Hand them over to the 'household decision maker' and give the phone to a very young child[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Try and psychoanalyze them[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Ask them for a credit card number as you 'charge by the minute' for your services[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Fake turrets syndrome and then apologise profusely[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Ask questions totally unrelated to their product[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
  • Put them on hold[/*:m:3hmt8c2d]
 

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At work when they call, I tell them "those decisions are made by our corporate office", they should call 1-800-925-5551. (its a sex talk phone line we found by accident)
 

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HEY! You guys hijacked my thread! :(
 

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Greengoose said:
HEY! You guys hijacked my thread! :(
I had a good friend of mine tell a story about being called by Sprint and wanting to sell him long distance service. Butch had a very 'dry' sense of humour and as the woman was about to launch into her spiel he stopped her, telling her that she was wasting her time as he could never use the service she was selling. She, politely, asked why that was. He answered that he didn't own a telephone.
She appologised for distrubing him and hung up the TELEPHONE!

True story, unfortunately Butch passed away this past summer. He was a great source of strange and funny stories relating to telemarking and the shopping channel. The shopping channel usually involved acohol.

He once called me, told me he had to go out and buy a car! He never had a drivers permit or owned a car. The reason for this urgent purchase was the CAA (the Canadian version of the auto club) had called and told him they were giving him a free membership.

Nother story, he had ordered a hockey shirt from the shopping channel as a gift for another friend of ours. Butch had told the operator that he wanted an extra large shirt. The box arrived and he got two large shirts.
 

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Greengoose said:
HEY! You guys hijacked my thread! :(
Eeek! We did. :oops:

Guess it's time to take off the mask and put away the guns. :p
 

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Spit

This article appeared in USA Today 11/10/04.

A new strain of spam soon could have consumers spitting mad.
"Spit" — spam over Internet telephony — is beginning to surface as more people make phone calls over the Internet instead of regular phone lines, security experts say.

Spit isn't much of a problem now, "But it will be," says Pierce Reid at Qovia, which develops products to manage voice networks.

Marketers can program their computers to send 1,000 voice messages a minute over Internet-telephony technology, according to one recent Qovia test, Reid says. The company has filed patents for software products to thwart spit.

Web-based phone systems ensnared in spam will "trash voice-mail systems," says Michael Osterman, an independent Internet researcher. "You can easily delete 100 spam text messages. But try to weed through a voice-mail system filled with 100 unsolicited pitches. That's a pain."

Internet-telephony technology is growing in popularity. It is faster, cheaper and can send one message to multiple phone numbers. Businesses like it because they can bypass traditional phone networks entirely and more easily set up voice services.

There will be nearly 1 million Internet-phone subscribers in the USA this year, up more than seven times from 2003, says market researcher Yankee Group. By 2008, the number will swell to 17.5 million. There are 179 million traditional phone lines and 178 million cell phones in the USA.

The emergence of spit is just the latest incarnation of spam that clogs consumers' computers and cell phones with trillions of messages pitching Viagra and get-rich-quick schemes. "As everything gets connected, there are more ways to spam consumers," says Linda Beck at EarthLink. "Spam is everywhere."
 

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When I get a telemarketer I just lay the phone down & let them talk. I pick it up every once in a while & if they are still there I say something to keep them going & then lay it down again. Better to waste their time than to blow them off & let them bother someone else.
 

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calea approved!

Greengoose and I can change our VOiP phone numbers for about 10 bucks
a switch through Vonage if we need to.
I've had Vonage for about 10 months and haven't gotten a telemarketer
but I do get wrong numbers dialed to me in voice-mail sometimes.

What I do is have a primary number that I give to trusted ones.
The linked 800 number is given to all.
The 800 number uses the primary as a connection but if I
start getting junk calls I'll change the 800 number instead of primary.

Most of the time I keep the phone turned off and just check the incoming
list at the Dashboard page. A mouse roll-over on the listed phone number will
give me a personalization (if programmed) name from the caller.
Strange numbers and no personal info, and I just ignore the call.

Vonage has a cool feature that sends a voice-message to e-mail as an
attachment. They do all the work and I look at my e-mail as a switchboard.

After getting nickled and dimed from cell companies for 5 years for the privilege of
contract billing, I've turned the cellphone off.
If cellphone providers had not had to buy blocks of radio spectrum from u.s. congress/fcc
then pass the buck to consumers, our cellphone bills would be about as low as VOiP is now.

Here's a link from Motorola for the Voice Terminal.
http://broadband.motorola.com/consumers ... s/vt1000v/
 

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2+2

911 service (by law) is available to our old cell phones even if they have no
other call services available to them.

This means I can carry a 'no service' cell phone with me when I Burgy to Illinois next June
and use it to reach emergency 911 operators throughout the us as I travel
without having to pay a provider.

I just so happen to have a 1998 tri-band Nokia-AT&T 6160 in the closet
which does tdma,pcs or amps service. This guarantees
911 service in digital cities or through the analog countryside with the same
coverage as the nationwide AT&T One-Rate.
So the 'no service' cell phone wins the emergency reliability round at my place without comparing to POTS.

If I need real mobile cell service, I'll call Consumer Cellular (Portland.OR)
to establish month to month AT&T (tdma) or Verizon (cdma) service
without a contract.
With Consumer Cellular, I can have nationwide service one month then
go back to a budget local plan for the month that I get back home.
Then, I turn the service off altogether and save hundreds a year although
the monthly charge is only slightly higher than what a contract billing month would
have been.
That's 888-816-9444 http://www.ConsumerCellular.com
And no, I don't work for them.
 

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curious...

I'm dusting off this old string because I may be making a job change to be able to work at home. In doing so, I'll need a second phone line and DSL to do so, and the company is willing to pay for both (yeah). I will be making a lot of long distance calls, and it dawned on me - why not switch to VOIP? I've just started researching, and have just printe a bunch of stuff on both Vonage and Packet8 - the two top rated providers from a quick read on the internet (http://www.ordervoip.com).

Anyone have any good or bad experiences to relate? GGoose, still using it? Did you cancel your regular phone service?

I will cancel our regular phone line if this goes well, and see it costs extra to have two lines, but am wondering if I will need to do so - I see you can have two or more phone numbers, so perhaps I won't need to.

Thanks for any advice. Flint

PS: found a forum very similar to this one at: http://www.ordervoip.com/forum/

Discusses VOIP issues and concerns - like TiVO issues I guess? Hmmm...
 

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Flint,

Since VOIP on is totally dependent your internet connection, if you power goes out you also loose your phone service unlike POTS (plain old telephone service) which carries it's own power. You might invest in a battery backup for at least the DSL modem and the VOIP device. See if you can get the company to spring for the backup too. One other note ... most VOIP providers do not provide 911 emergency service.
 

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Re: curious...

If your high speed internet service is via a cable modem, then using VOIP would let you eliminate your regular phone service. But DSL comes into the house over existing phone lines. Cancel your phone service and when they disconnect you you'll lose your DSL too.

It's kind of ironic... The best modem rate anyone could figure out to squeeze over a phone line was 56k. But DSL uses the same two wires, and 10 times that speed is possible. That's analog VS digital for you. The phone companies have it in their power, and I suspect once VOIP takes away enough of their business , they'll start offering a combined all-digital phone(VOIP)/internet option which will essentially be what you can do with a cable modem. The cable companies have the edge, because they can offer phone, internet, AND TV over the same wires. Although I can watch internet videos over my DSL connection, it's not anywhere near the capacity for several channels of TV.

On a side note, the power companies will soon offer internet, TV, and VOIP options through your home power lines.

Can't wait. In the end the competiton "should" bring prices down. Time will tell.
 

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Re: curious...

4DThinker said:
But DSL comes into the house over existing phone lines. Cancel your phone service and when they disconnect you you'll lose your DSL too.
Bellsouth does offer DSL (here) without having POTS. They 'discount' the DSL service if you have a regular phone and other services.

4DThinker said:
It's kind of ironic... The best modem rate anyone could figure out to squeeze over a phone line was 56k.
They can go faster, but the FCC limited the speed that you can transfer across phone lines.
 
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