How do you go about finding a reliable VoIP service provider in today’s market? The choice is crucial to your satisfaction with the service, as well as your budget, to find the right one when you are making the switch from traditional phones to VoIP.
Before you choose a VoIP service provider, there are a few questions you should ask:
- What is the termination policy? Can you terminate your contract at all, and are there penalties for doing so? Long-term contracts are common among cell phone and VoIP service providers; it’s unlikely you’ll find one without a penalty, but it’s an important point to compare if you think you might want or need to opt out of the contract early.
- What are the installation and set-up costs? Are there additonal charges for installation of extra phones, adapters, PBX systems, or other equipment?
- Are there any fees for server usage? Salespeople will tell you everything you want to hear about low monthly fees and set-up costs; if the company charges server costs you might not find out about it until the contract is signed.
- How does the service handle faxes? Depending on your VoIP service provider, you may need to install and/or pay for an additional module for faxing. If faxes are vital to your home or business usage, setting this up properly up front can save you from many headaches.
- Does the plan include emergency calling services? Do not choose a VoIP service provider that cannot provide a proper connection to 911 emergency personnel, complete with locator service that will tell the operator your location if you are unable to communicate. Most VoIP service providers have this technology now, and you don’t want to encourage those companies who are being slow to adopt it.
Now that VoIP is replacing the existing traditional phone services across America, people are saving enormous amounts of money by using advanced technology to convert their phone signals to use their existing broadband internet connection. If your phone use is heavy and you frequently call long distance or overseas, this service is definitely for you.
However, don’t forget to factor in some of the drawbacks that VoIP service providers are working to overcome. Rembember that if your internet connection or your electrical power is down, your phone service will be too. That may not be a large issue if you have a cell phone (as most of us do these days), but it’s an important factor to keep in mind when considering potential emergency situations.
Even with this disadvantage, the new breed of VoIP service provider offers fantastic value with this new technology, allowing you to slash your phone budget in half or more. Doing the research on your VoIP service provider will tell you if this technology is suited to solving your unique telecommunications needs.