Goodbye VoicePulse, hello … uhhh …

I’ve been on VoicePulse’s Connect plan for a couple of years and have consistently paid less than $25/year for service. It’s a pay-as-you-go plan that had rates of about .7 cents per minute back when I started. Of course, rates have risen but I’ve still had very low cost service and have been quite happy with their quality. I chose a roll-your-own route for Voice over IP as opposed to Skype or MagicJack or AT&T or Comcast because I wanted to integrate my landline (yes, I still have one) and my VoIP line into one telephone device. I did that with a Sipura SPA-3102 which provides both a landline INPUT (an FXO port, i.e. from the phone company) and a VoIP input and meld them into one phone line OUTPUT (an FXS port, i.e. plug your telephone into it). Woth this setup, I can make or receive both VoIP calls AND landline calls from the same handset.

OK, so back to the story. Last week I received notice from VoicePulse that they were instituting a $3 monthly regulatory compliance fee and a $9.50 minimum monthly fee, raising my costs to just under $13/month. Now, that’s not bad, all things considered but that’s not what I’m after. So, I’m looking for another provider. The first company I tried was Localphone. They provide good quality calls at a good rate (0.9 cents per minutes as of right now). But they don’t provide the ability to set your caller ID — something that’s important to me because I use Google Voice with Gizmo for my main inbound number and want my outbound number to be consistent with that.

The next two providers that are on tap are voip.ms and CallWithUs.com and both provide customized Caller ID. By and large, outbound calls to the USA with CallWithUs is 0.99 cents per minute with no minimum and calls billed per minute through one server. Voip.ms calls are more expensive at about 0.105 cents per minute for their “value” connections (“premium” costs 0.125 cents per minute) but their calls are billed in 6 second increments and they have several servers located around the US.

I’ve just signed up with VoIP.ms and am trying them out now. They’ve got a live chat facility which helped me get up and running very quickly (you need to fund your account even if you’re only going to make toll-free calls). I’ll report back later.

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