10 Reasons VOIP Phone Pricing Might Vary
We all know that we have to do comparison shopping when we are selecting a cell phone and service provider. We do the same thing when we are deciding on a landline phone and a service provider for that. The same is true for VoIP phones and service. You need to ask ‘what isn’t included’ in prices, and not just settle for the sales pitch that tells you what you do get.
- Limited time offers – This seems to be the marketing ploy of many services these days. Sign up for a great low price! (for a limited time) In 3 months, 6 months, a year…sometime in the future your rate will be bumped up to the standard rate.
- Limited vs unlimited – Some VoIP plans come with limits on minutes, just like a cell phone plan. Others provide unlimited minutes. Be sure to understand how much calling time you are getting and which calls those limits apply to.
- Landline vs mobile calling – When using VoIP phone services, many plans will distinguish between calling landline numbers and mobile phone numbers. You may be able to call landline numbers in 60 countries, but only call mobile numbers in only 10 of those countries. Different plan configurations will have different prices.
- Countries being accessed – Which countries and how many, will make a difference in your plan rates as well. Some plans only include the US and Canada. Other plans will include a certain number of other countries.
- Pricing for extra minutes – Be sure to know the cost for additional minutes or the costs of calls outside of your plan areas. These are some of the unexpected costs than can turn a small phone bill into a large bill.
- Residential vs business – Prices are not the same for residential services and phones, as they are for businesses. You will pay more for a business connection and business phones, but you will generally also have many more features available on those phones.
- Hardware requirements – Each of the different VoIP phone services have different requirements for accessing their service. Some provide an adapter that allows you to connect analog phones to your internet connection. Others offer their own unique phone sets. And some, like Skype, are actually software based and can be accessed using your computers microphone and speakers or headset.
- Contract vs monthly – There are services that are paid month by month and others that offer a longer term contract. These things will also affect the pricing of VoIP service. Be sure to ask about cancellation fees with services that offer long term or prepaid contracts.
- Extra line charges – Many of the services offer two lines as part of their package price, but not all. Be sure to ask the cost of adding additional lines to the service.
- Phone features – Most VoIP services will provide features like voice mail, call waiting, caller ID and 3 way calling. You’ll want to make sure that the phones that you are using can utilize these features as well. Because the phones are internet based, often times features and functions on the phones can be changed and selected online.
Voice over IP phones and phone service pricing is much like any other phone service pricing. You need to compare plans and phones to see which one will be the most economical for your situation.