So you have made the big decision – you are finally going to take the plunge into the waters of VoIP. The first thing to do is just take a deep breath. When you consider your options, you may begin to realize that VoIP companies are a dime a dozen. Some of them are big name companies – providers like Vonage – who have commercials streaming on the television. Some of them may actually be branches of regular phone company (AT&T, for example, has its own VoIP offerings). Some may be local; others, nation-wide. The important thing to remember is that they are not all equal: prices, service quality and other factors vary. So the second thing to do, when choosing the VoIP phone companies, is to research.
Start by writing down your own needs. These depend greatly on who you are. How much can you afford to pay? Who is going to use the phone service: just you, your family, your business, etc.? Will you be calling long distance or is it primarily for local use? Don’t guess – evaluate your financial situation and your phone habits and then write everything down so you will be able to remember when you are contacting different VoIP phone companies.
Secondly, start calling. Most of the time, you will be transferred to the sales department of the company you are calling. Explain your needs to the VoIP phone companies and ask the representative what they offer that will match. You may call a few companies that are simply incompatible with your expectations; this is understandable. For example, you may be looking for a home plan but end up calling a few companies that are tailored for businesses. Don’t be afraid to simply cross their name off your list and move on to the next. When you do talk to someone with a promising offer, ask if they can send you a quote for different applicable plans. It is easy to get caught up when the representative is friendly and the price seems affordable, but you need to talk to a variety of VoIP phone companies in order to make sure you truly have a good deal.
Research the VoIP phone companies, once you have narrowed down the list to just a few. Read reviews from other customers. They don’t need to all be glowing – every company has a few disgruntled former customers eager to spin a yarn of horror – but on the whole, they should be positive. Also, look at the companies’ rating with the Better Business Bureau. As with a school report, this rating can indicate performance and overall satisfaction levels.
Lastly, you can use all this information to choose the best of the VoIP phone companies. Contact the representative from your provider of choice again and place your order.