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Technology should make our lives easier
• Competitive price
• International calling plans
• Use your own phone
• Customer support helpline
• Calls to overseas mobiles not always included
• Extra charge for phone adaptor
Choose your plan from a range of options offered by BroadVoice. This VOIP provider makes it easy to take advantage of low calling rates to the United States or other countries and you need only use your regular phone with an adaptor. Make sure you choose your plan with care so that your most frequently called places are included.
While some VOIP service providers put something different on the menu – business switchboard services, or free calling from your computer etc – BroadVoice is a no-frills operator where the only real difference between this and a traditional phone service is the price. Does BroadVoice offer any additional features for your money? We checked out the service to see how it stacks up.
To use the BroadVoice service all you need is a broadband connection. It’s best if the connection is at least 128kbs per phone line so your internet use doesn’t affect the telephone service. You don’t need a computer, and if you have one the computer doesn’t need to be turned on – you just need the broadband connection. In addition, you’ll be sent an adaptor that you plug into your home phone so you can make calls over the internet from a regular handset. If you have your own VOIP-compatible device you can use it with a BroadVoice plan and you don’t need to pay for the BroadVoice adaptor.
BroadVoice offers flat rate plans that vary in price depending on which countries you want to call. It’s a simple concept and the only real issue is choosing which one is going to suit you best, although there is a money-back guarantee if you change your mind. The Unlimited In-State plan gives you unlimited calling within your chosen state and is the cheapest of all the plans at just under $9.95 a month, while the Unlimited USA PLUS plan is more expensive but you can call anywhere in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
If you are going to be calling internationally the flat rate international plans will most likely suit you best. Unlimited World gives you unlimited calling to 29 countries. Unlimited World PLUS is unlimited to 80 countries, and Unlimited World PREMIUM is for 95 countries. Unfortunately mobiles are not included in every country and you may need to pay for the most expensive service if you want to be able to call international mobiles.
Unlimited Business allows you to call anyone within the United States and Canada and you can add up to two remote offices using alternate numbers set up with different area codes.
There are some additional costs each month for regulatory recovery, etc so you pay slightly more than the advertised price.
All the call features are here that you would expect with a traditional modern phone service. These features aren’t going to blow you away but you will find them useful. What can you do with a BroadVoice phone service? Reject calls that come in anonymously, set up call forwarding rules so you can automatically forward calls when you are busy or when you don’t answer your phone, put a call on hold, return a call and transfer a call. BroadVoice also provides call waiting, directory assistance, last number redial, distinctive ring, speed dial and three-way calling. Voicemail is included with all plans. You can also program phones to ring simultaneously.
For an extra fee you can add up to two alternate phone numbers to each BroadVoice line. There’s no way of alternating the settings on these lines, however, they just ring to the same line.
Ease of use
BroadVoice gives you online options to manage your account and your billing, making it more convenient to look at your call history or both incoming and outgoing calls, plus your payment history, without piles of paper. The BroadVoice Call Manager controls your BroadVoice phone features and we didn’t have any problems adjusting and manipulating this portal. The phone service itself is easy to use but there aren’t really any advanced features that you need to understand.
Help & support
We like the phone service offered by BroadVoice that allows you to talk to an agent if you are experiencing technical difficulties or you need help setting up the system with the adaptor. The support lines are open during the day Monday to Friday and until 4pm on the weekends. There are many installation guides on the Support Centre website to help you configure your equipment, and you can also browse the FAQs section.
The features included in the package are what you look for in a convenient and modern phone service and all come included in the plan price. The flat price plans make it easy to see what you’re getting but be careful of the small extra costs that bring the price up each month, plus you need to pay for the adaptor.
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