| Review by alancats |
member for 12.6 years, 49 visits, last login: 67 days ago
updated 67 days ago
- Washington,District Of Columbia,DC
- $11 per month
- (24 month contract)
- about 1 days
- "Reliable call-making; Feature-rich Website; Excellent Call-Blocking Features"
- "None That I've Encountered"
- "Reliable VOIP Service if You Have a Decent ISP Connection"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I just thought it was time to update my original review to reflect an interstate move, to DC. Viatalk's service is still working well for me, and I heartily recommend it. When I reconnected my Linksys VOIP box after the move, an issue popped up with my wireless router's firewall blocking outgoing calls, but that was quickly resolved by helpful instructions provided from Viatalk's tech support team.
What I love about Viatalk is the wealth of privacy/call-blocking options. As soon as I see that weird con artists from out of state or phone solicitors have made calls when I check my call log on the Viatalk website, I either block that number specifically, or the entire area code. Being able to check voicemails online remains a nice and useful feature. The Viatalk team seems to perptually adding functionality to the service, which is always appreciated. The monthly taxes and fees for DC are a miniscule $3.25 a month, and the $189 charge for 24 months of service makes this the most reasonably priced phone service out there.
I've been with Viatalk for over three years, and I'm still very satisfied with their product. I'm one of the refugees from defunct VOIP company Sunrocket, who had to migrate to another VOIP provider when that company died in August, 2007. I switched to ViaTalk in 2007 and have been very happy since.
The best thing about Viatalk service is the feature-rich website, which allows you to listen to voicemail messages, view call logs of incoming and outgoing calls and take advantage of some very cool call-blocking features. For example, you can block all anonymous calls, block specific numbers, block numbers that begin with a certain prefix, block numbers by Caller ID words, or block numbers from an entire area code. Viatalk also just added the ability to block those weird con artist calls featuring non-standard phone numbers often beginning in "0." Very useful and much appreciated by me, as I have been harassed by these calls in the past.
Viatalk is based in upstate New York. The few times I've called customer service, I've managed to get a customer service rep fairly quickly, who A) spoke flawless English; B) was an American citizen (I assume); and C) was actually helpful. When I call my ISP customer service, I get routed to a call center halfway around the world and a barely intelligible rep of dubious helpfulness, so I do like the fact that one can still get customer service based on American soil, a rarity these days. That is not xenophobia speaking; merely my personal preference.
My experience is that, generally speaking, the quality of VOIP service largely depends on the speed of one's internet connection. I have a fairly mediocre download speed from my cable ISP of roughly 4.5 mb/s and .75 mb/s upload, and despite this, call quality has been consistently good. I do notice some slight deterioration in voice quality when I'm downloading a file, but it's not too bad, and I generally avoid downloading if I'm on a long call anyway.
One thing to be aware of -- if you sign up for a long-term contract, Viatalk does assess monthly E-911 and other charges. These are as follows for NY State: E-911 ($1.00); Regulatory Recovery Fee ($1.97); and E911 Cost Recovery Fee (48 cents), for a total of $3.45 monthly. I personally don't have an issue with this, because I'm satisfied with the service and even taking these fees into account, it is still a far better deal than paying for POTS phone service from Verizon or RCN. I am paying for an 18-month contract (not offered any longer) and my total monthly cost comes out to $13.95. Not bad at all in my book. The new package costs are slightly higher, as prices for service have risen across the VOIP industry, but I still think Viatalk is a great deal.