Review by Chris 313
Good "Calls are crystal clear, no hiss in the background, no reseting everytime you lose power. No sucking of internet bandwith."
- Location: Houma,Terrebonne,LA
- Cost: $60 per month
- Install: about 4 days
Bad "Power to the system can sometimes go out preventing you from making calls even though you have a battery back up. Price"
Overall "Left CDV for Vonage over price. I'd still recommend them to anyone looking to dump regular POTS service."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
As far back as I can remember, I started with a phone company called South Central Bell. Years later it turned into BellSouth and there we were were with 3 phone numbers over 18 years and a 4th when I got my VOIP service.
CDV reads as my 5th phone number in all the time I've had phone service. Hopefully, this one will stay for a good long time.
Back in January 2004, I jumped on the Broadband bandwagon with Time Warner Cable's RoadRunner service when I moved into my new house. I loved the speed, but we still had plain old POS POTS service from BellSouth. After paying to have the place wired to our specs and the number we had for several years prior transfered, a botched jack install in my bedroom was the last straw. I was sick of paying so much every month for so little.
(We had local and long distance calling and Caller ID in this package for 88 plus taxes a month.)
After the botched install and getting that fixed, I decided to dump BellSouth and check into VOIP services like Vonage, using my broadband connection to make calls for cheaper. 35 bucks vs 88+ really is a no brainer.
After checking into Vonage and them failing the test because they didn't have my area code when I went to sign up, I checked into a rival service of their's called AT&T CallVantage. They had my area code and was 32.43 a month.
I jumped on eagerly, even though I had to lose the phone number I had for at least 5 years.
After a bit of a false start, I got up and running with the service a month later and used it through price drops and great service for almost 4 years. But rising prices through bogus fees, sapping of my bandwith during calls, the occasional 911 call where I had to tell them where I was, and most annoying of all: Having to reset the damned VOIP box whenever power or net hiccuped in the slightest, drove me to look into alternatives like Vonage again, or a service my cable company was offering: Comcast Digital Voice.
After going to Comcast on 6/13/08 and checking into it. The deal was sealed when I talked my way into a Triple Play Premier deal with phone, internet and TV all in one package with a few extras like DVR and faster internet added in at a decent price.
Before I left, I had a new, unlisted phone number and an install date of 6/30/08 from 2-5 pm with most of the CDV install charges waved.
That brings up to today: 6/30/08
Today at 2:10 PM a Comcast truck pulls up to my house, I see two people inside just yaking. They looked like they were finishing lunch, and since I had a window of 2-5 PM, I didn't begrudge them an extra 5 minutes. As they walked up to my house, I saw them looking under my carport and heard them saying something about a telephone box.
Back when I moved into this house in late 2006, the house had been remodeled several months prior, leading to telephone and cable wiring being ripped out. I had the cable custom re-ran and didn't even bother with the telephone wire as it wasn't needed since I had Cable and VOIP.
As they walked up, they introduced themselves as Blair (Dressed in a Comcast shirt and gear.) and Dustin (Dressed casually. I think he was in training, but, eh.) I told them there was no box and that my phone would plug straight into the modem. They said great as that would make their jobs a whole lot easier.
After they got inside, they told me they were going to swap out my trusty 4.5 year old internet only Motorola Surfboard 5100 for the E-MTA that does both internet and phone. I was a little weary of that as I heard certain brands and models of the E-MTA's that Comcast uses give funny internet speeds compared to regular internet only modems.
So, I told Blair about this and he looked at me funny, as if he didn't know what I was talking about, went to the truck and came back with an ARRIS Touchstone Telephony 502G E-MTA. As soon as I saw it, I told him that I'd like to keep my Motorola 5100 for the internet and just use the ARRIS for the phone only. He just nodded, went back out to the truck with Dustin, grabbed a splitter and two lengths of cable, came back, screwed my main modem cable line into one end of the splitter, the two lengths of cable into the other ends and then into my modems.
They both lit up like Christmas trees. Blair and Dustin went out to the truck, did something. The Arris, which was syncing up at the moment lit up completely. They came back in, plugged my phone in, had me test it. It worked immediately with 7 digit dialing. (Yay! No more VOIP and that 10-digit dialing for locals anymore)
They had me sign the work order after I ran a speed test to confirm my Motorola was still working the internet side of things and they were off. It took from 2:15 to 2:36 PM.
I have never had such a trouble free install and two of the most pleasant and agreeable installers I have ever dealt with. These guys deserve points.
After they left, I made a few test phone calls to update my family on the new, now working number and there was no slight background hiss like when I used my AT&T CallVantage VOIP service.
I am very pleased except for the fact that I have to use one modem to get my full internet speeds and another for the phone. Until ARRIS puts out a firmware that fixes the issues on the internet Upload speed side. I will be more then happy to run the two modems.
A friend of mine has done this also and it works great for him too.
I'll update this as more info comes.
After 5 days of not having access to the CDV Center, I found to be able to access it today. I have also found a few detractors. One, they mis-spelled my name, both there and on my bill, they've also marked my number published when it was supposed to be unpublished both in the book and directory assistance. I'll be going to Comcast monday to fix these.
The second thing I don't like and wish they had was a phone book to list contacts and numbers and a click to call ability.
Third thing I noticed is that they don't have an online listing for speed dial that I've found, you have to program all those numbers into your phone. I'm still looking, but that's two things now that AT&T CallVantage had over my current Comcast Digital Voice service.
If anyone knows that the CDV Center has a phone book and I'm unaware of it, please leave me a comment.
Other then that, the service has been working flawlessly and I like it. I've also had a power outage. I was plugged into a UPS, but the phone still didn't miss a beat.
Other then the bits I've listed, I'm finding the service a high quality replacement and I'm liking it.
I'll update this as I get more info.
Two days ago, I went to Comcast, talked to a CSR named Sheila and she shorted my name and had my number unpublished. Said it'd take about two days for the changes to take place. Later that night, I found that both had happened, sooner then she said. Yay for her quick response.
I'll update when I get more.
Tonight, I had a disconnect on the internet side, but my phone stayed up through the whole thing. You couldn't do that with my previous AT&T CallVantage VOIP service.
I'm loving what Comcast has put together.
Well things are up in the air with my package as I'm dropping TV and changing a few things around, but CDV is still rocking and I don't have any plans to change at the moment. Since my last update to this review, I've got Caller ID on TV and on the computer working. Nice features if you don't wanna look at your phone to see who's calling.
Will update this review when anything happens.
Got CDV for a year at 19.99. It's rocking the price for sure.
On June 30, 2011 I celebrated my 3rd year with CDV service. I have since switched to the ARRIS E-MTA for internet as well and whatever problems speed wise that may have been had when they installed my service originally have been taken care of. I get my full 16/2 Blast! speeds and then some.
I'm happy. Now I just need Docsis 3 to get here and my modem swapped out the 25/4 upgrade to be pushed.
Though, there is one thing that has me puzzled. Sometimes when the electricity to my home goes out, I lose the phone as well, even though it's not supposed to do that and sometimes it doesn't happen. Gonna have to talk to ComcastSteve about that.
Other then that, the service works out great. And I'll be keeping it for the foreseeable future.
Not much to say. Service is still rock solid. Price has gone up a little more then 10 bucks over the last year or so. But I've a notice in the mail yesterday that says upgrades in speed and equipment wise are coming on or around October 1, 2012. So we'll see.
I'll update when the upgrades come.
Well, with this month's bill this will be my last month on the 6 month promo the CSR Devonna set me up with when setting up my D3 EMTA swap back in late December 2012. I went back and looked at one of my previous bills and saw that I was paying nearly 60 bucks for Comcast Digital Voice service. Without a promo, that's entirely too much. And with the lack of year long promo deals bothering me, I decided to look into Vonage. And so I did. By the 4th, I way signed up online, for a 3 month deal at 17.54 and 33.54 thereafter for a year's deal.
In talking to some other long time Vonage users online, I found this price won't go up more then the 33.54 I was quoted. I had an issue with payment during sign up, but a quick call to support and the very helpful CSR named Mary got me fixed up. She also told me that my number port to Vonage was in progress and I've had my equipment by Friday the 7th. The 7th came and installation was super easy and my number was there and working. I even got told about a 30 dollar Best Buy gift card I'd get for signing up for Vonage online. That'll be nice when buying my own modem not too long from now to save the 7 dollar a month rental fee.
Other then the non-promo price, I had no issues with Comcast Digital Voice and would still recommend it to anyone looking to ditch AT&T's POTS service. If anything ever goes wrong with Vonage, I'd definitely look into going back to Comcast Digital Voice.
For the almost 5 years I had the service, it just worked.
As part of my number port to Vonage, I read that after the port was complete, Vonage would have my CDV service disconnected for me, that news came when I had a power outage in the afternoon today that killed everything. My UPS gave me enough time to shut everything off before power completely ran out, but I noticed I lost connection to my EMTA that my former Comcast Digital Voice service used to provide me their phone service. The battery didn't keep the connection up this time. It won't matter much longer as I'll be buying my own modem and using my existing UPS as my batteries for things like the Vonage Box, modem and router.
When the connection came back on, I noticed that the telephone related lights, including the battery one were off. Guess they really do only supply power from the battery to power only the phone service. Regardless, Vonage seems to have kept their word that after porting my number from Comcast Digital Voice to Vonage, they would have my Comcast voice service disconnected for me. I'm glad to see them keeping their word.
It's a hell of a ride with Comcast Digital Voice while it lasted.
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updated 1.5 years ago