| Review by djrobx |
member for 12.9 years, 6358 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 2 years ago
- Valencia,Los Angeles,CA
- $11 per month
- (24 month contract)
- about 36 days
- "Good pricing and features, great call quality"
- "Alphanumeric Caller ID not shown with voicemail"
- "So far so good! Will update review with reliability info later."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Two year update: 5/20/11
Through the first year, I had some trouble with gaps of silence. A call to a surprisingly knowledgable tech fixed this right up (the ATA needed a firmware update).
While I've been generally happy with the service, I got notice that my 2 year special was ending. The "deals" offered to continue my contract border on offensive. If I pre-pay for another two years, the best you can do is $19/month? $457.44 for two years including taxes! Ouch!
Lets see, I can continue with PP, or switch to VOIPo for $185 for two years (including taxes). Gee, what do you think I'm going to do? It's a great deal while it lasts, but doubling the price after a two year "promotion" is over is just begging for churn.
Three month update: 7/20/09
Generally happy with my choice. It's not quite as good as CallVantage was, but good enough for the price. The call reliability is pretty good.
1) Sometimes my voice echoes back to me. Loudly, for short periods.
2) Caller ID doesn't always work, sometimes shows OUT OF AREA. Logging into phone power's website shows the data, so the data's availble, it's just not making it to my phone.
3) The voicemail system sends you email attachment, but does not include caller ID NAME information. That information is availble on the website call log.
4) I've had a couple landline calls disconnect on me. Rare though.
Original review: 5/23/09
CallVantage announced closure, so I needed new service. I found PhonePower who is run by people I trust; Jim and Ari were responsible for DSLExtreme who I've had good experiences with. I took PhonePower up on their 2nd Year Free promo. After the shipping/handling fees and taxes, that works out to $11.45/month for the first two years. Not bad! PhonePower does the right thing and begins billing on your port date, kudos to them for that.
Call quality seems to be excellent, perhaps a little better than CallVantage which was already pretty good. It might help that I'm in SoCal, not far from PhonePower's headquarters, while CallVantage terminated somewhere across the country in Georgia.
The majority of features I'd like to use are here. The only one I really miss is Caller ID names in the voicemail email and web interface. It shows the number that called but not the name, even if it's in your contact list. Seems like a strange omission to an otherwise very rich feature set. That info is available in the call history, so they do have the data. A Safe Forward number ought to be implemented too, although I can somewhat simulate that by setting up a locator plan. I'm told big updates are coming in Q3 so I'll just stay tuned until then.
Porting my number from AT&T CallVantage took a VERY long time, just about a month. AT&T refused to port saying the address was wrong when it was in fact correct. PhonePower stuck with it and kept me in the loop during the process. Despite the welcome email saying the inbound service would be in effect at "midnight" - the actual port took place around 10am PST of my activation date.
The setup process was pretty straightforward. I received my Grandstream HT502 in the mail the day after they shipped it. If you want to set it up behind your own router, it's not clear what ports actually need to be forwarded - Tech support just tells you to put it in a DMZ if it's behind a firewall. I can't do that with the way my network is set up due to a limitation of the AT&T U-verse RG. I forwarded typical VOIP ports and it seems to be working. It'd be nice if PhonePower could work out what's really necessary for people who need to use the DMZ for something else or want tighter control over their firewall.
Overall very happy!