Review by Nightfall
Good "Superior call quality, uptime, web portal, and customer service."
- Location: Grand Rapids,Kent,MI
- Cost: $12 per month
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "A little expensive."
Overall "For my first VOIP provider, I think I chose the best one out there."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I was using a POTS line like every other basic home owner. The pain of it was that I was spending $46 a month for a landline + features + taxes. That was only for about 300 minutes outbound and 100 inbound per month, at the most. After hearing about VOIP, I decided to look into it further.
Overall, I wanted something that was going to be easy to use, very reliable, excellent customer service, and that had an excellent online presence. I am a self-starter kind of person, and I don't need a lot of hand holding. If the website has all the information, I will find it and do it myself. At the same time though, I want a customer service team on the other end that is fast to respond and eager to help.
At first, I investigated Viatalk but I was turned off by the monthly plan. I wanted something I could pay as you go (PAYG). I looked at a lot of VOIP providers but I just didn't know which one to try. After posting some questions in the VOIP forum here, I was contacted by a few people who said to try out CallCentric. I never heard of them before, but a visit to their website quickly answered all my questions.
I signed up for an account on CallCentric and hooked up my Linksys PAP2T. Within 5 minutes of reading the instructions, I was up and running. I was making outgoing calls and everything was working fine. The voice quality was awesome to say the least. Just as good as a landline, but I know a lot of that has to do with the quality of my ISP which is through Comcast. For those who haven't read my Comcast review, its a great ISP in my area.
After running with CallCentric for a few weeks using it for all my outgoing calls, I made the decision to port my landline number over for $25. I filed the request to port my number over, filled out all the forms, and in about 3 weeks my number came over. Customer care was filling me in on all the details through the porting process. They even got me a date when I could expect my port. After the port was completed, I updated the ticket because the number wasn't working properly on the CallCentric network. Within an hour of me updating the help desk ticket, they had everything working.
My only complaint is that I wish I could get a outbound calling plan that was a little cheaper. The PAYG option is the best for me for outgoing calls, but the next option up is a $20 a month unlimited plan. I would have to talk for about 1000 minutes at .0198 cents a minute to just break even on that kind of plan. I wish they would offer like $5 for 600 minutes or something. In the end though, I don't mind paying more for quality service which is why I assume that they don't make changes to their pricing structure. Their incoming plan is excellent. For $1.95 a month you can pay as you go at .015 cents per minute or you can get unlimited for $5.95 a month. With a difference of $4, you can take about 265 minutes of incoming calls through PAYG before it gets cheaper to just get the unlimited. If you don't have your own number you are porting over, look into their dirt cheap DID. Its $3 a month for unlimited with no setup fee if there is a number in your area.
Here I am a few days after the port is complete reporting in on a very happy converted customer. Before this whole process started, I was very hesitant about moving away from my landline. In the end though, I will be saving $30-$35 a month by using CallCentric PAYG and I will be getting more features than I had before.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with the service and support.
EDIT 12/29/2009 - I have went the extra mile and added a bunch of numbers to my call treatments list. It seems that everyone that calls me from a 800, 888, 877, or 866 toll free number is a solicitor. So I set those up to go straight to voicemail. I also setup a few other numbers from companies that call us to go straight to voicemail. The phone doesn't even ring now when someone from those numbers call. I love it! I still have some work to do on this, but I anticipate that my new service will be better than the "AT&T Privacy Manager" in no time. AT&T Privacy Manager is a service that blocks telemarketer calls and did a good job of it, but the rates on it were rather expensive.
I have also started adding phone numbers to my phonebook so they come up automatically on the caller ID.
EDIT 10/21/2010 - I have now been on Callcentric for about 11 months. Quite simply, it is awesome. Yes, its not the cheapest, but I am willing to pay for some quality and Callcentric brings it. At $12 per month on average, its a heck of a lot better than my POTS line was priced and with more features. No down time, excellent support, excellent self-help guides, and crystal clear call quality are all reasons why I am still with Callcentric. Solicitors have fun hitting my voicemail without the phone even ringing. I love the call treatments that Callcentric has. Quite simply, if you don't mind paying a little more for quality and feature rich VOIP service, get Callcentric.
4/14/2011 - Callcentric continues to work like a champ. No downtime and the service is rock solid. New features are released a couple times a year, but so far I am just happy with what I got. The voicemail to email service is great. The call treatments stop telemarketer calls so they hit voice mail directly. Callcentric is getting my business for a long time to come.
11/30/2011 - I can't say enough great things about Callcentric. The service is always up and running. I haven't had to contact tech support in a long time. I pretty much have had my service setup with all the call treatments and I haven't had to touch it since. This is what hassle free VOIP service is all about. My phone bill has unlimited incoming and pay as you go outgoing. We pay about $10-$12 a month depending on the amount of calling we do. I have been tempted to go with Ooma and buy a core for $150 on sale, then I could save $7-$9 a month. At the same time though, Callcentric has features you can't get with the Ooma without paying for the "Premier" tier. I have no plans to move away from Callcentric anytime soon.
7/9/2012 - Callcentric is still rock solid for me. No problems with the service at all. Callcentric did listen to my request and add some lower tier price points for outgoing minutes. It still isn't worth it to me to get them yet. According to my reports, we have more calls coming in than going out. I am on the unlimited plan for incoming calls already. It just makes sense to pay as I go for outgoing calls. The total cost is still around $10-$11 a month on average, which is great for me. Could I spend less and go with another provider? Probably, but there comes a point when I could spend $6 a month and get a provider like VOIPO, and then have more issues. The money I spend with Callcentric is great because I get what I pay for, have ZERO issues, and superior customer service for all those questions I want to ask. Go Callcentric!
12/24/12 - Callcentric went through a very hard time in Q3 of 2012. They had a very serious DDOS attack put on them that really affected their service. Thankfully, I only have a home phone line with them so the effect on me was very minor. Still, there were periods of time where my service was not working. I have adjusted my review down a little bit on reliability as a result. While all these problems were really annoying, I can tell you that they stepped up to the plate to make things right with their customers. They offered credits for affected clients, which I applied to get. They also kept me informed during the whole ordeal. I can say that their customer service is probably the best I have seen from a VOIP provider. The only way they could improve is by offering some kind of reliability measure. Either another hot site so if a natural disaster tears up their facility again, then they can come up quickly or if someone DDOS' them again, then they can bring up the secondary site and keep on working.
8/24/12 - After a great run with Callcentric, I have decided to move to Ooma. For the same price I am paying Callcentric, I will get a 2nd phone number, unlimited minutes, and other capabilities with Ooma. Callcentric remains one of the best VOIP providers that I have used. I got a refund for the funds left in my account shortly after porting my number. Thanks again Callcentric, you guys have been great!
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updated 110 days ago