Review by slyphoxj
Good "Lots of call routing/blocking and calling features, easy website, responsive support, no tax & fees BS, good call quality"
- Location: Brook Park,Cuyahoga,OH
- Cost: $13 per month (month by month)
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "Unlimited calling is pricey (for VoIP anyways), setup fees to switch plans, porting process kind of a pain"
Overall "Reliable so far. Better deal than a $28-$29/month featureless AT&T landline."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
UPDATE (12/16/13): Still reliable. The new Telemarketer Block feature has 100% eliminated all the crap calls, although it blocks legit robocalls from doctors, etc. until I can whitelist the number to my Phone Book. I no longer have to use my Obi110's Auto Attendant to do this blocking. When my mom calls me at work on my office landline, the call sometimes (maybe 20-30% of the time) has audio dropouts, even though I flashed my router to Tomato Shibby and setup and enabled QoS on it (maybe I didn't setup the QoS right?). I feel that the Call Treatments interface on the website could use some rework to make call treatment setup and ordering simpler to do and understand for a novice/nontechie user. But once you figure out how to enter, setup and order the call treatments, they work great. I'm not sure if I should ding the website rating for this since this is the only area of the Callcentric website that could use improvement.
-- Original review ---
Back in May 2013, I got an Obihai Obi110 device with the thought of using Google Voice to replace our AT&T landline. We were getting fed up with the spam calls, sometimes 2 or 3 a day, and wanted some means to filter them out. A couple months later, I finally got around to setting it up and rearranging my phone wiring. I initially set it up to use Google Voice for outgoing calls and the landline for incoming calls, but there were complaints about the call quality on GV. So I setup a Callcentric account on my Obi110 (I'd need to anyway, even I used GV for all my calls, since GV doesn't provide E911 service) and started using Callcentric for outgoing calls.
I opted to port my decades-old home number to Callcentric and use Callcentric instead of Google Voice for all my calling because:
- Callcentric's Personal Unlimited plan is only $5.95/month (plus $1.50 E911 fee if you don't have one of the North America 500/1000/Residential plans).
- Almost total lack of customer support with Google Voice. If you run into any issues porting into GV or other issues, good luck! I had no issues porting in my cell phone, but I got lucky I guess.
- Google Voice seems like it's about to be orphaned by Google. They haven't added any new features or improved anything in a while and still haven't added direct porting to POTS or VoIP lines
- Privacy concerns with Google Voice. I believe that Google listens in on GV calls (or at least GV voicemails?). I think I can trust Callcentric more than Google.
Porting the AT&T landline at my house to Callcentric took 13 days and cost $25. The submission of the initial porting info was a pain, compared to starting the porting process with a cellular carrier/MVNO. I had to scan and upload a copy of the last AT&T bill and some other paperwork, then mess with converting the scanned files to PDF (1 MB limit on attachments to Callcentric tickets). But it went through without any issues to speak of on the promised date with good communication from Callcentric during that time. Even porting a landline to Google Voice is faster, but there would be a service disruption since porting a POTS or VoIP line to GV is a two-stage process requiring activation of a cell phone and having to mess with using a cell phone for a day.
I'm currently on the Personal Unlimited for incoming calls and North America 500 for outgoing calls for a total of $12.90/month.
Since I ported my number to Callcentric about a month ago, the spam calls have really dropped off, thanks to the caller ID (I can report them to donotcall.gov) and Call Treatments.
The only real downer with Callcentric is that unlimited calling (Personal Unlimited + North America Residential plan) is $25.90 (combined cost of these two plans), which is only a couple bucks less than what my landline cost. I still have my Obi110 setup to use Google Voice if we ever run out of the 500 outgoing minutes.
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updated 227 days ago
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Re: Good review; a few comments.
said by PX Eliezer:It looks like our usage is going to be around 1000-1100 minutes a month, with about 65% or so of that outbound calls. Callcentric would run about $18.90/month with Personal Unlimited incoming + North America 1000. VOIPo might be a better deal for that usage, but I don't want to deal with porting again. Ooma Basic is definitely cheaper, but I'd have to give up the telemarketing/spam call blocking features (unless I get Premier).
Glad you like their service.
Comparing a wireless port to any other port is apples and oranges. CallCentric has an excellent porting process, with good communication as you noted.
You mentioned that they have "1 MB limit on attachments to Callcentric tickets". But that's a heck of a lot of data. Between 15 and 60 pages of text, depending. So I don't see the issue. You could also fax the documents instead. And if you ported to any other provider (other than wireless) you'd have to provide similar proof.
Lower-volume users may benefit by using PAYG options instead of unlimited inbound and/or unlimited outbound. But they do have a variety of choices available to try to meet various usage patterns. There are cheaper providers, but not necessarily with the same features and user experience that CC provides....
In many places, your landline company would charge $10-12 just for caller ID, after all.
I guess, costwise, it's kind of a wash compared to my $28.50/moth (approx.) AT&T landline. Yeah, I've gained a ton a features, but now deal with VoIP vagaries (not as simple to setup and troubleshoot as POTS, not as reliable as POTS, a bit less call quality).
At least it beats cellular as far as call quality and features go... I don't think faxing would work at all on a cellular line (e.g., Verizon Home Phone Connect or Straight Talk Home Phone, etc.).