Review by zeke56
Good "reliability, ease of use"
- Location: Naperville,Du Page,IL
- Cost: $15 per month
- Install: about 2 days
Bad "hidden fees"
Overall "Simple, reliable and reasonable cost"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
This is an update to the original review that follows:
We have now been using ITP's service for about two years, and I am still about as happy w/ ITP as I could be. In the time since my original review we still have not experienced an outage. For the most part, call quality has continued to be consistent and high. We did have a period of a couple of weeks with a lot of voice cutouts, right about the time we upgraded our AT&T dsl service to 6Mb from 3Mb. When I called ITP about the call quality they answered quickly as always, and immediately transferred me to a support engineer who sounded like he knew what he was talking about. He told me he could see a lot of dropped packets and latency in the call logs, and that the traceroute test he performed showed response times were jumping up when the packets reached AT&T's network, and suggested we contact them. When I did a traceroute I could see much the same thing, with intermittent spikes up to several hundred ms. I spent several days trying to find someone at AT&T who even understood what I was talking about (the first off-shore "service" rep laboriously ground thru his script to "instruct" me how to ping www.yahoo.com, and when that succeeded, claimed I had no problem). During this time the ITP rep left phone messages and sent emails each day asking about the status of my contact w/ AT&T. As it looked like the problems were clearing up on their own, I finally closed the ticket (eventually they did clear up and since that time we have had no problems). The bottom line is that the ITP support was very responsive, and as far as I can tell w/ my state of knowledge, competent.
end of update 1/2011
I have been happy w/ ITP from the beginning, when the supplied Linksys SPA2102 hardware arrived more quickly than I expected, 2 or 3 business days after my online order. Set up was truly plug and play. Porting our landline number took about 2 1/2 weeks and proceeded w/o noticeable interruption in service - we simply noticed a test call in the logs and emails reporting the completion of the port and the update of our e911 info. The company web site claims to be able to provide numbers in ~220 area codes, which I believe is about 80% of the area codes in the US.
There is no contract or prepayment w/ our service plan - I don't even think they offer such. There was a $30 set up fee, plus shipping and handling, with a free 1st month which pretty much canceled the shipping fee, for a net of about $30. It's important to note that they are not selling you the equipment w/ this fee, and the advertised "free equipment" means that they are providing the equipment w/ no rental fee while you're using the service, not giving you the device. This seemed pretty clear to me when I signed up, but this point seems to be the source of some dissatisfaction w/ the company.
We signed up for the 500min/mo plan (inbound is unlimited), and typically use about 250-300min/mo both in and out. A sizable majority of our calls are to a few area codes in Illinois and a couple in New England. In about 11 months we have never experienced a noticeable interruption in service or dropped calls, nor have we experienced any artifacts like echos or latencies. Call quality is consistent and comparable to our former landline - in the words of my wife, "it sounds like a phone". We have experienced voice dropouts, which at some point suddenly got worse, and tests showed that our cable internet was getting very choppy every evening around "internet rush hour". We have since switched to DSL and this problem has disappeared.
The web site is far from beautiful or elegant, but it is functional for what I want, always loads quickly and has been available every time I've tried it. On the web site one can listen to voice mails, check call logs and account status, and configure calling features. The service provides a full range of features, including fail-over on internet outage, sequential or simultaneous ring to up to three additional numbers, black lists, etc. I've used or tested most features, and every one has worked.
The toll-free support is US-based, and they have always answered very quickly. I've called for information and a couple of times to resolve an odd billing quirk - there was a cluster of spurious calls one month. I did have to call support a couple of times to get this resolved. The first agent told me they would get the technical people to look at it to find out what happened before adjusting the account balance, then on the web site the support status showed the issue as closed. When I called again, the second agent didn't know why the other person had not credited the account at once, and did so, with the status on the web site updating within a few minutes of my call.
If I have a complaint it's the "line fee" of $1.99, which effectively raises the monthly rate to $11.98/mo, not the advertised $9.95. The bottom line w/ universal service fee and e911 fee is $15.07. I believe the exact amount will vary slightly in different areas.
I don't believe this is the cheapest service out there, but given the reliability and quality we have experienced I would say the value for money is excellent. This no doubt is not a service for those who make a second career monkeying w/ their VOIP equipment, but based on my experience I would say this is an excellent possibility for someone who wants a simple, inexpensive, drop-in replacement for a landline.
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updated 3.8 years ago