Cut the costs with Internet phone service


Ken Lipke switched his phone service to Ooma just over a year ago.

"I think it's a no-brainer. I've saved, since I've used it, over $400," said Lipke.

Ooma is a device that connects to your Internet service on one end and your regular phone on the other. There's a one-time cost of about $150 for the black Ooma box - and then the savings begin. Local and domestic long distance calls are free. You pay just a few dollars per month in taxes. International calls are extra, but the rates are also very low. In a survey of more than 50,000 Consumer Reports subscribers, Ooma was the top-rated phone service.

"Our readers who have Ooma service rated it higher than people with any other service, and gave it a top mark for value or what they got for the money," said Rosalind Tordesillas, Consumer Reports.

There is a limit of 5,000 minutes of calls per month and if you want to keep your home phone number, you have to pay an additional one-time fee of $40.

"As for reliability and the quality of the calls, our survey found that Ooma's ratings were on par with traditional service from big companies like AT&T or Verizon," said Tordesillas.

Ken Lipke says he has no complaints.

"I don't lose calls, drop calls. It's very good quality," said Lipke.

And he pays just under four dollars a month.

"I'd rather spend the money on something else, like a good dinner with my wife," said Lipke.

If your phone is bundled with TV and internet service, it's important to check with your provider before buying Ooma. Consumer Reports says dropping a phone line from a telecom bundle might only shave about $5 a month off your bill.

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