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Finances & Money

Verizon Freedom Plan or Vonage?

Right now, I have both Vonage and Verizon Freedom Essentials. I won’t get into why in this article, but rather the pros and cons, and the costs, of each. An added note, I live in Montgomery County, Maryland, so your taxes, surcharges, and fees may differ from mine:

For Vonage’s Unlimited Calling plan, I was paying 28.72 per month (final cost)
For Vonage’s 500 Minute/Month plan, I am paying 18.87 per month (final cost)
For Verizon’s Freedom Essentials Plan, I am paying 51.86 per month (final cost)

Just looking at the numbers, which plan looks the best? Right, Vonage’s 500 minutes per month plan. If you need more than 500 minutes, then Vonage’s Unlimited Calling plan is still far cheaper than Verizon’s Freedom Essentials.

Waaaiiit a minute! Doesn’t Verizon advertise their Freedom Essentials plan at $39.95 per month? How am I paying $51.86??? Here’s the breakdown:

Essential Plan: 39.95
Basic Service: 5.91
Gross Receipts Tax – Long Distance: .28
Telecommunications Access of MD Fee: .20
MD Gross Receipts Tax: .73
Montgomery County Local Surcharge: 2.00
MD 911 Fee: 1.00
Federal Universal Service Fund Surcharge Long Distance – .99
MD Federal Universal Service Fund Surcharge – .54
Federal Tax – .26

Total 39.95 + 5.91 + 6.00 (total fees, tax, etc.) = 51.86

Clearly you have to be a fool to chose Verizon over Vonage, right? Well, not so fast there fool-calling-reader! Verizon has proven to be much more reliable than Vonage. Vonage still needs an internet line, whether it be DSL (Verizon) or Cable Internet (expensive). You can also use someone else’s wireless, but you better hope they have a fast connection, or you’ll be dropping more calls than Lucille Ball dropped plates on episode #67 (I have no idea if the Lucy thing is true, so don’t bother looking it up).

Ultimately, to compare Vonage and Verizon, you also have to add in the internet costs. I’m ultimately switching the Vonage’s 500 minute plan (18.87/mth) and Verizon’s Dry Loop DSL (26.99/mth, final cost). Dry Loop DSL is for subscribers who don’t have a Verizon voice line. They charge more than regular DSL (was 17.99 before the switch), just because they can, but overall it fits our needs:

  1. Less price (45.86 for Vonage/Dry Loop DSL compared to 70.01 Verizon/DSL)
  2. Still more minutes than we need on a home line (never use more than 100 per month it seems)
  3. If Vonage goes down, we still have our cell phones, plus there are some cool Verizon Promo Codes here
  4. We can use wireless connection for a home security system
  5. Vonage doesn’t have any contracts. If we drop our Verizon service (i.e. NO Verizon DSL or Voice line whatsoever), we pay a $75 early termination fee.

Ultimately, determine what you can handle financially, in addition to risk.

About the author

Clever Dude

4 Comments

  • I signed up with the Verizon Freedom Essentials and the FiOS all at once. I just found out today that Verizon actually raised the Essentials to $44.99. Sure it’s only a $5.04 raise, but I only signed up with them a couple of months ago. I called them up an the representative claimed that they had included a notice of the increase in the previous months bill envelope. Not on the bill of course.. no.. in some accompaning notice in the envelope. Normally I just throw that junk out, so I have no way of knowing if in fact they had put anything in there. I also question what people that opted for the paperless billing would have received. Eh… not much I can do about it, but it sure smells like bait and switch to me.

  • One thing this guy forgot to mention was that with Vonage – if you lose your power/cable..you don’t have any phone service! With the Verizon plans, the service is carried over land lines. If you lose your power you can still use Verizon Freedom. Vonage is certainly cheaper (and a good service I might add)..but I personally like the security of Verizon Freedom plans because I live in the sticks 🙂

  • […] I have owned a few IPhones over the years and have found them to be indispensible.  For awhile I thought it was the IPhone that I couldn’t live without but in actuality it was really more the connectivity that I really needed.  I finally decided to make the jump to an Android phone when Google announced their Nexus 4 was only $199 with no contract.  When you factor in the carrier subsidy on Iphones and other smart phones, nothing comes close to matching the Nexus value.  I now have a new phone, with no commitment to a carrier so I can shop around for the best price on a service plan.  My wife and I are currently paying just over $50 each for our service.  I haven’t been able to find a prepaid deal that beats this, although if we scale back the service a little, we could probably save a few bucks a month.  Tmobile is the best price option but their service just doesn’t cover enough of where we need it to.  Verizon has absolutely the best coverage but they are also at least 30% more expensive each month, so we’ve been looking for Verizon deals. […]

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