Switch to a cheaper Vonage plan
If you’re a Vonage customer, or thinking about becoming one, I have a bit of news for you. Did you know they have lower-priced plans than what they advertise?
I’ve been a Vonage customer for almost 5 years now, but I simply don’t use anywhere near as many minutes as they give me each month. At first, I was on their $24.99 unlimited calling plan, but I called to cancel after about 2 years. At the time, they offered to lower me down to the $17.99 plan (was $14.99 back then), plus give me 2 months free. I took the deal and left it at that plan, until today.
I recently got a phone number with Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral) which is a free service that offers everything Vonage offers, except for a physical VOIP router, or a calling plan. You can make calls with your Google Voice number, but it has to be from an existing line. For example, if I wanted you to see my GV number, I would call my GV number, punch in my PIN and then dial your number. You can make long-distance calls for cheap rates, but that’s not why I got the number.
Basically, all I need it a single “home” phone number than can easily forward to my/our cells. If we need to make phone calls, we can and do use our cell phones. I just don’t like giving out my cellphone number except to people I specifically want calling me directly. Both Vonage and Google voice, and a few other providers, offer that convenience (but Google offers it for free).
Canceling My Vonage Service
So now that I’ve updated all my friends, coworkers and service providers (credit cards, utilities, etc.) a few weeks ago with the new Google Voice number, I felt it was time I could cancel Vonage. First, I logged into my Vonage account to see who called me in the last month. Well, all of 2 people, and one was a telemarketer, so obviously it’s not going to be a problem to turn off Vonage.
Next, I called up Vonage customer service. I got through to a rep who took my information and offered the “I’m sorry you’re choosing to close your account” response. Unsurprisingly, the rep offered me another 2 months free, but the surprising part was that Vonage has an even cheaper plan than what I currently have!
$9.99 Residential Basic 100 Plan
Since I’m a “VIP” customer, the service rep offered to lower my plan down to a $9.99 plan, which is currently unadvertised on their site. The plan offers 100 minutes versus the 500 I previously had, but I haven’t gone above 100 minutes more than once in at least a year.
So I decided to take this plan, and the 2 free months. They already gave me the credit, which was about $28 and shows that the total each month with taxes and fees would be about $14. Still too much considering Google Voice is free.
Given this revelation of a secret $9.99 plan, I searched online to see what others had to say. Turns out there’s yet another secret plan…
$4.99 Residential Account Hold Plan
If you’re currently a Vonage customer, you can request the “$4.99 Residential Account Hold Plan“.
You DO get unlimited incoming call minutes, but you’re charged 3.9 cents per minute for outgoing calls (rate may change). You still get the voicemail box included, but one forum mentions that forwarded calls (which is what I would want) are subject to the 3.9 cent charge. After taxes and fees, you should expect the final bill to be about $8 per month.
If you’re familiar with this plan, let me know what charges, features, etc. are included. I’m sure when I call back in 2 months to cancel, they’ll offer it to me then.
Honestly, Google Voice offers a voicemail box, call forwarding, and even voice-to-text voicemail. It even allows me to choose when to and not to forward calls on a per-phone basis. It’s exactly what I need, and no additional cost. I can cut out yet another line item on our budget and reduce the complexity in our lives just a little bit. The downside is you need to request an invitation from Google, which took me about 2 weeks to get accepted.
No experience with Vonage, but I’ve had an open invite for Google Voice for a few weeks now. Been trying to figure if I want to get a local number, pick one from SoCal on the hope I’ll move back there someday, or go with a number from wherever and find some word combo that fits.
Even with that $4.99 plan, still seems like GV is a better way to go. Just gotta put your faith in Google for it. *shrug*
We have been using vonage for years now. We too realized that we only used a couple hundred minutes and didn’t need unlimited. We’re on the 500/mo plan, but I had never heard of or seen this basic 100 plan. Very useful to know. Right now I need the 500 to call home to canada, but if I can find a cheaper canada calling plan, that would save me money.
Thanks for the info, I appreciate it!
Jean Johine says
I’m very surprised that you did not mention Skype in your article. I purchased the service for $30 for an entire year with unlimited calls to North America. Pretty good service for my tastes. As long as the computer has the software on it (only a simple download away) I can log into my personal phone and receive voice mails and make and receive calls with a headset.
I would also suggest Ooma for those who don’t want to get rid of their home phone. Its about $200 as a one time fee to buy the hardware and then it is free incoming and outgoing calls. The company seems pretty stable (ie its not going to go out of business next month). I just got this and it was $40 to keep my old number. I am planning on using my google voice number in the future so that if Ooma does ever go under, whatever I choose from there I don’t have to change my number again. The longer I use Ooma, the more I will save in the long term.
Just called Vonage. Was told that the 500 minute plan was the lowest rate plan. The Account Hold Plan was no longer offered. There was no $9.99 Residential Basic Plan available.
I did not say I wanted to cancel my service at the start of the call.
Jean Johine says
I have recently tried cutting back on expenses everywhere to help keep from having to go after a mortgage lead to keep my head above water. I began using Skype, which offers the voicemail box, call forwarding to several phone lines and text messaging. The plan I got did not include text messaging, but the whole thing cost around $60 for the entire year subscription.
James Messick says
Just called Vonage and tried to switch to the $4.99 Residential Account Hold Plan. Rep claims this plan has been deleted from the system, so I stayed on my Residential Basic 100 plan. He did confirm that this plan now includes free Visual Voicemail (voicemail transcription), which was formerly 25 cents/message.
Debbie Smith says
I am on Vonage pay as you go plan; $4.99 per month plus taxes. I called to cancel and they offered this plan to me. That way I can keep our 251 area code and my childhood phone number; plus, I can use the number as a fax number. Out going calls are .05 minute while all incoming calls are free. Google Voice sounds interesting and free but another new thing for me to learn! This world is changing so fast and quick, isn’t it. I can call forward from this line and it won’t cost me extra money and my friends in Mobile who have limited calling services can call me for free.
Vonage still has $4.99 plan if you want to keep the Number and use it only for incoming calls.