Nov 12 2012

Not renewing the Magic Jack

Last year, I began a year-long experiment to see if I could add minutes and save money to our phone expenses by using a Magic Jack Plus. This device plugs into my computer and I can make phone calls using my internet connection. I use a regular phone for those calls.

I tried placing a call last night, and heard a message telling me my service had expired. It would have been nice to get an email reminder or something so there wasn’t a lapse, but no worries — I’m not renewing anyway.

While cheap ($69/year for the device + one year, and $30/year afterward), the quality was so hit-or-miss that it’s not worth it to me.

The calls dropped fairly often, and eerily enough, as we were already starting to wrap up our phone conversation anyway. I don’t think that someone was actually listening in, but ya never know (with any kind of phone technology).

Sometimes there was static or feedback.

I don’t want a standard phone landline. I don’t want all the telemarketing, and I don’t want the higher monthly bill. So we’re going to stick to our two cell phones for now and if we need to make adjustments later, we can.

Ya get what you pay for, I guess.

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6 Responses to “Not renewing the Magic Jack”

  1. Sorry it didn’t work out for you… and yea that’s weird that they didn’t send you a reminder that your year was up.

    We’ve had our 2 cell phones and no landline for 5 years or so now. We used to have Vonage, which worked perfectly, but we got tired of paying $20 a month, just to be annoyed by telemarketers.

    We haven’t ever missed our landline and it was pure bliss for the past 2 presidential elections! Not a single phone call ;)

  2. If you have a google account, you can call US numbers for free – you just have to install a free program. We switched cell phones and now have more limited numbers, so I use that when I’m calling from home, especially when calling customer service or my husband at work. I just use the microphone and speakers on my computer. I also use it to call my cell phone when I’ve misplaced it!

  3. Try the OOMA.. little expensive in the beginning – the unit is 200-300, then anywhere from 3-13 dollars a month, depending on the service you chose.. we use it for our business line, and ITS AWESOME!!!!!!!!

    Never have had a problem and going strong for 3 years now. We get texts with our vm, we can listen to them over the internet OR through the device.

    Check it out!

  4. We just upgraded our MJ to MJ Plus and have been pleased thus far. We don’t have service problems though, so that’s why we are sticking with it. We have had MJ for about five years now, and we used a dedicated CPU for just the MJ – it was an old machine that we just tucked under our desk and ran strictly for MJ. We found the MJ program used a LOT of memory on the machine, so we didn’t want it to be on our main computer. It has worked well for us. With the MJ+ now being plugged directly into the router, we are going to move that old CPU into our TV room and set it up to work as a DVR since we got rid of our Tivo/satellite TV earlier this year.

    The one feature of MJ that I like is that it will email the VM messages to me. Not only that, but I can set call-forwarding to my cell phone (a number I do NOT give out to non-family/friends), so that if I AM expecting a call from a vendor or company, I don’t have to worry about missing it if I need to run out to the store.

  5. We have ooma and like it a lot. Never a problem with call quality. I think it costs about $5/month in taxes, etc., although we paid around $200 upfront from Costco. The only problem is that I think if you buy one now and want voicemail you have to pay an extra $10/month for “ooma plus.” Since we bought it when voicemail was included, we were grandfathered in. Well worth it to us, to save our cell phone minutes :)

  6. Hubby is a HUGE computer person and he found a way for us to have a house phone for basically nothing. We bought at OBI 100 paid $40.00 on amazon there is no monthly or yearly fee’s just the $40.00 up front fee. And it uses our google voice number for free calls.

    We went from paying $90.00 a month with a basic flip phone from Verizon. We cut our service with Verizon when our contract was up. And went with straight talk $45 for unlimited everything with a smart phone. We did that over a year ago & I’ve loved having my smart phone for a lot cheaper. And hubby’s phone is payed for by work so we don’t have to worry about his phone bill.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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