(Note: I originally posted this in 2006 as part of a blog I did on GeoCities.)
Yesterday, I finally got my VOIP setup kit from ZingoTel, and I got it to work on the very first try. I've made two calls so far--one to my mother and another to AT&T (to make absolutely sure I had no more phone service with them)--and have had no problems whatsoever.
I was so sick and tired of paying over $40/month to roody poo AT&T for phone service when I hardly made any phone calls to begin with. I picked ZingoTel because it had the cheapest plan among those listed on VOIPReview.org as being available in my area code ($5.95/month for 100 minutes plus the free VOIP adapter), and figured I had nothing to lose--even if it didn't work, at least I'd have my prepaid cell phone to fall back on, plus I wouldn't be paying out the nose to AT&T. Well, my setup kit arrived yesterday and I got everything to work on the first try, thanks to ZingoTel's easy setup instructions. I have had no problems with sound quality, hardware or customer service, although it took a little over a month to port my number to ZingoTel (it probably would have been faster if I had elected to get a new phone number instead of porting the old one).
Please excuse me, too, if I sound like a VOIP salesman—I’m so excited about getting the VOIP adapter to work so quickly, after months of reservations about whether or not it would work at all. I’m aware of the drawbacks that exist with VOIP, such as that it won’t work if the power goes out, plus 911 won’t work the same way. But the cell phone should help alleviate both of these disadvantages (provided I keep it charged).
I came across this bizarre and horrifying story a few days ago: In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a 30-year-old woman has admitted to smoking pot with her 13-year-old son, often to reward him for doing his homework. She also admitted that this has been going on for two years. The fact that she had the kid at 17 was the first sign that she maybe isn't terribly bright to begin with, but anyway, the generally accepted approach that parents use for getting their children to do well in school is to hold back something (e.g. an extracurricular activity, TV, video games, dessert after dinner) unless they did their homework. Rewarding a kid just to do homework introduces the risk of spoiling him. But then to reward that kid with drugs?!? That's just messed-up.
(Update 1-5-2010: ZingoTel did serve me well in 2006, but the very next year, they moved their customer service and technical support departments to India, and the quality of the service went down the toilet. I ended up moving my phone service to WOW!, which already provided my cable TV and Internet service, in October 2007. ZingoTel is now operating under another name, Miracle Telecom, and I will soon re-post another blog entry explaining this in more detail.)