Not everyone is tossing out his or her landline phones. Despite the increasing popularity of smartphones, and even simpler cell phones, many consumers still want to be able to use a landline device.
But there is an option to using the landline device with plain old telephone service. One example is using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology – which gets the signal through the Internet rather than through copper wires.
One of the lowest-priced VoIP phone options is Magic Jack. But one consumer, identified by WBAL TV’s I-Team as Jim Turner, never got to be able to get his Magic Jack device working. He spent $49.95 for the device, and $29.95 for a one-year plan. With other fees, the total came to $88. He did try to iron out the problems with Magic Jack's customer service staff.
On the other hand, based on readers’ votes, Consumer Reports said the six top phone providers were VoIP-based.
The survey comes after data which shows how VoIP phone service continues to be popular. There were more than 203 million worldwide residential VoIP subscribers in the first half of 2013, TMCnet reported based on data from Infonetics Research (News - Alert), with the firm recently reporting that worldwide residential VoIP subscribers totaled 212 million for all of 2013. That is an 8 percent increase compared to the prior year. Looking ahead, VoIP services revenue will increase through 2018, when it will reach $88 billion, Infonetics Research predicts.
Back to the Consumer Reports survey, Magic Jack was in fifth place. That means it surpassed fiber and landline services, WBAL reported.
"What we found was that, actually, among telephone services, people were quite satisfied with VoIP,” Glenn Derene, Consumer Reports’
Electronics Content Development Team leader, told the TV station. "Magic Jack scored quite high for value with us, but it actually scored middle to low for call quality. I think that, really, what it comes down to is the equipment that Magic Jack uses is not that sophisticated."