There is a new OTT VoIP offer available to residential subscribers today, courtesy of long time VoIP provider Vonage. BasicTalk launched on May 14th and offers a no-frills residential VoIP service for $9.99 per month, and is a new service brand from Vonage.
“BasicTalk provides extraordinary value in low-cost home phone service at a flat rate of just $9.99 per month, every month (plus taxes and government fees). BasicTalk offers unlimited calling throughout the U.S. with no upfront costs, no contract, no hidden fees, no renewal charges, no cost to keep an existing home phone number and no compromises on quality,” reports BasicTalk in the press release announcing the new service.
The service can be purchased online at BasicTalk.com or at participating Walmart stores. The service is targeting the low end residential voice market with an aggressively priced home phone service. BasicTalk is a VoIP service which runs over-the-top of the customer’s existing broadband line – much the same way that Vonage operates today. BasicTalk says their service provides voicemail, caller ID, call waiting and 911 emergency service.
“We learned from multiple pre-market tests that despite increasing cell phone usage, there remains a strong desire for a simple, low-cost, domestic home phone service,” said Jo Ann Tizzano, Director of Communications for BasicTalk in the press release.
No-frills include limited customer service. Customers have to rely on online chat or email for customer or technical support. BasicTalk’s website does not even list a phone number to call. Activation of the service is accomplished online as well.
BasicTalk is appealing to customers who want to save money or just want a very basic phone line in their home. Their strategy illustrates the need for incumbent phone companies to offer flexible home phone options, including a low cost option for those who are not interested in lots of features or still want home phone service, but at a very low cost.
12 thoughts on “Vonage Launches New Value Focused OTT Voice Service, BasicTalk”
It sounds really great for the cost. Only one thing i dislike is that i can only have it on one phone. If one lives in a large house it would drive me nuts to run to get a call. Even though you say that customers can have multiple lines with another box, it doesn’t make any sense. As for me i have only one computer like other people. It no longer is less costly or affordable. So tell me with only one computer how do i have multiple lines. I’ll figure out how to create it for phones in different rooms.
I understand your office is in Holmdel, N.J. That is the corporate head quarters for Vonage. I’m from N.J. Some year’s ago i met one of your founders. He was the Chief of finance. At that time in your early years your office was in Edison, N.J. on Rt. 27 the old Reverlon building. Always remember what one man creates, another can find a way to beat the system. I really do not like Magic Jack, but with one unit i can use it all over the house. So give me a little credit for having some brains as well. I would love to receive a response from Vonage.
uh, plug the output from the basictalk box into your house network. boom–dialtone wherever you have a jack installed already.
Same way you can with traditional Vonage… Put the box beside your router and tie in all your wall jacks and bring them to the box. Plug in the line and voila… you now have phones in all rooms you have a jack. Or, you can buy a multi handset wireless system and accomplish the same thing (I do that).
You can get a home phone with the same number but you can with several handsets put in other parts of the home! If you want different lines then that’s different!
So do they hit you up with the additional "Regulatory, Compliance, and Intellectual Property Fee" like they do on regular Vonage? Between taxes, 911, and the above mentioned fee, my "$9.99/mo. unlimited plan" actually costs $18.53/mo. which is pretty darn ridiculous.
For service in Colorado my monthly taxes and fees are estimated at ~$2.39/Month since my initial cost was $12.38 which waived the $9.99 activation, $9.95 shipping, and $29.99 device fees.
Sales Tax: $0.79
Federal Program Fee: $0.98
County Transit Tax: $0.11
County 911 Fee: $0.50
County District Tax: $0.01
about $2.39 (note – basically $1.50 in phone fees plus your sales taxes)
I plan to replace a plain old telephone which is also $9.99, but closer to $23 including taxes and fees.
and not only did Vonage get my 9.99 bill to nearly $20, but some of their service charges were made to sound like gov't taxes, and their reps in India were saying they were. On the site however in the fine prints you learnt they are NOT gov't taxes.__Howver Vonage does work well, has a lot of features, and good customer service – generally
It is a good cost, even when the fees and or local taxes are added in, it is still cheaper than the usual landline phone services. I don’t like the online or email customer service though, but that might not matter much. The only one phone could be a problem when we are so used to either having a cordless phone or cell phone with us no matter where in your home or yard we are.
I've had it 3 months, no issues at all. I have a 4 phone cordless phone set with it, the main one plugs into the box, the rest are scattered throughout the house.
This is actually a great offer! The cost is very reasonable because it is cheaper than the other landline phone services. And from what I hear, they have a lot of features and offer good customer service.
You're complaining about the 'hidden' charges but regular Vonage @ $21.99/month is actually more than $32/month in my state at least for the very same reason. Fact is all these services have about $10/month in taxes, tariffs and junk fees. If it's Vonage with less support it's still pretty good because Vonage is a reliable service.
I'm not sure what people are complaining about – every service, whether it be Vonage, VOIP your broadband company offers (at a hugely higher price) have additional taxes, regulatory fees, etc. Even your internet has fees that increase the cost of internet/phone service by as much as 20%. I think BasicTalk's surcharges are not, as some imply, a way to gouge you for more $. In setting up online, they estimated the costs for those things where I live – The $9.99 monthly charges with such fees came out to about $11.80 total. Granted, I live in a state without sales tax – but that's a uniform fee. Sorry if it's rude, but it sounds somewhat like whining that they don't give the service away for a loss. In comparison to other solutions, I've not found a better deal, with more reliable service (so far, just signed up 2 days ago), and crystal clear voice. Tell me of a better service/deal on this, and I'll reconsider my impressions. Especially for elderly people, who can't make sense of, nor hear well enough, to use modern technology of cell phones, it's a dream given that lond distance calling cards are no longer obtainable for nationwide LD service. Post a better deal with more reliable service, and I'll rethink my impressions. (Note: The local cable company has a great deal on internet/phone bundled. But the phone is only for local calls. Add long distance, and it doubles the price of the whole package. Now *that's* rooking you around – the initial deal is sweet, but without long distance, it's a crippled package, designed to lure you in with a 'deal', and then hold you hostage if you want normal full service.