I've mentioned before that I ditched my landline some time ago in favor of a Voice Over IP (VOIP) line from AT&T, with their CallVantage service. $29.95 a month, with unlimited local and long distance calling, with crystal-clear sound quality. Uses your broadband Internet connection, and comes with almost every feature you can imagine: voicemail, caller ID, privacy time, and dozens more...all included.
What I have not mentioned is why I think their service is the best thing going. Yes, Vonage has a few more features I would like, and is $5 less; yes, SunRocket will give you a deal for $199 for 2 years of service. What AT&T gives me is some of the best customer service I could ask for, as well as the best phone quality you can imagine: far better than any landline I ever had.
Examples of their service: call them, and speak to a human, 24 hours a day. Try that with any other VOIP provider. Got a problem? They will patiently try to fix it, and, if all else fails, they FedEx you a new VOIP adaptor, FREE. While troubleshooting my internet connection, I spoke with them about the speed reduction in my connection. They offered to replace my adaptor, and even timed the delivery to my return from vacation.
Imagine my surprise and delight to see that they not only delivered it when they said they would, but that the adaptor they sent was a full fledged 802.11G Linksys router, with the VOIP service built in! FREE! I had just bought a $50 WiFi router, practically the same one, from Amazon, days before, which I can now return. This AT&T/Linksys box replaced my router, my VOIP adaptor, my old 802.11B WiFi access point, and my residential gateway (splits and shares the internet connection across multiple computers). It even works with my now-banned Linksys WiFi signal booster! Setup took a 10 minute call with them, and I now have 54MB per second wireless, with 3 less boxes!
The icing on this cake? My bandwidth went from an anemic 1MBPS to a full 16MBPS! I'm in the fast lane, wireless, for free, thanks to these folks. AT&T CallVantage, you've got a customer for a long, long, long time. GREAT example of how service trumps price in a competitive marketplace.