One of the major selling points for making the switch from traditional phone lines to VoIP is the amount of money you can save. With rates as low as $4.99/month (the price of a basic plan from residential VoIP provider Phone Power), VoIP has become so affordable, it is actually cheaper than many of the luxury, or even essential, goods consumers purchase on a weekly basis.
- For example, two adult tickets to see a new movie on a Friday night will cost you $24, which in most cases is triple the amount you would pay for a full month of VoIP service. And let’s say you wanted to get popcorn at the movie -- a large tub to share amongst two people. The largest size popcorn at a movie theater usually runs about $8.50, close to double the price for one month of VoIP.
- To be fair, going to the movies is an expensive endeavor, but staying in to watch a film can also be pricey. Never mind the cost of a popular DVD (between $15-20), even subscribing to an a la carte service like Netflix ($7.99/month) is more per-month than VoIP.
- Conversely, if you wanted to listen to some music from the newest hit artist you’re liable to be spending close to $10, even for a digital download of an album. For example, the newest CD from Beyonce, retails for $7.29 -- a pretty good discount but still more expensive than VoIP service.
- Movies or music, of course, don’t have that much utility outside of a couple hours of entertainment, so let’s look at something we use practically every day: pens. A pack of 12 BIC gel-pens, which might be considered a luxury to some, costs $12.29, more than even some of the higher end Residential VoIP options. It might cost you more to buy an envelope, stamps, and a pen to write a letter with than it would to simply pick up your VoIP phone and call someone.
- Dogs may not be able to communicate in the traditional sense, but it’s still important to keep Fido happy. However, dog food is pretty expensive depending on the brand and the type. Iams brand dog food, for example, typically runs between $20 and $30 for a large bag. Unlike a movie or a tub of popcorn, a bag of dog food could last you a full month, but once again it’s still, on average, about $10 more expensive than VoIP service.
- We all have our little morning grooming routines, but many of the products we use as part of that routine are not cheap. Things like a razor ($9.74 for a Gillette Fusion), shampoo and conditioner ($29.99 for Tigi Bed Head), and soap ($5.99 for Neutrogena Body Wash) are all more expensive than one month’s worth of VoIP service.
- Ask anyone in Southern California what the best burger in town is and they’re likely to tell you In-N-Out. Part of what makes the food so appealing and tasty is the fresh ingredients In-N-Out uses. Fresh ingredients usually means cheaper prices, but even in In-N-Out’s case an average meal, a ‘Double-Double’ combo, is still about $8.00. And keeping with the food theme, it would also cost you more for a large pizza from Pizza Hut ($10) than it would for a full month of VoIP service. Extra toppings, usually something that carries an additional charge, are free right now and even then VoIP service is cheaper.
Rachel Greenberg is site editor of VoIP Review.