I was intrigued to see that VoIP Supply, the folks that sold me my Trixbox and my Polycom SIP phones are now offering SIP trunking and data services.
Don’t know how this stacks up against suppliers like VoicePulse. For one thing the pricing model is slightly different, with VoIP Supply looking for a minimum $25.00 per month, but with unlimited local and long-distance calling in the lower 48 states. VoicePulse, at least the version for Asterisk/Trixbox, was on a pre-paid model but charges 2 cents or so per minute.
What about the quality of these calls though? Maybe I’m just cranky, but I’ve had literally dozens of calls from vendors in the past year that clearly were low-quality VoIP calls. I would be appalled if my own calls to my clients and prospects sounded like many of these calls.
In one case, I was (supposedly) working with a sophisticated and highly-paid consultant who was using either Vonage or the Comcast VoIP. The guy couldn’t get out of his own way…I just couldn’t understand him, over multiple calls. How are we supposed to conduct business this way? And, where is the savings per month, at $25.00 or $125 or even $1025 per month that the person is supposedly saving, when as a result a client drops this person, after originally looking forward to a multi-thousand dollar contract? False economy.
Bottom Line: The landline isn’t dead yet. Use VoiP for long-distance calls to friends and family, and non-critical overseas calls. If there is any question, during a VoIP call, have a back-up landline available.
And if you have contracted out any functions to a call center (perish the thought…my local newspaper has done this to verify authorship of letters to the editor), be sure you get yourself on the receiving end of such calls to assess the quality. Nothing turns off customers and prospects more quickly then struggling with foreign-based tech support, heavily accented, with stupid calling scripts, and bad sound quality.