VoIP Service "Inferior" To Landlines; Consumers Don't Seem To Care

from the ma-bell's-looking-old-and-tired dept

A study released this week says consumer VoIP services lag traditional landlines in reliability and sound quality. Without arguing the results based on personal experience, the upshot of all this is that people don’t really seem to care. What these numbers don’t take into account is that call quality and reliability (which was still about 95% for the worst performer) are just part of the whole value equation: while the sound quality might be slightly worse than a landline, the low price (as well as all the extra features included) more than compensate, making VoIP providers much more attractive than landline carriers for a good chunk of people.

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Comments on “VoIP Service "Inferior" To Landlines; Consumers Don't Seem To Care”

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alaric says:

Wait for Outages

Voip from your cable provider is one thing. VoIP from the myriad of vonage-type of undercapitalized infrastructureless start ups is another.

I had one of those for all of a month and endured two outages and multiple other headaches. That was it. I switched to my cable provider and i’ve been happy since.

Vonage and others and have also had wide spread service outages and i think you’ll see some people switching back to more established carriers like wireless, cable, or ILECs.

TK says:

Wrong comparison for

The real comparison IMHO should be to wireless service. Poor connection quality (even on GSM), line noise, frequent dropped calls, etc. have desensitized the consumer. VoIP by comparison seems very, very good.

As for the requisite personal experience anecdote this thread seems to require. I’ve been a Vonage subscriber for almost two full years now. Quality has dramatically (and thankfully) improved. Haven’t had poor line quality or a dropped call in about a year. Yes, the local telco does offer a reasonably cheap “all-you-can-eat”, but my job requires frequent extended stays away from home. As such, an adapter I can take with me to bring my “home” phone along for the trip was essential.

Cyke says:

Re: Wrong comparison for

No, actually it should not be compared to wireless. You don’t take that VOIP with you when you leave the house do you? That being said, in my area the cable provider’s VOIP plan is unfortunately still too expensive. Most of my long distance calls are by cell phone and do not add additional cost to my bill. That means my landline is basic service and the VOIP cost is way above that expense. Financially, it does not make sense to switch at this time.

TK says:

Re: Re: Wrong comparison for


I think you misunderstood my post.

IF people are saying that VoIP, with inherent quality issues when compared to a landline, is still a good deal, one has to ask “Why do the survey responsdents accept lesser service?”. Is it just a price issue? I doubt it, given as others here have said, you can get reasonably cheap all-you-can-eat service from your local telco, complete with landline quality. So again, why would consumers accept (slightly) lesser quality? My suposition is that they accept it because we’ve been desensitized by wireless quality, which is FAR inferior to VoIP, but we happily pay big bucks for the privelege. Yes, your point is accurate that it is wireless. However, I believe that now, after more than 15 years of widespread wireless service, people are accustomed to it, and don’t ascribe a lot of novelty value to being able to make a call wirelessly. It just is. Therefore, I believe people just come to accept this as just phone service, and don’t put as much value on the method/technology of delivery really.

Sumamry: If occassionaly crappy wireless service is acceptable at its price levels, than VoIP also seems like a good value to those consumers / survey respondents.

(and actually, yes, I *do* take my VoIP adapter with me when I leave the house for business travel, as I stated in my post.

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