PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The average bill for phone, Internet and television runs more than $150 a month.
One way to trim your costs is to cut the cord and switch to a phone service that delivers calls via the Internet.
Ken Lipke switched his phone service to Ooma just over a year ago.
“I think it’s a no-brainer. I’ve saved, since I’ve used it, over $400,” Lipke said.
Ooma is a device that connects to your Internet service on one end and your regular phone on the other.
There’s a one-time cost of about $150 for the black Ooma box and then the savings begin.
Local and domestic long distance calls are free and you pay just a few dollars per month in taxes.
International calls are extra, but the rates are also very low.
In a survey of more than 50,000 Consumer Reports subscribers, Ooma is the top-rated phone service.
“Our readers who have Ooma service rated it higher than people with any other service, and gave it a top mark for value or what they got for the money,” Consumer Reports’ Rosalind Tordesillas said.
There is a limit of 5,000 minutes of calls per month.
If you want to keep your home phone number, you have to pay an additional one-time fee of $40.
“As for reliability and the quality of the calls, our survey found that Ooma’s ratings were on par with traditional service from big companies like AT&T or Verizon,” Tordesillas said.
Lipke has no complaints.
“I don’t lose calls, drop calls. It’s very good quality,” Lipke said.
And he pays just under $4 a month.
“I’d rather spend the money on something else, like a good dinner with my wife,” Lipke said.
If your phone is bundled with television and Internet service, it’s important to check with your provider before buying Ooma.
Consumer Reports said dropping a phone line from a bundle might only shave about $5 a month off your bill.