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MagicJack: How To Cut Phone Costs In one Easy Step

I sometimes feel like my money disappears each month as if by some sort of strange magic. So imagine my surprise when a little “magic” appeared in the form of huge savings on my phone bill. It’s known as MagicJack Plus, and the pundits are already saying it’s giving trailblazing companies like Skype a real run for their money.

The first time I heard about MagicJack was last year when I dismissed it as inconvenient, just like Skype or VoIP. In order to use it, I would have to leave my computer on all day to receive calls, which was a big no-no for me. Besides worrying about the effects on my computer, I realized I’d have a higher electricity bill by the end of the month, so one saving would cancel out the other. Fortunately, the technology has improved, and the new MagicJack Plus makes it much easier and smarter to stop paying a monthly phone bill in one easy step.

What Is MagicJack Plus?

MagicJack Plus is a little device you plug into a power outlet that comes with a telephone jack attached to it. Basically it turns any electrical outlet into an instant phone line. I didn’t even have to change my current phone number, which would have been another deterrent for me, but you do have that option.

Power Worries

I’m a bit behind the times, having remained married to my basic corded phones ever since the big blackout of 2003.  After not being able to make any calls because our plug-in cordless phones were dead, I rushed out and bought two old-school phones and vowed never again to rely on phones that had to be charged.  I was a bit concerned about using MagicJack Plus as it needs to be plugged into a power outlet in order to work.

The smart folks over at MagicJack solved this conundrum by providing a battery backup, as well as a surge protector, for each device. So even if the power goes out, I can still use my phone, and the device won’t get fried when the power comes back on. I haven’t experienced a power failure recently, so I can’t vouch how well the backup works or for how long.

Phone Home for Free

Even ET would have loved this sweetener that comes with MagicJack Plus. Imagine you’re away visiting relatives or enduring another boring work conference anywhere in the world. You can take it on the road with you to make free international calls back home to touch base with your family, friends or the office. Is that sweet or what?

Cost-Cutting Quickie

After your free trial ends, you pay a yearly fee of $19.95 for the service in the US and Canada. Before, my monthly phone bill was about $33, not including long distance which I spent an extra $20 of calling cards on. I have saved more than $600 a year!

The Downside

So far, I’ve only had a few calls with some interference, and the phone once cut out when my daughter started to use her computer.  This isn’t a regular occurrence, and I can live with that occasional hiccup when I’m pocketing over $600 each year. Wouldn’t you?

This has been a guest post by Andrea from Ontario, Canada
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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12 thoughts on “MagicJack: How To Cut Phone Costs In one Easy Step”

  1. I just got MagicJack and I LOVE IT!! It gives  me more money yearly to shop with :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    We stopped both land lines, have two residences in two states because we have Magic Jack Plus. We have used it for over two years. Burned ECB on the first one (Magic Jack) a few years ago. Yes, with that one there were some trials but we got them worked out with CS. Yes it did take some time, but what doesn’t when you really want to save $600 year. It goes with you, just plug it into your internet source at your next location and talk away. We have it set up to ring on our phone system, plugged into the router and AC works just like a regular land line and is not plugged into the computer.It no longer requires a computer and vertually eliminates all those old problems. I’m happy saving $600 a year at two locations, Wow, that’s $1,200 year hmmm, so worth it. Then we have Tracphones for emergencies. I grew up with no phone until I was 7, how did we do it? We survived. How do I do it without a smartphone? I survive and am debt free. Go figure…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had magic jack years ago and in my area it was worthless.  Live in NC near Raleigh.  And I had/have great internet service.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I use NetTalk (Duo Talk) and it works great. There is a small yearly fee (30 something) and you can make all calls in the US and Canada for free.  You do need a router and internet service.  The NetTalk box and a years worth of service was $60 something, if I remember correctly.  They have great customer service and you can view your call history on line and get your voice mail messages in your inbox. You plug your regular phone into the nettalk box and then the wire between the nettalk box and the router and your phone jack.  That is it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am happy with my MagicJack service.  Only occasionally has my service had interference or dropped.  I think this really depends on your quality of internet service.  My family has a minimal cell phone plan and my extended family lives out of town, MagicJack has really kept our phone bill down.  It has paid for itself within 2 months and I can’t argue with that.  If you make a lot of long distance calls and have limited cell phone minutes, I think MagicJack is well worth the price.

  6. I work for a major phone company and would not advise this, there is no real support if anything goes wrong, you will get a lot of interference from time to time and it is not attached to 911, I would advise to call your phone company and see if you can downsize your service and sometimes there are promotions and or credits you can get for a period of time, ask for the customer retention center.  Myself I downsized and just have basic service, no call waiting no caller id, just phone service, we all use our cell phones a lot more, but remember we all know were our land line is and if power goes out and you have a corded phone in the house you will still have phone service to communicate with. It’s still a good idea : ) 

  7. Kate Tin says:

    Horrible customer service, save yourself a huge hassle.  They don’t tell you that it cost extra to keep your old phone number.   

    • Good info. I wouldn’t want to give up my phone number that I have had for over 27yrs. – I like it. And on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to pay extra for it either. A catch 22 situation. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

  8. Raquel Rose says:

    My mother-in-law has this service… We get disconnected half of the time that we actually get to connect on a phone call. I do not recommend this service. Stick with your cell phone!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The day may come when you wish you were getting disconnected while talking to your mother-in-law…lol :P

    • The above article is talking about the MagicJack Plus and seems to indicate that this is a new updated model. Your mother-in-law may have the older version. I do not have either one but have always been curious about the MagicJack.

  9. Ana Lilia says:

    Thanks for the info. I have always been curious about this service. I will look into it.