Thursday, February 25, 2010

Do you believe in magic?

This past weekend we decided to try something new to save money -- the magicJack. I know it's one of those infomercials products like Ginsu knives, the Snuggie or Sham Wow. I spent a number of years working in direct marketing, and I admit to being naturally negative about those products. I know firsthand just how little they pay for stuff that is purchased dirt-cheap by the container load, from China, Thailand and Hong Kong.

I will admit I was highly skeptical about the magicJack. I just couldn't get over how we could save at least $450 a year -- and that is without having long distance. If we had had long distance, we would have saved even more. With magicJack we will have long distance -- which is an upgrade of services for us. We knew we would just have to hook it up to a computer, left on all the time.

We went to CVS and found one hidden on one of the shelves with other infomercial products. The price was $39.99. We took it out of the box and hooked it up to the phone and to the computer -- and -- it worked immediately. We just had to log in online, choose an area code and the first digits of our phone number, and we were ready for the 30 day free trial.

The down side: 1) We can't get our old phone number. If the Internet goes out, our phone goes out. 2) The yearly $19.95 fee could possibly be raised sometime in the future, but I can't imagine it would be raised enough to make it more expensive than our old land line fee. 3) I hate the screen (in the photo above) which includes an perpetual ad -- very irritating. I guess the money I save could make me feel better about such an ugly screen.

The up side: 1) It was SO easy to install and set up. It started working immediately. 2) The sound quality was good -- now we do have a very powerful computer but the sound quality is just as good as our old phone line. 3) We can call anywhere in North America with no long distance fees. 4) The price for the first year was $39.99 rather than $450. Our price for next year will be $19.95 instead of $450. That is about the price of a pretty good computer. 5) I did like that it displays your number all the time and also the list of recent calls. 6) You can dial on your computer and talk though your microphones or even headset, if you prefer. You really don't need a phone to use your magicJack. Pretty cool, huh?

We are going to try it for a couple more weeks and then we will be giving up our home phone number. We will always have our cell phones, which we use most often anyway.

If this works out, I guess I will have to try the Snuggie!

1 comment:

  1. I have wondered about this product, so thanks for a "real life" review!