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Posted: 1:49 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2012

Ooma named best home phone service again

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By Clark Howard


The way you bring technology into your home for communication and entertainment is changing. If you follow the trends, you can save big money.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, just reported huge profits of $1.2 billion over just 90 days at a time when they're actually losing pay TV subscribers. So where is the money coming from? They're making their dough on Internet and phone customers.

This is a company that I have trashed for customer no-service forever. But they have improved significantly. They're not a beacon of customer service, but the number of complaints we get on the show about them has fallen off the charts.

Meanwhile, the June 2012 issue of Consumer Reports rates phone service and AT&T got the lowest score of all 25 companies rated for value and customer service.

The absolute highest score again went to Ooma, the VoIP provider, again for the second year in a row. You buy the Ooma device for $129 - $199 and then pay a $3 monthly FCC pass-through charge and that's it for the life of Ooma.

MagicJack, meanwhile, got poor scores on reliability, call quality and customer service, but the pricing makes it the cheapest option for local and long distance calling. The first year is effectively $60 and each year after that is $30.

Finally, on the TV front, Amazon has its own streaming capability that it just gives away as a freebie to Amazon Prime members for $79 annually. If you order regularly from Amazon, the Prime membership allows you to get free two-day shipping on most online purchases with no minimum order size. And now Amazon has vowed a more robust streaming TV product by beefing up their original programming.

´╗┐Editor's note: This segment originally aired May 3, 2012.

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