I was tipped off by a client recently on how to ditch Time Warner home phone service and the modem rental fee that they gouge you with every month. All told, this tip will basically get rid of not only $25 per month ($300 per year) on the Time Warner home phone service , but, also the useless $10 modem rental fee they charge you every month. How are we going to do this? For starters, you are going to replace the Time Warner phone service with Ooma phone service, and on top of that, you are going to purchase your own modem to replace the Time Warner issued modem. Ready to begin?
First, a few caveats. Doing this swapping of parts and service is not free–you will be required to purchase an Ooma telephone box (approximately $70-100) outright and pay to have your home phone number ported from Time Warner to Ooma for about $40 (if you want to keep it–otherwise, you don’t have to shell out for this). You will also have to purchase a new cable modem outright, which will save you $120 a year from Time Warner. The price of a new cable modem can be anywhere from $50-100. At the end of this adventure, you will be paying Ooma roughly $4 per month for service (unless you go with Ooma pro service which is $9.99 per month) and taxes and no modem rental fee to worry about. That will bring your total from about $420 per year to about $48 bucks if you play your cards right.
Let’s talk about Ooma
Ooma is an internet-based phone service that hooks to your router and places all of your calls though the internet–which is exactly what Time Warner’s home phone service does. Ooma adds all of the bells and whistles that Time Warner does, including call forwarding, voicemail, junk call filtering (part of the pro service) and mobile apps to keep it all in check. I opted out of the Ooma pro services, since I don’t really need any of that stuff. I will miss the junk call filtering, but, for $10 per month, I can live without it. When the equipment came, it was very easy to setup and get it running in less than 10 minutes. I simply plugged the phone line from the back of the Time Warner modem into the back of the Ooma box. They provide an ethernet cord to plug into your router. After that, it was a trip to the Ooma website to setup my account and get the billing out of the way. I chose to port our home phone number from Time Warner to Ooma for a one-time fee of $39. As of this writing, the port is almost complete and it’s barely been a week since starting it.
The voice and call quality is basically on-par with the Time Warner phone service–no complaints so far. If you have a power outage, you are out of luck, since this works over the Internet and needs wall power. You may want to have a backup place (cell phone), just in case. You can check voicemail right on the cool-looking Ooma box, which resembles an old fashioned answering machine. The website is fresh and clean, and gets you what you need quickly, including call history, voicemail and account options. The best part is the cool, futuristic dial tone you hear when picking up a phone on the Ooma system. I chose to hook the Ooma to the wall outlets so all of our phones in the house work on the Ooma box–a bit tricky to setup, but, worth it. You can purchase an Ooma box and setup at this website.
Let’s talk about your new non-Time Warner home phone service modem.
Ditching the Time Warner Road Runner modem is also possible. I recently found a replacement ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem for about $70 bucks. This is a bare-bones modem that will get the job done. If I were you, I would check the Time Warner website to make sure you find a compatible modem for your region. I haven’t hooked up this new modem yet, until Ooma finishes porting my number. So, in order, you would want to setup Ooma first, then, cancel Time Warner home phone service when your port is complete. Then, you can go ahead and setup the new modem. Do your own research and find the right modem for you, even if you have to contact Time Warner.
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