Quick housekeeping note: I'll be traveling next week, and although I've lined up a couple sweet deals to occupy you during my absence, expect a few days without anything new. I'll miss you, cheeps! But, hey: mind watering the plants while I'm gone?
Also, today's deal is an update of one from last year -- with an even better price, of course.
Landline, shlandine! Here at Cheapskate Central (aka Rick's house), phone service arrives over the interwebs. And for the past several years, that service has come via Ooma. Total cost for my home phone? Zero. (Well, very close to zero. Read on.)
If you're ready to cut the landline cord, here's your cheapest opportunity yet (Ooma-wise): For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has the refurbished Ooma Telo home phone system for $89, shipped. The last time I wrote about it, it cost $16 more.
The Telo is a touch-operated, answering machine-style black box that plugs into your router. (You'll need broadband Internet service for this, natch.) You then plug your existing cordless-phone base unit into the Telo. Presto: you've got dial tone, same as if you were still using a POTS line.
Once you buy the hardware (which sells new for $149.99), you're looking at nearly free local and long-distance phone service -- forever. Your only bill will be for taxes and fees, which in my area come to around $3.50 per month.
That said, you might want to consider paying a little more. The included Ooma Basic service affords a handful of phone features: caller ID, voice mail, and so on. If you want extras like free calling to Canada, a second line, three-way calling, call forwarding (in the event of an Internet outage), and voice mail delivered via e-mail, you'll need Ooma Premier, which runs $9.99 per month.
Also, porting your existing number costs $39.99 -- unless you prepay for a year of Premier ($119.99), in which case it's free.
So, yeah, Ooma does nickel-and-dime you a bit, but most of the extras are optional. And if you're currently paying, say, $30 per month for basic landline service, that $120 for a full year of goodies is a great deal.
As for quality, I've been an Ooma user for nearly four years and couldn't be more satisfied. Even with the Telo installed "behind" my router (rather than in front, which is the recommended setup), call quality is much better than I ever got from Vonage. As for Ooma's customer service, I can't really comment because I've never had cause to use it. Everything just works.
I realize lots of folks are abandoning their landlines altogether in favor of cell phones, but it's still a lot more convenient to have traditional cordless phones scattered around the house. Safer, too, as there's more likely to be a phone within reach in case of emergency. At just $90, this is hard to pass up.
Bonus deal: Game time! If you've never played the Crazy Machines series, do yourself a favor and head to Bundle Stars, where you can get a sweet Crazy Machines bundle (Win) for $3.99. It includes three Crazy Machines games (which would normally cost you $40) and six expansion packs. In each game, your goal is to solve a puzzle by constructing, well, a crazy machine. (Think: Rube Goldberg.) Fun, challenging, and good for the brain!
Bonus deal No. 2: Whether you're editing spreadsheets, CAD drawings, or photos, detailed desktop work benefits greatly from a high-end monitor. And they don't get much higher than this: For a limited time, you can get the Dell P2815Q 28-inch Ultra HD monitor for $559.99, shipped (plus tax where applicable). Regular price: $699.99. The specs on this mammoth panel include 3,840x2,160 resolution (that's 4K to you and me), a rotating display (for landscape or portrait viewing), and a wealth of ports: HDMI/MHL, DisplayPort, and four USB 3.0. It also comes with a three-year warranty. Just make sure your video card supports 4K displays. And be sure to note the expected delivery time when you get to checkout; Dell is currently anticipating a few weeks owing to high demand.
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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