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Talk Is Cheap by James E Gaskin

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Signing Up

Does it seem obvious that a phone company would provide a toll-free number on their home page so you could call and sign up for their service? It does to me, but only Vonage and Packet8 make their toll-free numbers obvious.

Of course, you have to have broadband and an Internet connection before any of the broadband phone services can help you, so expecting you to sign up online isn’t that great a stretch. Let me walk you through what will happen when you go online to sign up, using Vonage as an example:

  1. Choose Sign Up from the top menu or Retail Activation from the bottom right of the home page.

  2. Choose your service plan (Residential Premium or Basic, Business Premium or Basic).

  3. Choose to get a new phone number from Vonage (or transfer your old number on this screen).

  4. Choose the state, area code, and region for your Vonage phone number.

  5. Provide personal information for billing and router shipment (you can’t use a P.O. Box).

  6. Agree to the Vonage terms and conditions.

  7. Put in your address information and choose a Vonage username and password. Your password must be eight characters long with no spaces. Pick a mix of letters and numbers without any real words inside for better security (“password3” is not a good idea).

  8. Provide credit card and billing information.

  9. Verify the order, and then hit Order Now. Your initial order charge will be shown on this screen.

  10. Wait for your new phone equipment to arrive.

There is less trouble ordering a new phone service from Vonage than on many e-commerce ...

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