Verizon Freedom
Estimated Minimum Monthly Charges $54.95  (Total bill about $70?) + Int'l
Unlimited direct-dialed long distance calling anytime, anywhere in the U.S. and Canada
Unlimited direct-dialed local and regional calling
Unlimited use of Home Voice Mail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, Speed Dialing 8 and 3-Way Calling Israel 14 cents
Save $5 on Verizon DSL w/ this plan.  Save $5 on Verizon cell phone if combine billing.

MCI Neighborhood
Neighborhood Complete
49.99 PER MONTH  (Total bill about $65?) + Int'l
Call anyone, anywhere in the U.S. at no extra charge — includes all state-to-state and in-state long distance calls Make your long distance calls from home any time, any day of the week Unlimited local toll calls Make as many regional and local toll calls to nearby towns or counties as you want — at no extra charge Unlimited local calls Make as many calls as you want, and talk for as long as you wish, inside your local calling area Call Waiting, Caller ID, Call Waiting ID, Speed Dial 8 and Three-Way Calling at no extra charge Personal Voicemail & Message Center
Voicemail 1-888-624-5622

IDT America Unlimited 
$39.95 a month  (Total bill about $56) + Int'l
Unlimited Local; Unlimited Toll; Unlimited Long Distance; 6 Calling Features Included. 
Additional $2 monthly fee for Int'l 11cents to Israel or $4 monthly for 5 cents to Israel.. Canada's 5’ rate is included as part of basic domestic plan.
Call waiting, Caller ID, 3-way calling, etc.  Don't have voicemail or DSL.
  Customer Service 800-889-9126


From: peshalit@o...
Sent: April 29, 2004
Subject: Optonline phone service
Optonline has what sounds like a great deal for its Internet subscribers: unlimited local/US/Canada calling for $34.95/month. But your old phone number isn't portable. Does anyone have any experience with this phone service? Is it worth the switch?

From: peshalit@o... 
Summary of replies re Optonline phone service
On the plus side: clear sound; great customer service.
On the minus side: cable means that if electricity goes out, so does your phone service.
Also, only national + Canada calls, no direct calling overseas.
You would lose your old phone #.
A few people recommended to me, but I haven't yet had the op to check them out.


From: crshulman@a...
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 12:37 PM
Subject: [TeaneckShuls] Re Canada & re Verizon Freedom Instead of MCI Neighborhood

Verizon Freedom  877-625-9538
for $54.95 a month has unlimited anywhere in the U.S. and to Canada
Israel 14 cents a minute. [Must sign up for $4 Int'l program]
Also, can arrange hunting to a no-long distance $15 a month only local calls verizon 2nd-line, which can't do w/ MCI. Also, discount on Verizon DSL.

MCI Neighborhood  877-777-6271 for 49.99 a month has unlimited in U.S. only Also, to Israel, etc. can be several dollars a minute ]


From: Caleb [Davenlater@a..]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 6:58 PM
Subject: [TeaneckShuls] Verizon's Call Intercept feature and Talking Call Waiting
Verizon is now offering talking call waiting (while on a call, only you will hear the telephone number of the person calling) for $1.95 a month.
Also Verizon just enhanced the Call Intercept feature. You can now turn on and off call intercept anytime you like. What a relief! Only problem is Verizon didn't bother to announce these improvements to their customers, other than in the form of a small blurb in their December insert, which most people don't read.
This information is public knowledge and an unscrupulous telemarketer could bypass or override Call Intercept if you don't change your passcode!
Call 1-800-527-7070
When you hear "Welcome to Verizon's advanced services"
Dial the area code and phone number that has Call Intercept
A recording will say enter your passcode - dial the last 4 digits of your phone number - a recording will ask you to enter a new passcode - please enter a four-digit code that you will remember
You will now hear: Main menu
For call intercept, press... 14 (Note: There is a problem with Verzion's voice prompt, their recording pauses as it asks you to enter Fourteen. What most end up hearing, is: "Call Intercept, press change your PIN press 99 or to exit the system press zero, followed by the pound key. It took a few calls to realize that in this case OR is a Four.)  The recording continues: To change your PIN press 99 or to exit the system press zero followed by the pound key.
If you enter 14 You will hear the following recording:
"Right now, call intercept is on, you are requiring people from unidentified numbers to reveal who they are before you answer their call. You may hang up, or to turn call intercept off press 2."
or for your secret override code options press 3 or for a helpful explanation of these options, press zero

- - - - - -

From: LSrolovits@G..
To: [TeaneckShuls] Question Regarding Verizon vs IDT
I am thinking of moving over to IDT for my phone service and have several questions;
1) does anyone out there currently have IDT for their local and long distance - how do you like it ?
2) I have been told that if there is anything wrong with your line on the outside of your house and you call Verizon it will cost dearly and you will be on the bottom of the list for service.  Has anyone out there experienced this ??
3) what is the quality of the connection both local and long distance ?
Thank you in advance if you answer my question. Leslie

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004
From: LSrolovits@G..
To: "'CRShulman@a..
I do have the responses. Here they are - it seems to me that there are several issues;
1) are you willing to take the risk that your external line will not have problems and the get major charges from Verizon if  they do?
2) IDT does not have voice mail which means you have to lug out the old answering machine.
3) The cost advertised is really not $39.99 it turns out that the cost is actually the average bill is $56.05 with tax based on a rep of the company - this includes long distance
4) quality of local lines are supposedly very good based on responses
5) one or two people complained about customer service and billing issues, they sounded quite frustrated.

Response # 1
Hello there--I just switched to IDT unlimited local, $28.95, and I find the connection quality to be just the same. In the past I have had problems with their long distance (billing conflicts w. local carrier, whole maaseh, very unpleasant), but w. local (only) I am cautiously optimistic. For LD I use a phone card.

Response # 2
works just fine.  I have never gotten a "circuits busy" or problem dialing out.  My problem is their billing.  They practically expect you to pay before you get the bill.  There is no courtesy time.  They will immediately send you a cutoff notice.  Even when I have paid immediately, it took a phone call for them to locate the check and they posted it the next day after I had already paid by credit card.  Their processing of payments stinks but they must have their bills printed long before since it doesn't neccessarily register as paid for the month before.
Never had to fix anything but, considering that you are not paying Verizon for maintenance of the phone line, it makes sense that they will charge - and it is usually is exorbitant for any serviceman to come into your house even outside.
problems with connection

Response # 3
IDT's phone lines are OK, but their customer service is simply awful.  Nothing but headaches and frustration if you are trying to get a billing or other error fixed, which happens often.

Response # 4
We recently switched to IDT for local and long distance. We were very surprised at the price which was a little more than $70 after all the taxes and surcharges [really about $56]. They advertise that it's $39.99 

Response # 5
I switched to IDT from Verizon & Until (long distance).
[re the quality of the connection,]

Response # 6
We switched to IDT and I don't see any difference in the quality of the connection. They advertise $40 per month, but after paying all the taxes it comes out to $55.

Response # 7
 I have been using IDT for the last 5 months (switched from Verizon).  There has been no difference in quality of service either local, domestic long distance or international (e.g. Israel). Quality is excellent. I did ask IDT the question about service if there is a problem. They said they send their own technicians when possible or they contract out to Verizon.   Frankly, unless you pay monthly for coverage with Verizon, they will also charge you for repair in your house.  Outside repairs are free – they are the responsibility of the utility. Inside the house – your responsibility.  Chances are, you can solve your own problem in the house. It’s almost always a phone and not the wiring.
IDT also has a calling card that is unique. It allows you to make a call from anywhere in the country using their 800 number. The call will be billed to your home phone account. Great for traveling.

Response # 8
I have IDT for regional and long distance and like it.  I would not risk local because of what you mention - had bad experience on this score with MCI and Verizon situation.


From yelkin@h... 8/4/05
Since this has come up a number of times recently, I'm hoping this posting can help a bunch of people at once, instead of my responding to each individual request:
1. One OV line is cheaper than one Verizon line.
2. OV call quality (in our experience) is at least as good.
3. OV generally has better international calling rates.
4. Getting your number listed (and, similarly, finding the number of an OV
customer) can be a bit of a headache, but many people I know prefer it that way.
5. OV can only supply one phone line per cable modem. For 2 lines, you would need another modem. That eats up most of (if not all of) the potential cost advantages.
6. In a blackout, VZ lines should still work; OV lines will not.
there are cost-effective solutions (i.e. back-up batteries to plug in to the wall socket) that will keep your service running in the event of a blackout.
7. If you use traditional phone lines for your alarm/security monitoring system, you can switch to using a cellular transmitter.