It has become common to use the term Unlimited Calling (or unlimited data for Internet) BUT is it truly unlimited? What’ve seen is that in the majority of the cases in the term of service there is a clause reserved for fair utilization and in there is spelled out the actual limits. With that said it’s fair to understand VOIP Providers have a reason to prevent abuse and misuse of their services. Having said that; consumers need to be aware of the terms of service and manage expectations correctly.
To illustrate; we found Vonage World Calling advertises as one of the major features Unlimited Calling. However reading the fine print, there is an allowance of in fact 3000 minutes (50-hours) monthly and calls can be from Canada to the US or to a list of predetermined countries. In some countries, Mobile numbers are also included. Also, Vonage does disclose the maximum length of each call to be up to 4-hours after which the call will be disconnected. In credit, to Vonage, their website does contain the information but is really intrinsic to the navigation in how to get there and you need to know what you are looking for.
On the other side Phone Power International Plan; right out of their sign-on page show 20-hours (1200 minutes) of international calling to more than 45 countries. All of Phone Power’s standard plans have 5,000 minutes (83.5-hours) of either inbound/outbound calling.
In another note, Comwave Residential Home Phone plans we did found the usual disclaimer, that “unlimited usage is governed by their Fair Usage Policy” regrettably the one listed on their website is for high-speed internet and not for calling. Though upon close inspection it is stated under the Reasonable Usable; the cap is for 3,000 minutes (50 hours) with a maximum call duration of 4-hours.
For the majority of the residential needs a regular person will be calling one or two countries; although with limits either plan could certainly satisfy the needs. These two provide ample time to talk. One has to make sure the country you are calling is in the list the provider as designated, and if you are calling to mobile be aware that is not always in the calling plan you signed up.
Also, there are certain types of calls such as directory calling or operator-assisted calling that are not free, or calling Yukon, Nunavut, N.W.T., Alaska, and Hawaii and that is typically billed differently across VOIP providers.
In summary; VoIP calling plans provide great flexibility and providing the capability to call many countries at one single flat monthly fee. Depending on who you choose as your Provider is the monthly rate you’ll get. However one has to do due diligence to ensure the country and the telephone numbers used frequently are indeed included. Furthermore, there is no such a thing as an unlimited calling plan, there are generous allowances in the thousands of minutes that VoIP Providers regulate by means of “terms of service” and/or “fair usage policy” and/or “reasonable use” to prevent abuse and misuse and ensure quality of service.