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BasicTalk phone service is a new brand that was launched by Vonage Holdings Corp. in May of 2013. The service appears to be positioned as a lower cost alternative to the regular Vonage service that costs in the region of $25 per month and includes unlimited international calling. The new BasicTalk service comes with unlimited calling to phone numbers located in the USA, and has a reduced feature set (caller-id, call waiting, voicemail, 411 and 911) that compares more favorably with regular land-lines, than a typical home VoIP service. BasicTalk is geared primarily to those who desire a simple, straightforward residential service or cheaper alternative to a landline.
If looking for a simple, straightforward service, BasicTalk is just that. Basic. Features include Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, and 911. Call quality is generally on par with what is expected from landlines.
It should be noted that BasicTalk is mainly for residential users who simply want to replace their landline or setup a new phone line. New accounts have the option of getting a new number or sticking with one already owned.
Installation tutorials and troubleshooting guides in the "Technical Support" section are available on the Basic Talk website. This is great, as Live chat through the website is available only between 9am and 9pm EST on weekdays. Users may also email customer service.
If unhappy with the service, a refund may be issued within 7 days of activation. There is also no Early Termination or Cancellation fee. If you decide to cancel your plan between the current and the next billing cycle, only charges for that month are accrued and billed. This is a nice policy for customers as other VoIP providers have been criticized for excessive hidden fees related to service cancellation.
Owned and backed by Vonage Holdings Corp.
Much lower cost than the regular Vonage phone service offerings.
Uses the popular Grandstream HT701F telephone adaptor.
Like most other VoIP providers, there are regular use limit of 3000 minutes a month and charges 3.9 cents a minute after that. International calling outside of the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico is not available with this service.
An activation fee of up to $29.99 should be expected. Other fees to note include reactivation fees of closed accounts, standard taxes, and shipping and handling costs.
Only the most standard features are offered with the service and no premium features. The lack of call forwarding can also be quite inconvenient for those frequently away from home. Phone number transfers can also take a few days up to a few weeks to become active. Though it's rare for it to take more than a few days to transfer, it's certainly possible and worth considering. Typical VoIP services include over 40 features so when BasicTalk is compared with this, it pales in comparison.
There is no mobile service available through a plan option or mobile application.
There is no for support fax machines. A fax machine may be plugged into the BasicTalk Box, and some fax machines may work, but troubleshooting for individual devices is not supported.
Technical support is only available through the website. A telephone number is available only for sales inquiries. Technical support is lacking compared to other services.
Although the cost of Basic Talk is competitive, it is still higher than its competition, such as the providers listed in our residential phone service review section.
BasicTalk is a cheaper alternative to the plethora of other VoIP services available. This affordability is its main appeal to consumers. However, this cheaper cost comes at the expense of premium options and features, and higher levels of customer support. If international calling isn't a necessity for you and your family, and you are simply looking for a cheaper equivalent to landline service, BasicTalk may be all that you need.
BasicTalk is a new service introduced in 2013. Currently 50% of customers recommend the service on WhichVoIP user reviews. Primary complaints include mentions of choppy audio and dropped calls. Those with the least trouble with the service seem to be placing calls only within the USA. Read our collection of user reviews for yourself to see what existing customers have had to say after subscribing and be sure to stay tuned for more updates from WhichVoIP as the BasicTalk service continues to expand.
We would like to hear from people that have already signed up for this service, so please contribute to our collection of user reviews and help others decide if the service is a good choice for their home phone. Select the green button the right to get started.
BasicTalk reviews are listed in chronological order.
#59 : JUL 26th, 2016 : Raymond
A year ago in June 2015 I called and cancelled my Basictalk service. After cancelling they refused to stop charging my checking account. I found on my account in June 2016 that they had been committing fraud, taking out after I cancelled my service and told them not to charge me anymore. They said they refuse to refund me for over $140.00 and said no refunds and I am to take the hit. Working with the Better Business Bureau currently with my complaint. I am going to report this to the bank and maybe a lawyer for fraud charges. Do not get Basictalk or Vonage.
Sonya (November 3rd 2016) : I cancelled my service and they continue to bill my card for over a year now. I just caught it and my credit card company says its up to them (BasicTalk) to refund my money. Changing accounts but I am out of the money they stole from me. Please do not sign up for this service unless you are using a rush card or some other dispensable prepaid card that you can automatically discard or control the amounts that you put on there. Hope this helps someone!
#58 : JUL 18th, 2016 : Jonathan
I have been using BasicTalk for over 2 years now with very few problems. Voice Quality is excellent and the Voicemail works as expected. I have not experienced a single billing issue. Many of the posted reviews comment on the fact that the service goes down frequently, their information is not accurate. The service does not go down, however it is highly dependent on the firewall settings in your cable modem or router. I have learned that the service disconnects each time Comcast changes my cable modem settings (i.e. updates the firmware, changes my service level, reboots my cable modem, etc.). In order to reconnect to Vonage I have to turn off the Network Level Firewall in the Cable Modem and allow 5 minutes for the Grand Stream 701 interface box to reconnect. After service is restored I enable the firewall in the Cable Modem and all is well. The loss of service is caused by your Internet Service Provider, it is not caused by BasicTalk (i.e. Vonage). If your Internet Service causes too many service interruptions the solution is finding another Internet Service provider or turning off the Fire Wall in your cable modem or router. The one issue I have is the fact that the Support folks steadfastly refuse to furnish me with the required information to enable port tunneling through the firewall in order to avoid turning off the fire wall to reconnect my phone service each time Comcast has a service interruption. If all you need is basic phone service then BasicTalk is the preferred choice.
#57 : JUN 15th, 2016 : Larry
Highly recommended. We use extra recorder, with voice mail, for ease of play back. We use a Y jack, plug into the house telephone outlet to activate all house outlets.
#56 : JUN 14th, 2016 : Ann
When my husband had a stroke and was unable to speak, I called in February to cancel the service. In June, the service is still being billed to my credit card and I am told that despite them having the record of my earlier call, "BasicTalk does not give refunds". Stay away from this company!
#55 : MAY 16th, 2016 : Jeff
Excellent basic phone service on a par with basic landline service. If you are looking to replace landline phone or setting up a "home" phone service, BasicTalk is for you. It is as reliable as your Internet connection. I have never had a problem with connection or voice quality. I love it. And the price is unbeatable.
#54 : APR 19th, 2016 : Leo
Online website is impossible if you want to change or update anything. No live representative to speak to. Doesn't surprise me its owned by Walmart. Walmart is a lousy company, become too big. Very unhappy customer.
#53 : APR 3rd, 2016 : Linda
I had no problem in setting up, including transferring my old phone number. My only wish is that it had the ability to block numbers. And it cannot, at least at this time, be used with Nomorobo software. And I had no activation charge...It's just the monthly charge plus taxes ($12.16). It's set up for automatic payments so never a possibility of a late charge.
#52 : MAR 24th, 2016 : Leslie
Technical support isn't all that good, phone number transfer seems impossible, now going on 2 weeks and can't use our original number yet. They set up 911 service and gave us a temporary new number and then told us we had to use that one. We can call out but without changing our number we can't receive calls yet. Have changed and resubmitted information several times and still not hooked up.
WhichVoIP Team (March 25th 2016) : Here is an article we wrote on number porting if you would like to learn more about this subject.
#51 : FEB 5th, 2016 : Steve
Cheap cost for excellent VoIP service. No problems with system. Only issue is need to reset the line after using system to release intercom door to apartment building or cannot be heard on call (can hear other party). Makes no difference if incoming or outgoing call. No BasicTalk resolution.
#50 : FEB 5th, 2016 : Larry
Pro's: BasicTalk is Vonage minus many features. Most of those features, I don't miss. Service is excellent, reliability is excellent. Use a "Y" splitter on the phone cord to plug into the phone wiring system of your home to activate all phone outlets throughout your home.
Disclaimer: The opinions, views and ratings expressed in these VoIP Reviews are those solely of the reviewer who submitted the review. Whichvoip.com does not necessarily agree with any of the expressed opinions, view or ratings.
#11 : Posted by Charles Schneider on January 7th, 2016:
All incoming calls go straight to voice mail and my phone never rings at all!
-> Response: Have you talked to BasicTalk about this? If it goes straight to voicemail I would look at a couple of things.
1. Your device likely is not registering successfully with the BasicTalk servers.
2. Your home router/firewall is blocking incoming calls from getting through.
Both of these items can be fixed by BasicTalk if you call them.
#10 : Posted by Mike on September 9th, 2015:
Does basic talk block 900 numbers from being called?
-> Response: According to their terms of service, at this point in time, Basictalk does NOT allow calls to premium numbers such as 900 numbers.
#9 : Posted by Bob on September 2nd, 2015:
Will BasicTalk support my 5 landline phones I have in various parts of my house?
-> Response: Are the landlines phones cordless? That tends to be the best way to handle multiple phones in a house using VoIP. There are other ways though, this article on using multiple phones will hopefully help.
#8 : Posted by Mary L Henderson on April 11th, 2015:
Just purchased the Basic Talk at Walmart. Noticed in reading up this website that I could expect a connecting charge! No mention of this on the box. Please let me know about this.
-> Response: At times they waive this fee so maybe you were lucky with your timing.
#7 : Posted by Joanne Brannan on January 2nd, 2015:
I do not have WFI. After Wallmart pointed to and sold me what was supposed to be a WIFI router and it was not, I had to go back and return the incorrect item and the two phones. Since then I have been trying and trying to cancel my account. On-line just seemed to have NO way of cancelling! When I would click that I wanted to cancel, it would take me to more adds instead of cancelling my account. By phone I had two holidays to contend with plus a death in the family on Dec. 20th. I finally accepted that I would have to pay the charges for 1 month. The phone number for cancellations would never ring but hang up! Today it would say, "Thank you, good bye" without even finding out who I was! Jan. 5 you will charge me for another month and I REFUSE to accept that since I have never connected at all! Please, please, cancel without charging me again! I am so busy with funeral plans, and end-of-year stress and I cannot reach anyone!!
-> Response: First of all I am sorry to hear about your troubles with BasicTalk, Joanne.
However, unfortunately you will need to contact BasicTalk directly to ensure cancellation. WhichVoIP.com is a free VoIP information website is not partnered with BasicTalk.
Here is what I would do, this is taken from their Terms and Conditions:
SEVEN DAY REFUND POLICY.
...you may cancel your service within seven (7) days of your Order Date. There are no penalties for cancellation in this timeframe....To cancel your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-866-382-3770. This number is for cancellation purpose only.
If this is the same number you have been using, try their live chat on their website (goto their site and then click on activate my service and you will see a live chat button on the right hand side).
Hope this helps and sorry to hear about your troubles on a personal level.
#6 : Posted by Tony Alvarado on November 17th, 2014:
The phone is breaking up and noise on the other end of the line.
-> Response: Sorry to hear you are having issues with your BasicTalk service Tony. If this is your first experience with VoIP you may want to check out our VoIP test tool (go to the tab labeled Graphs/Tools above) and our troubleshooting guide (linked from the Residential tab in the main navigation at top of page). Hope this helps.
#5 : Posted by Isabel on September 17th, 2014:
I got the adapter from basic talk today and I'm trying to activate the box but when I enter the MAC number it keeps telling me it is invalid.
-> Response: My assumption is you bought it from a retail store. Make sure you only enter numbers and letters in the activation area on the BasicTalk website (12 characters). e.g. 000F12AB3CDE
If this still fails you will need to contact Basic Talk directly.
#4 : Posted by Bernadette Stengel on June 2nd, 2014:
Nothing I did could get my Basic Talk unit to activate. In addition, I was pestered by unwanted promotions so that I had to go back into my downloads to delete them. I am disappointed. I will need to try something else to save money. Any time a product does not interface well with one's home technology, they blame the user or the equipment. After at least 30 years of fooling around and earning my money with computers, I really don't think it's my fault. Too bad.
-> Response: Sorry to hear about your troubles. Regardless of where you look next, here are some things to look at when you have time just to make sure your Internet connection is good enough for VoIP and to examine some common troubleshooting tips.
- VoIP Test (to analyze Internet connection to your home - requires Java but really recommend running this to get a MOS score at the end)
- Troubleshooting tips
#3 : Posted by Don Hanrahan on May 23rd, 2014:
Does the Basic Talk caller id display a name, or just a number? I'm using Straight Talk home phone now and its caller id displays only a phone number. Prior to that switch, my caller id use to display a name.
-> Response: Yes, the Basic Talk service displays both the name and telephone number (if available) for incoming calls. Your phone must be able to support this feature. For outgoing calls only your phone number is sent, it does not send your name.
#2 : Posted by Mike on March 29th, 2014:
How does the service work with a fax machine?
-> Response: This is actually a very good question. I would really recommend reading our article on fax and VoIP. It can be quite a confusing topic but this will help teach you the pros and cons and your options for faxing with VoIP in general. Regarding BasicTalk, they do not really support fax at all by the looks of things.