The below provides a quick overview of the user submitted reviews for BasicTalk.
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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.
The Bottom Line
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.
Author: Tony Campbell
BasicTalk reviews are listed in chronological order.
#18 : APR 6th, 2014 : Larry
I have been using this service since January 2014 with no problems with the phone whatsoever. Calls are very clear on both ends. Cant say anything about customer service because I have not used it. Set up was simple, taking just minutes. So far I would highly recommend this product.
#17 : MAR 6th, 2014 : Robert
I finally decided to get rid of ATT land line, the service was >$29 just to have the phone, before any usage. I had to use my cell to make long distance calls to keep the bill as low as possible. Now my bill is something like $14/month with unlimited calling in the US, so now I don't have to use my cell to call long distance anymore from home. I clipped the incoming phone wires at the junction box on the side of the house, and then plugged the basic talk box (about 3" by 4") cable into a wall jack. Then all of my existing land line phones were available for use thru the existing wall jacks in the house. In the 3 or so months of having the system, only once did I have to hang up and call again due to latency. The phone sounds to me and everyone I talk to just like the old ATT land line. I really can't say anything bad about the service. The only annoyance is that you can't block any numbers thru basic talk; I have to do that with my Panasonic phone system. A minor annoyance, but I wish basic talk allow this to be done thru their system. All in all it's a great service, which I would recommend to anyone.
#16 : FEB 25th, 2014 : Jerry
Choppy audio - the voice of one or all parties cuts out or sounds like static. Dropped audio - sound disappears for seconds at a time (or longer), in one direction or both. Delayed audio - one-way or one or all parties cannot hear the other party at all.
#15 : FEB 23rd, 2014 : Marie
It took a really LONG time to set up. I was transferring my number and it took many weeks to finally do that. During that time nobody could call me. Then it worked pretty good for a couple of weeks BUT now every single person I talk with says there is so much static and they say I cut out repeatedly... and for long periods of time to the point they hang up thinking the call was dropped. It is UNUSABLE. I am going to have to get another service that actually works. And PS: don't even bother with magic jack either.
#14 : FEB 21st, 2014 : Michael
My service took two days to set up because I wanted to keep my old number. After setup my phone worked for one two minute call and that was it. Customer service sends you an email to fix the problem that don't work and when you email them back you don't here back from them for more than a day. My service did not get fixed in three days and then it was Friday and their customer service does not work on the weekend. I would recommend getting wood for smoke signals before recommending BasicTalk. Smoke signals work better.
#13 : JAN 29th, 2014 : Steve
VoIP by BasicTalk stopped working without warning after a few weeks; friends who called us later called my mobile to ask why my home phone is disconnected - we were embarrassed as in for non payment of home phone bill. Tried to dial out and had a dial tone on BasicTalk but get a busy signal on all calls - never connects. No human voice tech support; web FAQs don't help; Live chat was very slow and didn't fix it. Do not buy BasicTalk. Walmart should be embarrassed to be associated with BasicTalk. I got better service from Vonage and now must return the BasicTalk and find another provider that does work. Good thing I kept my Vonage business line and didn't switch that one. Also BasicTalk conveniently ignores the fact that you cannot forward your calls when away. Don't buy BasicTalk.
Robert (Feb 9th, 2014) : Basic Talk was fair for 3 months then adapter failed. Three weeks finding out how to get replacement and then received a re-built adapter. It lasted two days and then went off. Junk equipment.
#12 : JAN 4th, 2014 : Greg
We have been using BasicTalk for nearly 4 months. We don't need a lot of sophisticated features. Before we switched to BasicTalk from Frontier's phone service, we didn't even have call display. For our 15/5 Fios, the Voip service through BasicTalk is pretty good for our needs. We have not experienced any issues so far. Although customer service is not available via telephone, you can reach them via chat or email. Which is ok. The online billing panel is nice. This is our first Voip service and so far we like it. Especially the savings we get over Frontier...
#11 : DEC 4th, 2013 : Denny
Purchased the BasicTalk "black box" from local store for about $10. Set up online with no difficulties. Probably took 15 minutes to set up service, set up 911 and instructions to port my old home phone number to BasicTalk service. Within about 3 business days my old number became active on BasicTalk. Sound quality is fine as are the features. So far its a win-win with price and reliability. No complaints.
#10 : DEC 3rd, 2013 : Chip
Easy setup and works mostly, but on almost every call the other side keeps complaining that I am dropping out. It also constantly misses touch tones. It has become such a bother that I must switch soon.
#9 : NOV 25th, 2013 : Lyn
I set up my BasicTalk 11/12/13. I had some initial issues and finding the
customer service Chat was not user friendly. Once I had it set up the sound
is crackly and people I call tell me my voice keeps cutting out. This I can
live with for the low price of $11.62 a month compared to Comcast of approx
30.00 a month without long distance. But after using the service for less
than 2 weeks it no longer lets me call the number I use the most. At first
I just thought my mom wasn't answering her phone and had turned off her
ringer. It turns out when I call from the BasicTalk it doesn't ring on her
end at all. The last couple of days when I try to call her from the
BasicTalk I get a message that says the number can not be reached at this
time. It also gave me a 1-800 number to call but upon calling it
Time Warner Telecom said they have never heard of BasicTalk and that my
phone number is not serviced by TWT and to call my phone provider.
BasicTalk says it is unlimited use in the US but there is also some small print called Reasonable Useage Policy: A customer's total usage is unusual if (a) two or more of the following occur in consecutive months, or (b) it exceeds 3000 minutes per month IN COMBINATION with one or more of the following, excessive:
- unique numbers called
- call lengths
- call forwarding/transferring
- conference calling
- short duration calls
- number of calls made during a month
- number of calls made to a conference calling service during a month
- number of calls made during business hours
- number of calls terminated and re-initiated consecutively, which, in the aggregate, result in excessive call lengths during a specific time frame; or
- other abnormal calling patterns indicative of an attempt to evade enforcement of this Reasonable Use Policy.
If a combination of these factors occurs, BasicTalk may determine that abnormal, unreasonable or usage that is not allowed is occurring, and may take action, including, but not limited to, immediate suspension of your BasicTalk service.
So apparently me calling my Mom a few times a day is not Reasonable Useage and I have been suspended from calling her number. I have an email into BasicTalk but still have not received a response.
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#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.
#1 : Posted by Debbie on March 11th, 2014:
Can anyone tell me for sure if I will be able to use my extensions on my phone? I have the type of phone that has one main phone plugged into the main line and then the four extensions you just plug into a regular power outlet. I believe they communicate with the main phone by Bluetooth or something. Anyway will these extensions work with the basic talk system?
-> Response: I am assuming you are referring to cordless phones, yes? In other words 1 base phone and then the rest are just cordless phones with power stations. That being the case, yes this should not be an issue at all, I have this setup in my home. The cordless phones work the same as they would do with a regular landline. The Basic Talk service should have no issues here as the ATA adapter makes the VoIP service look like a regular phone line to the cordless phone system you have.
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