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.
#23 : AUG 29th, 2014 : Victoria
Passed on number of previous customer who had been involved in phone sex business. Customers continued to solicit sexual favors, a violation to my right of privacy, an affront to human dignity, a matter of public concern. Bill collectors also harassed me using the same number. After my complaint, they provided new number and represented "never used before." More unwanted calls. They lied. Cancelled service. Filing complaint with BBB.
#22 : AUG 5th, 2014 : Steve
I bought BasicTalk when Verizon became insane. FiOS was not available and never will be. Verizon speed dropped below 1 Mbps so even $19.95 was outrageous. When I asked to drop the DSL, I was told it would cost me more without the DSL. I found BasicTalk, killed my Verizon phone service and raised my internet service to $24.99. I ported my phone number (took 3 days) and have been pleased with the service. I have had to use live chat a few times and always had my problem solved. For the cost, BasicTalk provides everything I need for $9.99 + tax/month. You won't go wrong with it.
#21 : JUL 26th, 2014 : Karen
Phone misreads numbers and conversation breaks up. Terrible quality! I have been without phone service for a couple of weeks.
Maggie (Aug 21st, 2014) : Works great! No complaints except I have to have the broadband which needs a phone line (DSL) so I'm being billed by my old company basic line charge so that brings my bill up to about $26 a month. I called my old company and asked why I was being charged all the extra fees and they said they decided they could and would. So I'm off to find another wireless internet provider, satellite preferably.
#20 : JUN 18th, 2014 : Maria
This is a terrible phone service provider. First, 911 is messed up then the connection sucks, it cuts off constantly then turns out the payment didn't go through so we thought it was disconnected so we unpluged everything. 3 months later I received an email so I checked the account and they still charge you even though you're not using the service. I plugged everything in and it wouldn't even let me make a call but yet they we're charging me for the months I didn't use it and while I couldn't have made a call either. Plus the customer service guy was rude!
#19 : MAY 20th, 2014 : Nick
Most affordable plan on the market, and great for basic land line. Unlimited long distance is the best feature. Easy set up also.
#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.
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#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.
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