Community Phone Reviews

Community Phone

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Community Phone Review by WhichVoIP

Company Overview

Community Phone, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded by James Graham to provide a simple alternative to landline home phone services after his Grandmother was oversold a $1,000 cell phone by a pushy salesman when all she was asking was help with her email. They are backed by the same investors who funded AirBnB and Dropbox.

Primarily, Community Phone are a full service cell phone service company. They provide straight up cell plans, landline to cell phone forwarding, landline replacement phone service and also phone services to businesses. The main focus of this review will be the landline home phone service.

The Good

If you do not have Internet access in your home or are just tired of the expensive landline options available to you then Community Phone landline home phone service could be for you. The Landline Plan costs $20 per month if you pay monthly or $180 per year if you pay annually (equivalent to a cost of $15 monthly). You will also need to purchase a Landline Base device for $99, a one-time fee.

The plan includes unlimited incoming and outgoing calls to/from all 50 states, optional call blocking features, caller ID, voicemail, call forwarding, call waiting, and 100% USA-based customer service.

If you want to keep your existing phone number then it will cost an additional $5 per month. There is also a premium service for an additional $9 per month that includes spam call blocking, full insurance on one device they send you, and simultaneous ringing to a cell phone. If you do not have an existing phone they can provide one for and additional $39. If you decide to get their phone then the upfront cost will be $138 (for the base and the phone). If you decide to keep your existing phone number then monthly service will cost $25 per month. This pricing is pre-tax but shipping is currently free and there is a 30-day money back guarantee, in case you get cold feet.

The Landline Base you purchase from them plugs directly to a power outlet. You then plug your existing phone or the one they send you to the base. The Landline Base will connect to local cell towers which provide the phone service connection. The website states that they access three of the major USA domestic networks so coverage nationally is very good. You can enter your zip code in their website to check coverage, although the resolution of that type of check is not great it will give you an indication if it will work for you.

Customer support, included free with all plans, is US based and available Monday through Saturday between 10am and 6:30pm EST. You can reach support via a toll free number by phone call and text, and you can also email them directly. Support is closed on US based holidays. There does not appear to be any knowledgebase or online support pages to access on their website but you can sign up for a monthly newsletter that includes interviews with customers and useful information.

Community Phone also offer a "Landline to Wireless" set of plans. There are two plans available, both are $18 per month (or $180 paid annually, which gives you the equivalent of two free months). The first plan is a Landline Forward plan, where you can port your existing landline number to them and they will forward any incoming calls to your landline number to your existing cell number. This is there most popular forwarding plan. The second plan is for moving your landline number onto its own cell phone. They provide a free SIM card and this can be a nice option if you have a spare cell phone that you do not use anymore. Both plans include unlimited minutes, caller ID and standard voicemail.

They also offer three different cell phone plans, starting with a $20 per month plan for unlimited talk and text. For $29 per month you can get unlimited talk and text plus 2GB of data (4G LTE). The third plan is "Unlimited Everything" and costs $55 per month. This plan includes unlimited talk and text plus unlimited data (LTE on the nations largest GSM network), as the plan name suggests. A family pricing discount is available on orders of 3 or more lines. You can also purchase some cell phones through them, which currently includes phones like Samsung Galaxy S8, some flip phones, and some iPhones (including iPhone 6, SE and XR models).

All Community Phone plans are no-contract and billed monthly. You can switch plans at any time for no additional cost.

The Bad

The landline phone service relies on good cellular coverage in your home. You may have to test different locations for the Landline Base around your home for the best coverage spot (i.e. the basement may not be the best location for it). Weather conditions can also affect signal levels.

The plan includes unlimited calling and there appears to be no fair usage policy noted in their terms and conditions. There is often some type of usage policy to protect the company against misuse.

There was no knowledgebase or help articles found on their website. Some users like to do their own troubleshooting before calling customer support.

A more expensive option than most VoIP home phone services, but an interesting option for those that do not already have high speed Internet services.

The Bottom Line

  • Landline plan is $20 per month when paid monthly or $180 annually.
  • Additional $5 per month if you want to keep your existing phone number.
  • Requires a Landline Base which costs $99. You can also purchase a phone for $39.
  • Optional $9 per month premium service available, includes insurance and some added features.
  • Landline to Wireless plans available also, including forwarding service and moving landline number to cell phone.
  • Cell phone plans available, including Unlimited Talk/Text ($20/month), Unlimited Talk/Text + 2GB Data ($29/month), and Unlimited Everything ($55/month).

Overall Thoughts

Community Phone offers an interesting alternative to lower priced home phone services, especially for those that do not have high speed Internet services in their homes. However, you will need to make sure you have cellular coverage in your home for this to work.

They also offer a landline call forwarding service plan where they will simply forward any calls to your existing landline number to your cell phone number. You can also move your existing landline number to a cell phone service and they will provide a free SIM card for this service.

If you have used this service please consider leaving a review of your service experience for others to read.

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