Many companies are walking away from traditional phone services and moving to the Internet for their telephone needs. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology helps companies make phone calls over the Internet while offering several advantages over traditional phone landlines. Some of these advantages include lower calling rates and better voice quality.
Using a VoIP-enabled phone or a VoIP service is different from the traditional landline, as everything happens over the internet and there is no need to have a physical landline. Over the last few years, one of the most popular VoIP solutions has been BasicTalk.
In this review, we’ll be looking at what BasicTalk is, its features and why you should or shouldn’t use it for your VoIP needs.
What is Basic Talk?
Let us start with the basics — Basic Talk is a VoIP phone service that offers unlimited calls in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The service doesn’t require you to sign any contracts but there are taxes and fees. If you already have a phone, you can keep your existing number or get a brand new one without additional charges.
How does Basic Talk work?
The product provides you with a home phone service that works through your internet connection, independent of your phone line. Most VoIP services, including this one, require you to have a high-speed internet connection to ensure maximum efficiency.
Unlike some other VoIP providers, this one does not run through your phone line. Instead, you will have to connect your BasicTalk box with your internet using an Ethernet cable. The box is then connected to your phone and as long as you have a stable high-speed internet connection, you will be able to use BasicTalk.
How much does the Basic Talk phone service cost?
Since the service is not taking any new customers right now, we can only talk about their past prices. Previously, their plans started at $9.99 per month plus taxes and government fees. The plan included many features such as unlimited calls in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, caller ID, call waiting and more. As mentioned before, the plan did not include any annual contracting obligations, meaning you could stop using the service whenever you wanted. Also, there were no fees if you wanted to keep your current number.
Keep in mind that “unlimited calls” are actually limited to 3000 minutes of usage per month for this service. If you cross that threshold, their team will inspect your usage, the number of unique numbers you have called, call length, conference calling and more to determine if you have to pay an additional fee.
Features of the Basic Talk home phone
This VoIP service includes some features for all their users, such as the caller ID, which allows you always to know who is calling you. There is also the ability to listen back and delete voicemail messages, block calls, see your voicemail caller ID and set voice ring count. Additional features include do-not-disturb mode, 911 emergency calls, 411 directory assistance and call waiting.
The do-not-disturb feature is excellent for local businesses as you can set it up so that it stops calls from ringing your phone when you are not in your store or office. The anonymous call feature prevents people who have blocked their caller ID from calling your phone number, helping you prevent most prank calls.
How good is Basic Talk’s customer service?
One of the most important factors when deciding on a VoIP provider is their customer service. Problems do happen and if you are relying heavily on phone communication, you will want to know that a team of customer service reps has got your back.
In the past, BasicTalk has offered live chat, email and phone support, all of which allow you to get support from actual humans instead of bots. The live chat and email support are available 24/7, while phone support is not. Based on our experience, their agents are friendly and helpful.
There is also the self-help section on their website if you want to try and solve any problems with the phone service on your own. You can find a lot of info on the support pages, including an installation tutorial. The provided info is pretty straightforward and you can always call them up right from the help page.
In their prime, phone support was available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 12 PM Eastern Time and Saturday through Sunday from 9 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time.
How to set up Basic Talk home phone service?
Setting up the BasicTalk phone service is somewhat quick and simple. The first step is to plug the provided box into an electrical outlet. Then, you have to connect the box to your Wi-Fi modem and your phone with the supplied cables, after which you will be able to make calls. BasicTalk also provides an installation guide with the box to help you quickly get up and running.
Previously, to order the box all you needed to do was log in to their website, create an account and enter some personal and financial information such as your name, address and credit/debit card number. Your credit or debit card would then be charged $9.99 each month automatically unless you cancel your subscription.
You can find unopened or secondhand BasicTalk home phone boxes on eBay, Craigslist, and similar websites these days.
Pros and cons of Basic Talk
Here are the pros and cons of BasicTalk.
- It costs $9.99 per month and there are no contracts or other obligations
- The customer service is friendly and helpful
- There is no need to get any additional equipment other than the box
- Setting up the phone service is easy
- The biggest issue with BasicTalk is that it is no longer available officially. Yes, you can find BasicTalk packages on Amazon, eBay and other sites, but the service is pretty much inactive
- The home phone service requires an internet service with an Ethernet cable adapter
- There is no Wi-Fi option
- Many reviews online are calling the service a scam that provides average or subpar service but racks up the phone bill
- BasicTalk’s online rating has been declining over the years and some people are even requesting their money back
- Many have transferred to other providers and VoIP companies citing the lack of proper customer support as one of the main reasons why they left
Ringblaze — The Basic Talk alternative to choose
Basic Talk is an okay VoIP solution offering essential call quality. However, the platform is not in active development anymore as there is no way to order the BasicTalk home phone service box from the official website. The customer service only supports existing customers. Because of this, we cannot recommend it to anyone.
Instead, what we can recommend is our own phone service — Ringblaze. Ringblaze is one of the best phone solutions available on the market. We have designed it to make your sales and customer support work more effectively and collaboratively.
Thanks to our state-of-the-art technology, you can use Ringblaze to manage all your calls and call-related activities easily, assign any calls to people in your company and use a variety of other features built to support your business and allow you to focus on providing the best possible service to your prospects and customers.
Some of the best features of Ringblaze include:
- Shared dashboard — This feature is designed to ensure that all the calls made to your phone number are stored in a single place that is accessible by all your users. When building this feature, we wanted to ensure that all users in one account are on the same page. Each call made to your Ringblaze number can have an owner, meaning you can quickly determine someone’s responsibility while also ensuring that everyone else can quickly access any customer’s profile if needed.
- Assign, forward, and record calls — Any of the calls made to your Ringblaze numbers can be quickly forwarded, assigned or recorded. This means that your prospects or customers can quickly get the help they need. Plus, with the ability to record any calls, you can improve your training or have the call recordings for accountability.
- Unlimited phone numbers from 22 different countries — Unlike BasicTalk, which only offers free calls from the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, Ringblaze allows you to make long-distance and worldwide calls and answer them from a single place as if they were made to the same office phone without any additional cost. With Ringblaze, all your customers, no matter where they are located in the world, can call your company’s toll-free number and get the help they need without needing to pay any extra.
- Easy to set up and use — BasicTalk requires you to have a physical phone and an Ethernet connection which is a hassle for many businesses. On the other hand, Ringblaze can be set up in minutes, there is no need to get any additional equipment as our business phone service works from your browser.
How much does RingBlaze cost?
While BasicTalk ($9.99 per month) is cheaper than Ringblaze, the real question is will you be able to use it even if you find a secondhand unit somewhere.
On the other hand, Ringblaze is much cheaper than its competitors and it is available in one simple plan, which can be paid monthly or annually. The monthly plan starts at $19 per user per month, while the annual plan is 20% cheaper, and it costs just $15 per user a month when billed annually.
Of course, there are no hidden fees. All Ringblaze plans include other features such as high-definition voice calls, unlimited calling to the US and Canada, a free US/Canada local number, long-distance calling, free call history and recording, voicemail greeting, call forwarding, call transfer, mute and more.
Popular Basic Talk questions
How much is Basic Talk a month?
The last known price of BasicTalk was $9.99 a month. Currently, the service is not available to new customers, and they only support their existing ones.
Is Basic Talk still in business?
Currently, their website is still active. However, our research has shown that at this moment, they are no longer actively selling the service to others.
Is Basic Talk VoIP?
Yes, BasicTalk is a company providing VoIP services to companies and individuals based in the US. It does require a phone line and existing internet service with an Ethernet connection.
Does Vonage own Basic Talk?
BasicTalk was launched in 2013 by its parent company — Vonage, with the goal to position itself as a residential phone provider that offers international service at a low monthly fee. However, Basic Talk is currently not listed anywhere on the Vonage website.
When BasicTalk’s service was fully operational, they provided an okay experience. It was just $9.99 a month and the low cost was designed for anyone looking to save as much as they could on their business or home phone service with international calling features. However, these days BasicTalk only supports their existing customers with no plans to offer their services to new ones in the future, meaning we cannot recommend it to anyone.
The only way you can get BasicTalk is from the secondhand market on eBay, Craigslist or Amazon. Even if you find a BasicTalk box that works, it is unknown whether the team behind the software will support you.
What you should do instead is look for an alternative VoIP provider such as Ringblaze. With Ringblaze, you get all the features you want from VoIP phone service and so much more. Installing it is quick and easy, you do not need any additional equipment or gadgets as everything works in your browser.