Magic Jack is the best “As Seen on TV” product that money can buy. I’ve tried most of them but they’ve all failed me in some way, shape or fashion. Magic Jack was my last attempt to find something that actually lived up to its name and boy, did it!
Last week I blogged about how I used my Sprint cell phone service with Google Voice integration along with Magic Jack’s Internet phone service (VOIP) in order to assist me with screening incoming calls from bill collectors. The two products / services combined equals some of the strongest defense you could ever muster against stopping bill collector harassment while saving money at the same time.
Now, I must admit that I am a sucker for most "As Seen on TV" products that I later find out don’t work as good as advertised, but for some reason, after all the cheesy commercials, testimonials and hundreds of customer reviews for Magic Jack online, I felt it was worth giving it a go. I had a need, plus the price was right.
I opted for “Magic Jack Plus” because after the initial setup, there is no need to have a computer to make the device functional, plus I didn’t like the idea of the regular Magic Jack’s need to have the device plugged into my laptops side USB port 24/7. For a desktop PC this is not as big a deal as you can just plug Magic Jack into an available USB port on the back of your computer for out of sight, out of mind operation. Please note that a "Router" is required for usage without a computer. Otherwise, Magic Jack must be plugged into a computer at all times in order to function.
I ordered it online for $39.95 and when you consider that normal home phone service through the phone company costs anywhere from $27 to $45 a month for basic service, depending on the service provider and the city and state you live in, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this amounts to huge savings per year.
However, as I stated in last week’s article entitled: “Google Voice: Take Back Control of your Phone,” I have very poor cell service in my area and by very poor I mean “none” unless you count walking outside, standing in the backyard about 10 feet in front of the detached garage which is the only way I can get any type of cell service on the property. That is, as long as I stand in one spot, facing one direction while holding one leg up in the air! Not so bad in the summer but it’s definitely not the ideal situation for subzero temperatures during the winter.
Magic Jack is a “set it and forget it device.” Yep, I said it! Once I configure Google Voice, I then forward all incoming calls from my cell phone to my Vtech cordless home phone with Magic Jack and this allows me to make and receive calls from inside my house with my home phone, thereby bypassing my cell phones poor reception in my service area. My Sprint cell number stayed the same while incoming callers had no idea that I was not speaking on my cell.
Now, I must tell you that Magic Jack does have its occasional service hiccups. The calls are for the most part crystal clear but there are the occasional drops in service that seem to come from nowhere but this is very rare. When it happens, I just call the person back. No big deal. There is also a built in timer that will automatically disconnect the call after exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes with no warning whatsoever. Again, I just call the person right back and it’s no harm, no foul. Can this be annoying at times? Sure, but for the yearly savings it’s worth the occasional inconvenience.
Other than the initial purchase price of $39.95, the only other expense is a yearly fee of $29.95 at the time of this writing, which is considerably less than you’d pay for a full year of standard phone service through your local phone company. I don’t know about you but that’s a no brainer in my mind.
My “Magic Jack Plus” device is plugged into the wall behind the sofa and no one knows I’m using it unless I tell them. It comes with free caller ID, call waiting, voicemail, plus many more features including the ability to change your Magic Jack phone number at any time for just $10. This could come in handy should a bill collector ever get a hold of your phone number. You can choose any area code you like but for me it just made sense to use a local area code and number so that friends and family can reach me without having to dial long distance.
Magic Jack also has a cell phone app but I haven’t had much luck getting it to work as reliably as the PC version so I uninstalled it from my android device. Several reviews indicate that others have had better luck, so I know that it works for some. Magic Jack also has plans for a newer, wireless version but as of this writing it is not currently available.
So there you have it. If you’ve ever seen Magic Jack commercials and wondered if it really worked like they advertise on television, trust me, it works and you’d be hard pressed to find another device that gives you more bang for your buck in this economy or any other for that matter!
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