Calling Occupants

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The time has come to replace our ageing Ascom handsets. One handset has a faulty screen, the other won’t charge the batteries properly and randomly turns itself off. They are well past the point of returning to the manufacturer so it’s time to start shopping/researching.

The last time I looked the Panasonic DECT phones were getting good reviews, but as times have moved on I’m wondering if we’d be better (cheaper!) to go down the online route? Obviously we have some specific needs:

We primarily use the home phone for calling the same 5 or 6 people. We are currently with Telewest for our phone line (and broadband), and have a special deal for phoning overseas (Louise’s Dad). Other than that all calls are within the UK and typically our “evenings and weekend packages” does us fine, it’s a flat rate that means Louise can waffle away to her sister for as long as she wants as long as it’s after 6pm (which is about when we get in from work so that’s fine).

The handsets MUST have caller display as we have caller ID at the moment, this is not something I want to lose, it’s far too valuable and allows me to avoid most cold-callers – the ones that have worked their way past the Telephone Preferences Service it seems.

Now, I know a few of you have switched to Skype/online calls only, how is it? Is it more costly? Is the call quality good enough? Would you recommended it for “average” use or is it better for those with low usage?

And for those of you still on “standard” phonelines, any good deals in that area? What about digital handsets, any recommendations?

In short, has ANYONE got any advice or pointers in this area? What’s the best deal you’ve seen recently? Any websites I should check out? Or should I just email the Blue (Value) Witch and be done with it! 😉

Yours, awaiting the deal of the century,

Gordon

P.S. No, I’m not sure why this has suddenly turned into a letter…