Are you confused yet? was Originally Posted on August 13, 2003 by lavarock
Over the weekend I decided to look into cheap long distance out in Hawaii. Many people use cell phones and that is always a possibility for me. On an island as large as Hawaii itself (90 miles by 90 miles) it is easy to be an hours drive from other people you are meeting, etc.
However, I also wanted to solve my business and toll free problems. My toll free business number is something like 6 cents a minute between the 48 mainland states and jumps up to 15 cents a minute inbound to Hawaii. Hawaii TO Hawaii is even higher!
Here on the mainland I use BigZoo (bigzoo.com) for my long distance. They charge 75 cents a month and either 2.9 cents or 3.9 cents a minute depending whether you have a BigZoo number in your city or have to call their 800# instead. This is cheaper than the 10-10-987 they advertise on TV. However, 10-10 numbers you use on a call by call basis. I signed up with bigZoo and funded my account with $5 the first time to see how well it workd and used it ever since. I have been very happy with Big Zoo, but they charge too much to call Hawaii and they don’t work FROM Hawaii (as many systems don’t) because of the call costs from islands to the mainland.
After a lot of research, I stumbled on a company called Packet8.Net. They offer a terminal adapter that you connect to your computer line (high speed preferred) and will let you make unlimited calls for $20 a month. They offer international rates, but at this point, I don’t call internationally, so I can’t tell if they are cheaper there than other services. I also get unlimited inbound calls. I had a choice of many cities to “host” my inbound telephone number. Although I know lots of people here in Atlanta, I chose a daytona beach Florida number so that my family can call me in Hawaii as a local Daytona call and they pay nothing. Otherwise, they would have had to still pay a long distance call from Daytona Beach to Atlanta, if I had chosen the number here.
I know, it gets a bit complex and now on the the toll free number. Rather than pay 15 cents a minute to send those calls to Hawai directly, I only have to spend 6 cents a minute and send them to (drum roll) Daytona Beach! I’ll let Packet8 ship them to me in Hawaii for, oh I don’t know, let me think… the $20 a month that I am already paying!!!
So to review, if I have a local number in Hawaii, they can call me on that directly. That phone might just be a cell phone but will be seperate from everything else.
If they call my toll free number (hosted in Canada somewhere). It will be forwarded to a number in Daytona Beach Florida.
The telephone number in Florida, is just that. A number with no phone, that accepts calls, digitizes the voice, ships it to Hawaii via the internet, gets sent through verizon and/or a cable TV company (if I have a cable modem) to a box sitting next to my computer. That box has a phone plugged into it and it rings. If that phone is a cordless phone, the phone on my belt, out on the tractor will ring. technology at it’s finest! Of course, if I’m out swimming with the dolphin, some voice mail system in Canada takes the message!
Now I am just waiting for the terminal unit (phone unit) to arrive so I can test it here in Atlanta. If it doesn’t work well here, it will work even less in Hawaii. However, I hear good things about the company.
My main reasons for choosing this over some type of MCI neighborhood deal is that my family can call me free and I save on every toll free call I receive. My toll free number is only $2 a month and as I said above, 6 cents a minute around the mainland.
Of course, since this system REQUIRES an “always on” connection for my phone, that also means that I HAVE to have an internet connection for my house AND that connection is a business expense…
Well, enough technical talk. My friends are in Tunica, Mississippi this weekend without me, gambling. I opted not to take this side trip so I could continue with my house and packing. Having been to bed early last night, I woke up at 4am and decided to start going throught the kitchen. I am pulling everything that is not nailed down, into another spot for the next yard sale. It may be the “Mother” of all yard sales because I am running out of time. I will be selling most of the pots, pans, place, glasses, the can opener, mixed, and so on. I can make a trip to COSTCO and pick up plastic stuff to use in the meantime.
I also need to get rid of most on the incidental furniture and things. The house needs to look uncluttered when it is for sale. many people make the mistake of leaving every personal item and stitch of clothing and book in the house and try to sell it. A prospective buyer looks at the sellers photos and furnishing and has a difficult time seeing what it would look like if it was their house. Instead, I think that if you remove most things, they look at the blank spot on the wall and start thinking “I have a painting that would fill this spot nicely”.
You do not sell everything in the place and show a home completely empty. That seems to tell the seller that you have moved, all maintenence has stopped on the house and that you probably HAVE to sell this house quickly to avoid paing for two places. You may also be desparate to sell and they may offer you a lot less for the house. I think you want the house to look as though you COULD move if you got the right price, don’t need too long to move things out, the house is uncluttered and you are keeping it up.
Of course, it also helps NOT to be actually living in the house at the time Nothing worse than having to run out of the shower, clean it, get dressed and disappear when you get a last minute call that a realator has a “hot prospect” that would like to see the house…
I believe that I will end up getting the house ready to show in a couple weeks, put it on the market and move to Hawaii. All the personal items will be shipped and what is left in the house can be sold in an “Estate Sale” and they can just send me a check. It is easier for me to find a place to stay in Hawaii until closing out there, than try to keep this place clean while waiting on an offer.