phone.jpgWhen was it ok to just blithely accept that products are now engineered for obsolescence? Case in point: our stinkin’ Panasonic cordless phones!!!

We were perfectly happy with our KX-TGA650B Panasonic cordless phone when one day we found one of the handsets sprawled on the living room floor, like eviscerated lion prey. The antennae had been mangled by our dearly departed dog Satchmo. Here’s the evil part; not only had that model become obsolete, but once you’ve lost the use of one handset, you have to replace the whole effing system!

Now we have the Panasonic KX-TGA939T. We have 4 around the house and I hate it! The handset in my office, where I do all my work, is haunted. At first it was just an irritating quirk it had where if my ear was close enough to the receiver, my mouth wasn’t close enough for people to hear me and vice versa. So, my husband suggested I put all my calls on speaker. Personally, I think putting people on speaker makes everyone an automatic douche bag but what was I gonna do? And, it was no solution. The quality of the sound began to erode that way too!

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ooma-logo.jpgIf you haven’t heard of Ooma, you will soon. I discovered it because I was sick and tired of paying ATT&T for a landline we rarely ever used that cost us over $40 a month with no extras. We didn’t even have call waiting, which was nice for us, but the busy signal always freaked our friends out. At least they knew we were home even if they couldn’t reach us.

One day last fall I came across a message on one of my geek boards about a box that uses your current phone number and phones over the Internet. More research showed that everyone was talking about Ooma, a system that seemed to be as popular as Uma Thurman among the nerd community.  I was a bit skeptical until I saw over 75 positive reviews on Amazon. It seemed this system was exactly what I was looking for. Unlike Vonage a similar service that has a monthly fee, once you purchase the Ooma system (about $200), you never have to pay another phone bill again. That’s right I said NEVER.  Plus, getting to keep our existing home phone number (for a small fee) was essential. We’ve had it for 12 years and it’s the one number my wife can actually remember.

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