Update: Fuck You Freephoneline And Fongo 2015-06-21
I should note that lately [a couple years since this post] the service has been mostly good. There are some minor barfs here and there, but overall it is functional and I use it for most of my phone related needs. I still think the support is close to non existent, but the line works.
Fuck You Freephoneline And Fongo 2013-02-07
A while back I got a phone number from freephoneline.ca and have used it as much as I can. The idea is that you get a real free Canadian telephone number with unlimited inbound calls and free calls to most large cities in Canada (provided you use their software with ads in it). If you don't want to use their software you can pay a one-time fee of $50 and get your SIP credentials, which allows you to use any SIP based software, ATA device, or phone switch. They also provide a few options for calling places that are not on the list:
- Pay $4.95 a month for unlimited Canada
- Pay $13.95 a month for unlimited North America
- Buy credits which go towards calls to non-free areas
I paid the $50 for SIP credentials and have been using FPL as my primary phone line for a couple of years. Admittedly, I do not make a lot of calls but it was nice to not pay Bell Canada (even if the sound quality was not quite as good). Now, back when I paid my $50 the company was owned by the same folks as 295.ca and the idea was that they were giving away the phone service in order to encourage people to use them as their Internet provider (and possibly other services).
Then their shit was sold to Fongo (who also purchased Dell Voice). Now, since December... the service has become significantly worse. The sound quality is about the same as it ever was, but the reliability is brutal. Sometimes it works for days without issue, and sometimes it goes down for more than a day without notice. Sometimes it is just inbound calls, sometimes it is outbound calls, and sometimes it is both. It has been a problem for a plethora of users and their forums are flooded with posts by angry customers who want their service to be reliable. I made my own forums post which was locked by a "staff" member because he didn't like that I said there should be no problem with users bypassing DNS. So I made another post asking for someone at FPL to make a statement regarding the issue, which was promptly deleted.
There is no forums support for FPL, just a lot of pissed off people bitching about the shitty service. There is no phone support for FPL because they figure that $50 does not warrant being able to ask questions. There is also no email support for FPL (they just send autoreplies saying that they'll get to you soon). If you have an opportunity to try out FPL (or Dell Voice, or Fongo) I would suggest that you run screaming to a provider that doesn't suck.