Should I give up my land line?

My land line has been out for nearly three weeks now. Verizon says that they fixed it, but they haven’t. I’m still paying for it.

A friend is strongly suggesting that I give it up and get a “real” phone. One thing that I don’t like about that is that I love the fidelity of my phone. I have yet to meet a cell phone that has that level of clarity. When I’m on my cell, I’m constantly asking people to repeat themselves. On top of that, I almost never use my cell. If I’m on the phone, I’m home. And I never take my cell anywhere unless I anticipate having to use it, which is almost never.

I pay about $80 a month for my land line service. And at most, I’m on the phone maybe an hour per month, twice that in the months when a relative has a birthday, or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Thanksgiving.

On my cell I pay 12.5 cents a minute, prepaid. That means that I would pay $7.50-15 a month. That’s far cheaper than $80! However, a few years ago I was talking to someone for an hour every night. Had I just had my cell, that would have been $225 a month, just talking to one person. I might very well end up in a situation like that again.

What would you do?

If you go cell-only, you need a better plan than the pay-per-minute deal. Maybe look for something with a flat rate for a set number of minutes per month, with the ability to use more for an extra charge in emergencies.

If you did find yourself talking to someone for a long time on the phone again, you could get Skype.

80 dollars a month seems like a hell of a lot to me. Is that average?

I only have a landline because it comes as a package with my broadband (which costs far less than 80 dollars a month all in). It’s also handy for ringing my mobile phone when I’ve lost it.

For about $80 per month (plus 13% HST–hey, it pays for my health care), I have 1000 long-distance minutes per month to anywhere in Canada or the USA, 350 daytime minutes per month, unlimited evening minutes per month, unlimited text messages, and 6 GB of data transfer per month. Plus I’m mobile and on an iPhone (okay, I bought the iPhone and a headset separately). I gave up my landline when I left Toronto, and the only reason I had it for at least five years was so that it could be connected to the apartment intercom.

However, I haven’t been in a situation where I was talking an hour per day. And remember that traditional Bell landlines and phones are separately-powered from the switch–they don’t necessarily stop working if the power goes off, when other phones might.

We got rid of our traditional land line and replaced it with a Magic Jack. We were paying $50 a month for the landline. The magic Jack was under $40 and cost $19.99 a year (not a month). It works fantastic. The calls are crystal clear. Unlimited local and long distance. Caller ID, call waiting, voice mail. You do have to have a high speed internet connection, though.

High speed Internet is not a problem. I have Comcast.

I’ve found Skype to be a little unreliable. Every time I’ve tried it (maybe 4 times) we ended up on the phone anyway. And I don’t like being tethered to my laptop.

Sunspace, what plan are you on? I’d like to avoid contracts if possible.

What options do you have for land line service? Is Verizon your only option?

I wish I would have kept mine. I hate talking on the cell, and the land line was only $27 a month through the local phone company.

I don’t know what my options are. I’m sure I could get Comcast.

I like the Magic Jack idea. I don’t like the idea of having to change phone numbers, but if I went cell-only I’d have to do that anyway.

Google “Magic Jack complaints”. There was a thread here awhile back bitching about them as well.

Not necessarily. When we converted our landline to a cell 2 years ago we ported our landline number (which we’d had for about 15 years) to the cell.

Our biggest issues were that converting landline to cell means it takes a long time to get off telemarketers lists, which mean you’ll get calls to your cell. Older relatives have had an impossible time remembering to call one number if they want me and another if they want my husband - that we don’t have a shared number anymore. It seems to be a difficult concept for them.

The local phone company should be required to offer POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) for a lot less then $80 but they don’t volunteer the fact.

Call them and ask for POTS. I have had it for 5 years for $24 a month.

No call waiting, forwarding or anything else of course.

I haven’t had a landline for about ten years and I haven’t missed it for a minute.

Normally I’d say yes, land lines are obsolete, I haven’t used one in years, BUT you don’t use your cell phone all the time like I do either. It looks like you just rarely use the phone at all, but when you do use it you like the landline.

Definitely do something about that $80 a month land line, that’s way too much! Call and negotiate another rate, or negotiate a rate for VOIP through Comcast.

The 1st thing I did to lower my landline rate was to cancel my long distance service, but I told them I still wanted to be able to use a dial-around service, or a pre-paid long distance card. That lowered my landline bill to about $30 a month. You might like to do that.

One consideration is long distance. I don’t use my phone much, but when I do, I call the other side of the country and talk for a long time.

For $80 per month you should be able to get an iPhone. That’s unlimited talk plus 3g and WiFi websurfing, and tons of free apps.

I’ve had an iPhone since the week they came out with version 1, and in my opinion the thing it’s worst at is being a telephone. (I still love it though.)

If you can learn to live with the decreased sound quality, it really would be cheaper to go with a cell phone only, if you mostly call long distance. I’m sure some mobile phones have excellent sound quality, but you’d have to do some research to find them.

If you haven’t tried skype in a while you might try again, it has gotten much better in the past couple years as far as quaility.

A cell phone, smart phone or not with unlimited minutes should be less than $80 per month. I think about $50 per month should get you unlimited. What I do to hear better on cell phones is use the speakerphone function, it’s surprisingly good.

Who is your phone company? With Verizon in rural Virginia I pay about $16 a month for completely bare-bones (no caller ID, no call waiting, pay ~10 cents for every local call) home phone service.

The last time I tried it was in January. Twice. It hung my system both times.

I have Verizon. I called them a while back to see if there was any way I could reduce my bill, and decided that they payoff in lost services wasn’t really worth it.

I pay about 20/month for my landline, but I don’t have a local plan or long distance. I have it for the security system but it is nice to be able to receive calls at home from friends and family. Also I can call toll-free numbers.

Have you considered knocking yourself down to the lowest plan available? Can you be a cheapskate and have your friends and family call you instead of you calling them? If they are on cellphones it makes no difference to them in term of cost.

I use my cellphone for long distance calls.