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Afraid to give up landline... - Page 2

post #21 of 41
hmm... we only have the landline and it's about $17/month through at&t.

for long distance we use calling cards that are under .02/minute so $20 buys like 1000 minutes and that's enough for almost two months or more depending on how much we talk.

initially it was because cell phones didn't work out here but finally it became a frugality issue, the landline was just so much cheaper.

our town does have free wireless though so that's an unusual perk.
post #22 of 41
I'm not an expert on the Oooma, but ours is physically plugged into the regular landline jack so that our entire phone system works with the Oooma and so we can make calls on the one non-cordless phone we own. I actually think that phone is a piece of junk and am planning to donate it to someone who needs *something* (thinking battered women's shelter). Anyway, my point is I think the Ooma might work for an alarm system. Try googling it perhaps? Ooma has a website and I'm sure this has come up before.

Sound quality probably depends on many factors. The MagicJack just didn't cut it for us, but it may work very well for others. The Oooma works even BETTER than our previous landline and it is the exact same phone system with all three scenarios. We got the phone system on Black Friday a few years ago....one of the ones that only the main base station plugs into the landline jack and the rest of the handsets just need power. Technically, we could plug it into the Ooma instead and never need to plug anything into the landline jacks, but we prefer the location to be where we can see the message light blinking and prefer to use the answering system on our phone system versus the Ooma system. It is merely an out of sight, out of mind issue. Ooma can handle all of that and way more. In fact, Ooma voice mail kicked in the other day when I was chatting on the phone with a friend I hadn't talked to in ages and I didn't want to click over to call waiting (I could see who the caller was). Oooma took the message for me in that case and I got an email with the voice-encoded message attached.

There are lots of choices available to suit many people. We happened to try three and really, really love the Ooma the best!

[As stated above, cell phones are very inconsistent in our immediate area, so going all cell was/is not an option for us. Besides, I'm not sure we would do that anyway. Who handles all the "family" calls? I'm home more (am available to take calls more often), but I ignore the phone when I am engrossed in something else and I would never carry my cell around with me as I move all over the house and yard during each day.]
post #23 of 41
PlayaMama- $17! Wow. The cheapest landline AT&T offers here is $30 after taxes and fees.

My dad has CenturyLink as his telco, and it's the same deal- $30 for the cheapest landline, about half of which is taxes and fees.

We had unlimited long distance (back when we had a landline), which was, ostensibly, $10 more, but we paid $60/mo for an AT&T landline with unlimited long distance. $20 of that was taxes and junk fees.

On the other hand, our AT&T DSL bill is exactly $19.95 every month. Not even sales tax. I can't figure it out.

Just to let you know, if you get Google Voice (it's free), you can make outgoing long distance calls for free. You can use the softphone on your computer, or call your Google Voice number from your home phone, then enter "2" and call whatever number you want in the U.S. or Canada. I set my neighbor up with this and she's tickled pink over it.
post #24 of 41
Dh and I have been talking about this over the past few days. We've always had to have a landline previously because of my business (Need the landline to run the credit card terminal) but I'm switching to an online gateway, which means I won't need the terminal anymore, so there goes my last good reason for the landline. DH doesn't want to get rid of it, so I'm trying to find ways to make having a home phone as cheap as possible. I'm curious, with Magic Jack, since it needs to be plugged into a computer, then the computer needs to be on all the time. We've got a desktop that is not hooked up (use the laptop for everything) but I could connect it without the monitor just basically for the phone. But then, how frugal is it to run the PCU constantly just for the magic jack?
I've never heard of the ooma before, so I'll have to look into that too! Any other suggestions for a family who never makes long distance calls, and basically uses the home phone only when I'm at the grocery store and DH calls me to remind me to pick something else up. (And don't tell me go cell only, DH doesn't have a cell and refuses to get one. He's a luddite, lol)
post #25 of 41
KITS, desktops don't suck a ton of energy. It's monitors that are the energy suckers. If you want to go really low-e, you can get a preconfigured thin client off eBay for around $80 (that's what we did). But, when you add up the MJ ($40), the thin client ($80) and powered USB hub ($20), you're only saving about $60-$80 over the price of the ooma.

(We got the MJ b/c we could buy things a piece at a time and didn't have to lay out $200 all at once. Plus, we wanted to see if the MJ worked first, when all we had invested was $40. We were keeping the USB hub no matter what, as we needed it anyway.)
post #26 of 41
I've had Ooma for a month now and we love it...works perfect.

After researching Voip's I thought Ooma was the way to go. High initial cost ($215 for mine) but no more fees EVER.

I've read terrible reviews about Magic Jack's quality...but I know it seems to be talked up here a lot. Anyway, a good thing about Ooma is your computer doesn't have to be ON for your phone to work...
post #27 of 41
I would love to play with google voice. Wouldn't that work perfectly, it is free! I guess in that case we would need to keep a basic phone plan so that we could call out via our google # and receive incoming calls, right?
Does anyone have a google voice invite??? pm me!
post #28 of 41
Ooma has excellent customer service! DH was working from home earlier this week and we've had major storms this week. The Ooma folks called him to say they were having some phone quality issues in our area and that they were aware of it and would fix it as soon as possible. DH was really impressed by how proactive they were for calling us and by how knowledgeable the person who called was. We personally didn't have any issues that we are aware of, but I thought it was good to mention this since Ooma is a viable replacement for landline service and many people aren't as familiar with Ooma.
post #29 of 41
had to update this thread - I'm so dissapointed with the magic jack I really wnat to love it (all that money saved!!) But, I have spent nearly 6 hours over the past two days on their tech chat trying to get the stupid thing to work. It's connected to a desktop (that I hauled out of the attic for just this purpose) and it's all installed correctly and everything, but when you actually try to make a call - there's no sound once the call connects. On the dialing/MJ end, you hear nothing at all, and on the receiving end, you hear occasional muffled sounds, almost like the person talking but distorted, slowed way down, and talking through a very long tunnel. I'm not sure what the next option is, but I really want to get rid of our stupid $30+ a month landline phone bill!!!
post #30 of 41
Check out the Ooma. Yes, it costs money upfront. After that one-time cost, though, it is FREE from then on. No more bills AT ALL.

Costco carries Ooma and Costco is known for their return policy, so you can always return it if it doesn't work out for you. We purchased it that way for that reason. Nice peace of mind. However, we LOVE the Ooma and are keeping it forever!!!
post #31 of 41
yes, I was thinking about the ooma - will have to find out where the closest costco is.
post #32 of 41
It is available other places, too, if Costco isn't convenient for you. Amazon has it, for example.
post #33 of 41
Make sure you save your receipt.

My mom bought an ooma (per my recommendation, as I thought the MJ would just frustrate her) two weeks ago, spend 90 minutes on the phone with customer service (who told her ooma costs $10/mo) and ended up taking it back and buying an MJ, which works great. Go figure.
post #34 of 41
You *can* choose to pay for premiere service, but it isn't required. The Ooma basic service (free) has more features than our landline phone did!

There are choices because not everyone is the same.
post #35 of 41
Yep. Everybody's internet connection is different, too.
post #36 of 41
I had never heard of an Ooma before. I'm totally looking into this! What a great thread

post #37 of 41
My way of saving money on phone service and still have a cell for non-911 but "emergency mostly" use was to get a Net10 prepaid phone and keep landline service. The phone service was with my cable package and includes free unlimited long distance.

The cell phone I actually need to go online because I think they have a $15.mo plan that way, in store the minimum is $20 for 200 mins. and 30 days of service.

but my old cell phone plan, with 2 phones was about $70 a month. Even if we had a second phone with the prepaid thing I'm doing, it would be $30-$40. And it works for us, even though sometimes I end up having to buy a card to keep the phone *on*...the minutes stay and accumulate, though--so if I have a time where I use it more, like I'm out of town or something, it'll be OK and I most likely *won't* have to buy a higher-priced card with more minutes.

When I did have that cell plan, yeah I had unlimited nights after 7 and weekends....*but* other than weekends, most of my weekday calling is actually between probably 4 and 6 PM....strange I know but true.

Anyway once I realized it made no sense to keep unlimited nights and weekends and pay for this house phone plan, I cut to the cheaper pre-paid cell plan. It wasn't an uncommon occurence to go over my 'day minutes' with the shared phones and the cell plan.
This way there *are* no limits to go over and it's a lot cheaper than the unlimited cell phone plans.

And I have 3 kids, when I go someplace with all of them, I need to focus on THEM anyway not also be trying to have random conversations. I do carry it in case of emergency and necessity but my cell phone habits have changed drastically since I switched, and it is *better.*
post #38 of 41
more reasons to keep your landline:

1. with this snow storm, my ILs lost power and their cell-phone batteries died. with no landline service, they can only call 911. before their cell phones died, they were able to call my husband to complain about it (and tell us about using their gas stove to try to heat their house ). husband confirmed to me today that they had gotten rid of their landline phone and they are unreachable now. we have no idea if they're OK.

2. depending on where you live, terrorist attacks or natural disaster. in an emergency like that, cell phone circuits can become overwhelmed. a landline phone to call out-of-area relatives to check in would be very important.
post #39 of 41
I must say the land line is more reliable than the cell, especially if you have to make emergency calls.
post #40 of 41
Dredging up this old thread while searching for ooma. That system sounds very appealing.

How do they bill you for the occasional international call?
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