letting go of the landline pro and con? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thinking of making the jump to cell only. Landline is $35 a month and would be lovely to drop that fee. Pros and cons please? Alternatives?
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#2 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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We dropped ours a year ago? The only con was that 911 wasn't tied to an actual house... but then, before we ditched the landline, we had time warner's phone setup which had the same issue. The only other issue is occasionally I lose my cell phone and I don't have a land line to call it with to find it Also, if we left the kids with a babysitter, we'd have to leave one of our phones with her... but it's always my mom who always has her cell with her...

It was also a pain remembering to switch all the things (credit card accounts, etc) to the new number.

One thing I've heard of people doing, though, is adding an additional cell line (for like $10 or whatever) on their plan, and just leaving it at home all the time... You can even take the current land-line number and have them attach it to a cell instead, so you keep the phone number (and thus side-step most of the issues surrounding dropping it). It'd probably still drop your bill...

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#3 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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i dropped it a year or two ago. i've thought about the 911 thing and the babysitter thing, but neither have been a problem for me yet. it's also kind of weird to me that people can't "look me up" because cell phone numbers aren't listed - weird, but nice!
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#4 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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We dropped our landline in 1999.

Pros: I've completely forgotten about how bad telemarketing can be.

Cons: Not quite sure what we're going to do when the kid gets to phone-desiring age. He'll probably end up with his own cell phone earlier than many others deem "appropriate".

And seriously, I've been living without a landline for 11 years now, and I can't think of any other con.
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#5 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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I can think of a few cons for relying on only a cell phone.

1) They are not 100% reliable: what if the electricity goes out and your phone isn't charged and then dies. What if there is a storm and the reception goes out on the phone. What if the phone breaks or gets water damaged?

2) Cell phones and cell phone plans are expensive and it seems to me that you would be replacing a cell phone more often than a land line.

3) Cell phones haven't been proven to be completly safe for the consumers who use them ALL the time. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/f...isk/cellphones

the link doesn't say that they do cause cancer but that they don't really know what the radio waves do to our health.

I personally would not use only a cell phone.

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#6 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:35 AM
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We haven't had a landline in ten years or so....

I've found our cell phones to be a lot more reliable than our landline was, to be honest. On the off chance that the electricity would go out just as both of our cell phones were dying (which has never happened, and we try to charge them as soon as they show lower than full so I don't think it will) we have a car charger and a portable electronics charger.

Cell phones can be expensive, if you want all the bells and whistles. However, if you're going for basic stuff they're pretty cheap - $20 or so, or freecycle one, or sign a new contract and get a new one.

 
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#7 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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i havent had one in lke 8 years, never wish i had one
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#8 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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The only reason I have a landline is because I live in Mexico and I want easy access to emergency services. However, I've recently been informed that if I dial Mexican emergency services from my US cell phone, it will still connect me. Even if one of my kids dials and forgets to dial the Mexican number but 911 instead, it will connect to Mexican emergency services. So, we're probably going to drop it soon. We have literally never used it in the year and a half we've lived here. We hadn't had a land line in the US for many, many years and it was never a problem. The only thing is that I'm finding that my kids have very poor phone skills - they never have to answer the phone, take a message, etc. DH and I always have our phones physically on us, so they never get the opportunity to practice. That's something I think I need to go out of my way to work on for them. Also, when my kids get ready to really want to call/recieve calls, they will probably get their own cell phones younger than I otherwise would choose to.
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#9 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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I hadn't had a landline in 10 years and saw no reason to ever have one. I talk on the cell a lot and don't go over my minutes.

We had to get a landline when we bought our new apartment because the buzzer system downstairs is tied to a phone number, and it's too annoying to have it linked to one of our cells in case that person isn't home when someone comes over. So we got a stupid landline and I hate it! Doesn't cost me extra it's bundled with our FIOS (which is less than our cable bill was before with no phone) but it rings nonstop with telemarketers despite being on the no call list.
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#10 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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~ We dropped our landline in Nov or Dec 2009.

~ Our cell phones are not reliable in our home. Never have been no matter which provider nor which physical phone. Many friends/family have tried, too.

~ We tried out MagicJack in Sept or Oct 2009 and didn't like it. Several reasons, which I've stated in numerous threads on that topic, but basically 1) Too much static and/or older relatives could not hear us; and 2) My laptop had to become tethered to the phone and always be on (does not work well for my lifestyle). Returned it for a full refund.

~ We purchased an Ooma at Costco in Oct or Nov 2009 (less than $200 out the door). LOVE IT! Paid once and haven't had to pay a dime since. Has already paid for itself and our landline had been down as low as possible ($22/mo) for over a year (no features at all; just the basic service). People who pay more per month for landline service recoup their costs even faster.

Benefits of Ooma for us:
~ We purposely got a new number and all of our telemarketing and charity calls have STOPPED. NONE now. ZERO!!!! (We were already on the DO NOT CALL list and renewed every few years. Doesn't stop all unwanted calls.) Ooma doesn't participate in the phone directories anywhere. Our number doesn't show up on any websites of any kind because it isn't public record. I absolutely LOVE this!
* Minor drawback to this was we had to change our phone number with the people we DO want to call us or have the new number. I found this to be a positive, however, because we got to choose who got the new number.

~ We kept our house phone system and it works perfectly with Ooma. Ooma has free voicemail and a bunch of other features, but we like our house phone system and were happy to keep it fully functional. Our DD will be approaching phone usage age soon and this was a factor in our decision in finding a compatible system with our parenting philosophies. Babysitters and houseguests can use the phone as normal and they don't even know it isn't regular AT&T service. 911 calls work just as before (you must enter your address when starting up Ooma) and I manually added our new phone number to our county's reverse 911 call system online (fire and earthquake country here).

~ All calls are free! Local and domestic long-distance calls are completely free. No bill whatsoever any more! (If you need international, the rates are very reasonable.) The government has decided to charge the communication taxes and such to everyone with any kind of phone, so that will go into effect our second or third year of owning the Ooma. Many other features are free, too. We have more features with our phone service now than we ever did with AT&T landline service. One *can* choose to add fee-based features, also. We haven't.

FWIW - Cordless phones (on a traditional landline) won't work in a power outage, either. The solution for anyone is to keep a basic corded phone in the house and plug it into the phone jack in an emergency (or keep it there all the time). You can still make 911 calls even if you don't have landline service.

The biggest con to Ooma is the upfront cost, which not everyone can afford to pay like that. We were also concerned about the viability and stability of the company, which is why we purchased at Costco. They have an excellent return policy and are known for doing business with reputable companies. We are past the point of recouping our upfront costs and we have had all good experiences with Ooma, even having to call for help (once) or hiccups in their system (twice and they informed US). Excellent customer service.

Just another option to consider.... and no I don't work for Ooma or anything like that.... just a happy customer for life!!!

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#11 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
One thing I've heard of people doing, though, is adding an additional cell line (for like $10 or whatever) on their plan, and just leaving it at home all the time... You can even take the current land-line number and have them attach it to a cell instead, so you keep the phone number
That is a great idea. I've wondered what to do if we drop the landline and how that involves the kids. I guess the answer is "house phone".

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#12 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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I don't have a land line, both me and my partner have cell phones. Here are my thoughts:
It's true that if you call 911 from a cell phone, you have to tell them your address, they wont be able to find it. For this reason, I have my address and directions to my house written down clearly and have it in a sheet protector, I set it out on the kitchen counter if someone is babysitting.
If you can't find your cell phone (because it's stuck underneath a couch cushion or something), you'll need another phone to call it from, which sucks if you're home alone.
How old are your children? If they are ever home alone, they need to have a cell phone if there is no land line.
I'm not the type to spend a long time talking on the phone, but if you are, it might cost more to have a cell phone.
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#13 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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I've never had a landline & it's never been an issue. We do make sure to keep both cell phones always charged & in a certain place when we're home (i.e. never just leave it on the couch or something).

When my mom called to cancel her landline, they offered to drop her to something ridiculously low like $10 a month to keep her as a customer. So she ended up keeping the landline. Maybe you'll have the same luck

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#14 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Auroara Bobcat View Post
1) They are not 100% reliable: what if the electricity goes out and your phone isn't charged and then dies. What if there is a storm and the reception goes out on the phone. What if the phone breaks or gets water damaged?
Your landline works if your electricity is out? That never seemed to be the case around here, it always seemed if the electricity was out, the landline phone service was dead as a doornail too. And during my childhood at least, storms took out phone service even more often than they took down electricity. In the year prior to us dumping landline service (in 1999) I recall our landline being down due to storms several times.
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#15 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing that bothers me is that my dd is getting to that age when she wants to be on the phone with her friends. I am not comfortable with her having her own cell phone, yet (can't really afford it, either.) and having the landline where I will often be the one answering it seems like a good idea. One of her friends got a cell phone and immediately started being more sneaky and secretive. May not be an issue at all for my dd, but I do like to know what is going on with her without invading her privacy...
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#16 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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We have never used a land line.

We got a free land line phone number with our cable, so we plugged a phone in. It got non-stop sales calls at all hours. It was terrible! After three days we unplugged it and never looked back.

We haven't missed having a land line phone at all!

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#17 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 01:01 AM
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Sometimes I also misplace my cell in my house and have to use my landline to call it!

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#18 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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I dropped my landline 2-3 years ago and never looked back. I have a flat rate cell phone plan (unlimited minutes for $50 month). Right now DS and I share the phone and it works just fine. In the next year or so he may need his own phone and I will need a different plan but I will deal with that later (he would need a cell anyway since he takes various classes on college campus). I dont have text, internet, etc on the cell, just regular phone and it works great. I dont miss the landline and yes I've called 9-1-1 from it - saw an accident on the freeway and you have to give your location. Ive also called the non emergency # and you have to give your locationa as well.

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#19 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 07:41 AM
 
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Sometimes I also misplace my cell in my house and have to use my landline to call it!
this! This is a big reason we have a landline!

My parents' house has terrible cell reception for all carriers, so they use their landline a lot.
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#20 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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I haven't had a landline in about 7 years. I haven't missed it at all.

When I lose my cell and need someone to call it to find it, if DH isn't home, I'll sometimes go on Facebook and get someone to call me.
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#21 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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#22 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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we kept the landline for years because I'm always misplacing my cell-phone and need to call it. But, now I use on of the online cell-phone services a few times a week. wheresmycellphone.com or something like that. It doesn't seem like theres any kind of charge, it just plays an add if you do pick it.

I don;t miss it much, until I happen to have a conversation with someone when we are both on a landline - the cell phone just does not sound as clear.
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#23 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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I haven't had a land line in probably 7 years? Something like that.

I don't miss it, really. When I lived with two roommates sometimes I wished we had it, because sometimes I wanted to talk to someone who was at home, and I didn't care who, but I didn't need to talk to them if they weren't home.

If I lose my phone I either get online and email someone to call me, or I could go to the T Mobile website and text myself from there.

But I do wonder what it will be like when DD is old enough to get phone calls. But I figure that is probaby 10 years before it's a real issue- and who knows what things will be like by then!

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#24 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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We also haven't had a landline and years and don't miss it. My DD has her own cell phone, so it's not like I just have mine available - and actually, we have a prepaid one with a few minutes left, too. DH has a cell, of course, as well. I also know I could use skype to make a phone call if need be - or of course email, IM, etc.

We just don't need a landline. I have the lowest amount of minutes of my iphone plan and don't go anywhere near over it each month.

I've also texted/IM'd myself to find my phone when home alone - so I don't worry about losing it and needing to call it.

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#25 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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We have a landline. It's not advertised but it is called "dial-tone" service or something like that. Call the company and ask or poke around their website. For us, the cost is $5/month plus taxes so it works out to about $8/month. I chose the absolute cheapest which means that I pay ten cents per outgoing call (incoming are free). When I called and asked about it, they tried to give me dialtone service plus 60 calls/month which ends up being about $14/month. I specifically asked for the cheapest service and the customer service people are obviously trained to automatically give the customer the "upsell" without really stating that it's an upsell. I'd done my research on the company website so I knew that the base price was $5/month.

I like having a landline, but I'm obviously in the minority here!
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#26 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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I also live where there are ice storms, and so am loath to give up the landline. Ours happen once every few years but are getting more frequent with global warming it seems. Even as contemplating life as a single mom. . . . the frequency of these outages here makes me want to keep the landline.

However, here you can register your cell number with 911, and your address will pop up when you call them, the same as a landline. If that service isn't offered in your city, start lobbying to get it.
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#27 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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One other thing about landlines-- I mentioned my parents' house, but really, everywhere I've lived the landline sound has just been clearer and better than cell. Is that not the case for you all?
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#28 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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1 I prefer talking on the home phone for long conversations
2 I don't want to share my cell phone with my daughter who lives at home and has a boyfriend that lives out of state that she talks to on a daily basis ( we have unlimited long distance at home)
3 can't call home unless someone is here with a cellular line
4 I don't want to give my cell number out to every person and company that needs to contact me
5 in the event of a hurricane a land line is important
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#29 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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We have been without a landline for a long time now, and it has never been an issue. My sitters all have cell phones, and DP and I each have one, so there is always a phone at the house if there are any people in it. I plan to get DD a phone once she is old enough to be on her own for significant periods of time anyhow (several years away, she is 2 now...)

I grew up where power went out regularly (snow/ice storms) and the phones were hardly ever working when the power was out. Cell phones usually did work. Also, we have a crank-powered emergency charger in a truly dire emergency.

The only time I've had a landline was when I lived in a house with no cell phone reception.. Then it is handy...

I don't use landlines much, but at my parents' the voice quality is far worse on a landline. Maybe they just have a poor landline. My cellphone voice quality is pretty decent.

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#30 of 48 Old 08-20-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I grew up where power went out regularly (snow/ice storms) and the phones were hardly ever working when the power was out. Cell phones usually did work.
This. I'm kind of confused at the pp's statements because I've actually NEVER lost cell phone reception for more than a few minutes, but I remember landlines constantly being out during heavy rains, snow storms, etc. ???

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