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Land line?

Kris and I are wondering if we need a land line. Each of us has a cell; yet we’ve held on to our land line phone for two or three years. We don’t have a fax. So, tell me, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the land line (or eliminating our land line)?

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Intern in Israel

posted December 23, 2008 at 12:45 am

The number one advantage to having only mobiles? You can turn them off. I haven’t had a land line since I graduated from high school and moved out the house (almost eight years now) and I haven’t looked back. It could be irritating to always only have a mobile number to hand out, but if you get friendly with the power off button and silent mode it then takes care of the issue of people always being able to contact you.

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posted December 23, 2008 at 1:13 am

In California, where we live knowing a major earthquake could disrupt all sorts of things (but you don’t know which), having both a cell and land line is a prudent redundancy.

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Glen Wagner

posted December 23, 2008 at 1:21 am

Hey Scot,
Drop the land line. It is a waste. My wife and I dropped ours 5 years ago. We were a bit skeptical but took the plunge and have never looked back. I also added a Skype account for long distance calls and I could not be happier.
I am a small business owner, pastor, husband, father, grandfather etc. Very active and busy and my cell phone only life has not suffered one bit.
Glen Wagner

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posted December 23, 2008 at 1:42 am

My wife and I want to drop our land line, but we would lose our DSL. We don’t have, nor want cable. Any suggestions for me and my situation?
Scot, if I were you and you are able, drop the land line and donate the money you’ll save. Just an idea.

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Brad Boydston

posted December 23, 2008 at 2:03 am

We’ve been without a landline for two-and-a-half years. Mobiles work great if you have a strong cell signal — which we do now. Because we live on Guam we do use Skype a lot — computer to computer (free) and computer to phones (small fee). In the States with the way the rate plans work the Skype would not be as necessary. The set-up has worked great for us — have not once longed for a landline again.

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Dana Ames

posted December 23, 2008 at 2:04 am

I’m spoiled; I have to have my DSL. But it’s a business expense for me, as I get half my work by means of an on-line server.
Not only is the earthquake angle prudent, but we have a land line long distance program for 4 cents per minute 24/7. Basic phone rate plus cheap long distance runs about $35/month; for that, we can afford to keep the land line. Our mobiles are pay-as-you-go, not contracted; we only use them when we’re away from home, and very few people have those numbers.
If we don’t want to answer the LL phone, we screen via answering machine.

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Scott Ramsey

posted December 23, 2008 at 2:08 am

Ditch the landline. We’ve been without ours for years and never missed it. Babysitters all come with their own cellphones these days.
If you have DSL ask your provider about “Dry DSL.” Many providers will give you DSL service without phone service for no more than $5 or $10 dollars extra. You still come out ahead.

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Jeremiah Daniels

posted December 23, 2008 at 3:20 am

Since you live in the first world, I have to concur — ditch the landline. My parents ditched theirs this year and used SkypeIN so they have a landline number with voicemail. I’d add that since my clients are scattered all around the world (every continent except Africa) I bought up local phone numbers for each major client near their offices so they can call a local number.
I have also been told that works rather well. It has the benefit of traveling with you in a small usb device with an assigned US number. I have been thinking to try it out myself.

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Bob Brague

posted December 23, 2008 at 7:38 am

I have heard it said, but do not know whether it is true, that in a “time of disaster” (whatever that means) only a land line will let you reach 9-1-1, that the cell towers would be gone. Why would that be? What sort of “time of disaster”? Can someone amplify?
Usually I’m not this loopy, but it is still early.

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Jonathan Stegall

posted December 23, 2008 at 8:36 am

I haven’t had a landline since I left home after high school (7 years or so), and my wife and I have shared a cell plan for five years. For the most part it is a wonderful thing, and I rarely have any regrets. The only issue we’ve run into is that in really weird months (medical issues, car accidents, etc.) we tend to use a lot more minutes than we normally use, so we end up paying a really large overage charge.
This only happens to us a couple of times a year, if that, so it isn’t worth having a landline. But it is something to consider, depending on how many minutes you have/would like to have on your plan(s).

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Craig Beard

posted December 23, 2008 at 9:16 am

I’ve been without a land line for four or five years and haven’t missed it . . . and am glad to have the dollars back in the bank. More and more of my friends tell me that they’ve gone cell-only and that they’re glad. Count mine as one more vote to drop the land line.

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Craig Beard

posted December 23, 2008 at 9:20 am

This isn’t an argument for or against dropping your land line, but I found it amusing that I saw this posting the same day I saw yours:

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Jamie Arpin-Ricci

posted December 23, 2008 at 9:25 am

Land lines are becoming increasingly unnecessary for many. The reason we keep ours is primarily to do with emergencies. You would need to check with your local 911 service, but some are limited via cells. For example, if I were to call 911 and be unable to communicate, they could track my location almost instantly via the land line. However, a cell would not be possible, at least not at great expense and loss of time. Granted, my neighbourhood makes this more necessary than most.
The only other advantage is being listed. That might be a disadvantage to you, but many people have had to get a hold of us and found us via the phone book.

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Travis Greene

posted December 23, 2008 at 9:39 am

I’d drop it. We only had our cells when we got married, and then got a landline when we moved to NC. Never used it. Dropped it 6 months later.
Recently, however, I’ve noticed that we still have a dial tone (I left the phone up, because it’s a cool-looking retro-style one from Pottery Barn). We aren’t still getting billed, so I don’t want to call anyone’s attention to it, but we could probably still dial 9-1-1 if we needed to.
So that’s my advice. Stop paying for the landline, but somehow have them forget to disconnect you so you still have it during emergencies.

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Trevin Wax

posted December 23, 2008 at 9:48 am

We gave up our landline when we moved back from Romania in 2005. We haven’t missed it in the least. Both Corina and I have a cell phone, so it is easy to reach one of us at any given time. The only landline I use is the phone in my church office, yet our church staff uses cell phones to communicate to one another!
I don’t think you’ll miss it unless you’re the type who often forgets to charge up your cell phone at night.

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Ted E

posted December 23, 2008 at 9:54 am

We keep a land line. It is bundled with our cable and internet connection. We use it for voice mail for incoming calls. Also, in the unfortunate event of a 911 call that is for some reason interrupted, emergency services can pinpoint your address with a land line. With a cell, they can only locate the tower from which your signal is transmitted. Fortunately, this is a feature we have not needed.

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posted December 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

How many people can be in conversation simultaneously on a cell phone?
We use the land line with many people in the conversation.
Other than this – we only use it when we don’t want our cell phone numbers listed or publicized. (Or when power is out in the region.)

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posted December 23, 2008 at 10:06 am

I agree with most, ditch the landline. I had one for about 18 months after I graduated college and realized that I never used it. The thing that I appreciate the most about not having a landline, no telemarketers. That’s the best argument that I can make!

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David Baird

posted December 23, 2008 at 10:26 am

The problem with cell phones is that in an emergency the cell network is quickly overwhelmed. For example, in New York after the 9/11 attacks, cell phones basically stopped working, because the number of calls overwhelmed the network’s capacity to handle the volume of calls.

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posted December 23, 2008 at 10:42 am

Richie Merritt

posted December 23, 2008 at 10:54 am

The one advantage we have had here in Virginia Beach is when the weather is really bad or power is down for 10 days as it was after Hurricane Isabel, the land lines still work when the cell phones are not. So.., we eliminated all long distance on it and kept the minimum basics on the land line for emergency purposes. That is the only advantage I have found thus far.

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Dan Masshardt

posted December 23, 2008 at 11:14 am

I’m not really sure if it’s worth the $20 that I spend, but I don’t want to be bothered with sales calls, calls relating to things like student loans, banks etc. on my cell phone. Let them call that landline (which I’m hardly ever home to get)
People who I actually want to talk to have my cell number.

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Chris Ridgeway

posted December 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

Haven’t had a landline for 6 years. Been great.
On the plus side: you know how grocery stores sometimes ask you for your phone number? I still quote my old memorized hard line. :)

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Joel Frederick

posted December 23, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I work for a landline provider (different state)…
Here are a few thoughts…
1) Land line prices are regulated, this has positives as they can not just raise rates but also negatives as they usually don’t go down either.
2) Land lines are considered life-line quality so are supposed to have a 99.999% reliability or the FCC gets involved.
3) As someone mentioned above, emergency services often overwhelm cell sites when a wide scale emergency occurs. Also, in the case of the fires in California, cells and VoIP (voice over ip) did not get the evacuation calls, even though they were supposed to.
4) I don’t know of many (if any) alarm systems that use a cell to dial out (if you use that technology).
5) There is a National no-call list that can help you rid yourself of most sales call. The way the no-call list is set up, you have to have a business affiliation or be a non-profit.
Have fun making your decision.

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posted December 23, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I agree with Jeremiah #8. I would go with Magic Jack if you need the land line.
We use it right now, and it allows us to have a land line for $20 a year. As long as the computer is on, the landline is available. And if you travel, the magic jack can travel with you and work on any phone.
If you turn off your computer, the magic jack will not ring. But it has a voicemail which will record all your messages (whether your computer is on or not). You can check your voicemail whenever you turn the computer back on. It will also send you an email when you have a voicemail, which I find extremely convenient (a quick look at my google email and I can tell if anyone has called or not).
For the price, it’s hard to imagine going back to a standard land line

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posted December 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I’m concerned about keeping a land line for emergencies.
You might be able to get a “no frills” package on your phone — no call waiting, caller id, or long distance — that would make it cheaper to keep it around “just in case.”

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posted December 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Re: loosing DSL without a land line – Ask for Dry DSL or Naked DSL. In the South, as part of the ATT/Bellsouth merger agreement, ATT was required to offer DSL w/o requiring a land line for up to two years. But you can’t find it on their web site, you basically have to know to ask for it.
Also, you don’t have to use the land line provider for your DSL service. Many, many companies sell DSL over your existing land line. See for comparisons.

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posted December 23, 2008 at 11:30 pm

We dropped our land line a couple of months ago. The biggest advantages for us are (1)Less money going out each month, (2)no more telemarketer calls.

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Your Name

posted December 23, 2008 at 11:30 pm

People still have landlines? Scot, my wife and I got rid of our landline almost 9 years and this is the first time since that I’ve even thought about it! It has made absolutely no impact on our lives other than saving us money (though I can’t even remember what we used to pay!). I haven’t even noticed it’s gone.
In regards to Joel the Landline Provider’s comment, both of our cell phones have been on the National no-call list since its inception, and we’ve never received any sales calls. Cells phone numbers work just fine on the list.
Good luck with you decision, but I don’t think its much of a decision at all.

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Jim Martin

posted December 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Charlotte and I had a similar conversation last week. It is making more and more sense to drop the landline.

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posted December 26, 2008 at 5:03 pm

The advantage ofkeeping a no fills land-line. I have a number to give to those that I don’t want to have my cell number. That and we do not get great cell service at the house.

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