Poll: Should we dump our land line?

My beloved and I have been having a discussion about whether to dump our land line and get on a cell phone family plan. The decision is motivated mostly by finances:

Our current monthly costs for phone and internet:
$40 Verizon (basic land line)
$20 Working Assets (long distance)
$30 Earthlink (DSL)
$25 pre-paid cell phone

Our concept:
$50 Family cell phone plan
$30 Free standing cable modem (Freestanding DSL is not available at our address)

It’s a decent chunk of change in our pocket each month that will add up over time. But I’m deeply ambivalent about the concept of going without a land line. After all, I’ve never lived without a land line in 35 years. And since the invention of cell phones, I’ve seen them get broken, lost, and not get service. If we have no land line, we’re fucked when those things happen. Not to mention: I don’t trust corporations, and I’ve seen people get fucked over by cell phone companies, and I don’t want to give them that much power over me.

I’m not alone. I’ve been researching online, and this person and this other guy all agree that dumping your land line may be a bad idea, especially if you have a family or would like to have one.

What do other people think?


~ by realsupergirl on August 7, 2008.

9 Responses to “Poll: Should we dump our land line?”

  1. Get an internet phone instead of a second cell: internet phone service is less than $20 a month including everything except the free-standing cable (and I believe you can hook up with pretty much any modem). My phones are just two regular land-lines plugged into a router instead of a wall: you don’t have to turn on your computer to make the phones work–or stop what you’re doing on the computer either. You can also keep your old number. I’ve had Vonage for over three years and though I sometimes have to reset the router and modem (which takes about thirty seconds) otherwise I’ve had no problem with it. I remember getting 911 service took a little longer than I would’ve liked, but I believe by the time I moved (this past fall) they seemed to have solved that particular problem.

  2. i’ve been without a land line, and living solely via cell, since 2003, and have never had any trouble at all. i always wonder why people keep land lines, frankly. occasional outages happen with cells, but also with land lines. but really i hate talking on the phone, and rely mostly on text messaging for quick communication. ehn.

  3. Al and I fired Qworst and got rid of the landline more than three years ago. We haven’t missed it in the least. Qwest was consistently fucking up our bills and overcharging us. We got sick of paying a monopoly so much money every month for lousy service. At least with mobile service one can change providers if the service sucks. Not possible with a landline.

    We’ve been on Cingular (AT&T now) the whole time. Service has been utterly reliable. Certainly no worse than Qwest (possibly better). Customer service has always been polite, pleasant, and helpful – something Qwest *never* provided. The one time there was a mistake on our bill they fixed it immediately while I was on the phone. Yes, AT&T is a corporation, but so is Qwest. At least AT&T isn’t a monopoly.

    We’re now paying a bit more than half what we were paying for a single phone line and metered long distance for two lines with unlimited long distance. I mean, it’s not so different from having a cordless phone on the landline with a *really* long range for less money. šŸ™‚

    I think the “no service” concern is unfounded. One, it’s not like you get service from your landline anywhere other than inside the house. Two, if climbers on Mt. Hood can call 911 and guide the search and rescue teams from a cell phone …

    As for lost or broken phones, landline phones break, too. Al’s phone broke last week. All we had to do is pull the SIM card out and stick it in an old phone we’d stopped using when we upgraded to a new one last year.

    I say go for it. Get a family plan with two phones and give the landline monopoly the finger. You’ll get more and pay less. šŸ™‚

  4. Fred and I have been without a house phone for I think 2 years now. It was financial, and we figured, we each have a phone. So now, people just call one of us or the other. No problem. (Or, they call Fred, he doesn’t answer, then they call me.)

  5. Can you find a family phone plan for $50/month? The cheapest ones on offer from all the major companies run $60/month.

    As for 911, ask about E911 and how well your phone will work with it.

  6. We’ve been cell-only for about 3 or so years now (I think, I forget exactly when we dropped the land line). (Although, officially, we pay $5/month for a landline now – it’s data only for at-home internet).

    We haven’t missed the landline a bit. Among the advantages are the fact that calls within our cell-provider are free, meaning that Sweetie and I (the person I speak to most frequently on the phone) can talk as much as we want without eating up our minutes. It’s easier to screen calls. It keeps you off of telemarketing lists (at least for the time being).

    If you live in a place where cell service is sketchy I could see the problem with killing the landline, but most major cities are pretty solidly covered, so if your condo isn’t full of dead spots I wouldn’t worry about it.

    And after reading the articles you suggested I’m not quite sure I understand why it’s a bad idea if you have a “family”. Yes, when the hedgehog becomes a teenager they will likely need a phone of their own, but I think it can be a good thing for a kid to have a cell phone if they use it responsibly.

  7. hi

    i didn’t read other comments so i may be repeating things…

    my 2 cents would be to get a bundles package – this includes cable, land line and internet for like 100 bucks a month. that’s what ours is anyway. we added stuff so it comes out a little more.

    i would NOT rec getting rid of your land line, they do come in handy for emergencies – phone breaking etc. we’ve had it happen more than once. and if you get a bundled package it’s pretty much like getting one free since internet and cable is usually ore than 100 bucks a month without the phone.

    i think you can also get internet, phone and cell, too. it’s like, any THREE things for 100 bucks. and i PROMISE you, you are getting more than what you get paying for each individually.

    our family plan is 150 a month but it includes a data plan for me and unlimited texting. i’ve never seen one for 50, but i’m sure they are out there. we have att. lani really preferred tmobile though. we got att for the iphone.


  8. just read back over comments. here’s our main reason for getting a land line after not having one for years…sometimes, we forget to charge our phones. actually more than sometimes. and then an emergency happened and we had no phone to call doc with.

  9. one more thing – when you get digital phone service, it’s awesome, you don’t pay long distance.

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