phone services http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11793/all en-US 6 Reasons Cutting Your Landline Is a Bad Deal http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-cutting-your-landline-is-a-bad-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-cutting-your-landline-is-a-bad-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4982722491_7342befb96_z.jpg" alt="telephone" title="telephone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a perennial item on save-money lists &mdash; cancel the landline and rely on cell phones for communications.</p> <p>It's also a sacrifice that I will never make if I can help it, because the security and quality I get from my landline is more than worth the small monthly fee.</p> <p>First, let's put the cost of a landline in perspective.</p> <p>Our household spends approximately $25 per month on a plan with unlimited calling both domestically and to a number of foreign countries. More limited plans, such as several offered by&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://www.shop.att.com/plancomparison.jsp?">AT&amp;T without long-distance and with a per-call charge</a>, are available for $18 a month or less, depending on your state. If you cancel your home phone service, you are saving the cost of taking a family of four out for fast food once a month. I know that every penny counts, but there are lots of other ways to save $15-$25 a month without sacrificing so much.</p> <p>You may think that giving up a landline is worthwhile even though the savings are small, simply because you rarely pick up the phone to make a call. But even if you use your cell phone for most calls, that landline sitting there is providing you with value. (For a counterpoint, see:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seriously-get-rid-of-your-landline">Seriously,&nbsp;Get Rid of Your Landline</a>)</p> <p>What do you lose when you give up a landline?</p> <h2>1. Better 911 Response</h2> <p>The main reason I will not give up my landline is that I have three children whose safety is worth more than $25 a month to me. When you call 911 from a landline, your home address appears on the dispatcher's screen; if you call from a cell phone, they will probably see geographical coordinates but not an exact address, according to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/january/electronics/best-cell-phones/911-from-cell-phone/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a>. If you have children in the house, ask yourself &mdash; if they need to call 911, will they be able to clearly tell a dispatcher their address under pressure? Do they know how to unlock and dial a cell phone? Even if you call yourself, what if you are incapacitated and can't speak? Are you willing to hope that the location information the dispatcher gets from your cell phone is good enough for emergency workers to find you?</p> <p>You should also know that when you dial 911 from a cell phone, your call may not be answered by the dispatcher in charge of sending an ambulance or police to your address. In some locations, the call may need to be transferred, wasting valuable time in an emergency. I once called 911 from my cell phone because a woman had just fallen off a ladder in her yard as I walked past. When the dispatcher asked where I was, I could not see an address but told her I was &quot;right across from the high school.&quot; &quot;But what <i>city</i> are you in?&quot; she asked. When I told her the name of the town, she transferred me to my local dispatcher, and I had to start over again.</p> <h2>2. Backup During Natural Disasters</h2> <p>I live just a few miles from the Hayward fault, called a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Hayward-Fault-is-our-deadliest-a-tectonic-time-2496282.php">&quot;tectonic time bomb&quot; by one seismologist</a>. But as catastrophic weather events increase, even people who don't live in earthquake country are living in the shadow of a natural disaster. Even if you used your landline at no other time, wouldn&rsquo;t it be worth a couple hundred dollars a year to keep an emergency back-up communication system in the house?</p> <p>&quot;We are very concerned by incidents where emergency wireless calls to 9-1-1 after yesterday's earthquake were hampered by network congestion,&quot; <a target="_blank" href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/24/quake-exposes-cracks-in-cell-phone-coverage-emergency-response/">FCC Public Safety &amp; Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett</a> told Fox News after the 2011 5.9 earthquake on the East Coast. <a target="_blank" href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/phone-companies-start-checking-storm-damage">Superstorm Sandy knocked down 25% of cell towers</a> in the area, and even people who had cell coverage soon lost the ability to use their mobile phones due to power outages.</p> <p>Sure, telephone service can be knocked out in natural disasters, too. But if you have both a cell phone and a landline, your odds are better that you'll be left with some connection to the rest of the world in a disaster.</p> <p>Plus, landlines <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tdstelecom.com/CustomerService/WhyLandline.aspx">still work even if the power goes out</a> &mdash; as long you have at least one handset with a cord that doesn't need to be charged.</p> <h2>3. Reliability and Quality</h2> <p>Recently I was waiting for an important call on my cell phone. The phone never rang, but later I found out that the caller had dialed my number and gotten no answer. Nothing showed up in my phone's &quot;missed calls&quot; list. This kind of thing has happened to me while using various carriers over the years. Other people find that they can't get a strong cell signal inside their own homes or find a call interrupted by a lost signal.</p> <p>When interviewing sources over a cell phone, I often have to stop and ask them to repeat things to make sure I quote them correctly. The sound quality is nowhere near as good as a landline's.</p> <p>Cellular phones' reliability and sound quality problems are a trade-off that we accept because of the huge convenience of being able to make and receive calls wherever we are. But when given the alternative of using a more reliable and better-quality connection at home, I'll take it!</p> <h2>4. Accessibility</h2> <p>Maybe you're one of those people who responsibly deposits their cell phone in a charging station as soon as you walk in the door. I'm not. Chances are, my cell phone is in my coat pocket inside a closet or in my purse in another room. And what this means is that it is not a form of communication that's easily accessible to me or to other members of the household. If a call comes in, I want everyone in the house to be able to hear it clearly. If I'm not free to answer, I want one of my children to be able to answer it without having to search my purse. For one thing, having the chance to receive and make phone calls gives them a chance to learn proper phone etiquette. For another, it's good training if they ever do have to use the phone in an emergency.</p> <p>We keep one handset that is attached to the base with a good old-fashioned cord, so that it can't be lost and everyone in the family knows where to find it.</p> <h2>5. Radiation</h2> <p>&quot;The World Health Organization has declared that cell phone radiation may be linked to brain cancer. Ten studies connect cell phone radiation to diminished sperm count and sperm damage. Others raise health concerns such as altered brain metabolism, sleep disturbance and behavioral changes in children,&quot; reads the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ewg.org/cellphone-radiation">Environmental Working Group's Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use</a>. The guide also notes that &quot;young children's brains can absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as those of adults.&quot;</p> <p>I limit my chlidren's cell phone use, and one thing that helps us do that is having a landline they can use to talk to their grandparents and friends. I'd also just as soon avoid holding a radiation-emitting device to my own head for long conversations.</p> <h2>6. High-Speed Internet</h2> <p>We <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">don't have cable</a>, but my impression from practically everyone else I know is that dealing with cable companies is a nightmare. So another reason I appreciate my landline is that it allows me to get fast Internet service with DSL instead of a cable modem. In fact, we take advantage of a package deal that gives us both phone and Internet for a pretty reasonable price.</p> <h2>What About Other Alternatives to the Landline?</h2> <p>Of course, there are other alternatives to landlines besides cell phones. People are using Skype and FaceTime, as well as PC-based voice-over IP and work-arounds like Magic Jack. All of these are great ways to cut down your phone bill, but they don't provide a safe and reliable connection the way a landline does.</p> <h2>Keep Your Landline and Save</h2> <p>If you want to save money on your phone bill, instead of eliminating it, I recommend getting the most basic service just for emergencies, and using these other communication methods or your cell phone for most of your calls.</p> <p>On the flip side, you may find that using a landline for most of your calls allows you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-that-cell-phone-contract-save-with-a-prepaid-plan">reduce your cell phone plan</a> to a limited number of minutes, just enough to handle calls that can't wait until you get home. It's entirely possible that you can cut more money from your cell phone bill by reducing the number of minutes you use than you would save by eliminating home phone service.</p> <p>You might find a work-around for any one of the disadvantages of not having a landline. But when you look at the landline's many benefits together, you may find that giving up this high quality and valuable service to save a small amount of money is no bargain at all.</p> <p><em>Have you cut your landline service? Or did you decide to keep it for one of the reasons above (or for some other I haven&rsquo;t mentioned)?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-cutting-your-landline-is-a-bad-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters">10 Safest Cities in America from Natural Disasters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-plant-theft">How to Prevent Plant Theft</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips">7 Frugal Fall Decoration Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle home safety landline phone services Fri, 01 Feb 2013 10:48:39 +0000 Carrie Kirby 966498 at http://www.wisebread.com Fantastic Phone Services for People on the Go http://www.wisebread.com/fantastic-phone-services-for-people-on-the-go <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fantastic-phone-services-for-people-on-the-go" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000001983565XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;re ready to hit the road, but you&rsquo;re not sure how to stay connected while you&rsquo;re out there. Or you just rolled back into town after a stint abroad and haven&rsquo;t hooked up your cell service yet. You don&rsquo;t have to. There are so many options for staying hooked up phone-wise whether you&rsquo;re at home or on the road, especially if you tend to bounce between places that have different cell phone coverage areas. Or none at all.</p> <p>Before you invest in a pricey cell phone plan, check out some of these phone services. They can save you a pretty penny and keep you connected anywhere you go.</p> <h3>RingCentral</h3> <p>One good one is <a href="http://www.ringcentral.com">RingCentral</a>, which gives you a phone, fax, calling card, and local or toll-free number all in one. Once you sign up for a service, you can program your 800 number to ring up to four separate phones looking for you. So it can ring a home number, a work line, a cell phone, or any number that you&rsquo;re at while on the road. This is especially useful when you travel out of cell phone range, but need to receive some calls. Another cool feature is internet faxing and email voice message notifications. Downside? The 800 numbers and calling card function only work in the U.S.</p> <h3>eVoice</h3> <p>Another stellar option if you&rsquo;re mobile, but need to get your calls, is <a href="http://www.evoice.com">eVoice</a>. With some of the same features that RingCentral offers, eVoice also lets you receive email or text notifications of voicemail messages. You can also get a local or toll-free number and have it track you down. No faxing available, though.</p> <h3>Phone.com</h3> <p><a href="http://www.phone.com">Phone.com</a> is a great one too. With different greeting options for before and after business hours, voicemail, unlimited minutes, and call routing, Phone.com can help you present a big business image even if you&rsquo;re a one-person operation. Plus, it&rsquo;s easy to grab or receive voicemail messages no matter where you are, and you can do three-way conference calls too. Not a bad option for a small business or an entrepreneur who travels a lot.</p> <h3>Google Voice</h3> <p>The newest technology out in this area is <a href="http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html">Google Voice</a>, which offers free phone services on your current number. You can have voicemail messages transcribed and sent to you via email or SMS. It also gives you custom greeting options and a lower price on international calls. Google Voice integrates so well with your Gmail account and makes it simple to keep connected from anywhere. Downside? It&rsquo;s offered by invitation only, so you&rsquo;ll need to sign up and wait to be contacted before you can use it.</p> <h3>Vonage</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re sticking around town and need a super cheap, but wonderfully functional, phone service, check out <a href="http://www.vonage.com">Vonage</a> voice over IP services. While the other plans mentioned are strictly U.S.-based and focus on domestic calling, Vonage is a good bet if you chat a lot with people overseas because it gives you unlimited minutes for calls to landlines in over 60 countries. You do have to have DSL and a regular phone to use it.</p> <h3>Skype</h3> <p>And then there&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.skype.com">Skype</a>, which gives you free unlimited chat time from your computer to theirs. And you can use web cams or have conference calls. Downsides? Skype gets mighty expensive when you use it to dial someone directly and you have to schedule the calls you make over the computer.</p> <h3>Prepaid Cell Phone</h3> <p>If all else fails, there&rsquo;s always the prepaid cell phone. The main drawback is that you lose the number if you cancel the service instead of rolling it over to another plan. With the others, you can pay less and keep the same number for years. And there&rsquo;s rarely a hefty cancellation fee. Plus, even a minimal plan from RingCentral or Vonage will cost you less than a typical cell phone plan.</p> <p>So sign up and get talking. Your peeps need you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fantastic-phone-services-for-people-on-the-go">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-for-the-tech-challenged-traveler">7 Apps for the Tech-Challenged Traveler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad">How to Minimize Cell Phone Charges When You Travel Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ways-blazing-internet-speeds-can-save-you-money">5 Ways Blazing Internet Speeds Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Technology Travel phone services telecommuters toll free numbers Mon, 08 Feb 2010 17:00:02 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 4980 at http://www.wisebread.com