Why is a landline useful?

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Oct 20, 2017
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#1
I'm thinking of canceling my landline account and relying on cell phone access only. What would be important reasons to keep landline access?

Many thanks,
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
Depends on where you live and how good your cell reception is. When we had a blackout in NYC the old copper wire landline was the only thing that worked as cell phones could not recharge. Also with calling 911 on a landline that number can be traced to the location, as far I know it is not the same with cell phones.

Also think of quality of reception and call droppings from the mobile provider......
 

Neil Maley

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#3
Depends on where you live and how good your cell reception is. When we had a blackout in NYC the old copper wire landline was the only thing that worked as cell phones could not recharge. Also with calling 911 on a landline that number can be traced to the location, as far I know it is not the same with cell phones.

Also think of quality of reception and call droppings from the mobile provider......
Agree with the above. After Sandy we had no working cell phones but our landline worked
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#4
We used to live in the country and cell phone reception was sometimes iffy. We kept an old corded phone in reserve for power outages, since the portable phones were useless without electricity. We are now in a populated area but I will always feel more secure with a landline.
 
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Aug 29, 2015
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#5
I got rid of my landline. Once great-grandma no longer called and we got out parents to call our cells, the only people calling that line were telemarketers. Most people I know only have cell phones.

In an emergency, I have numerous back up batteries, and a car charger.
 

Neil Maley

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#6
I got rid of my landline. Once great-grandma no longer called and we got out parents to call our cells, the only people calling that line were telemarketers. Most people I know only have cell phones.

In an emergency, I have numerous back up batteries, and a car charger.
We had all that but we had no electricity for a month after Sandy and we lost our cars. I could have had 50 chargers but without being able to charge the chargers we were out of luck.

We also use a landline for our business.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#7
I just booted out ATT because of terrible service and got an internet-based phone. Cell phones sometimes work at my house in the country if you go "stand over there" on the edge of the property. Neil raises a good point ... no electricity or car to charge a phone after a serious emergency, so no matter how well prepared you think you are, you just never know. OTOH, a cell phone will last quite a long time if you keep it off unless you need it. I live in earthquake country and don't have a problem with the risk ... but that's such an individual choice. Everyone I know ditched their landline years ago.
 
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johnbaker

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Oct 2, 2014
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#8
@mayer I have a child with a chronic medical issue. We keep our landline simply because if she ever has an issue, I can dial 911, state "I need a paramedic", put the phone on counter and get back to helping her. No need to worry about telling them where I am or my cell phone only giving them a general location. It also helps that bundling our landline with unlimited long distance into our cable / internet is cheap. $5 insurance policy works for me....
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#9
@mayer I have a child with a chronic medical issue. We keep our landline simply because if she ever has an issue, I can dial 911, state "I need a paramedic", put the phone on counter and get back to helping her. No need to worry about telling them where I am or my cell phone only giving them a general location. It also helps that bundling our landline with unlimited long distance into our cable / internet is cheap. $5 insurance policy works for me....
This makes a lot of sense!

In my area, the landline was going up and up and price, and was up to $45 per month without any optional services when you include all the taxes and fees. It was part of my decision to terminate. If I had had an ill child, I'd have kept it. If we get considerably older, we can always reinstall ours.
 

Neil Maley

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#10
This makes a lot of sense!

In my area, the landline was going up and up and price, and was up to $45 per month without any optional services when you include all the taxes and fees. It was part of my decision to terminate. If I had had an ill child, I'd have kept it. If we get considerably older, we can always reinstall ours.
Are you in an area prone to storms? If not then you might not have to worry. My landline phone is a lot less expensive than my cell so I use the landline all the time at home. Plus my cell signal stinks inside my house.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#11
Are you in an area prone to storms? If not then you might not have to worry. My landline phone is a lot less expensive than my cell so I use the landline all the time at home. Plus my cell signal stinks inside my house.
In my case, we get thunderstorms, sometimes with tornado activity, and if the New Madrid ever goes, we'll likely be effected. The other thing to consider is where the lines are in an area. Our phone lines are overhead. So, if there is a storm bad enough to knock out power, it will take out the phone as well more than likely. We have good cell signal from pretty much all the cellular companies, at least at my house and place of employment.

So, @mayer lots to consider, but comes down to making a pros and cons list. Why might you keep a landline? Why might the landline be extraneous? What is the best decision for you?
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#12
Despite the great-grandma cracks, I think a lot of people find landlines convenient even beyond safety and security issues. If I have to hold the phone for a while, the landline is more comfortable in my hand and the speaker works much better, too. And, we have extensions in most rooms of the house so when the phone rings, we can easily pick up the call without trying to run to wherever I have left the cell phone before it stops ringing!
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#14
We ditched our landline in December 2002 and have never missed it at all. I will add that we live in an urban setting with excellent cell coverage, underground electrical lines, and a cable modem for internet. It really depends on individual circumstances.
 

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#15
I use Ooma at my house and have used them since 2006 or so. I had to upgrade my box and now have to pay monthly taxes and fees of about $6 but prior to upgrading only had the initial expense of $200 or so. Of course, this will only work with prior or maybe a battery backup but for a "local" landline it's not a bad deal.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#16
Cell phone reception is very erratic in NYC. One often has to stand in a particular spot to get reception -- wifi calling? Same problem, need a wifi booster.

And yes, great grandma comments aside, wanting to keep a landline is not a sign of being a fossil. The NYC blackout of 2003 lasted for days in my area and the landline worked. We do have underground wiring.

It does come down to personal needs, finances and circumstances.
 
Oct 30, 2015
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#18
I will NEVER abandon my landline. Cell service in rural areas is seldom reliable. For instance, our Verizon 'dumb' phones (prepaid flip phones) work fairly well but AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint don't have the coverage here and have no intentions of upgrading or putting up towers. Not to say our landline company is much better...Century Link is a terrible company to deal with.
But.
When we get storms,-which is often- our electricity goes out for days. Sometimes weeks. The landlines work. Cell phones don't and it doesn't matter if your car has a phone charger...if you don't have power, neither does the cell phone tower and that's where your cell phone links up with the rest of the world.
I keep my landline because I can use a call blocker on it to keep the scumbag scammers and telemarketers at bay. Verizon will never provide a dumb phone with blocking ability. For that matter, Century Link won't, either, we're too rural for them to upgrade their equipment (their circuit box at the end of our gravel road is still using US Wests 60's era circuit cards...the technicians can't even get newer ones, so they just switch cards to make your phone start working again.)

I will keep the landline for other reasons, such as being able to work with one cradled to my ear.

And, at least in my state, all '''emergency services responders' (to include State offices such as the Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation (someone has to call out the snowplows)), etc are required to keep a landline. Emergency response isn't just medical...wildfire firefighters, FEMA folks, National Guard, Dept of Homeland Security, , virtually any service that is badly needed in a disaster situation...are also considered Emergency Response.

So...think of me as a fossilized troglodyte, but when your cell phone goes out, don't call me that when you come begging to use my antique landline phone.
 
Apr 17, 2018
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#19
Dear Qorx, you're right to keep your landline and the most important factor is that they work in emergencies. I never got rid of mine, and numerous times my cell did not work so my kids and friends knew where to reach me. It's a life savor lots of times.;)
 
May 21, 2018
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#20
I think it is a good idea to have a land line. because it is great, when storms hit and you lose power your phone will still work, as long as it is a phone that does not have a answering machine or wireless phones as they need to have power to make them work. so just a plain old telephone is wise to have.i have Verizon home phone service plus Fios for tv and internet and cell phone, works great! I still use my home phone quite often, don't need to charge it, very secure cell's are not, plus cellphone have been proven to be a health concern, radiation from cell signal . I use both but prefer land line also not a big fan of texting its so impersonal