PF Weekly grab a brew #39: Forget the land-line stick with the cell phone

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The Home Phone Is Just For Decoration

Not everyone has a home phone land-line these days because they have a cell phone and it’s no surprise, all you have to do is look around everywhere you go. Do you really need a home number to get by these days?

You won’t find many people without their heads buried in a cell phone from every street corner to the local shopping mall and grocery stores. Cell phones are not going anywhere and if anything they will continue to become like a life-line for many people if they are not already.

In a recent survey  from the Canadian Radio-Television Communications annual monitoring report it shares that home phone users went down 2.1% in 2012 from 11.9 million which talks about the home phone and how cell phones are taking over.

I know some people who can’t live without their cell phone or iPod (my wife included) because it keeps her tapped into the world. We live in two worlds, the real world and the internet world.

This will be my 6th year living in Canada now and I have yet to get the urge to buy a cell phone or get a cell phone plan with Rogers even though they ask me almost every month. My wife has a dinosaur cell phone which most people make fun of but she can text and that’s what she likes as well as the security of having the ability to call anyone at any time.

I don’t care about that. If I am stuck there’s always someone who will have a phone that I can borrow or they can make an emergency phone call for me out of the kindness of their heart.

Recently we had a water incident with my wife’s cell phone and I almost thought to myself,’ here we go she’s going to want a SMART PHONE now’ and she was itching for a new one let me tell you especially since we had no cell phone insurance on the phone.

Now that cell phone contracts are only 2 years in Canada if you look around you can score a great deal like my friend over at How to Save Money and has a great plan for $29 a month with FIDO including Data and long distance and explains why you should unlock your cell phone and how it will help you to score a better cell phone deal if you do.

I thought the deal was amazing which I quoted below from the article which you should go read as it has valuable information inside.

The cost savings can be substantial. For instance, I am currently on a $29 monthly plan with Fido that offers the following features:

  • 450 daytime minutes

  • Unlimited weekends and evenings after 6pm.

  • Canada-wide long distance included with every minute at no additional cost.

  • Unlimited text, picture, and video messaging.

  • Caller ID, Voicemail, 3-way calling and all the other usual features.

  • 600MB of data.

Just recently we negotiated our communications package consisting of our cell phone, home phone, internet and cable with Rogers and they were offering a great deal on the home phone (I believe it was $19.99 a month for 2 years) and now it kind of makes sense to me. Canadians aren’t keeping the traditional home phone if they have a cell phone.

What is the point of having both? You are just throwing money out the window every single month if you aren’t using both to the maximum potential.

Long distance calling

Just last month I went over on home phone long distance minutes and there is no way to check on-line to see how many minutes you’ve used with Rogers home phone.

I even called to ask them and they told me to track it on my own because I was using the long distance so much this past month I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going over.

Nice. All this technology and they can’t even provide me the most important details about my phone, my long distance usage. We have 100 minutes of free long distance on our Rogers wireless device which is easy to track but not the home phone.

So, I went over. I get 500 long distance minutes in North America every month. We have had the Rogers home phone now knocking on 4 years and have never even hit 100 of those minutes per month some months using nothing. They hit me with an almost $30 charge for 72 minutes over the 500 minutes.

I was upset at myself and Rogers for not providing me the info I needed and hoped that since my wife has been a customer for over 15 years that they would offset that charge or remove it in good faith as I just didn’t know I went over.

Rogers customer retention

If you call 1-888-ROGERS-1 and click on the cancellation department which I did I was then able to talk to the retentions department to explain what had happened. I believe the Rogers Wireless customer service is different but you can ask them to put you through if you are calling about your cell phone.

The retentions representative looked into our long-distance history to see we hardly ever use it and said she would credit me back half the amount. They didn’t have to credit me anything so I was happy but I wanted to get my point across as a consumer that the information should be available to us online.

I was still upset after all these years not using any long distance hardly at all that I paid for and they ding me with this charge. I could have easily bought a $5 phone card which is like pocket change compared tot he cost to offset the 72 minutes that I went over if I knew I did.

It’s just another reason why you should get rid of what you don’t use because no one is going to care about what you did or didn’t do.

I was just lucky but hope moving forward Rogers makes a change with how customers view their home phone long distance usage online.

So, if you have Rogers home phone you better track your own long distance. Retentions told me I could call and talk to tech support and they would tell me how many minutes I’ve used.

Well, the first lady I spoke to at Rogers said there was no way to know and then retentions told me to call tech support.

I thought what a waste of time not only for the consumer but for Rogers who has to pay someone to look this information up when they should just have it online ready for the customer to view like they do for our cell phone usage.

We have both and in some ways we think we are just wasting cash and should get rid of the land-line. Some people have the magic jack which is another option or SKYPE which we also use. Both of those services are run through the computer so a good internet package is important.

I recently called Rogers to upgrade our internet from slow as turtles to high-speed internet express just to get more data as the 25GB we had was just cutting it too close with all the internet usage we have here. We now have 80GB but I am watching it very carefully every day.

Rogers has went a step further and offered me unlimited internet for another $10 a month which I am seriously contemplating so I don’t have to worry about whether I am going over and it’s going to cost me a bundle.

I know that’s another $135.60 a year with tax on our communications bill but it’s an expense that we can warrant as it’s important to us. Even so we are on a contract now for 2 years with our home phone when it comes time to renew we may just drop the home phone line altogether.

Waste of money

I believe when you have a service that you don’t use like a home phone that is simply decor for many then it becomes wasted money, same goes for movie channels and NETFLIX.

If you don’t get the most out of it every month you are simply flushing money down the toilet. I recently talked about getting rid of our cable as well next year simply for that reason alone as we just don’t watch that much television these days.

The only and I MEAN the only reason we keep it is so I can talk to my parents and siblings in the UK. No one else calls our home except for sales people who we normally ignore. My family is costing me more than I am saving and many of my friends are thinking the same way.

If you are thinking you need a home phone if you are job hunting you don’t as you can still put your cell phone number down on your resume.

Gone are the days where human resources require a home phone to make sure you actually have an address. Anyone knows that the norm is most people have one or the other home phone or cell phone especially if you are single.

Do you have both a land-line home phone and cell phone or one or the other and why?

How much does each service cost you each month?

Top recipe

ham-croquettes-recipe

Once a week I surf my Free Recipe Depot Facebook page in search of one recipe that stood out for me and that I think you will love.

I hope you enjoy this ham croquette recipe from my good friend Beth at Aunt B’s Kitchen as much as I do. Every day Food Bloggers from around the world pass by my other love the Free Recipe Depot Facebook page to share a daily recipe which I share with my fans.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Friday’s grab a brew and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.

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