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

 

grab-a-brew

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?

Weekly reads

Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read over the past week with all of you.

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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Comments

  1. Hello there!

    This is such a nice post. Thank you very much for sharing this. I also agree with you. I also believe that 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.

    -Abby

  2. Great post- I completely agree with you. We just recently got rid of our land line, and it’s saved us so much money. They’re honestly just not necessary anymore!

  3. I don’t have a home phone and couldn’t imagine paying for one. I’ve always just had a cell phone. I’ve never seen the need to have both, and a cell phone is portable and it just makes more sense if you are picking between the two.

  4. Christine Weadick says:

    We have a landline here..hubby refuses to use a cell phone. We have the landline, Internet and cable from Rogers. It’s just over $200.00 a month for that. I’m pretty sure we could get a better deal if he was willing to ask but he won’t. Our younger son has a basic cell phone that gets used for emergencies and if we go out of town for appointments. He buys a pay as you go card as needed. The cell is with Bell thankfully as we have had Rogers go down completely, leaving us with no cable TV, no Internet and no phone. I used the cell to call Rogers and let them know…not that it did me any good. I’m just glad we didn’t need to call 911 with an emergency….. I wasn’t very happy with them that day.
    You can track down your long distance minutes online…. Go to the online bill and then you can click to se the entire bill (trying to remember where exactly but it’s there) scroll down and the info should be there.
    SqwaukFox had an article on her site about using an unlocked cell phone and she ran the numbers if you want to check there for more information , it was interesting!
    I’ve already saved Beth Anne’s recipe!!!
    Hope you have a good weekend and the Mrs feels better… Take care….

    • Ya you can track your cell phone minutes but not your home phone minutes. They told me to track it myself or call tech support. It’s silly. I’m sure he could get a discount if he askes yes.

      • Christine Weadick says:

        Funny…. We don’t have the cell through them but we were able to look up the minutes for the landline minutes…….we linked through the online bill… I will never understand Rogers. The whole thing is in hubby’s name, the older boy and I are listed as contacts so we can call it in if there is a problem…. But the warning that we are hitting 75% of download availability for the month goes to the younger boys laptop.. Nobody else’s… Just his… We can’t figure that one for the life of us!!!

  5. Thanks very much for linking to me Mr. CBB. Unfortunately, the new 2 year contracts have actually translated primarily into worse deals than before as most providers have raised the price of both handsets and their plans. That’s why it is becoming even more important to get your own handset so you can choose the cheapest plan around or maybe get a discount off your bill for bringing your own device. Quite a few companies are now giving a 10%-20% discount off the posted plan price if you do that.

    It’s too bad that the $29 Fido deal is no longer available. Christmas is coming though and some new deals should start popping up soon.

    • All good things must come to an end tey says.I used to have pay as you go but I still have no need for a cell phone in Canada as of yet.

  6. Mr. CBB, first I wanted to say that I hope your wife is doing well. I know you had some things you both needed to take care of this week, and I hope everything is good in your world!

    I find it fascinating that you don’t have a cell phone. You are just full of surprises!

    We don’t have a landline and haven’t for quite some time. We each have a dumbphone with text/call only. The total for both is approximately $66. We pay month to month by renewing our minutes. We never run out, and the same service was costing us $95 with AT&T. I’ll take my $30 and do something else with that!

    Some of our young students can’t believe we don’t have Internet. Imagine what they’d think if they found out we don’t have a TV either?

  7. I went without a landline for 2-3 years, but now came back to it, and very glad I did. I have two boys age 10 and 12, and if there is an emergency (or if they misplaces their cell phones), they can always call from landline. I mean emergency services can track your home address from landline, but not from cell. Also, in the last 2-3 years we had at least two big outages when cellphones were down, but not my landline. Plus they know that they can use landline before 6 PM without occurring additional charges.

  8. Thank you so much for the mention! We have a home phone, but don’t use it. Luckily it is cheap each month but we do need to get rid of it completely.

  9. Great post.
    We have always had a landline. Our smartphones are through work, so we don’t pay anything for those, which is really nice. Our landline cost is minimal, as we do most of our long-distance communication via e-mail or Skype. When we do phone long distance we try to keep it brief.
    We have found that with our two boys getting to the age that they like to connect with friends from school, that’s it’s so much easier having a landline. We have a lot of friends who have gone back to having a landline now that they have children as well. None of us are ready to get our kids cell phones.
    I also like that the school, people we hire to do things at the house, etc., can call us on the landline and either one of us can deal with the issue at hand instead of it always going to one or the other.

  10. Why we have a land-line:

    We have a lot of kids, and besides the expense of providing each of them with a cell phone, I think kids with cells is a really bad idea.

    The internet is required by the kid’s school and the husband’s work…and my sanity. It is much, much cheaper when coupled with a land line, so unless I can talk my husband into ditching the satellite TV (getting magic jack and Netflix -or equivalent – along with cable internet, which would bring all of those expenses down), I’m stuck.

    Why I have a cell:

    I’m rarely home.

    We live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by roads less traveled where my husband doesn’t want me stuck indefinitely with a bunch of kids until someone happens to drive by – which did happen a few times before I joined the 21st century back in ’06.

    I have unlimited talk and text which would cost an extra $30 or more per month on the land line (well, no text that way and most people now choose text over talking) – about the same as adding my cell to my husband’s plan.

    • Sounds to me like you have the cells out of a necessity and that for now it works for your family. That’s the problem when you live in the middle of nowhere.

  11. We haven’t had a landline in over seven years. My bill is $150 a month, but my employer pays $100, so net is $50. That’s for two smart phones. When I wasn’t working this last year, we considered letting them go, but never did. I agree, it’s a waste of money – but it was one we consciously decided we wanted to pay for. We let go of some other things (ahem – movie channels) instead.

  12. We got rid of our landline about three years ago maybe as we just saw no need to have it on top of our cell phone plan. We’re currently with Verizon, but are seriously contemplating going back to a prepaid plan once our contract is up. Our bill is $150/month, but we rarely use the data as we use the Wi-Fi at home all the time. It could likely save us good money each month.

  13. Mary F. Campbell says:

    Good Morning Mr CBB!

    We spend $104.29 per month with Telus on our land line and that includes our home phone/voice mail/call answer/caller id/internet/North American long distance plan PLUS hubby and I each have a cell phone that we add $100 per year to each account ($16.67/mo. combined for both). We don’t give out our cell phone number, as it’s a California number (where we have our timeshare), so it’s strictly for emergency phone calls and text communication between hubby & myself when we are apart. We’ve yet to use up all our minutes in a year but as long as we top up the account before the expiry date, the minutes carry forward for another year. The cell phones comes in handy when I take the car for the day… to be able to tell hubby where I parked for us to meet up when he’s off work. If I had to choose, we’d lose the cell phones for sure because the cell phone coverage at our home is occasional at best. I am not a big telephone person, but I do need to keep one that folks can actually get through on so I can conduct whatever interactions that I need to in the course of a day. 😀

  14. Thanks for featuring my recipe Mr. CBB. I honoured. 🙂

    Our phone/cable/internet arrangement is different from most folks I think.

    We have home phone only, no cel. Neither of us feel the need to be constantly available. Few things in life are so urgent that they won’t wait until we’re available. We have voice mail. If people need to reach us, they can leave a message.

    Our home phone costs us $12.95/month plus $.04/minute for long distance calling within North America. Our total bill rarely exceeds $20.00.

    We considered cutting off our cable but, after discussing it at length, we decided to keep it and to do without other things instead. I work full time but my husband is retired and has limited mobility. TV is his often his only entertainment when I’m at work. It is not inexpensive and we find we have to renegotiate our package every six months or so in order to keep costs in check.

    We recently dropped our home internet. I have access to on line time at work (and an employer who doesn’t mind me using it for personal stuff) and I can access the internet through public WiFi at various restaurants and the public library when I’m not at work. This choice saves us about $60/month, which we’re now using to supplement our food budget.

    So…No cel phone, no home internet, but we do have cable TV. We’re back in the early ’80’s! 😉 But it works for us. 🙂

    • You’re welcome Beth. I look forward to making them. If you are both happy with your services that’s all that matters. Sometimes we think we can’t live without something until we actually do it.

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