Re: (...)
We're hearing more and more about getting rid of 'land line' phones and going entirely with cell phones - it's making more and more sense as we look into it.

Do any of you have just cells and are you happy with the arrangement? It was such a foreign concept when I first started thinking about it, but now.....makes me think a 'home' phone is redundant.

Anyone know of this program?
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Phones?? by cjs (We're hearing more a...)
Went Cell phone only about two years ago. I still have one land line though, credit card machine company will not hook to cell phone yet. Some do, mine won't.

Had Vonage for a few months prior to just disconnecting the whole land line thing. It did work, and it was neat how I could be anywhere and get a phone call through the computer. Then I thought, duh I am already able to do that with a cell phone. So I dropped it all and went to a family plan cell service.

Once you cut the cord, you won't go back Jean!
Chef de Cuisine
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering

USMC Sgt 1979-1985
  Re: Phones?? by cjs (We're hearing more a...)
I have used Vonage for three years, and am very happy with it. One of the great things, for me, is that it keeps the same phone number no matter where it is hooked up, so when friends and family from the States call me, or I call them, it is not an international call, even though I am not in the U.S.

If you DO go with any Internet-based telephone solution, make sure you read its 911 policies carefully, since your phone will not be connected to a regular phone line in your house, but to the Internet. Thus, you will have to sign a special form stating the address to be used for 911 purposes. Furthermore, if you lose your Internet connection or power, you will not be able to make or receive ANY calls, including 911 calls. A lot of people consider that to be too risky - they want the security of 911, but it really isn't THAT big a deal if you also have a cell phone.

As to the cell-only option: it's not for everyone, either. The biggest thing to check with cell phones (and it can be VERY big) are the prices. Many of the cell phone companies have outrageously long contract terms that charge you severe penalties if you terminate your service before the end of the contract. That means that if you get a cell phone that sounds like an otherwise reasonable deal, only to discover (one day after the initial trial period) that it doesn't REALLY provide the coverage you need, then you are stuck either staying in the contract or paying stiff penalties. Even with one-month trial periods, I have known people who ran into difficulties with that.

Regardless of whether you choose VOIP (e.g. Vonage) or a cell phone, don't forget about some things that may only work properly on regular phone lines (or that would require special, additional options otherwise). The three main problem areas are faxes, digital video recorders (e.g. Tivo), and alarm systems.

Unless you do huge volumes of faxing, or have other special faxing needs, you can get by very well by using a combination of web-based services. The ones that I use and recommend are for receiving faxes (a free service that can send received faxes right to your email), and for sending faxes (good, inexpensive rates, and your balance doesn't expire). I suggest that combination, since K7's service for sending faxes is not as user-friendly, and your balance does expire after a certain amount of time, requiring you to recharge it. Also, Interfax's service for receiving faxes is not free. Thus, K7 is better for receiving, and Interfax for sending. Do NOT, however, try eFax: despite their being better known, they are NOT as good a service, and they require you to use THEIR proprietary software. K7 and Interfax use normal, everyday software that you already have.

Digital video recorders are very popular, but they rely upon regular phone lines to call out, in the middle of the night, to get the latest program scheduling. This just does not work on Internet-based phones, and I don't know of any ways to adapt them to cell phones.

Security systems have a similar problem: in order for them to send signals (not just pre-recorded voice messages) to the police, fire department, or other monitoring agency, they must use regular phone lines.

Hope that helps.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Phones?? by cjs (We're hearing more a...)
We actually have ATT callavatage and love it. We have had it since it came out a few years ago. I know that ours works with 911 and every time it loses connection it prompts us to make sure we are still at the same address on file for that 911 tracing. The only problem we have is when it goes out and that is because of Comcast not ATT however they have a locate feature which we have forwarded to husbands cell then my cell if the Callvantage goes down. The cool thing about this is you have what is call the TA which is the little box that everything runs through ( I know probably more technical than that but that is what is does) and you can take it with you so your number will never change and when we went back to the UK for a month holiday we took that with is and my family friends here were able to call our regular number for no charge.

Our main reason for getting it was price. Between the fees the phone company charges and long distance (about 200 month ) it was outrageous. Now even though I speak to my MIL in England for an 1 hour everyday our bill is like 50.00 including long distance. It is free to call anywhere in US and I think Canada and $.02 to England.

Also we use it with our directtv tivo and it works fine. That was one our biggest concerns and no problems in the 5 years we have had it. We did not do tons of faxing but it worked with our ancient fax machine when we did do it. But I dont know what if anything husband had to adjust to get it to work but I do know that they have tweaked a lot of the stuff that you could not do before to be able to do it now.

I was skeptical at first because I had never heard of such a thing but husband who is a huge techie knew sort of the ins and outs so I trusted his judgment and we would never go back to "land line " again.

  Re: Re: Phones?? by bbally (Went Cell phone only...)
That technology is not here yet---maybe in another few years!!! GEESH---we still have problems with landlines!!!

I use SKYPE though---what a great find that was---our telephone bills have been dramatically cut for the long distance---now I can speak to the family for hours and not have to think about the minutes ticking away!!! YESSS!!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: Phones?? by Roxanne 21 (That technology is n...)
I presently have wireless internet and Vonage. When I go to Portland I just have it ring on my cell phone. Now that I am here in Roseburg I have it ring the home phone and my cell phone at the same time. I can have it ring up to I think it's 5 phones at the same time. Then whomever picks up first gets the call. Also when someone leaves a message it translates it into a "wvr" message and emails it to me. Like the others we were paying all the charges for the government, taxes, etc. With this it's $24.99 a month for all the phone stuff and whatever I'm paying for my wireless internet. The only problem I have is that if I turn all of my computers off the phone system goes down even though the wireless is still working.
Don't wait too long to tell someone you love them.

  Re: Re: Phones?? by bjcotton (I presently have wir...)
I've considered going to cell phone only, but a couple of things changed my mind. The cell phone reception in my house is spotty at times. I also have one of the 5.8 ghz phone systems where I can run three phones off of one line. It makes it very convenient to have the phones in different rooms so we don't have to get up to go answer a single phone. In addition the local phone company has a couple of special deals that changed my mind. For a small fee I can make long distance calls at a reasonable rate and if we exceed the time limit (20 minutes) the rest of the calls are free. They recently offered ISDN service over the landline at a very reasonble rate that is fixed for life. I have my computer network hooked into the landline now. The price of that service is less than the cost of my previous dialup service and when you have more than one service they offer discounts that make it even more cost effective. I'm thinking of switching my cell phone service to their plan to get a better plan than my current Verizon service plan at less cost and an additional discount.I had delayed doing that because the local service was limited to 10 Western states and the Verizon service was available when we visited my mother-in-law in Missouri. Fortunately, the local telephone company provides nationwide service now. One of the problems with going to all cell phones is that the FCC doesn't allow multiple phones on one number and you have to buy additional service for each phone.
My monther-in-law is going to an assisted living facility. I had considered getting her a cell phone rather than putting a landline in her room and getting one of the family cell phone plans so she wouldn't have to pay for it. However, she has Parkinsons. It is difficult for her to dial the smaller cell phones and I haven't found a large one that would be easy for her to dial.
  Re: Re: Phones?? by aardvarknav (I've considered goin...)
As long as we're discussing cell phones, don't forget that cell phones are required to be able to dial 911 even if your service contract has expired (or you have no minutes left on phone-card style phones). Thus, if you have an old cell phone from a previous service, you may still keep it charged and hang onto it for emergencies.

Even better: if you already have some other way of reaching 911, many shelters for abused women will accept donations of used cell phones (don't forget the chargers) that they can give to the women for 911 usage in case of serious problems with the abusers. Why let those old cell phones just sit around or get thrown away?
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: Phones?? by labradors (As long as we're dis...)
A very good idea. I know we used to let the old phones sit around. Don't have any now, but will keep it in mind.
Don't wait too long to tell someone you love them.

  Re: Phones?? by cjs (We're hearing more a...)
During our infamous black out a few years ago, the only phones that worked were the land lines, and even then only the old style phones, not the cordless ones. We still keep those old ones around. For me, well, I can't even see the numbers or writing on those little cell phones. I like phones with great big numbers. Sometimes, you just cannot teach on old dog new tricks.
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.

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