storyteller and all-around creative distraction

why have a landline?

I pay $45 a month for my landline phone so that telemarketers can harass me. Telemarketers never call my cell phone. My family only ever calls me on my cell phone. So I hardly ever answer the house phone because I know there’s a 99% chance it’s someone I don’t want to talk to. And it’s not like our baby is going to be wanting to talk on the phone regularly until he’s at least 10 or so.

I’m wondering how many people get by on just having cell phones. Especially now that most companies include free in-network calling, free nights and weekends, and free nationwide long distance, is there really any reason to have a landline phone at all? We can even get set up for a worldwide long distance plan (so Jim can call home to England) that costs the same monthly charge and gets us the same rates as the one we have on our landline.

Here would be my worries – what if there’s an emergency and you needed to dial 911? Will they have trouble knowing exactly where you are? Because as far as I know, when you dial 911 from a landline, your address comes up on their screen, doesn’t it?

And then what do we do when our baby is old enough to be left with a babysitter? How would she call us if she needed to, unless we gave her one of our cell phones before we left? We can’t just assume she has one of her own.

So chime in people, what do you think?

6 thoughts on “why have a landline?”

  • We haven’t had a landline for well over a year now and have only had one instance where we wished we still had it. It was a 911 situation. When you call 911 from a cell phone the call doesn’t go to your local 911 dispatch, but to some 911 cell phone service thing that I guess is nationwide. They had no trouble locating us- I guess that’s a satellite thing- but even after hanging up with them, it took more than 45 minutes, and several more phone calls before anyone arrived. And instead of the police that we needed, we had an ambulance show up. I ended up getting the right authorities by using the phone book and calling the local police non-emergency number.

    Needless to say, it was frustrating, and a bit scary with someone trying to break into your house while you’re at home with a tiny infant.

    As far as the babysitter goes, I suppose it would be easy enough to leave them one of your phones with explicit instructions that it was for emergency use only.

    Or maybe you could just downsize your landline package to the very basic line- no long distance, call waiting, caller id, etc. With taxes and all it would probably still be $25 or more a month, though. Or I know a couple of people who have switched over to the phone service through the cable company with no problems, but I’ve heard that their 911 system is the same as cell phones.

    *shrug* not much help, am I?

  • Aside from the babysitter problem, I don’t see any major issues with dumping the landline if your cell service is reliable. As for 911, all new cell phones have location tracking built-in for exactly that purpose.

    They. Know. Where. You. Are.


    We have phone service through the cable company, which is fantastic (and cheap!) the only problem is that if your power goes out, so does the phone. But we still have our cell. I think there’s legislation pending to resolve the cable phone/911 issue, but I can’t be sure, and I’m too lazy to research it!

  • Mr. Fish and I haven’t had a land line in at least 4 or 5 years and never had any kind of an issue where a cell phone just didn’t cut it.

  • Honey… I don’t have a landline. I haven’t had one in forever. I had to call 911 from my cell once, and it worked fine. Think about it… most 911 calls are for car accidents right? And do you think those calls come from landlines, or cell phones? That is what GPS tracking is for. Hell, you could go online now and find exactly where I am because of my GPS capable phone. Thanks alot Nextel. So much for privacy.

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