After being a part of the “Cell Phone Only” crowd for a couple of years, I now have a land line again. When I moved from the house in South Knoxville to the house in North Knoxville, I decided that I wasn’t going to get a land line for the house. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense. At the bare minimum, you’ve got to pay $20/month for a land line. At the house in South Knoxville, a land line was needed because at the time, cell phone service was not as reliable. Often times, you’d have to go outside to ensure that you’re call didn’t get dropped. When I moved to the house in North Knoxville, that wouldn’t be a problem. Being in the middle of the city and close to Sharp’s Ridge, cell service was pretty good. Many of the people I talked to had Verizon Wireless, so I could call them all I want and not have to worry about going over my minutes usage. My plan also included free weekend and night minutes. I’m not one that really likes to talk on the phone much, but when I do, it’s usually during the weekend and night time anyways. My plan included 450 minutes which thanks to IN and Free Nights and Weekends, I never even got close to reaching. (Even if I didn’t have those, I don’t think I’d reach the 450 minute mark anyways.) Plus, the cell phone had the advantage of free long distance. All those factored into deciding on not getting a land line. It just didn’t make sense to pay extra money for something when my cell phone was more than adequate.
So why did things change? While cell phone only definitely has its advantages in money saving, there are also some disadvantages to it too. First, you really have to monitor how long you use it. I’m sure you know somebody that had an outrageous phone bill because they went over their minutes. Most all land lines here in the US have unlimited local calling. You don’t have to keep up with how many minutes you have used up. At my new house, I decided to go with Knology as my Cable/Internet/Phone provider. Included in my phone plan is also unlimited long distance. For at least the first year, I will be keeping this plan. After a year, the plan goes up because I am at a New Customer Promotional pricing. (Unlike Comcast, which does the same thing, Knology at least mentioned up front that the plan would go up to $XX at the end of the first year. I can’t even begin to count the number of people that got some pricing from Comcast that only lasts 3 months, but they thought it was the actual price.) Anyways, back to the phone stuff again.
One of the disadvantages to Cell Phones is that at times, the network gets flooded. You probably know what I am talking about. The message that tells you that all circuits are busy. It doesn’t happen often, but when you get it, its usually at a time you really want/need to call out. Usually some big event/tragedy has happened and everybody wants to call everybody else. With more and more people becoming cell phone only, they land line circuits are being freed up even more. However, I don’t see this as being a reason enough to come back to a land line phone.
The main reason I came back to a land line is that the home security system in my house needs a land line. There are home security systems that will use cellular, but that would require a new install (can’t use the existing system) and they also cost more to monitor. Doing the calculations, it would take a while for a cellular system to catch up to the land line system. Also, a cellular system doesn’t do a lot of good if it loses signal. At my house, while I’m mostly always at 4 bars, I’ve seen it drop to 1 or 2 from time to time for whatever reason.