What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Cell Phone Verses Landline Delimna

There is the question as to whether to give up a landline (aka phone service) in favour of cell phones only.  Some of our kids have totally eliminated their landlines and a couple after using only cell phones for a couple of years went back to adding a basic landline.  We have Bell for our landline, Roger's for my husband's cell phone and I put my cell phone of a pay as you go plan through Telus because I seldom use it. 

Here's the problem in Ontario.  We have Bell so pay $54.85 for a very stripped down service that includes caller ID and 500 minutes of long distance for North America.  They were none to pleased when we cut over $30 worth of extras about three years ago after buying a home telephone system offering call waiting, call blocking and all those nice features on board so all we need is call display.  The only feature on our landline that can be reduced is long distance but that won't save us much.  I pay $100 per year for my cell phone pay as you go plan with the only problem being it is only good in the US but I can unlock the phone, buy a sim card and plan in the US which would be good at our vacation home.  I very seldom travel in the US by myself so really don't need a cell phone there.  My husband pays $86 per month for his cell phone which has a data plan.

We looked at getting a new cell phone for me and eliminating our home landline.  A new cell iPhone was $199 special and adding a family plan was $50 plus $16 for caller ID and shared data ($66 total).  We would be up to $152 per month BUT if my husband changes his current cell phone plan that is no longer available he would also have to pay $16 for caller ID which brings the total to $168 per month.  We are currently paying a total of $151.43 for both cell phones and landline so giving up the landline would actually cost us more money for less.  Plus, we have internet and television with Bell so get a bundle discount of $21 per month that we would lose if we eliminated the landline.  After doing the math, we quickly realized giving up our landline in favour of cell phone only would not save us any money but rather cost us more while getting less.  Now technically, we could without changing out my phone, adding US coverage with no data but it would still cost us more monthly. 

I personally would rather go to cell phones only.  It really is a lot more convenient and quite frankly the younger generation has embraced cell phones, choosing to eliminate landlines.  There are a lot of benefits going to cell phones only as you have instant communication pretty much everywhere.   So far, the problem of telemarketers is very low as you aren't listed in a directory so the calls for the most part that you get are for you. 

The downside is cell phone numbers like landline numbers are recycled which means you can have a high volume of calls from debt collectors from the previous owner of that number but the cost of those calls can cost you in addition to your actual cell phone plan.  We dealt with this problem with both our landline phone number and my cell phone number since moving here in September of 2011.  They can be very nasty as well as threatening and if you are on a pay as you go plan can really eat up your minutes AND they will not remove the number from their database even if you request it contrary to the rules set out by the CRTC.  The problem is, you cannot block these calls on a cell phone the way you can with a landline.  The best advice I have after having this cell phone number for 18 months is to not answer the call, find out who they are via a service like Who Calls Me then report them to the CRTC.