cc image attribution: “smashed phone” by Solarbotics on Flickr
Right now the Valca home has had a POTS/landline phone nearly forever. We got the copper during our engagement house-setup period. As newlyweds it was our technological lifeline to the social world.
Eventually we bought our first PC (an old Gateway skyscraper tower model), signed up for dial-up, and were rockin the Interwebs. Communication shift begins.
Later, Lavie was the early adopter of new tech with a cell phone. We’ve stuck with the same provider, though it has been gobbled-up a few times leaving us with the current super-cellular provider. Shift again.
Then I got a cell phone as well. Not shifting, dancing now.
And then Alvis earned the responsibility of getting a cell phone.
Hello Family Plan. Now it’s like we are socially square-dancing with technology.
Cable broadband arrived so the dial-up was ditched and high-speed coax rules now. Social communication on a high-speed rail-line service. Whoopee!
All through time, good old POTS has remained present. It seemed relevant during the Hurricane Ike event a few years ago and we had to evacuate from the house for a number of weeks. Electricity was out but since we had an answering machine connected, we could dial our POTS number to check for power. When the answering machine eventually picked up again, we knew power had been restored.
Yet with Lavie still not working and the cost of living marching ever upward, we continue to look for ways to cut costs but the belt is pretty tight as it is.
Since we already have cable service (digital TV + Internet) I looked at adding the VOIP option, but once the introductory rate wears off in about 6 months, the price jumps and the savings diff is minimal. And when the cable service is out, everything is out. Too many eggs in one basket for my comfort in this one.
The POTS phone provider does have a super-simple plan (not that we have much at all on our current POTS plan) but the price (once you add in all the add-on charges and govt regulatory fees) isn’t that much less that what we are on now.
Now Alvis REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to upgrade her cell phone to an iPhone (which requires a data plan by our carrier). Not a problem but that’s another added cost to the budget.
Since our cellular plan covers all three of our phones, mobile-to-mobile calls are free, we have a family unlimited text plan, and we also get free nights/weekend calls, our mid-range minute package hardly gets used. It shameful to see how few minutes we actually can get to apply to our monthly minute package. Seriously. Dropping to the next lower (lowest) family minutes package only nets us a $9.99 savings. Not enough to cover a data plan addition.
Today I had a brainstorm and am pondering the following.
If we drop our POTS line (~$65 “savings”) and port our “forever home” number over to a 4th cell phone, and add that to our Family Plan for an additional $9.99 monthly charge, even with additional monthly fees we are like saving at least $40/mo. Any simple free phone would do, or I may be able to use an older (but still very nice and rock-solid) digital cell phone I had upgraded from with our same carrier and hung on to.
- We keep our same home # (assuming it can be ported to a cell service).
- Don’t have to notify family, friends, vendors, everyone we do business with.
- $ saved each month or at least break even (see next bullet).
- Alvis gets her iPhone + data plan (and maybe Lavie too) and we break even.
- Minute usage may increase but most calls to family & friends tend to already be mobile-to-mobile anyway, or during the unlimited nights/weekend period.
- Home phone comes with us in a disaster/evacuation.
- Can donate all our POTS-based phone technology handsets to the needy (if anyone will even take them).
- Not tied to a bundled cable service so even if cable goes out, our home # should still work.
- Power goes out for an extended period of time, charging could be an issue if left at the house.
- Maybe our home number couldn’t be ported…then what?
- Transition/porting period could be a hassle.
- Hope we don’t loose the charger.
- Cell phone service/signal may be spotty in different parts of the house.
- Can’t have multiple phones conveniently scattered around house to reach for easily when it rings (wall jacks appear to be a dime-a-dozen in our home).
- Get locked deeper in with a already super-duper-mega cellular provider.
- Would allow funding of iPhone takeover of Valca home and Apple becomes even more entrenched in our lifestyles…not necessarily a bad thing…just an observation.
- Cost to replace phone higher if accidently dropped in loo or boiling pasta water while talking over stove cooking. Bad.
Any Grand Stream Dream blog readers out there done the dirty and dropped your copper/POTS for a pure-cellular experience?
The POTS provider is sure to tell us the world as we know it will end and “bad me” for contributing to the demise of POTS
What were your experiences?
Got any advice or see any Pros/Cons I’m missing?