If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Consumerist)   The U.S. landline telephone is now down to just a few remaining rollover minutes   (consumerist.com) divider line 64
    More: Followup, U.S., land lines  
•       •       •

5154 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Dec 2012 at 9:33 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



64 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-12-28 07:39:08 AM  
Then there are the 15.9% of households that apparently use their still-connected landline as a paperweight or a reminder of days gone by.

I kept mine so I'd have a number to give banks etc. The majority of the calls are telemarketers, and since the message is very short, and they are robo-calling, they often miss the message and say "hello" for a while to the answering machine. Sometimes they stay on the line and say "hello" for quite a while, getting more and more angry. Shouting angry. That's when the landline pays for itself.
 
2012-12-28 08:47:39 AM  
Yep. The message on my answering maching starts with "Hello", and then a long pause causing them to think they are talking to a real person. THey are then disappointed when the message continues with, "I am not able to take your call at this time.........".
 
2012-12-28 09:33:54 AM  
I'm thinking about adding one again.  Comcast is offering home phone for 1 year for $100 (no contract).  Kids often forget to charge their cell phones, so better to have a home phone if we're out and need to call.
 
2012-12-28 09:43:20 AM  
I keep mine for outgoing business calls (quality is much better on the conference bridge we use), and to mess with phone-spammers.
 
2012-12-28 09:45:24 AM  
I will keep a land line phone of some sort as long as the service is offered.

(And for my purposes, things like FiOS count as a 'land line').
 
2012-12-28 09:53:08 AM  
if I was able to work from home full time, I would probably invest in a voip line (or a skype number or something), but a regular pots line? I can't see that happening ever again.
 
2012-12-28 10:01:19 AM  
The phone company refuses to repair the artery that feeds our land line. There's maybe two users on the entire branch and the company won't spend the money to repair the problem.

So we keep losing our service for a few days every time it rains hard.
 
2012-12-28 10:02:38 AM  
With Skype, a home phone is $3/month and all you would need is a one time charge to buy a handset. Since all houses has internet, I don't understand why would anyone have home phones (unless you are in an area where the only way to get internet is dial up).
 
2012-12-28 10:11:18 AM  
I'm one of those who still has a landline, and have never owned any kind of cellphone. From all the complaints I read about pricing, contracts, service, etc, makes the desire to ever get one even less. Just don't see the need for a cellphone.

Besides that, my ISP requires a landline number before they can offer service.
 
2012-12-28 10:16:34 AM  

albert71292: I'm one of those who still has a landline, and have never owned any kind of cellphone. From all the complaints I read about pricing, contracts, service, etc, makes the desire to ever get one even less. Just don't see the need for a cellphone.

Besides that, my ISP requires a landline number before they can offer service.


?

Prepaid cellphones are dirt-cheap, and I'm paying about $20 every three months for it. ( buying minutes ). No contract needed.

/ ditched my landline years ago
 
2012-12-28 10:19:59 AM  

WTFDYW: Yep. The message on my answering maching starts with "Hello", and then a long pause causing them to think they are talking to a real person. THey are then disappointed when the message continues with, "I am not able to take your call at this time.........".


Several years ago I used to work for a company that cared for the elderly who were still living at home. I worked in the Emergency Response Service department. If someone used their device to contact my office for help it was me who either called an ambulance for them and the person on their contact list (neighbor, family member, who ever lived within 15 minutes from the client), or I'd just call the person on the contact list.

Nothing pissed me off more at 2 in the morning as those voice mail/answering machine greetings that were "Hey" and a moment of silence followed by "I'm not hear right now." Or the worse version "Hey." moment of silence, "Oh long time, how have you been?" silence, "I'm not at the phone right now..." Because when I'm trying to tell someone that their mother or grandmother has requested an ambulance because she thinks she might be having a heart attack, that greeting is less clever and more of a reason why I hate you.
 
2012-12-28 10:21:15 AM  
All these self-important schlubs running around with cell phones. You really think your friends and family need 24-hour access to you? You're not an on-call trauma surgeon.
I know, everyone thinks they need a cell phone just in case they're in a rollover accident at the bottom of a ravine. News flash.....your chances of being trapped underneath your bicycle riding from Starbucks to your Eco-friendly apartment are pretty low. I think you'll be ok. You're just wasting money on cancer-causing communication devices.
 
2012-12-28 10:24:25 AM  
I've got an Ooma phone and pay $3.74 a month...I think I am caped at like 5000 minutes or some crazy high number like that.  The only reason I have this phone is because cell signal inside the house is crap (house is down a hill, backed up to the woods and has aluminum siding).  I use my land line maybe, 15 minutes per month.
 
2012-12-28 10:24:30 AM  

DubyaHater: All these self-important schlubs running around with cell phones. You really think your friends and family need 24-hour access to you? You're not an on-call trauma surgeon.
I know, everyone thinks they need a cell phone just in case they're in a rollover accident at the bottom of a ravine. News flash.....your chances of being trapped underneath your bicycle riding from Starbucks to your Eco-friendly apartment are pretty low. I think you'll be ok. You're just wasting money on cancer-causing communication devices.


Did you phone that trolling in from your land-line phone?

/all right, I liked the part about being trapped underneath your bicycle. only because it happened to me in an irrigation ditch
 
2012-12-28 10:27:21 AM  

DubyaHater: All these self-important schlubs running around with cell phones. You really think your friends and family need 24-hour access to you? You're not an on-call trauma surgeon.
I know, everyone thinks they need a cell phone just in case they're in a rollover accident at the bottom of a ravine. News flash.....your chances of being trapped underneath your bicycle riding from Starbucks to your Eco-friendly apartment are pretty low. I think you'll be ok. You're just wasting money on cancer-causing communication devices.


You sound old. Nobody under 45 sees a cell phone and thinks to themselves "that person thinks they're so important". That's a mentality from when cell phones were a novelty. I'm not in my house most of the day - why would I pay for a phone that I can't take with me?
 
2012-12-28 10:30:49 AM  

mayIFark: With Skype, a home phone is $3/month and all you would need is a one time charge to buy a handset. Since all houses has internet, I don't understand why would anyone have home phones (unless you are in an area where the only way to get internet is dial up).


I have Skype, Magic Jack and a cellphone. Magic Jack is great because it's cheaper than Skype. Skype is great for just Skype to Skype calls. When you work from home and make a ton of phone calls, Magic Jack is better than a cell phone because reception is not an issue. The issue with Skype and Magic Jack is that in a black out, you lose your phone service. At least with a land line you have phone service.

What to do is you have no land line but a cell phone:

You can find the how to on Youtube, but regardless of if you have land line service or not, there is an electrical current that runs through your phone jack, and even in a black out that current is still there. With a very basic understanding of electrical circuits you can build a small LED lamp that can plug into a phone jack giving you light during a black out.
 
2012-12-28 10:38:41 AM  
Every "landline is dying" thread, I check to see if the Bell System spinoff that continues to lease "traditional" telephones for $5.95 a month is still in business. Yes, it is.
 
2012-12-28 10:56:25 AM  
I have a phone number that comes with my cable and Internet because the bill is cheaper that way.  I don't have a phone connected to it, as anyone who has ever connected a phone to Cablevision/Optimum knows, doing so means you will be harassed by bill collectors for the last 2-3 people that had that number. Since nobody transfers service when they move because nobody cares if they keep the same number, it's a running problem. I don't even know why they offer the service since it's overall undesirable to most people (at least among the people I know) and it must cost something to keep it up and running.
 
2012-12-28 11:02:03 AM  
We still use the land line most of the time. The price point to switching over to cell only has not been reached. Most of our cell calls are between the wife and me with pre paid phones. She is at home most of the day and I work in an office/lab with a phone next to me with a direct number. At some point, when the kids need/demand a phone we will probably switch to a plan that will finalize the transition over to cellular completely. Though since the landline is dirt cheap with unlimited long distance I don see getting rid of it anytime soon.
 
2012-12-28 11:05:30 AM  
Comcast's "Triple-Play" pricing works out cheaper if I keep my landline rather than ditch it.  And, since I have lousy cell reception in my own house, it's good to have around for out-going calls.  The ringer's been off for years, though.
 
2012-12-28 11:12:32 AM  

Nem Wan: Every "landline is dying" thread, I check to see if the Bell System spinoff that continues to lease "traditional" telephones for $5.95 a month is still in business. Yes, it is.


Wow, who is their market, people who don't know they can buy their own phone for the rent they'd pay in well under a year?
 
2012-12-28 11:12:47 AM  

serpent_sky: I have a phone number that comes with my cable and Internet because the bill is cheaper that way.  I don't have a phone connected to it, as anyone who has ever connected a phone to Cablevision/Optimum knows, doing so means you will be harassed by bill collectors for the last 2-3 people that had that number. Since nobody transfers service when they move because nobody cares if they keep the same number, it's a running problem. I don't even know why they offer the service since it's overall undesirable to most people (at least among the people I know) and it must cost something to keep it up and running.


The amount of your bundle discount is greater than the cost of the land line? Yeah, if they are essentially giving away the land line, might as well get it.
 
2012-12-28 11:21:05 AM  

DECMATH: Nem Wan: Every "landline is dying" thread, I check to see if the Bell System spinoff that continues to lease "traditional" telephones for $5.95 a month is still in business. Yes, it is.

Wow, who is their market, people who don't know they can buy their own phone for the rent they'd pay in well under a year?


The senile. It's a lucrative demographic, but tapping it requires that you have no conscience.
 
2012-12-28 11:26:41 AM  
Our cable company constantly emails and mails about their "great deals" on landline service. If it somehow made cable cheaper, I'd consider it; however, I'm not spending $10/month on the privilege of telemarketers and bill collector calling me.

We're hardly ever home, why would I pay for a phone we can't take with us?
 
2012-12-28 11:32:36 AM  
I'm kind of concerned about my children's generation when they get to the workplace. There will be this weird deskset covered with buttons and intercom features and maybe even curly wires still. They won't know what the heck to do with it because the only phones they ever knew growing up were little rectangles of plastic and glass with a computer and a camera inside.
 
2012-12-28 11:41:00 AM  
Bell was screwing me over here in Canada. $29.99 a month for a land line. I didn't have a plan with them because whenever I wanted to call long distance, they'd whack another 3 dollar connection fee on top of the call. So fark it. I switched to Ooma. Now I'm paying $3.95 a month, and calls (within Canada) are free. Good deal (gotta love VoIP). F*ck you Bell.
 
2012-12-28 11:42:21 AM  

cgraves67: I'm kind of concerned about my children's generation when they get to the workplace. There will be this weird deskset covered with buttons and intercom features and maybe even curly wires still. They won't know what the heck to do with it because the only phones they ever knew growing up were little rectangles of plastic and glass with a computer and a camera inside.


You're concerned because your kids won't be immediately familiar with a piece of outdated technology when they enter a workplace that will in all likelihood either (a) never use them, or (b) use cell phones and/or internet-based teleconferencing instead?
 
2012-12-28 11:42:46 AM  
I work for an ISP that bundles ADSL2+ with a POTS line so I have 2 landlines with unlimited local and long-distance as one of my work perks. Prior to working here, however, I had been without a landline phone since about 2007 when I had one bundled with cable service and lived in a fairly rural area in Colorado with spotty mobile reception.

Since getting the landline back, I find I use it the majority of the time when I am at home. My friends and family all have the primary landline number, but they also know that texting or emailing me will usually receive a much quicker response than leaving me a maudlin, boring voicemail. The second landline is the number I give to businesses, registrar of voters, insurance company, etc. There's no phone attached to the line but I've set it up so I receive an email notification each time a voicemail is received. In fact, because I use my mobile so infrequently for actual calls, I have been able to change my mobile plan to one that includes fewer minutes, thus reducing that bill by about $30 per month.

I have never been a big fan of using the telephone as it is, so my mobile is primarily for texting, apps, and convenience. I rarely use it for talk and, in fact, forward most of my calls to my home phone or let them roll to voicemail. I also work in an environment where it is very distracting and difficult to use phones for personal business, so texting is a godsend in that respect. My dad and one of my good friends both refuse to hop aboard the text wagon, though, so they are usually forced to wait a few days for a response from me.
 
2012-12-28 11:50:01 AM  

albert71292: I'm one of those who still has a landline, and have never owned any kind of cellphone. From all the complaints I read about pricing, contracts, service, etc, makes the desire to ever get one even less. Just don't see the need for a cellphone.

Besides that, my ISP requires a landline number before they can offer service.


I had a cell phone from 2003-2006, then I moved to a place that had no signal. So I cancelled mine ad my wife got a trackphone. 6 years, and two different towns later I still have no cell phone, but the wife has upgraded to a "regular" phone.

I just don't want to part with the money,
 
2012-12-28 11:54:50 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: cgraves67: I'm kind of concerned about my children's generation when they get to the workplace. There will be this weird deskset covered with buttons and intercom features and maybe even curly wires still. They won't know what the heck to do with it because the only phones they ever knew growing up were little rectangles of plastic and glass with a computer and a camera inside.

You're concerned because your kids won't be immediately familiar with a piece of outdated technology when they enter a workplace that will in all likelihood either (a) never use them, or (b) use cell phones and/or internet-based teleconferencing instead?


The old landline phone will probably continue to be used in an office setting. I don't see how cell phones can replace them for largescale offices. A business is going to want as few phone numbers as possible for each building and to have those numbers connect to employees throughout the office building. Particularly in industries with call centers, you don't want each employee to have an individual phone number for their office/cube.

The deskset itself will surely advance, with a touch screen and operating system, and probably a wireless handset or headset to go with it, but ultimately communication-intensive corporations will continue to be reliant on landlines.
 
2012-12-28 11:57:50 AM  
I keep a stripped down landline just to have an emergency back up. It's cheap insurance if internet access goes out. It occasionally gets robo-political calls, but that's it.

For personal use, I stick with a cell phone.

For business use, I stick with a Google Voice number that rings both Skype on my laptop and also rings the cell phone. If things go wonky, I can always forward those Google Voice calls to the land line.
 
2012-12-28 12:07:08 PM  
Right now I've got a land line only to support DTV. If I could drop their requirement for my equipment to phone home (it's older stuff, newer stuff uses the 'net, I know) then I could drop the land line.
 
2012-12-28 12:11:54 PM  
Haven't had a land line since '99, so I'm getting a kick out of all you "important" people....
 
2012-12-28 12:13:10 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: cgraves67: I'm kind of concerned about my children's generation when they get to the workplace. There will be this weird deskset covered with buttons and intercom features and maybe even curly wires still. They won't know what the heck to do with it because the only phones they ever knew growing up were little rectangles of plastic and glass with a computer and a camera inside.

You're concerned because your kids won't be immediately familiar with a piece of outdated technology when they enter a workplace that will in all likelihood either (a) never use them, or (b) use cell phones and/or internet-based teleconferencing instead?


Yeah, that's kind of like being worried that your kids won't know how to change a daisy wheel or set tab stops on a typewriter because they've only ever used Microsoft Word.
 
2012-12-28 12:15:50 PM  
Are we talking POTS only, or does a triple-play-bundled VOIP service over fiber optic qualify?
 
2012-12-28 12:23:41 PM  
Our office phone system (30+ employees in four countries and 5 states) is fully interweb based (Fonality HUD 3.0). It's actually pretty nifty. Each employee has a popup window with all the other employees on it, you can drag and drop incoming calls to hold or transfer, and it also has an "IM" feature. I have what appears to be a normal "landline" phone at my desk, but each phone simply has it's own IP addy and instead of a traditional phone line, connects via ethernet cable.
 
2012-12-28 12:37:04 PM  
We went completely landline free a little over 6 years ago. I have a basic prepaid (no contract, topup every few months for $20) since I rarely talk on the phone, and I was the same way back when we still had the landline.
 
2012-12-28 12:38:24 PM  
I've got a fairly robust VoIP system with a few Cisco SPA phones scattered around the house connected to an SPA9000 IP PBX. The PBX, edge router, modem and PoE switch connect to a UPS so I don't lose service during a power outage. I do have a work-supplied S3, but cell call quality is still crap. VoIP is almost as good as POTS.
 
2012-12-28 01:59:30 PM  
If you have a job, or are looking for work, you pretty much have to have a cell phone. I'd love to go back and just have a land line, with no answering machine.

Send me an email. Those I don't mind at all. I just hate farking phones.

Did switch to a pre-paid cell phone though, and it's a lot cheaper.
 
2012-12-28 02:20:54 PM  
I converted both of my copper landlines over to Uverse a couple of years ago. I office out of the house and have a security system and fax machine (yes, a fax machine) that work just fine.

What a lot of people don't understand is that the cellular/PCs network is mostly a wireless overlay of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). With a few exceptions, once that signal reaches a cell site, it is transported via copper or fiber. There are some inter-cell microwave links and some mobile to moble calling is possible without the PSTN. But that portability has a price to pay in the form of access point capacity. Instead of that dedicated pair going back to a wlocal ire center, now there is a virtual connection to a cell site. If you thought that communications networks got easily clogged before, just wait. It doesn't take a complete disaster to bring the wireless networks to their knees. Just a big traffic jam or sporting event can do that.

Text messaging is a nice alternative. And the youth have caught on to that. Short messages can get through when voice calls are impossible. Check out the "Text First, Talk Second" program from SafeAmerica.org:

http://www.safeamericaprepared.org/programs-a-toolkits/text-first-tal k -second.html
 
2012-12-28 02:35:32 PM  
I still have a landline. No need to get rid of it.
 
2012-12-28 02:39:28 PM  
cell phones are like shoes these days.. flying is like taking the bus... there are a lot of things that over the past 2 decades have gone from impressive to completely standard..
 
2012-12-28 02:42:29 PM  

cgraves67: I'm kind of concerned about my children's generation when they get to the workplace. There will be this weird deskset covered with buttons and intercom features and maybe even curly wires still. They won't know what the heck to do with it because the only phones they ever knew growing up were little rectangles of plastic and glass with a computer and a camera inside.


I'm kind of concerned about my grandmother returning to the workforce. When she worked in telecommunications you needed a special girl to plug cables in and then announce you. I'm worried she will look at the little black box with the curly wire and plug it into an electrical outlet.
 
hej
2012-12-28 02:47:59 PM  

St_Francis_P: Then there are the 15.9% of households that apparently use their still-connected landline as a paperweight or a reminder of days gone by.

I kept mine so I'd have a number to give banks etc. The majority of the calls are telemarketers, and since the message is very short, and they are robo-calling, they often miss the message and say "hello" for a while to the answering machine. Sometimes they stay on the line and say "hello" for quite a while, getting more and more angry. Shouting angry. That's when the landline pays for itself.


Reminds me of this friend I had when I was a little kid. Unbeknownst to his mom, he changed their answering machine message to "Hello?........hello?........HELLO?? IS SOMEBODY THERE?... Can you speak up please???....".
 
2012-12-28 02:51:47 PM  

DubyaHater: cancer-causing communication devices.


know how i know you're over 50?

/citation needed, etc
 
2012-12-28 03:03:31 PM  
Landlines are proven technology for 100 years and are far more immune to hacking, malware, etc. They are our last physical backup in case of a natural or human made disaster, such as earthquakes, floods, and attacks via EMP technology. Landlines will often still work when VOIP and Cell towers go down or get overcrowded. Getting rid of landlines would be getting rid of our last communications safety net. The phone companies want this because providing cell and VOIP is cheaper and makes more money for them. They could seemly care less about public safety. If we get rid of landlines, we will have no alternative for a malware attack since landlines rely on switches and rather than packets that can be corrupted. Most landline phones also are analog and immune to malware.

Getting rid of landlines would be setting us up for a potential nationwide communications disaster.
 
2012-12-28 04:29:48 PM  

DECMATH: Nem Wan: Every "landline is dying" thread, I check to see if the Bell System spinoff that continues to lease "traditional" telephones for $5.95 a month is still in business. Yes, it is.

Wow, who is their market, people who don't know they can buy their own phone for the rent they'd pay in well under a year? one month?


Link

FTFY
 
2012-12-28 04:31:52 PM  

cgraves67: LouDobbsAwaaaay: cgraves67: I'm kind of concerned about my children's generation when they get to the workplace. There will be this weird deskset covered with buttons and intercom features and maybe even curly wires still. They won't know what the heck to do with it because the only phones they ever knew growing up were little rectangles of plastic and glass with a computer and a camera inside.

You're concerned because your kids won't be immediately familiar with a piece of outdated technology when they enter a workplace that will in all likelihood either (a) never use them, or (b) use cell phones and/or internet-based teleconferencing instead?

The old landline phone will probably continue to be used in an office setting. I don't see how cell phones can replace them for largescale offices. A business is going to want as few phone numbers as possible for each building and to have those numbers connect to employees throughout the office building. Particularly in industries with call centers, you don't want each employee to have an individual phone number for their office/cube.

The deskset itself will surely advance, with a touch screen and operating system, and probably a wireless handset or headset to go with it, but ultimately communication-intensive corporations will continue to be reliant on landlines.


It'll all be VOIP (calls through the Internet). Sure, you can have a deskset, but you could also plug it into your computer or just use your cell phone or whatever.
 
2012-12-28 05:46:26 PM  

cgraves67: LouDobbsAwaaaay: cgraves67: I'm kind of concerned about my children's generation when they get to the workplace. There will be this weird deskset covered with buttons and intercom features and maybe even curly wires still. They won't know what the heck to do with it because the only phones they ever knew growing up were little rectangles of plastic and glass with a computer and a camera inside.

You're concerned because your kids won't be immediately familiar with a piece of outdated technology when they enter a workplace that will in all likelihood either (a) never use them, or (b) use cell phones and/or internet-based teleconferencing instead?

The old landline phone will probably continue to be used in an office setting. I don't see how cell phones can replace them for largescale offices. A business is going to want as few phone numbers as possible for each building and to have those numbers connect to employees throughout the office building. Particularly in industries with call centers, you don't want each employee to have an individual phone number for their office/cube.

The deskset itself will surely advance, with a touch screen and operating system, and probably a wireless handset or headset to go with it, but ultimately communication-intensive corporations will continue to be reliant on landlines.


xenophon10k: Are we talking POTS only, or does a triple-play-bundled VOIP service over fiber optic qualify?


So yeah I don't think there are any businesses with more than 10 people who still use landlines in the classic POTS sense. It's been 5 years since I last saw that. VOIP which is the standard now doesn't effectively count as "landline" in my book.
 
2012-12-28 05:53:35 PM  
We used to get a sweat bundle (cable, internet, phone) and then moved to where we can't bundle. It was $45/mo for a basic line with no long distance. Yeah....hated it. Wife wouldn't let me drop the local phone though because "what if we have to dial 911?" Supposedly 911 should be able to track your location through your phone call. Well the 911 call happened. Kid nearly died. It took 45 minutes for the ambulance to find the house. That's when we found out that even though there are e911 fees on the phone bill, the county didn't buy the necessary hardware/software or whatever to use it. I dropped the phone the next week.
 
Displayed 50 of 64 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report