I have no home phone. That’s right. And my phone company is scared to death that more and more people are going to pull the plug and cancel their land line.
They should be.
After decades of terrible service and high rates, my wife and I did exactly that. Now, we’re going to save at least $1,000 a year. Fantastico! It’s not a fortune, but it will certainly help us start saving money for retirement.
I know that many of you canceled your land line years ago. Why did I wait so long? I’ll admit it…I was scared.
I can’t really explain why, but I was actually terrified. When I called the company to do the deed, I felt like a 7-year-old kid waiting on line to get on a big scary roller coaster. Excited…but frightened at the same time.
So…I’m not especially proud that it took me this long to do it, but I’m happy I finally did the right thing. I’m going to explain the process we went through in the hopes it may help you make a decision and take action.
1. Our telephonic needs:
We have family overseas and call them all the time. The two main people we call are our daughter and my wife’s mom. We need to make international calls from our cell phones without breaking the bank.
Our daughter only has a cell phone (since she’s way smarter than I am, I should have taken that to mean something), and while my mother-in-law has a land line, she doesn’t have a computer – and has no interest in getting or using one.
We needed a way to make and receive calls inexpensively inside the United States.
We also needed a way to call and receive calls from our daughter and family overseas. (We were paying for an additional service that allowed us to call them inexpensively, but the service itself cost $50/month!)
2. Our telephonic resources:
For our domestic calls the answer was simple. We had our cell phones. We also had a Skype account. This allowed us to make cheap international calls. If you aren’t familiar with Skype, it’s a company that allows you to make calls from your computer using the internet. It’s much cheaper than the phone company.
3. The problem we had to solve in order to fire AT&T:
We didn’t want to be forced to sit in front of the computer in order to call overseas. And while Skype was cheaper than AT&T, we also wanted to avoid paying per-minute charges overseas – we like to talk…a lot.
4. The simple solution:
I went to the Skype page and found that we could spend $12.95/month and have unlimited calls to any land line in the world. This was pretty exciting since we were paying $40/month to AT&T and another $50 to a company that provided “cheap” international calls as I said before. So far, our savings tallied up to $78/month.
For a few dollars more, we bought a service through Skype that allows us to use our cell phones to connect with Skype – and then call overseas cheaply. So we can call anywhere in the world from our cell phones for a low price. Yowza!
We also tried a home phone that works with Skype but doesn’t force you to have the computer on in order to use it. The quality was terrible, so we sent it back. We’re sticking with our cell phones for now.
Using our cell phones, we can call anywhere at prices far below what we were paying. Skype does charge us per minute if we call an overseas cell phone, so we might have to get a special calling card that slashes those costs. No big deal. I’m not afraid of the roller coaster any more.
The first thing you can do is check out Skype if you haven’t already done so. But more important, you can use this approach to solve most challenges. Write down the following:
1. What are your needs?
2. What resources are available?
3. What is the best solution?
I’ve found that the telephone companies love to make their bills and services very complicated, so I had to go through this process of writing everything down. Once I did, I could see how their “bundled” product was a huge money waster for us.
My next project is how to have a lower cell phone bill, and then it will be on to internet and cable TV. Do you have any pointers for me? Have you fired your phone company already?
That’s exactly what I’ve started looking into. In fact, I was checking out companies this morning. Have you got a spy cam in my computer? LOL
Daniel Packer says
I’ve been trying to convince my father to get rid of the landline for years, but the cell reception isn’t great in our area, so it stays, for now. We also call overseas, and for my brother and grandmother, who are at near there computer often, skype works well. There is also a calling card that gets used for more serious calls.
I also have AT&T, and have been trying to find the best rate for our family. What do you think about AT&T’s new A-List feature (Free calls anytime to 10 out of network numbers)? Does this help out? If your calling card is one of those numbers..then you’re only paying for the cost of the card, not for minutes or a $50/month service.
I use the yellow pages all the time!!
Nice job. Does anyone use the yellow pages anymore?
Jeff Tussey says
Fired the phone company Years ago. Tired of their bullying! My wife did a survey and found that two customers in the past year used the yellow pages to get our Driving School phone number! We dropped it and saved $15000.00 per year!!!!! We have free listing and that suffices! Maybe that might be something to rethink.
We are also working on dropping cable, going to Verizon for internet. That will save 100.00 monthly.
Noel…you are correct. Sorry….I guess I got carried away….Thanks for the correction.
Just a small correction, in USD12.95, you can only call to 40 listed country landline, NOT ‘any landline in the world’
I fired the phone company about a year ago. I have a cell, and the wife has a “smart phone”.
Have cable, and had a hell of a time dealing with the cable company when I first got new service. Now I have promo-pricing for a full year.
Pay regular internet, though could try the same tactic (complain and see what they offer) or try a co-operative with neighbors (sharing wi-fi).
Rajesh Kumar says
Have shifted to Vonage. The cost is $24.99/month. Able to call for free unlimited to all the 50 states and 60 countries. They also have a wonderful scheme going on now. If I refer anybody and they signup I would get two months free and you will also get two months free. The chain continues on the number of referals ….
Call qulaity is excellent to any of the 60 countries.
Way to work it Justin!
We recently fired our Cable company and switched to Dish network. There are a few reasons for the switch. the first reason was cost. with dish, the first year is $37/month for the same service we had with the cable company. Cable was costing $75/month. Dish had no startup fees, no install fees, no activation fees, ect. So when we moved and the cable company wanted $20 to transfer internet and another $20 to transfer tv, i was instantly turned off. Dish has a great re-marketing campaign, and as a marketing guy, i appreciate these things. Dish gives you $99 gift cards to give out to friends and family, each one you give out gets you $50 in credit on your bill, as well as 5 free PPV movies. Not a bad deal for both customers or for dish. They also have great customer service. They are not perfect, my DVR service last night has the audio and video out of sync, but i bet when i call the customer service they will be more than happy to help…
Enough of my plug for dish. I did keep my cable company for internet. So far they are the cheapest, i own my modem so no monthly rental fee, and it seems to be pretty reliable.
I do not have a home phone line.( another thing i had to talk to dish about. They require either a phone line or Ethernet connected to each reciever…pain in the ass, but i didnt connect it, they billed me, i called, explained i dont have a phone line, and have a credit on my bill already.