Do You Need A Dedicated Phone Line for Your House?

by Justin Weinger on September 4, 2006

With the exponential growth in the use of cell phones, run of the mill house lines have become more obsolete and less used.

For those of you who have a cell phone and a house line, what percentage of your phone calls do you make or receive via your home line?  If it’s less than 50%, you should look at whether or not it’s worth it to have the home phone line.

After doing a little bit of research, I figure the average local and long distance plan for a major carrier is about $38.25 per month – before applicable taxes and charges.

To come up with an average house line phone bill, I took the average rates of three major carriers, taken directly from their websites.  For $34.95 per month Verizon will provide unlimited local, regional and long distance calling across the United State and Puerto Rico, and AT&T offers a long distance only (no local calling included) for $29.95 per month.

It’s not exactly comparing apples to apples, but it’s a decent rough approximation.

Anyway, based on my math, an annual phone bill that includes unlimited local and long distance calls will cost about $450 per year.

If you took even half of that amount and applied it towards more minutes on your cell plan (which would still probably be more minutes than you need), you would still be saving $225 per year.

On the other side of the story, if you have a monthly cell phone plan yet don’t use it that much, look into switching to a prepaid or pay-as-you-go mobile plan, or just dropping your cell service all together.

With the average cell phone bill being about $50 per month (sorry, the figure is from 2005 – I couldn’t find anything more recent), the potential savings could be around $600 per year.

Either way, most people/homes don’t need a cell phone AND a house line, and can very easily get by with just one or the other.

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{ 2 comments }

brian.carr September 15, 2006 at 6:19 pm

Good question. I guess there are several things you could do:

1. Change your cell phone number to reflect the local area code. This can be done by simply calling your cell phone provider and asking them to change your number. Because they don’t do anything for free, you’ll probably be charged a service fee.

This plan could be a hassle if you are frequently changing numbers because you’ll have to always let people know of the change in your cell phone number.

2. Just stick with your old cell phone number and ditch the house line. Since most people have cell phones anyway, and most plans have free long distance, it shouldn’t be much of a problem for people to get a hold of you.

This could be a hassle if a school or office is trying to reach you and they don’t particularly feel like picking up long distance charges for a phone call that really shouldn’t be long distance.

3. Investigate whether or not there are any pre-paid cell services that are less expensive than the $18 you’re currently paying and just get a local phone number for the pre-paid line. This option seems rather unlikely, but is worth investigating.

4. Stick with what you’re currently doing. If it’s not a a financial burden to have the house line, and you like having a local number where people can reach you at, then by all means, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Not sure if this helps, but hopefully it’ll give you a couple of ideas to kick around.

9-1-1 January 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Don’t forget that cellphones don’t provide 911 centers with your location. And the GPS information they do provide usually isnt accurate enough to actually find you. So if you need emergency help you need to be prepared to give your address. If for some reason you are unable to talk good luck with being found. it will probably take at least 10-15 minutes to find out your billing address from your cellphone company. Also cell phone calls can be routed to the incorrect agency depending on the geography of where you live.

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