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12 Most Legit Reasons I am Cutting the Phone Cord

This post was originally published on 12 Most on September 28, 2011.  The original post can be found here…along with a plethora of excellent posts from contributing authors I enjoy reading. 

This 12Most post truly came out of left field. I have been kicking around the idea of eliminating both cable and landlines. I’m not really happy with my cable alternatives via broadband yet because I enjoy live sports. However, cutting the landline phone cord seems like a slam dunk. The biggest obstacle for most of us is our unwillingness to change and face the unknown of truly being untethered. See if you can add more reasons (and options) to the list below.

1. My daughters never call me

I have 18-year old and 16-year old daughters. They average several thousand texts per month, and they are more than willing to add some humor to my Facebook wall or tag me in an incriminating photo involving coconuts. Their generation has trouble fathoming that cell phones can actually be used to make phone calls, and a home phone ringing is just a mild annoyance that will go away in a few seconds. I have adapted with them, so my local phone line is collecting dust.

2. My wife never calls me

I generally work from a home office when I’m not at a client site. My wife and I share coffee a couple times per day, or she can just walk into my office. When I am at a client site, she texts me to avoid interrupting any meetings. Besides, now that I’ve hooked her up to HootSuite with her Twitter, Facebook and FourSquare accounts tied into it…she’s building up that Klout score! ;) A phone call on a landline does nothing for influence, if you know what I mean.

3. Chuckling has occurred

I recently had a phone call with one of my buddies in the social media world: Robert Caruso. At one point, he said “what is your skype handle, and we will get on a call”. When I declared my ignorance, he chuckled. Chuckled, ladies and gentleman…that’s hard for a Texan to swallow! I gotta be bigger and better, and still using a landline definitely is not the bigger/better way.

4. Skype

My daughters no longer pick up the phone like when we were kids (and had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to use a party line). Instead, they go to their laptops and make Skype calls. I looked at Skype years ago, but it has come a long way in regards to stability and adoption. They now have an adapter that you can use with your regular phone, so a computer is no longer required (although that computer or iPad is never far away anyway).

FYI, I have also seen an intriguing app called iCall. Anybody have experience with it? It seems to have good press and awards.

5. Google Voice

I recently attended a networking event and a guy mentioned he loves Google Voice. I was expressing exasperation that my current wireless carrier wanted a $4.99/mo fee to block certain phone numbers. Apparently, this is much easier to do with Google Voice for free. It is also possible to have different voice mails, put callers into groups and even have group video chats. You can even get voicemails transcribed into text. Sounds excellent to me!

6. Facebook

Facebook now supports video calling (via Skype integration, of course). Just about everyone I would call on a personal level is part of the 800 million people already on Facebook, so this is another legit option that works with browsers and mobile devices.

7. Never in the office

My current business landline is 100% forwarded to my cell phone. I do not want to miss important client calls, and I do not want to have to remember to turn on call-forwarding each time. Therefore, I really only use my current business line for outgoing calls.

8. Wireless plans very cost-effective

Wireless plans are highly competitive now, and you are not tied to the house. Throw in the unlimited text options and required data plans for smartphones, and the landline is simply obsolete. Most people already pay individual or family wireless rates for everybody in the house, so the landline becomes the phone call nobody wants to pickup since it probably is just another solicitor. If you know who you are calling in our house, you call their cell phone (or text them, of course).

9. Swap out landline for another wireless and use number portability

If you still want a “dedicated” landline for a home phone number, consider local number portability. Go into your wireless carrier and port over your home number to a separate wireless device that you will keep on the charger at home. You now have that dedicated home phone line.

10. Getting tired of the cable company

Part of me just wants to stick it to the cable company. I have been paying cable for years, and I mostly watch football and basketball games to go along with Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Everything else is on Netflix. One reason why we haven’t made the jump yet is because of the “bundle pricing” we get since we have two phone lines through the cable company. I am now thinking of cutting both phone lines, dropping cable and looking for online packages for NFL/NBA. I can then incrementally increase high-speed internet subscription price if I am using too much bandwidth.

11. Apps can leverage wireless networks when available

Some people do not want to go exclusively to a wireless cell phone plan because they live in bad coverage areas. However, new apps and phones will allow you to make calls that leverage wireless networks (if available) for a clear phone call that will not drop. iCall is one of those apps I am researching.

12. Got enough radio waves going through my house, what’s a few more

We always get the argument that cell phones will cause cancer. Well guess what…so will everything else! I live a Mile High (hello sun), all of my food has preservatives, and everybody’s cell phone and satellite dish radio waves are already going through my head. What’s a few more for the sake of convenience?

Have you made the leap yet? Are you truly living the untethered life or using cost-effective solutions like Skype, Google Voice, Facebook Voice Calling or other apps? Educate me and other readers with your comments!

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and now grandsons! I am blessed in that I also love my job as a VP of Enterprise Solutions for ProKarma. I appreciate the convergence of big data and data visualization in our Pulse Analytics social listening and analytics platform as well as our core software / mobile app development, business intelligence, and test automation services. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin. You can find Brian on .

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8 comments
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Jacob
Jacob

I switched to T-Mobile's home line option for an extra $10/mo & their router... it's worked pretty well overall, but we're probably going to be getting rid of it with the next upgrade as no one really uses it, just our cell phones still. Just remember to setup your 911 for emergencies with an actual location (like your house).

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

Thanks, Jacob. Since the family has T-Mobile, we were thinking the same thing. However, I'm not happy with any 2-yr commitment for a phone that will rarely be used. The only people that call it is solicitors, so then you ask...why are you porting the number? Well, we have used it for schools/transactions/etc. And it has been part of our identity for about 11 years now.

Jacob
Jacob

Yeah, the 2-year commitment is kind of a deal-breaker if you aren't sure you'll need it. As I mentioned we're cutting the cord on it here next month and plan on just having our cell phones at that point. To preserver that home phone number feel you could setup a Google Voice account with a number that rings to all your cell phones...

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

Yeah, I found a great step-by-step process using T-Mobile as an intermediate step. You can't take the landline directly to Google Voice...you have to port over to a wireless carrier first. Somebody even discovered doing it with the pre-paid phones, so it was only costing them about $20-$40 "one-time" to get the number ported. Or we just let it slide back into the ether and carry all those telemarketing calls with it! I really like how Google can easily block numbers as well as put them into manageable groups...make the caller announce themselves first if "unknown to you"...etc.

Sheree
Sheree

I gave up my landline in late July 2003 and I never missed it. I'm always surprised at how many people have held onto landline phones. I was born before 1965, so it's not a demographic thing. I pay for high-speed internet via cable company and use DirectTV (at present). I gave up pay-TV for 2 years (8-10) and didn't miss it in any serious way. I'd given it up once before, as well, and I've contemplated giving it up again. Not sure what I do. Right now, it's more convenient to stay with DirectTV but if the price goes up, I'll cancel.

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

Thanks for stopping by Sheree. I wish we would port the landline to Google Voice like you can mobile numbers. We still use it for schools, online purchases, etc. However you just described the combo I am thinking of...Comcast for Internet, DirectTV for cable and drop the landline.

Andrea West (@inawemarketing)
Andrea West (@inawemarketing)

Have you tried the HeyTell App (I know it's available on iPhone, and I think the Android as well). I use it with my 17 year old, who also has a hard time fathoming using his phone as a phone! Glad you're cutting the cord!

Brian Vickery
Brian Vickery

I haven't tried or heard about the app yet, so I'll check it out. I'm also researching Google Voice more closely today. I think I still need that actual phone number vs simply a Skype account for some people. Of course, I do have the cell phone and never exceed my minutes...but a lot of people talk about the granularity of control you have with Google Voice regarding groups, distinctive rings, blocking, etc. And thanks for stopping by, Andrea