Thursday, February 5, 2009

Drop the land line???

We have talked about dropping the land line. I want to, but we have young kids, and I like the idea of having the easy 911 and access on the regular phone. One day my elementary school daughter came home from school on the bus while I was in Africa, instead of staying at the after-school program, simply because she (and the school) forgot I was away. She had a key in her backpack, let herself in the house, and calmly called a neighbor a few blocks away. She announced that she was at home alone. The adult friend rushed over in a panic to take her home with her until dinnertime, when my husband got home from work. My daughter remained calm. What would she have done if there wasn't a phone to use? I'm not quite ready to offer a cell phone to my 2nd grader... On the other hand, I think she could have found another neighbor within closer walking distance to help out, but still... I know it was a freak event, but I do want to get rid of that land line. But is the money saved worth the worry? How does it work of you need to call 911? Does anyone know?

7 comments:

~Just Me said...

We tried no land line for about a year and a half and now have it back. With kids in the house it was less expensive to have their friends calling on the land line then on my cell phone - AND I got to use my cell phone when I needed it away from home.

As for 911, I believe the call is routed to the nearest call center fromt he cell tower that first gets the call.

Flatlander said...

Katy,
Cell phones can call 911 just as easily as a regular phone. In fact that's one of the reasons people get them for travel. Internet provided phone service is another problem however. Some providers like Vonage provide 911 service, but it doesn't contact your local 911 switchboard. You go through a Vonage 911 switching center, or something like that. In any case, I think your fears are unfounded as far as emergency calling is concerned. What I hate with the alternatives is the loss of sound quality with the cell phones and the increased potential for outages with the internet based phone service.

Van

Chris said...

I think there are cellphones you can get that you program to call only one or two numbers...like MOM or DAD and 911. Maybe some other essential numbers. They have big keys for the kids too.

I'm just happy that our little one was smart enough to do what she did. Good for her!!

Dr. Mom said...

When we moved to our house five years ago, we decided to try only using our cell phones. We never missed the land line and still do not have one. We started with two cell phones, one for me and one for my husband. When they were running a special we got two more lines attached to our master plan ($20 more per month) which we keep in the kitchen for spares or if our children want to use one. We got those on the alternating year of our other two so we could get two new phones each year for free.

My eight year old does not know what a land line looks like and can operate my cell phone better than me. He can take photos with it and decorate the photos with stamps all on the phone. He knows where all the games are. Kids are amazingly resilient.

Amy said...

Hi Katy! After much angst, we ditched our landline earlier this month. I, too, worried about my 10-year-old but have found solutions. I've written two posts about it on my blog, www.freetobefrugal.wordpress.com
But in a nutshell, you can add a cell phone line very cheaply (in our case $10) and keep that phone at home as your base phone. Also, you can keep an old landline phone in the house and it will work for 911. This is true in our area (Triangle N.C.) and is probably true in most areas of the nation. I found this out quite by accident when my little girl tried to call out on the landline, punched in her friend's number and got a recording that said something to the effect of "This line is only capable of making 911 calls."
Although we've only been without our landline for less than two weeks, we have not missed it. It has been great to have only one set of messages to check and NO telemarketers! Not to mention, we'll save $360 a year from now on. Go for it!

ooglebloops said...

My son does not have a land line and will probably have his cell phone forever - it works well for him - he does not even use his tv any more, he watches everything on his computer!Big money saver.
If you have good cell service and are not in a dead zone, I'd go with the cell!!
The newer cell phones have a GPS I think - so if you dial 911, you can be located within 100 yards-at least this is what my husband, the policeman, told me. Also, put the emergency contact phone number at the top of your cell phone contact list- and label it "ICE"- In Case of Emergency. The police know to look there - it saves time!

ooglebloops said...

My son does not have a land line and will probably have his cell phone forever - it works well for him - he does not even use his tv any more, he watches everything on his computer!Big money saver.
If you have good cell service and are not in a dead zone, I'd go with the cell!!
The newer cell phones have a GPS I think - so if you dial 911, you can be located within 100 yards-at least this is what my husband, the policeman, told me. Also, put the emergency contact phone number at the top of your cell phone contact list- and label it "ICE"- In Case of Emergency. The police know to look there - it saves time!

Followers