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I'm Cancelling My Home Telephone (75.6% Tax Rate!)  
User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1575 posts, RR: 8
Posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1522 times:

I've decided that I am going to cancel my home telephone service with Qwest. I have local service only with no additional features such as call waiting, caller ID, and etc. My service is $14.88 per month. Yet when I get the monthly bill, the total is $26.18. There are 11 different taxes totaling $11.30 that is added to my bill which amounts to a tax rate of 75.94%! I can't think of anything else in United States that is taxed at a rate anywhere near 75.94%!!

So I'm dropping my home phone service. I don't use it for TiVo or the internet any longer. Both my wife and I have cell phones that we use for long distance calls. The only people that ever call our house are "research organizations", charity solicitations (which are exempt from the state and national Do-Not-Call lists), and wrong numbers/hang ups. I should keep at least one cell phone in the bedroom at night in case there is an emergency and I need to contact 911. Other than that, I can't think of a single reason to keep my home phone.

Has anyone else done this and were there any unforeseen issues? I plan on giving my cell phone number(s) out to friends and family. That is it. If my credit card company wants to contact me then can send me a letter. Same goes for my utility companies and everyone else I do business with. If someone insists on a home phone number then it is someone I probably do not want to do business with...

[Edited 2006-07-05 20:38:11]


A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7737 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1508 times:

I've used my cell phone as my primary phone for about 3 years now. Not a single problem, short of the few times I have run my battery dry. It is probably more common than you think, with cell phone coverage being extensive in most parts of the US and with the wide variety of plans available. Residential landline telephones may fall by the wayside in another 5-10 years.... especially with service provided by the traditional telephone providers.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineIFEMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1508 times:

Where's that cargo bay picture?

User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1494 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 1):
Residential landline telephones may fall by the wayside in another 5-10 years.... especially with service provided by the traditional telephone providers.

The thing is, a lot of people are still using DSL for broadband, which will keep the landline providers in business for a while. While fiber has a great future, the landlines are a good thing to keep up simply because it is always good to have a backup. Further, VOIP still sucks comparatively for those who want home phones.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1494 times:

I haven't had a home phone for several years now. Me and the wife each have our cell phones, cable internet etc. We have no need to get raped by the phone company to have 'local' service.

User currently offlineSenorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1494 times:

I haven't had a landline in about 4 years now and have never had any problems in contacting anyone. Also no one "official" (utilities, etc) who had to contact me have had problems in getting a hold of me either, even now that I have kept my number with my previous area code in a new city. At $26.18/month you're probably not hurting yourself financially but I can't honestly think of any good reason why you should keep a landline.

[Edited 2006-07-05 20:23:54]

User currently offlineAdh214 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1479 times:

I dumped my land line about two years ago. I give out my cell phone number as my home phone number and registered for do not call.

The only problem I have experienced is not having enough minutes. A few months ago I was looking for a new job and used tons and tons of minutes. Verizon charges me $0.45 a minute for everything over 900. This resulted in an extra $40 charge that I was not expecting. Annoying but not catastrophic. Usually 900 minutes is more than enough for me.

Also, make sure you are fully charged. I was running out of power regularly until I brought my charger to work. I just plug the phone in when I get to work and it is fully charged by the end of the day. I find this easier to remember than doing it overnight at home.

Also, make sure you have good cell service at your house. Previously I lived in a part of town with very poor cell coverage. I would have dropped calls when I was stand still. UGH. However, my new place has great cell coverage and I have rarely had a problem with Verizon.

I use internet to connect the TIVO and have no need for a regular wire line.

I agree the tax situation on phone usage is getting out of control. It is a phone not a cigarette.

Andrew


User currently offlineSolarix From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1472 times:

No "real" landline here either. I'm using Vonage which just goes over the Internet connection. It's really great and only $25/month with all the extra features. They also added free calls to Europe so now I can call up a McDonalds in London just for the hell of it. hahaha

Mobile phones are out of the question. I love looking at my phone and seeing the display that reads "No Service" when I'm at home.


User currently offlineTexan From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 4264 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1452 times:

Have not had a "home phone" since moving out a few years back. No problems, no regrets, and on the "no call" list. Cell phones can be wonderful things...

Texan



"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1449 times:

I use Vongage..the service rocks... thumbsup ....

It's cheap, flat rate, basically no taxes, get "virtual phone number", etc.

the only downside to it is that one can't send faxes off the "regular" line and one would have to get a 2nd "fax" line....but its not like I send faxes out of my house, and why I need to, I use my mobile phone as a "modem"...quick and easy...



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1435 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 9):
I use Vongage..the service rocks... ....

It's cheap, flat rate, basically no taxes, get "virtual phone number", etc.

the only downside to it is that one can't send faxes off the "regular" line and one would have to get a 2nd "fax" line....but its not like I send faxes out of my house, and why I need to, I use my mobile phone as a "modem"...quick and easy...

Same here!



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1421 times:

Quoting Brick (Thread starter):
There are 11 different taxes totaling $11.30

Does that include fuel surcharge? Seriously, that is ridiculous.

However, I cannot believe the clarity of reception when I have called friends in the US on mobiles (cellulars), ours are nothing close, in fact I'd get better reception with 2 tin cans and a piece of string. There are many calls I get where "I'll call you back on the landline" is my usual response, so for me, the landline stays.

I know a couple of people with Skype too, and that is incomprhensable 95% of the time.



Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3007 posts, RR: 48
Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1398 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

The company I work for offers a landline-like VoIP service, with premium quality. And that's obviously what I use at home - still using DSL over a regular landline, because it's the best broadband solution in this country. Cable doesn't work very well.

So, you may think, why do I use VoIP but still have a landline? Easy - it's much cheaper. I have a $20/month landline only to have DSL on it. Oh well...

-Manuel



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1379 times:

I would love to do this but my home alarm requires a phone line.

User currently offlineAC773 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1374 times:

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 2):
Where's that cargo bay picture?




Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12881 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1357 times:

Land lines are still good if there are power outages or your cell dies and you need to connect 911 (emergency).
What many phone companies have done is to break out, itemize and describe a lot of what were hidden taxes and fees that phone company has to pay for each line, rather than just have a higher base fee inclusive of those taxes. That way you blame the government, not the phone company for such taxes.


User currently offlineEatmybologna From France, joined Apr 2005, 412 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1353 times:

I also have Vonage VOIP. It works well for me. There is a setting to improve or lower the phone quality. I guess improving the phone quality reduces the througput of the other internet devices attached to the router. I've left mine on 50% and it almost sounds as good as a land line.

I also pay $24.99/month including all the bells and whistles, long distance, and free calling to France, Germany, and the UK. I save a lot of money when I talk to M. Schumaker, Chirac & Blair. I was pleasantly surprised that the additional tax only amounted to $5 for a total bill of $30/month.

E-M-B



Isn't knowledge more than just the acquisition of information? Shouldn't the acquired information be correct?
User currently offlineNWDC10 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1346 times:

I'll tell you right now, Quest will want to know where you are "just in case something happens". They told this to me when i cancelled my phone number. What is it Quest's business to know where i am? Robert NWDC10

User currently offlineRoger136913 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1346 times:

I switched from Verizon to Comcast VOIP and love it after they worked out the bugs.

Downfall is during a power loss, the wired phone will work for up to 6 hours but the cordless won't.

I pay $32.99 per month with tax...


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 19, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1298 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 13):
I would love to do this but my home alarm requires a phone line.

I got my collegue to sign up for Vonage - got my one month free service too.. biggrin ..IIRC, he got his alarm company to get setup the communications via Vonage....but I'll ask him again (if I remember too)..



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineAdh214 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1255 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 13):
I would love to do this but my home alarm requires a phone line.

I spoke with a security alarm sales person the other day and he indicated that some security companies offer a cellular solution for the phone line. You check to see if that is available in your area.

Andrew


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1246 times:

There's a lot of infrastructure behind the land lines.

When I worked for Ma Bell back in the day the central offices housed a bank of lead acid batteries that were kept charged by motor generators with standby diesel or turbine powerplants. They had a guy who was a diesel mechanic and every Tuesday was 'diesel day'. He'd go to all the COs in his area and start the diesels (which were all Hercules engines-Ma Bell loved them) and bring them up to speed and temperature. That way if something needed repair they could get the parts before the weekend.

The batteries and the generators meant that the phone network was going to work if there was no power for a few weeks. After a recent electric storm my cable internet was down for two days and that really cramped my style.

I still have a landline that Qwest provides but I need it for my fax. The cell pays for itself with the free long distance. Right now, the cell and VOIP are not dead reliable and that's mostly what I need as a cast iron backup.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1237 times:

Quoting Adh214 (Reply 20):
I spoke with a security alarm sales person the other day and he indicated that some security companies offer a cellular solution for the phone line. You check to see if that is available in your area.

Just spoke with my colleague..I was correct...one can have an alarm system with Vonage......they put a device by the Vonage Route..that's about it...



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineItsjustme From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2768 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1225 times:

I haven't done it yet (dropped my landline) but I will be doing so shortly. The only reason I haven't done so yet is because I am using DSL for my internet service. I will soon be changing to cable internet and at that time, I will cancel my home phone service.

Quoting Brick (Thread starter):
If someone insists on a home phone number then it is someone I probably do not want to do business with.

Brick, I use Private Phone through Netzero. It's a completely free service (they also offer a paid service that has more options and abilities than the free edition) that allows you to have a phone number (in whatever area code you choose) that works as a voice mail system only (anyone calling your number hears your personal message prompting them to leave a message). Their free service limits the number of voice mails you can have in your box at any given time whereas I believe their paid version doesn't have those limitations. You can set the service up so that when a voice mail is left at your private phone phone number you receive a text message on your cell phone. You can check this service out here.


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