Have you seen the new ads on television extolling the virtues of having a landline at home instead of VOIP or cell phones? They are pretty cute ads, with young kids saying how clear the calls are and how it’s like being back in the 1800′s or something… “you know, connected to the land“. The funny part is that yes, it is exactly like being back in the 1800′s – you are paying way more for an outdated technology than you would for modern, up to date technology!
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is a service that uses your internet connection instead of a regular phone line to give you phone service. And ever since I switched to VOIP phone service, I have had nothing but good things to say about it. It worked fine on my super high-speed connection back in Los Angeles, and it works fine on my slower but still DSL here in New Mexico. The calls are clear, I have had only one dropped call in 2+ years, and you cannot beat the price – I pay $29 a month including taxes for free local and long distance, free calls to 5 countries in Europe (should I need them), call waiting, call forwarding, 3 way calling, and voicemail. The same package from my local land line phone company would cost me over $75 a month! And since I don’t really enjoy wasting money, I will definitely be sticking with my VOIP phone from Vonage.
A lot of people are worried about the quality of the calls and the lack of a landline in case of an emergency, but there are few things to keep in mind:
One – you have to have a high speed internet connection to use VOIP. And unless you are online watching a movie, downloading music, uploading HTML files AND talking on the phone, you are rarely going to experience any issues with the call quality.
Two – you might not have a landline either if your internet goes out, because most people have a DSL connection which is a phone line. So if your DSL goes down, your landline might be out too. Also, you probably have a cellphone, so that can always be your backup phone.
So yes, landline phone companies – your new commercials sure are cute. But they are not nearly enough to get me to part with an extra $50 a month for the same service I am already getting from VOIP for much cheaper. No thanks, I like to keep my money in the bank to spend on worthwhile expenses. What about you, do you VOIP? Or are you still landlining it?
Oh, and you really should have left out the line about how using landlines is like being the 1800′s – it really does show your age and the reality of the situation.