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Landline alternatives

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by CAcop, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. CAcop

    CAcop

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    Work requires that I give them a phone number they can call to contact me. Strangely there is no requirement o actually answer it. The times we are most likely going to be called in I will already be heading in. For me that would most likely be a really bad earthquake. Any other time they call me it would be mostly to see if I want to come in early and long shift prevent that from happening anyway. Besides with the seniority I have by the time I get told to come in it is clearly an emergency not brought about by their piss poor planning.

    In short if I didn't have them calling for silly stuff I don't have to do I would ditch my landline. It will be the first to go when I retire even if I keep it.

    Now having said that I am tired of paying $30.00 a month for a landline through my cable and internet provider.

    I have a few choices:

    1. Use department cellphone. Downside is that they now have my cell number at their fingertips and I actually have to remember to keep it charged on my day off. Upside, it is free.

    2. Pay as you go cell. Cheap, only add minutes I need. Downside is that from what I understand you have to keep adding minutes every 30-365 days depending on how many minutes you buy.

    3. Ooma or other VOIP. Seems like I would have to sheel out $200 for the equipment. Upside is that it looks like no recurring costs. Which is good considering the only people who call me are old people, telemarketers, and work.

    Anything I am missing, got wrong, etc let me know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  2. Snaps

    Snaps Hail 2 The King

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    google voice, foward it to your cell and then never answer it. They dont have your cell # and best of all it's free
     

  3. bush pilot

    bush pilot

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    +1 on forwarding to a cell phone. Look at the caller ID and don't answer if you don't feel like it. Been doing it for years.
     
  4. Snaps

    Snaps Hail 2 The King

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    and if I remember right, you can get google to just forward it to voicemail.
     
  5. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Even better, you can get google to only forward it to your voicemail at certain times of day, or only certain numbers, or to one number during certain hours and a different number during other hours. There's a lot of functionality there.
     
  6. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    I pulled our landline in May of 2010, since we'd used it about four times in the previous year... Let's see, that's about $70.00 a call... ::wow:

    When I order on-line, I give my disconnected phone number, and there has never been an issue... If they need to, they can email me... :dunno:

    --Ray
     
  7. Snaps

    Snaps Hail 2 The King

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    well there ya go.

    Personally I've never had a landline, I don't see any reason to get one, but I use my googlevoice number for work
     
  8. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    IMO department issue Cell phone. Set it up to forward to YOUR cell phone. The Office does not have your cell #.
    You can use your dept cell as you want, Have it forward to your cell if you want.....
    My understanding is the calls would forward even if phone is off/dead.

    NOTE they would have your cell number from the bill. (as its the number "called" when they call dept cell) (I think) You would have to ask someone who deals with that cell service. If anyone is thinking that way is the other question...
     
  9. Louisville Glocker

    Louisville Glocker Urban Redneck

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    Google Voice, definitely.

    I got rid of my "smartphone" in December. I use Google voice through my computers at home and work, and have a pay-by-the-minute cellphone (tracfone) in the car (which has cost me forty bucks for nine months of service!) in case of emergencies (or what the gf thinks she needs to tell me and just can't wait).

    Google voice forwards calls if you want it to, and is easy to change the settings. It even transcribes incoming voicemails for ya, so you can usually read them without listening.

    Plus, they let you choose your area code.

    Great service. They may eventually start charging someday - who knows....but for free it sure can't be beat. (I use it in conjunction with Google Call in my gmail account to max out features)
     
  10. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    Yep, Google Voice (or similar provider) is great for this.

    I have a landline at two of my home locations due to poor cell phone reception. Of course, I'm not there all the time. One number will get to me wherever I am.

    If you have a smartphone, you can unforward it and still catch voicemail/texts.

    Honestly, keeping your cell phone charged on your day off... not a big deal. But if it is, get some cheap equipment off of eBay and get a cheap subscription. You don't need anything special. Anything a phone plugs into, that operates without a PC, and will work with the provider you prefer will do. Forward your Google Voice number to your cell phone and your VOIP line and never miss a call.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  11. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    With cellphone number portability, why not convert your landline number to a cellphone? Then no need to change agency records.

    My landline costs around $20 a month. IIRC, $15 for a dial tone, $3 for unpublished service and $2 for a long distance carrier. The landline hardly ever gets used unless my cellphone died or I can't find it, etc... But I like having a landline in case of prolonged emergencies.
     
  12. series1811

    series1811 Enforcerator. CLM

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    That's the idea I like best. We were all doing that after Katrina, when many areas, including where I lived, didn't get landline service back for over a year. We even did it with our office number for a few months.

    By the time it came back, we were all so used to going without it, that I've never had it since. The only people I know these days that have landlines are old people and people who need it for alarms or something else besides talking.
     
  13. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    I would be reluctant to forward a department cell phone to my own cell phone unless I could be absolutely sure that if my department cell phone was subpoenaed they could not also get my personal cell phone.

    In some places during and after storms land lines will keep working after cell sites are down; although my sense is that the cellular companies are mproving their standby electric and connective capabilities.

    Finally make cetain that you are aware that caller location (ALI) is still far more reliable with a landline.
     
  14. gigab1te

    gigab1te

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    I also needed to give my employer a land line number. I had switched solely to cell phones years ago, so I bought a Magic Jack for around $50 from Radio Shack. It came with two free years of service, and then its $11 a year after that. We are in our second year, so I haven't tried renewing it yet. It is actually pretty good, although I almost never use it. My wife is on it alot and seems to like it. One nice feature is they email you a copy of each voice message, which you can listen to via your computer or mobile device.

    Tave a free trial offer going on, so you can check it out if you are interested:

    http://www.magicjack.com/plus-v05/
     
  15. gigab1te

    gigab1te

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    +1 on this. Around here, judges let defense attorneys subpoena personal cell phone records if they find out you used your personal phone on a case. "Personal" means personal for a reason!
     
  16. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Jive Tiger

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    Give them your neighbor's number but don't tell your neighbor. :tongueout: