Have you given up your landline?

A growing number of Americans are getting rid of their old telephones and using only cellphones — a trend being led not by the high-tech elite but by people in poorer states as a way to save money, Associated Press reports.

Government estimates released Wednesday show at least 30 percent of adults in 10 states rely entirely on cellphones, with the highest percentage in Arkansas and Mississippi, where many cannot afford to pay for two separate lines, AP writes.

Wealthier households have been slower to use wireless technology as their sole means of making calls, AP reports.

Rich or poor, have you given up your landline? If so, what has been your experience? Any regrets?

If you have not, are you considering it? Why or why not?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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75 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

April 21st, 2011
6:27 am

No. Need it for the security system to operate.


April 21st, 2011
7:10 am

Haven’t had a landline in almost 5 years. Our families and friends are all out-of-state. Why have a phone that doesn’t give you the freedom to call them without worrying about long distance charges? Plus having a cell phone and a landline is just redundant. We don’t need it, so we don’t have it – for us, it would be a waste of money.

Chode McBlob

April 21st, 2011
7:18 am

If I didn’t have a free cell phone from work I wouldn’t have a cell phone at all. I think cell phones are an added expense. But it doesn’t make sense to really have both any more as the reliabilty of cell phones have improved. I remember how I always used to see people have to go outside to used their cell phones because they didn’t work to well indoors. But that is no longer a problem.


April 21st, 2011
7:19 am

Several years ago, actually. While there may be some valid reasons for some families to keep them (security systems, medical alert stuff and the like), unless you have one of those reasons, it’s just another expense. I got rid of mine when I realized that I didn’t even have a phone plugged into the line, but I was still paying for it. Yep, not worth it. :)


April 21st, 2011
7:21 am

We dumped ours over a year ago. It wasn’t an issue of saving money (although that’s nice too), but the only calls we got on it were telemarketers. Everybody we know calls us on our cells. We switched the security over to a cell transmitter, which cost some dollars, but w/ the money saved on the land line it balance out in a few months.


April 21st, 2011
7:26 am

no home phone line here. I do have internet service and use a VOIP router as my home line. Real simple and free. Saves money and has the added benefit of a home phone line.


April 21st, 2011
7:37 am

I would LOVE to get rid of our land line but our cell phones (AT&T) don’t work inside our house.

no phone

April 21st, 2011
7:48 am

I’m getting rid of mine landline next month—I’ve had enough of ATT’s ripoff fees and charges and bad service.


April 21st, 2011
7:49 am

Wen I moved into my home, I had a security system with a cellular monitoring connection installed. The internet is handled through my cable provider. With 2 cell phones in the household, there was just no need for a land line. Also, with cellular monitoring on the alarm system, there is no worry of the lines being cut by burglars.


April 21st, 2011
7:52 am

dumped them years ago. the only calls were from telemarketers and our friends and family only called on our cells. it was a waste of money.


April 21st, 2011
8:06 am

We scrapped our land lines about four years ago and are very happy. The few problems insignficant were more than offset by not getting ANY political robo calls in the election.


April 21st, 2011
8:11 am

Once I found a wireless provider that had good reception at my house, and I got wireless internet, the landline became an unwanted and unneeded expense.


April 21st, 2011
8:17 am

I got rid of my land line and i got VOIP and a Cell phone.


April 21st, 2011
8:17 am

Haven’t had a landline since I left for college in ‘03. Don’t need one now either bc the only people who would call are solicitors.

Our security system runs off of a “cellular transmitter” or whatever it’s called, so no landline is required. (security system has a battery back-up, so even when the power is out I’ll know if someone is trying to get in. Then they can meet my Springfield!)


April 21st, 2011
8:20 am

No landline here in over 6 years. No one but solicitors would call so I dumped it.


April 21st, 2011
8:22 am

Yes, the landline is gone. I had been hanging on to it because the security system needed it but I got a new security system that has its own cellular line and finally ditched the landline. Not a huge savings. When everything was said and done, I save about $30 a month over what it was costing me before.


April 21st, 2011
8:24 am

No for 2 reasons. First of all as Road Scholar pointed out, it is needed for our security system.
The second most important reason is for the kids. I have 2 who are not old enough to have cell phones and I don’t want their friends, etc. constantly calling mine or my spouses cell phones.

Once the two youngest are old enough, we will ditch the land line (local only) and get them cell phones. Will upgrade the security system as well.


April 21st, 2011
8:41 am

I still have a “home phone” through Vonage. It’s about $15/month taxes and fees included. I consider it a luxury. It’s not necessary.


April 21st, 2011
8:50 am

We had a local only land line up to last month. We both have iPhones and we realized the only calls we got on the land line were telemarketers (even though we were on the do not call list), political robo calls and so called “surveys”. Ditched it and we are saving about $27 per month. Not a huge amount but something. Since we have no children in the house to need it and wireless security system it was something we should have done a long time ago.


April 21st, 2011
8:52 am

We need one so my husband can transmit data from his pacemaker/defibrilator to his doctor. That’s the only thing we use it for.

The Cuckoo

April 21st, 2011
8:53 am

Yeah, it’s not that I needed to save money, it’s just that I felt like I was paying $40 a month for the privilege of being harassed by telemarketers. Gave it up five years ago and have never looked back.


April 21st, 2011
8:56 am

I’m a senior and have a plain jane cell phone. It has never failed to work for me and politiacians and charities don’t have access to my number. I dropped my land line last year – why pay for two phone services?


April 21st, 2011
8:56 am

I don’t consider us poor but we haven’t had a land line in over 10 years.

No Kids

April 21st, 2011
8:59 am

We had VOIP for a while, then switched exclusively to cell phones a few years ago. But those are now costing us ~$120/month, which is no bargain either. Seems cell phone rates creep up faster than the landline rates.


April 21st, 2011
9:00 am

Dumped my land line in 2000 when most mobile plans offered free long distance. I got tired of all the fees and taxes associated with having a land line. The breaking point for me was when the phone company charged me a fee for not having a long distance carrier.

chef pierre

April 21st, 2011
9:03 am



April 21st, 2011
9:12 am

I haven’t had a landline since 2006 and I haven’t missed it. I work from home and initially I was concerned about minutes usage but got an unlimited plan through VZW and their “friends and family” (in which I include my company’s conference call #s). I haven’t missed my landline at all. My security gate runs through my phone so even when I’m expecting someone to come to my house, I don’t even have to be there to buzz them in.


April 21st, 2011
9:23 am

I have my services bundled – digital cable, although I am currently watch about as much TV in one week ads I used to watch in a day and no premuim channels; highspeed internet that just isn’t that fast, and landline with no caller id, no call waiting. On two televisions, this is running me about $200.00 a month Something’s go to give. I’ve been looking into DSL serivce and chucking not just the landline phone, but the cable and cable modem as well.


April 21st, 2011
9:24 am

Definitely not poor, but I rely on my iPhone. Much simpler as I don’t have to keep track of messages on two answering machines or pay two bills. Besides, the iPhone is the Swiss Army Knife of gadgets…iPod, Guitar Tuner, GPS, Maps, Weather, etc. I do have MagicJack and can make calls 24/7/365 anywhere in the US for $20 a year but only use it for very long calls that would otherwise eat up my minutes.


April 21st, 2011
9:24 am

Ditched my land line and cable TV a little over 1 and 1/2 years ago. I get enough channels with my TV antenna including local TV and sports so I haven’t missed cable or my land phone. Since ditching the land line I don’t receive political or telemarketers.


April 21st, 2011
9:30 am

I am not poor! Haven’t used a land line in two years. Our family operates on cell phones. The only calls we got were telemarketers and doctor reminders. I did not like the assumptions and overtones made in this article that poor states and poor people rely on cell phones because they can’t afford to pay for two lines.


April 21st, 2011
9:33 am

Got rid of it 3 years ago. I didn’t like the high fees for basics that are on my cell phone (voice mail, call waiting..). Add on fees that they charged that were not for service, but for revenue generation. Just like the phony bank fees. We have saved a lot of money.


April 21st, 2011
9:39 am

For most of my 20 years since college, I have enjoyed a high income. Then, my company folded, my wife got sick, and I lost health insurance. Thus, I burned through my saving within one year. First thing I did was get rid of my landline. Didn’t miss it, at all. The only issue was faxing, but there are online alternatives to this. After I became poor and almost lost my house, I finally got a new job paying a decent salary again. But, I have no reason to use a landline. Technology has grown so fast that cell phone networks are as secure and as fast as traditional telco networks. And, smartphones are really cool. Offers Skype as an alternative, as well as video chat, etc.

Landlines are dead. If you have to have one, add it to your cable bundle. Cell phone providers don’t charge for mobile-mobile calls anymore, anyway – just to land lines. So, even if you have one, people won’t call you.


April 21st, 2011
9:40 am

I keep my landline mainly for emergencies.

The digital companies (Vonage, cable company) require power. If the power goes out for an extended amount of time, your phone is as useless as your dead cell phone.


April 21st, 2011
9:43 am

I canceled my landline over a year ago after the rip off fees on it… $10 extra monthly just for having the basics and no long distance (I rarely make local calls). Been a Verizon Wireless user for almost 6 years and only had a handful of problems in that time. No robo calls are a plus. I also have Google voice number I give out when I don’t want someone having my real number. I am not rich, but I am not pooe by any means :)


April 21st, 2011
9:45 am

I gave it up 7-8 years ago when cell phone reception became reliable enough in my neighborhood. Even then I only had a basic $30/month land line with no extras. Heck now with Google Voice you can get free calls in gmail at least through the end of 2011.


April 21st, 2011
9:47 am

Not too keen on the nuisance fees on the wireless side (~20%), but as a percentage, it is less than the landline (~33%), though.


April 21st, 2011
10:01 am

Verbatim what NoNo said @ 7:10.

Thurston & Lovey

April 21st, 2011
10:03 am

“Wealthier households have been slower to use wireless technology as their sole means of making calls”

Cell phones are not secure. Rich people don’t always buy into the latest and greatest technologies until they are made less expensive. The Howells don’t need to keep up with the Jones’!


April 21st, 2011
10:08 am

Like a few others I think the article made a big leap in judgement over why some have given up their landlines. I wouldn’t be considered poor and I gave up my landline close to 8 years ago because I rarely used it, found it to be a waste of money and utilities and only had it for my home security system. I got rid of it completely when I switched my security system over to cellular. Not to mention that I felt ATT was a total rip-off artist. I haven’t looked back since.

Bethany Dixon

April 21st, 2011
10:08 am

Engaging and well written article! This tops anything I have read lately on the subject at hand. I wonder if this’ll be posted on Twenty-First Tycoon. Although the site has awesome political, business, technology and real estate news, they could use more stuff like this. http://www.21Tycoon.com


April 21st, 2011
10:09 am

“No. Need it for the security system to operate.”
Get a security system with a cell phone. They’ll usually install it for free (you just have to agree to their monitoring for a couple of years). Once that is done you can get Vonage for the home phone if you really still want a landline…it costs about 15.00 per month, you can use your existing phones and you can keep your phone number.


April 21st, 2011
10:13 am

We had a land line only because we needed it for our security system. Now I have a security system that doesn’t need a land line, so we ditched it. Internet is through cable lines, and we have cell phones.

Mary Thompson

April 21st, 2011
10:17 am

AT&T land line phones are a joke! My 82 year old aunt’s phone went out three months ago and they never got it fixed. When I found her dead, I had to go to a neighbor with a cellphone to call the authorities. I wouldn’t have an AT&T land line if THEY paid ME!


April 21st, 2011
10:22 am

Haven’t had a land line in almost 15 years. OUr security company (and probably many others) used a system that didn’t require a land line.

Marietta Mary

April 21st, 2011
10:25 am

I keep a land line for the obvious reason — you can sneeze where I live and the power goes out. This has happened more times than I care to count since moving to the Atlanta area — rain, floods, ice storms, wind storms — over 30 years ago. Another reason I have an old gas water heater and a gas stove. Hot water and cooking facilities.


April 21st, 2011
10:30 am

No phone line in ten years. Use a cable modem for high speed interent. A dish for TV and my wife and I both have our own cell phones.


April 21st, 2011
10:34 am

Marietta Mary. Cell phones work just as well as the landlines when the power goes out. (Did you try using your landline on Sept. 11th? They didn’t work much better than the cell phones did.) If you’re worried about keeping a charge, buy a battery backup. Or if you’re realllllllly worried, buy a generator that kicks in when the power goes out.


April 21st, 2011
10:48 am

We switched to Ooma (a VoIP service requiring high-speed Internet connection) a couple of months ago. You can take your landline number and port it to Ooma and also have your cell phone ring simultaneously anytime you get a call to your landline. Or, you can have the call routed to your cell phone automatically if your DSL or Internet service experiences an outage (or during a power outage).

The small Ooma box is $200 (Costco, Amazon, others) and you just pay taxes (about $30/yr) for the basic service which includes voicemail and unlimited local and LD in the U.S.. Unlike Magic Jack you don’t have to have your computer on (I believe that’s the case). The Premier Service (needed for the multi-ring capability mentioned above) works out to about $13.50/mo. including taxes.

Consumer Reports just said that Ooma has voice quality superior to legacy phone companies. The Premier service has some other bells and whistles that are appealing such as blacklists, cell phone compatibility, etc.

The main difficulty to switching to Ooma for AT&T customers is that AT&T throws every obstacle in your way to prevent you from doing it. They tell you you cannot keep your existing email address (you can) and work it so that your DSL is down for a few days. I don’t know whether it’s punishment from AT&T or incompetence, but I’m glad I made the switch. Their customer service is abysmal and ensures I’ll never use their cell phone or TV service.

There are issues with Ooma if you have a security system or use a fax machine so be sure to check it out carefully. There may be some workarounds.


April 21st, 2011
10:54 am

I had my LL disconnected in 2008…waste of money, and I’m not poor, but am into saving money where I can.