Sep 14 2011

What do you do for phone service?


I’m shopping various calling options to figure out what would be the best fit for our household right now, and I’m curious — what do you and other people in your home use for phone service? Landline? Cells? VoIP? And if you don’t mind, what do you pay?

Right now, we have two cell phones through AT&T. We have a family plan and a 22% discount from Shane’s employer. In recent months, I had to bump up our plan minutes by a lot because we were poised to go over, and had run out of roll over minutes. I suspect our minutes usage will go way down now that the house stuff is over.

Our last bill was $106. YUCK. Pre-house jabbering, it was more like $65-70, which is still a lot more than I’d prefer.

We don’t have a text plan and don’t text much. We don’t have data plans either. Both of us have “dumb” phones. Our contract expires in April or May. I’d be willing to break our contract and pay the fee if the savings for switching to some other option would be substantial.

We don’t have a landline right now but I’d consider one if I can get a good deal. I’m hesitating because I don’t want a bunch of telemarketer spam, despite the best intentions of the Do Not Call list. When I use my phone, I’m typically at home. My minutes used away from home aren’t many.

It’s possible that when our plan expires, we could switch to some prepaid cell phones (if you have one, which company do you use and what does it cost?) and get a landline.

I know some people use Skype for phone calls, using the existing internet connection. Does this work for incoming calls as well? I know I can’t rely on it for 911 service, though.

Also, our internet and TV is through Comcast. I tried to dump TV from the bill, but if I did, our bill would actually increase since we wouldn’t qualify for whatever promo rate for the internet. Grr.

Our bill right now is around $40.

All told, our telecom monthly expenses are $150, with potential of being around $110 if I can reduce our cell plan without risk of going over. I still think there’s plenty more room to go lower.


Edited to add: I am investigating getting an Ooma box. Could pay for itself in just a few months. I’m on the case!

Posted under Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “What do you do for phone service?”

  1. We have a landline via our cable company, mostly because more than one of us get on the phone at a time. We pay about $35/mth for this as we have cable and internet. My cell phone is prepaid via Cricket, and I love it. My husband uses a tracfone as he rarely uses his cell. My cell is unlimited talk and text (and it’s a smart phone) for $65. When it was talk and text only, it was about $45 unlimited.

  2. We pay around $42/mo. total for AT&T’s cheapo internet and local-only home phone. We also purchased tracfones after my sister died almost two years ago. I had no interest in carrying around a phone, but we needed to be reachable that day and weren’t. Now we spend around $13/mo. total for two phones. Sure, we’ll probably be out of range when we hike in the Rockies next month, and the one time I called customer service I was sent to India, but we don’t do contracts.
    My main gripe is getting bill collector calls for the person who previously had the number. But that happens on our home phone, too.
    I’ll look forward to your ooma findings.

  3. We are using AT&T with internet as well but we may switch to Ooma when there is a discount on Ooma.

  4. I have had Ooma Premier for almost two years. Other than the DOS attack, that ruined some of their converters, it’s wonderful. The quality is amazing. I’ve read that the converter failure, subject to the attack, were replaced, free of charge, by Ooma. Basic service is $3.50 a month tax. Premier ads another $8.50 a month. Premier adds a lot of features, like a second line. I love it. Most of my friends don’t listen to me, or don’t care. I have no converts, but I tell everybody. It’s amazingly simple to install, virtually plug and play. The quality is fabulous. The price is unbelievable. My problems have been simple, and I’ve found solutions on the web. I contacted them once, and I felt good about their responses and help.

  5. The minute I push the button, I think of more. Calls to the continental US aren’t measured service. You can talk all you want, and there’s no additional calls. Ooma advertises low rates, international, but I don’t need international service.

  6. Thanks for commenting, Michael. I do think the Ooma service would really fit a lot of what I’m seeking. I don’t make any international calls, either, and I suppose if I did have a need to, I could Skype or upgrade my service for a month or something.

  7. I have no comments, we just have cell phones with data plans. I have spent so much time trying to figure out best combo for phone service! Best of luck.

    Also I want to say $40 for cable internet????? Is that a promo rate that’s going to expire? Internet must be much more expensive here in Atlanta!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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