Yesterday the Communications Team here at TDS spotted an article that we sort of loved. It’s titled “Sorry, cellphone: Why landlines still rock” so you can see why. It’s an opinion and education piece where the author, John Quain, argues that landline telephone service has two major advantages over cell phone service. Here are his reasons:
1. First, he says, regular telephone service has better call/voice quality. No question there, right? Plus, I’d add that the call won’t be dropped as you move through your house because you lose the signal.
2. Second, he points out that landlines are less susceptible to being taken out by storms and power outages. We at TDS strongly agree, especially considering “old school” wired phones (ones without a power cord) will typically work even if your power is out.
As a company that began 44 years ago to bring quality telephone service to rural communities, I believe all of us here at TDS would agree with these two major points. But, his list of reasons for keeping a landline is far from complete. I’ve got a few more I’d like to add to the list:
3. The battery life of your average cordless phone is tons longer than your cell phone. So much longer, you don’t generally even have to think about whether it has a charge—it just works (and if it’s corded phone, it’ll work no matter what!). I DO have to worry about the charge on my cell phone. Heck, sometimes I won’t use it all day but I’ll look later and something running in the background has depleted the battery.
4. You get instant access to emergency services. It’s true that many cell phones have GPS and such, but 911 can pinpoint your location immediately with a landline. Saving a few seconds can really count during an emergency. And, I also like knowing my kids could for sure get help if they dialed 911, even if I wasn’t there (or was the one having the emergency!).
5. Unlimited calling on a landline probably will cost you less than an unlimited cell phone plan. Sure, if you’re calling another wireless phone cell phone long distance is often free. But, then you run the risk of running out of battery, dropping the call, dealing with less than good sound quality, and you probably have a number of people who still prefer to get calls on their landline. With my unlimited TDS plan I never have to think about it or worry about running out of minutes or whether I’m calling a cell phone or a landline—and the cost is certainly WAY less than my cell phone bill.
6. Related to #5 above, you get free incoming calls with a landline. Always, and no matter what time of day it is.
7. You don’t want to be your kid’s phone operator. If you kid doesn’t have cell phones yet, he/she will have to give out your cell phone number to their friends. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to take all my kids’ phone calls. And because I could get a work-related call, I also don’t want my kids answering my cell phone, nor do I want them dashing off to their room to chat with my cell phone either (and running the battery low!).
8. You don’t want to feel like you have to have your cell phone on you 24/7. Call me old fashioned, but I LIKE not having to carry my cell phone around my house. Since we have a landline I know I’ll get calls…but I don’t have to carry my phone with me. For me, it’s a small way to be a little “unplugged” after a day of being fully plugged in at the office.
9. Landline service isn’t what it used to be—it’s better. With my TDS TV I chose the Classic Unlimited Phone service and I get 10 calling features, plus voice mail—something I’ve never had before and I’ve got to say, it’s really nice. And, the Caller ID will even show up on my TV screen! Even if you don’t have TDS TV, there are plenty of awesome “next generation” types of features you can order. It’s a far cry from the services we had as kids!
As an aside, I almost included another reason titled: “Your kids’ hands are always sticky but yet they drop things all the time” but I pretty much covered all the reasons to keep your kids away from your cell phone under #6 :-).
There is a whole list of official reasons why you shouldn’t cut the cord on our website. As it happens, I covered a lot of these in my own list but there’s a few more worth considering such as:
10. Home protection. Many home security systems only work if you have a landline because it’s a dependable way to automatically alert authorities.
11. Privacy. Cell phones use radio frequencies that can be “captured” by eavesdroppers using scanners or even other cell phones. Since landlines are a wired connection, that’s not an issue.
So, how about you? Why do you keep your landline?
I appreciate basically every single item on this list. I no longer have a landline and I constantly regret that decision. Mainly because of call quality and dropped calls, but also because of battery life. These are two things that I’m constantly battling with that would be solved if I went back to a landline.
Thanks for the independent verification, geotel, although I’m sorry you regret your decision. Fortunately, you can always add a landline — and there’s no contract required 🙂
I had cut my landline several years ago, but my older sister kept telling me that it was not a good idea. I finally decided to get a landline again with local calling and will use Tracfone for my cellular service since the pay as you go plans are much cheaper than the contracts that most cellular providers shackle you with. But the main reason I got a landline again is the instant access to emergency services through 911. As this article mentions, the 911 operator knows your location when using a landline, whereas a cell phone may not give that information accurately, and the operator often has to ask the caller where they are located. If you are unable to answer clearly, or are confused due to the nature of your emergency, it could just cost you your life. I am 60 yeas of age, and though I am in good health, at this point in life, I would much rather have the peace of mind knowing that I can call emergency and have responders find me. Thanks for confirming this in your list.
We keep a landline because it’s so much cheaper to call a landline than a mobile (at least, it is here in the uk) and I don’t think it’s fair to expect people to call a mobile.
I have a landline because it only costs me $15 a month and 4 cents a minute for long distance no matter what time of day or week I make a long distance call! There isn’t a cell phone plan for that price anywhere.