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Old 08-15-2017, 11:48 AM
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,983 posts, read 5,463,852 times
Reputation: 9217


First, I live in Des Moines, Iowa.

I currently have a landline phone bundled with internet, no cable (nor do I want cable). Century Link has raised my rates to nearly $70. I called in an attempt to get that bill lowered, but they couldn't do any better, so they are going to go bye-bye soon. I can't/don't want to pay $70/month. Most of that is for the landline phone, which I got because cell service was very spotty in my area, but we now have a new tower, so it might be better.

A few more facts:

- I don't use long distance. Once in awhile when I have to call overseas, I use a phone card. This is once every couple of years.

- I don't use the phone much. It's mostly there in case I have a medical emergency. I use email because most of my friends can't hear that well on a phone, anyway. Several times a year I have to give a phone number to the glasses place or the dentist. I probably use a phone at home less than 12 times a year.

- The internet/computer is used for email, research, word processing (tons of it!), and accessing boards like this. I don't play games. I rarely stream TV shows, maybe 2 - 3 per year. It would be a hardship to use the internet in the library because I also do work at home, so I need to maintain some sort of connection for email and research.


I will rep all "on topic" replies.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:49 PM
Status: "I can learn to admire w/o having to aquire." (set 9 days ago)
Location: Where the last of the "Big 3" has retired. Spurs country.
3,044 posts, read 3,620,528 times
Reputation: 7414
I have Straightalk Home Phone as my house phone, although it works off a cell tower, which has confused my SIL in the past (she wouldn't answer when I called because she did not realize it was me because her phone showed "cell phone call" or something).

I got it years ago, had to order it online, I think, it arrived via snail mail. Now it is sold at Walmart.

$15.00/mo gives me unlimited local and long distance calling. I think out of country is included as well, but look into that. With tax it costs me $16.80/mo. I have my own cordless phones in my house, one in the LR and one in my bedroom.

I have an antenna for TV. I pay nothing for TV. I get the local channels as well as their sub-channels (ex. Channel 4, 4-2, 4-3. The 2 & 3 let me watch old shows and movies, or my True Crime shows, both older and newer), PBS (4 channels of this), ION channels which show Home and Garden shows and Make-Over shows that I never saw before from past days, some Canadian shows and older shows from HGTV, a few shopping stations, which are sometimes OK to watch when nothing else is on. I don't buy from them, but a few weeks ago I enjoyed the "Christmas in July" shows one evening on one of them, some cooking shows, etc. My point is I get enough to watch on TV without paying for cable. Never again!

I have basic internet, $14.99/mo. But I lease the modem and router, and with taxes and other miscellaneous charges, I actually pay $31.11/mo.

I had free AOL until a month ago when they dropped the free desktop and went to AOL Gold and began charging. The $4.99 a month is actually $5.00+ with taxes. I am not liking it at all.

Hope this helps you with your phone and internet dilemma.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:55 PM
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Seems like you might have to ask that in the Iowa specific forums. What works for me 800 miles away probably wouldn't work for you.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:12 PM
Location: Des Moines Metro
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Thanks, Michigan Transplant. I'll look into that.

I probably should've mentioned that I watch TV with an antenna, too!

Eddie, you're right -- some solutions might be local-specific, but there's a Walmart and a Target here, so I'll also look into what they are offering.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:01 PM
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,133 posts, read 3,180,968 times
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I have Century Link. I used to have both phone line and DSL internet but I dropped the phone and just have the internet now. My internet is pretty slow, 4mbps, but it's ok for our use. I make sure to call them to ask for the lowest price they can give me, usually $20-24/mo. When calling them to negotiate price, be persistent. If the first person you talk to doesn't seem to want to or be able to help you, hang up and call back to get a different person. Sometimes I have to talk to 2 or 3 people before I get one that will get me the best price.

When I dropped the land line I got a free Google Voice number and a $40 Obihai box that hooks up to my DSL modem and a home phone handset. I use it as a "landline" and I can make free calls over the internet with this.

For cell phones we use cheap prepaid Tracfones for occasional brief phone calls and a few texts. Less than $100 per year for the service for these. I use the Google Voice set up at home to make longer phone calls.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:56 AM
244 posts, read 126,214 times
Reputation: 212
My phone plan is with Consumer Cellular and it looks like they might have coverage in your area. I am contemplating dropping my Internet Provider and just using the phone data. In my area they have 1.5GB for $20/month and 3GB per month for $30 which is more than enough for me to work from home and light internet browsing. It would save me about $75.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:15 AM
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
11,428 posts, read 13,977,360 times
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Get a Voice Over IP service such as Ooma Telo or Vonage.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:22 PM
Location: Phoenix-Valley of the Sun
2,462 posts, read 1,206,832 times
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Originally Posted by ccm123 View Post
Get a Voice Over IP service such as Ooma Telo or Vonage.

THIS. I have vonage's pay-as-you-go plan which starts around 5.95. Each minute you call, it's like 3 or 5 cents. (I THINK) This plan isn't something they advertise so you have to ask for this plan directly.

I rarely use my house phone but i like having an option of a back up phone. My phone bill has never been onver $10 a month. I use to pay Frontier Communications $30+ for my phone plan, and for even back then, I didn't even use it at all. Another option you may want to look into is getting google voice and using that as your home phone. It's slightly complicated but here's a link on amazon. You need to buy an adapter to convert it from a cell phone service to a home phone service. And on amazon's website, it will tell you the process.

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Old 08-16-2017, 02:32 PM
6,167 posts, read 3,259,146 times
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Get an Ooma for phone. It uses your internet. You can use your own phones. Once you pay for the gizmo, it's free (well, there may be $4 fee monthly...not sure). You can't choose your own ph # for the free service (you can choose your own # if you pay $40 fee).

Not having the VOIP phone from your provider should cut your internet a bit.

Do they charge you for leasing a modem and/or router? If so, get your own. That will cut your bill a bit.

Other than that, you're stuck using the ISP in your area.

There are people who do a "hot spot" thing, using their cell phones. They say it works well. You have to have an unlimited plan (really unlimited....not the kind that starts slowing down after you use a certain amount). You'd have to research that, because I don't do that, so don't understand it. I have a pay-as-you-phone, so I can't do this.

I have Tracfone for cheapo cell phone. It's pay-as-you-go. The phone was pretty inexpensive ($20 a couple of years ago?). It's a triple minutes phone, which means that for every minute I buy, 3 minutes is downloaded to the phone. Every year I buy 400 minutes for $100; 1,200 minutes are downloaded to my phone. Unused minutes roll forward forever. I've used Tracfone for 10 years and have been pleased. You CAN get a Smartphone (check Tracfone's website)...you have to do a monthly plan for that, which I don't want to do. I have an LG touch phone that has the regular stuff, but is too slow to use browser...and since it's not Android, can't download apps. I can't use the browser well enuf to download, anyway. That's fine w/me.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:56 PM
3,463 posts, read 2,301,667 times
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I would try the free Google Voice option with the additional (paid) box to hook up to your landline first if I were you.

Other than that you can try this link https://decisiondata.org/coverage/ti...-availability/ (which I have used myself) to check out what all of the options are for land line and internet in your area. Note: just disregard that it states Time Warner and Spectrum on the landing page. I am just getting you through a back door of their site. Just enter your zip code in the box below all of that info, click submit and then scroll down a bit and it should list all of the options in your area for landline and internet so you can compare costs.

You are actually doing pretty good on that price you are paying for land line and internet. It might be pretty tough to beat unless you go with Google Voice or a cheaper cell phone service and then get rid of your landline. I am paying $85 with Spectrum (Charter) for just a landline and internet. (no cable) And that is better than what they actually were charging me until I complained and got it lowered to the $85.

The more competition you have in your area the better prices you will find.

Good luck!
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