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Oh all-wise community, I come in search of your collective wisdom!  Pray, assist a total and utter Luddite technology-challenged seeker with a very tight budget!

Here is the situation:

I just got an e-mail from DKos about an offer to switch my mobile service to CREDO.  The cheapest plan under this offer seems to be about $40/month (about half what I pay for my landline) and would come with a free or very much reduced phone that would be considerably more intelligent than my LG burner (on a TracPhone plan for about $10/month, very rarely used).

Sounds like a sweet deal, no?  The problem is that a) I am really chary about dumping my landline, b) I rarely make telephone calls, and c) I have zero interest in having a smart phone since I don't play games or suchlike.

So...does anyone out there have a CREDO account?  Is dumping the landline completely worth it?  Is a smart phone?  Am I hopelessly behind the times?  

Advice freely accepted since this sounds like a great deal....

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Comment Preferences

  •  I use T-Mobile pre pay. (6+ / 0-)

    Two dollars a day but only on the days I complete a call. After the first call the rest of the day is free and I call relatives.

    I do not use a smart phone except occasionally (It calls home every day so every day costs two dollars) I screen incoming calls and only answer to people I know.

    Average bill around ten dollars a month. You can transfer your landline number to T-mobile.

    T-Mobile is a SIM card service so you can change your phone like clothes.

  •  I'm going a little off topic here. (6+ / 0-)

    I'll leave it the others to give you the best  advice on mobile (I don't have the cheapest mobile service, and I know it.)

    But did I read this right?

    40/month (about half what I pay for my landline)
    Are you getting your internet service through your phone company or can you ditch them for something cheaper?

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:19:54 PM PST

    •  No, I get my Internet through the cable company (8+ / 0-)

      The landline costs around $80 through Verizon.   I considered switching the Internet to Verizon but the service was slower than what I could get through Charter.

      This is why I'm considering getting rid of the landline completely.  I rarely use it and it's expensive.  The only thing is that the phone service wasn't interrupted during the October Surprise blackout a few years ago....

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:29:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know where you are... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS, FG, Wee Mama, RiveroftheWest, Munchkn

        and services vary by location.  But $80 sounds awfully high. A simple land line should be under 15.

        Make sure you are not paying for things you don't have to have, check out other providers, and threaten to leave if you can do better.  Usually there is a 'customer retention' department that will try to get you a better deal.

        I use DSL for computer access (32 dollars a month) and MagicJack  for phone that costs about three dollars a month.

        As for cell, I use T-Mobile pay as you go and only use it in emergencies.  

        Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

        by DRo on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:41:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Massachusetts (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover, DRo, Wee Mama, RiveroftheWest, Munchkn

          $15?  The last time I paid that little was in the early 1980' it still that cheap in other areas?

          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:56:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. (5+ / 0-)

            It's not. It's around $40ish on the West Coast. That's a stripped-down plan with no extras.

            I like having a home phone. I don't like everyone and their mother being able to reach me at any time. And I like having a hard 911 location dialed in.  So I have a VOIP service. They come in a range of costs. I went with Vonage, which all the experts say has the most reliable service. It's not the cheapest, but I'm thrilled with it.  I get emails with voicemail transcribed. I can forward it to my cell (if I'm going to be out of town) and I can call a ton of foreign countries for free.

            I got several months at $10 per month and now it's $30 per month.

            It's a lot cheaper than what you're paying. If you really WANT a home phone, it's a good option (except, yes, during an extended power outage unless you make back up plans).

            Something to consider anyhow.

            © grover

            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:32:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  can you get (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, Wee Mama, RiveroftheWest, Munchkn, DRo

        a home phone through charter? We bundled our internet and I was thinking about getting rid of the landline but we got one from Comcast for 7.00 a month with unlimited calling.

        Since we have that I hardly ever use my cell phone anymore. I have a prepaid Virgin Mobile with 400 minutes for $20 a month.

        It's the policy stupid

        by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:58:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We do not get cell reception at the house as we (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, Munchkn

        live n a very rural area, but we do have broadband and just dumped Frontier land lines ($27.00/month) in favor of VoIP with a great company called Phone Power (got a deal for $10.50/month, normally $14.00).

        The features and the quality of the calls are amazing.  

        By the way, I do not work for Phone Power but did extensive research on just who we wanted to go with for our VoIP service provider).

        Just my 2 cents...

        "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy...." - Rumi

        by LamontCranston on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:13:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have Charter telephone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't know exactly how much it costs because we bundle everything.  I do love my landline though.  I do NOT need to always be on the phone and a landline suits me fine for that.  We also have a listing in the phone book.  I do have a cell phone for emergencies, but I just do not use it while driving.  That's one advantage of a stick shift -it takes both hands.

        You could look into Vonage. That's a cheaper alternative to a regular landline.

  •  T&R for pure tag awesomeness (11+ / 0-)

    Landlines are becoming significantly more rare.  They're not useless, though.

    Smartphones are overrated.  They're somewhat useful if you actually are looking for a converged device, but quite a bit of fragility and signal unreliability tends to come with the niceties.  I haven't seen any studies to back this up (thus, take this comment with more than one grain of salt), but in 4 years at a T-Mobile call center I heard hundreds - perhaps thousands - of anecdotal accounts regarding significantly better reception with "dumb" phones than smart.  My own experience parallels this to some degree.  All this said, smartphones can take the place of two or three things, and (in my experience) most people who disdain them until trying one wind up liking them.

    Short answer:  if a smartphone is your ONLY choice to take a good plan with CREDO (which is reputable to my knowledge), you can go with it.

    Please do make sure to check out CREDO's coverage map, found here.  CREDO uses Sprint's network infrastructure, so coverage is generally pretty good with them, but all the major carriers have outlier areas.  Please make sure you're not in one of them, or your experience is likely to be very frustrating.

    Grover and aeou have made good points about cost options to consider.

    Generally, my impression of CREDO is positive.  I've considered switching to them in the past, and may yet.  I'd try to be as sure as you can that you'll have good coverage in your area, and that this is an intelligent money decision for you, and go with the results of your research.

    Also, for reference, I haven't had a landline in over 10 years and never felt the lack.  I don't use the phone much either, which helps.

  •  I am about to write a diary (10+ / 0-)

    about that same email.

    Credo donates the most meager amount to worthy causes. I have nothing against them, but the 1% that goes to good causes in next to nothing. It's great marketing and P.R., though.

    Just about everyplace has alternative local carriers that are allowed to resell landline service by law. I've used Pioneer Telephone in Portland, Maine for a few years for long distance and my toll-free number. Turns out they've gotten the OK to resell phone service in 20 or so other states including IL, where I live.

    ATT here charges a lot for landline phone service and even more if it's a "business" line. $75/mo is average for business. I talked to the nice folks at Pioneer and they can take over the line for a lot less. Here in Chicago a basic line with no frills comes out to $22 taxes included. Call waiting as I remember was an extra $6 and call forwarding was an extra $4. Prices are different for different locations, but you should check them out.

    Remember too that just about every cell phone company is simply reselling airtime from the big carriers like ATT and Verizon. Credo resells Sprint bandwidth. So do others.

    If you price check, Credo isn't just 1% more expensive (the amount they donate to good causes) than the competitors, they're a good bit higher than that.

    Like I said, Credo is using a good business model, but as far as thinking of it as a worthy cause itself remember you could more than match it with a penny jar that you cash in each month and send to the ACLU.

    "The right is correct on one thing...we really are a bunch of easily outraged nitpickers."

    by potato on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:45:11 PM PST

  •  Very off topic (a bit) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat

    I have not had a land line for well over 10 years. I use a cellphone and Skype on my cable internet for calls that would not be part of my plan (I get a free Samsung Note II with 1000 voice minutes, 5000 texts and unlimited mobile data for £26 pm over 24 months). In the UK incoming calls are not charged BTW. The allowance is vastly more than I need but the unlimited data and the phone which is mine at the end of the contract period more than make up for the monthly cost.

    I also have a phone  for a separate use which I get 250 minutes, 300 texts and 500Mb data, The phone is from a previous contract which I unlocked so I could use the £5 SIM in it. The monthly charge after that for the allowance is precisely £0. (The SIM card was actually £15 but £10 of that is a credit against out of allowance calls).

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:53:38 PM PST

  •  I've had CREDO service for two years. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, dsb, RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat

    They're a great company. They use the Sprint network which has good coverage nationwide.

    My plan includes the free Sanyo flip phone and 250 anytime minutes for $35 per month including taxes. They even paid the $200 penalty for terminating my Verizon wireless agreement.

    I have voice mail, call forwarding, texting (which I don't use) and a camera. The one thing I'm not completely crazy about is the ringtone. There's only one ringtone with the cheapo phone plan.

    Credo is a reputable company that is also proactive on many green issues.

    I hope this helps.


    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." -- Groucho Marx

    by Gordon20024 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:54:12 PM PST

    •  ringtones don't depend on your plan -- ?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Hey Gordon, you should give CREDO a call at 800-411-0848 and ask them about how to change your ringtone ... I've had a couple of their basic phone models over the years, and from everything I know, ringtones are programmed on the handset itself and don't have anything to do with the plan choices you've made.

      All the children of your children's children, do you ever think what they're going to find? Make tomorrow, today...

      by willy mugobeer on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:11:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  dump the landline (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat

    If you have a mobile phone, and it has good reception in your house, then why pay double for the same service?  Take that 80/mo and invest it into a better mobile phone, better plan, etc.

    Every once in a while I check into Credo, and they're never a great deal, factoring in all the various extra fees and comparing to similar plans from other networks. Check out TMobile - they have some great low budget plans, including a good prepay option.

    As for smartphones, they are actually incredibly useful tools, and not just for games and such.

    "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

    by quill on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:55:18 PM PST

    •  what do you use them for? (6+ / 0-)

      I'm seriously asking since I can't think what I'd use one for besides phone calls and the occasional picture.

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:59:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Email and googling (6+ / 0-)

        when out and about in the world.    It is like having a teensy tinsy laptop with you at all times.  

        If you're always at home or in an office, with computer access laid on, no biggie.  I am, and I get by just fine with a cheap old flip phone.    But my sweetie's job include road warrior, and she relies on her smartphone like crazy.   Looks up health conditons for patients, uses googlemaps to get to their homes, chats with me via Facebook text messaging, etc. etc.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:22:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  mainly communication, navigation & info search (6+ / 0-)

        Those are the big three for me. Also, web browsing (incl DKos), books, internet radio, camera, finance, note taking, schedule/calendar, bird identification, and many more. I have a few games but rarely play them. The games are for when I'm with friends with bored kids.

        "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

        by quill on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:34:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Some of the useful things (5+ / 0-)

        1. Maps and navigation.  Most phones are GPS enabled.  (Yes, I'm sure the NSA tracks them.  If you don't want anyone to know where you are, find a steel or aluminum box -- with a cover -- to put it in, although then you can't get incoming calls.

        2. Texting.  (Any good regular phone does this too.)  It's trite but practically speaking many other people have SMS-enabled phones.    ("SMS" is the technology that makes texting work.)

        3. All kinds of handy stuff.  Google of course, but the best part is that you can google a number you want and click on it to call.  

        4. You've already got a broadband connection so you can set up your own wi-fi hotspot at home (if you don't have a router you should get one, for security reasons; if this makes no sense to you find a tech-savvy friend.  A decent wifi-capable broadband router will run you about $45 on Amazon.)

        5. Check the various carriers' coverage maps to make sure there's a good signal where you live.  T-Mobile is the best in terms of coverage and is cheapest but Verizon has better network coverage.  AT&T generally sucks and Sprint is likely to go under.

      •  Also (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat

        Get smart about using wifi for data - there are often public hotspots. Nothing secure of course but you can usually install Skype and often use it on these wifi systems at least for voice calls.

        I have a number of apps to do different things as well as being able to browse the internet. If you get a phone with a large enough screen, you can view the full web sites rather that the mobile versions (extra data tho).

        Here are a few of the apps on my Android.

        FM Radio
        Piano synthesizer
        App to remotely set my PVR to record
        Google maps - will show your location and route to destination,
        App to pay and monitor credit card.
        App to book doctor's appointment and order repeat prescriptions.
        Google Calendar - links in with the on-line version to keep your diary and schedules coordinated
        Google Earth - wider app with street view
        Star Maps - helps identify the constellation etc you point the camera towards.
        Notes (this is a Samsung special for their Note series and pops up a "post it" when you take out the stylus. Allows you to handwrite and will convert to ordinary text in one mode. Handy for things like shopping lists.)

        I also in the UK use the BBC iPlayer mainly to listen to radio on the move but also to watch TV when on good wifi or good mobile signal. The latest version allows you to download a show to your phone at home using wifi and then playback on the move (obviously not while driving!!!)

        One hint - if you get smartphone, make sure you get a good screen protector. I got a great one on line which is glass rather than the usual plastic films for under $10. A sturdy case is a good investment too.


        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:59:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OOOPS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Google Earth got separated from the Maps app which the comment was about - you probably know the desktop version anyway.

          Should also have said that you should check if your provider allows Skype calls using your mobile data allowance. Some do not. Another thing not all allow is to use your phone as a mobile hotspot to "tether" to your laptop/tablet or to use the data cable to act as a mobile "dongle". This is fairly heavy on your data allowance but is useful as an emergency or if, say, you are in a hotel without Wi-Fi or with high costs for it.

          That last is by the way is the reason I have the second phone. The free data allowance on my main phone does not allow use as a mobile hot spot or tethering however my £0 a month deal does. Means I can take my Wi-Fi only 10in tablet away from home and still be connected. The "hot spot" phone just sits in a pocket or my backpack providing the connection.  I should say I never use the full month's allowance on that either!

          One thing to look for is the ability to take Micro SD cards. These are extra memory for storage of things like MP3s, photos, videos etc. Shop around and you can get them for well under $1 per gigabite. You will possibly get a small one with the phone but in the long run at least 16Gb is better. Newer phones should be able to take 32Gb cards and some even 64Gb.

          "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:24:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's a lot of stuff - (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat

          Of that list, about the only thing that would apply to my life is the GPS - I don't use PayPal (I've heard some real horror stories from friends about assets being frozen without warning) and don't do online banking due to concerns about data breaches (I was one of the victims of the Barnes & Noble POS scam a couple of years ago).  It sounds very useful depending on one's lifestyle, though.


          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:40:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I use my phone a lot. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slapshoe, quill, RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat

        And not for only social media (I don't tweet, instagram, G+ 4square or all that stuff anyhow).

        I'm able to stand in a store and check reviews about an item I'm thinking of buying. Is the Makita drill better? Or DeWalt?

        Need more information? I can instantly scan this little funky code thingy on the box while standing in the store, and promotional information and often, a whole darn owner's manual will pop up in my phone. NOW I know exactly what I'm buying. How cool is that?

        I can doublecheck ingredients and nutritional info.

        Wasn't this item recently recalled?

        Oh heck. I wanted to make that recipe tomorrow for dinner. What WERE the ingredients? Oh right. Here they are.

        I've sent my niece (who lives across the country) a photo of item I saw at Costco. Can you pick this up for your Mom for Christmas? Here, I'll paypal you the money for the gift (and wrapping paper) right now.

        The navigation apps are useful when walking around an unfamiliar town.

        On road trips, we make hotel reservations from the hotel apps once we know approximately where we'll be staying that night.

        Car troubles? AAA has an app. Auto accident? The insurance company has an app too.  Movie tickets are purchased instantly. No waiting in line.  You can watch TV and movies wherever there is wifi (like hotels or airports). Some are completely free. Some you simply need cable service so you can log on.  Speaking of airports, You can buy plane tickets online with some airline apps.

        A phone becomes a flashlight, an ATM for deposits, a real estate agent that shows personalized listings (but doesn't drive you there, so you still need a human agent!), and a secretary that makes reservations, takes dictation, and easily shops at all you favorite stores for you.

        The best medical websites have mobile apps as well. There is a great weather radio app to keep you safe.

        Quick, easy, portable. You're no longer tied to a desktop or a laptop.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:17:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe...but aren't you tied to the phone? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Munchkn, grover

          I mean, what happens if you lose it or someone steals it?  It sounds like most of your life is in that phone, which could be very bad if you suddenly didn't have it.

          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:42:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You back it up. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Mine is backed up to my laptop, which is then backed up once again.

            My phone is password protected. And I have it set to self-detonate, which means if someone tries to hack into it, after a certain number of  tries, it clears the phone entirely.

            My sensitive apps are also password protected and I don't leave them open. So if someone gets my phone, they would have to do a bit of work. And there's not a lot of value there.

            Apple also has an app so you can Find My IPhone.

            I managed to drop my phone in the pool. There it was, feebly ringing when I finally searched for it out in the back yard, calling it as I went.

            It couldn't be revived.  Cause of death was drowning.

            A trip to the Apple store, a replacement phone was reconfigured from my laptop and I was back in business.

            I have an older generation iPhone. The new ones can do even more and much faster. I find it's a handy little tool. I make a point of keeping  it backed up and not storing anything super sensitive on it. I don't want to be someone who freaks if I lose my handy little tool because at that point, it's just become another hassle in my life.

            © grover

            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:34:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  One point re land line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at least in the UK, Dell require a land line number for credit sales over the internet - that's despite them selling smart phones at the time I looked!

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:57:04 PM PST

    •  never heard of that here in US (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in fact the only reason I get asked my phone # when I buy anything is so they can reach me if there's a problem. They don't ask if it's a landline or cell.

      With millions of people, especially techies and younger ones, having no landline, I doubt any retailer would go that route.

  •  Has Daily Kos sold my info to Credo? Is this OK? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Had Credo ages ago (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, quill, Ellid, RiveroftheWest

    We were attracted by their progressive marketing, but NOT very happy with their service.   The left hand never seemed to know what the right hand was doing, billing errors were almost impossible to correct, and so on.

    I'm afraid they're just another phone company, with a little green-washing.  Go with a bare-bones plan at the best price with whatever carrier that may be, and donate your conscience dollars separately.  My advice, for what it's worth.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:26:08 PM PST

  •  Credo is often more expensive than other (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, quill, RiveroftheWest, DRo

    cell phone companies. And it only donates 1% of revenues. Shop around and see what the other companies charge.

    Also, $80 for landline? You must be charged for a lot of expensive options you probably don't use. Look into that.

    •  Already did (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, FG

      The only extra I have is maintenance on the wires.  I dumped the voicemail because I never used it.  My roommate talks to her mother on it so the unlimited calls is nice, but that's about it.

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:43:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  On a side note, we have cable internet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Munchkn

    and they offered us a package deal to carry our land line, as well.  It's not as ideal at times when there's an outage and we lose both web and phone, but otherwise it's very cost-effective and we don't notice any difference in service.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:49:09 PM PST

  •  I use my so-called landline (3+ / 0-)

    For DSL high speed internet. Yea, Yea, I can't do all those fancy, schmancy things all the rest of you can do, but ...

    ... and it's a big BUT ...

    ... I live in Tornado Land and, when all the satellite services have gone out, and I can get no wireless service or c ell service and certainly nothing on television ...

    ... I can track the tornados or floods or ice storms or high winds or wild fires or whatever (yes, I live in H3LL) by DSL.

    Using those lines for a phone, however, is risky because, when a phone is attached to them, the phone will dial 911 with no assistance from me whatsoever. Yes, I've had entire police departments show up at my front door at 3 a.m. as a result.

  •  Don't really know anything about Credo. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat

    But I got rid of my landline about 3-4 yrs ago. It was when a landline charged more for long distance calls, and my cell by minutes used not by location of calls(within the U.S.). Also, I rarely got a call on the landline, and after I signed up on the Do Not Call List I got no calls. So I went with only my cell phone--and I live out in the boonies.
    Last year I upgraded to a smart phone--an 'android'(which means any phone that's not an iPhone), a Samsung Galaxy SIII. They have an S4 model now. I like it for the big screen(bigger than an iPhone), ease of use, price, and ability to do several things I like. It has navigation just like the iPhone's Siri, I can(but only rarely do) surf the web on it, and it has a wifi hotspot app(all smart phones do now). That means I can sit in my truck(or camper) with my laptop & use the cell phone as my wifi hotspot as my web connection. I realize I'm not using anywhere close to the full potential of my phone, but, eh-I needed a new phone, so upgraded to a smart phone. I rarely take pics or video, never play games or anything like that. I don't store music on it but many(most?) folks do. It is a useful gadget even if I only use a small portion of it's potential...

    I have yet to miss my landline even once, and have never had any trouble by only having a cell phone.

    I have DirecTV as there is no cable out here, and I get my internet at home via a wireless signal broadcast from a mountain ridge ~6-8 miles away, for which I have a 6"x6" receiver box on the outside of my hut--fast enough to stream movies.
    Three different companies, no bundling. It works well for me.

    The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

    by Thinking Fella on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:17:28 PM PST

  •  ATT U-Verse home phone for $20/mo. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat, DRo

    I recently switched from a no frills ATT land line for about $32/mo to an ATT U-verse home phone with unlimited long distance, caller id, voice mail, and more calling features for $20/mo plus a little over $3/mo in taxes and fees. My service is in California.

    I also have a pre-paid Tracfone that I bought from the Home Shopping Network for $69.99, plus shipping, for a LG cell phone, 14 months of service, and 1520 minutes of air time. The phone has "triple minutes for life" so when I buy more airtime in the future it will be tripled. LG No-Contract Touchscreen 3G Wi-Fi Camera Smartphone with 1500 Minutes - Tracfone Service is their current offering.

    Just after I bought my cell phone they started offering Android smart phones.

  •  I've had Credo for years and like it very much. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For a texting phone without a data plan it's a good deal. I think their data plans, that you have to get if you have a smart phone, are costlier than some, but not all, other carriers. I have both kinds of phones, and often run price comparisons. Also I've had above average customer service from.Credo. There have been glitches but they're always fixed politely. I've never met a telecomm company that didn't have customer service issues and Credo has been the least obnoxious. And its politics are in the right place. They encourage and pay for phone calls to legislators, they are activists for privacy, they do activism organizing.

  •  Credo are good people but expensive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Munchkn, Aunt Pat

    I used to have Credo mobile. They are politically sympatico. But I was paying $40+ tax for a cell I rarely used.

    About a year ago I switched to Consumer Cellular, and have a plan where I only pay for what I use. Since that is basically an occasional text message, plus plugging into wireless which doesn't cost, except when I'm travelling, my monthly fee is down to $17. (I get a 5% AARP discount.) I did go with a low-end smartphone and am gradually learning the bells and whistles. I like texting though. Their customer service is excellent both online and if you call.

    I too have thought about giving up my landline, because most of the incoming calls are pure spam robocalls even though I'm on the Do Not Call list. But I have unlimited long distance, so that's the one I use for outgoing calls, and encourage my kids to call in on it. And I like having a landline so if I call 911 they would be able to find me more easily.

  •  I have Credo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    switched from Verizon.

    They are now very together and its nice knowing Something is going to those things I believe in and I get to vote where, agreeably, that small amount goes to.

    It is sprint and I don't get quite as good a signal as with Verizon. It is about the same though in price as I was paying for cell. I get roaming free and it is around40 a month per phone.

    I just feel good I am not contributing any funds to Verizon or ATT.

    Do check the coverage though with the link in a comment above. We don't get good cell service at home so they sent me an airwave unit to boost the signal. I have a wifi and have not hooked up yet the airwave thing as wifi for the TV and a laptop which makes this hookup a bit more complicated and I have to be slow since I am minimally techie.

    I get landline, but have the charter cable with landline service all plugged into a UPS and a separate battery backup. These two items would really be an investment and with limited income might not be something you would want to put money into.

    So really all I can vouch for is, it does seem that they now have a different CEO since around. When we moved, we followed their rules and sent in what we needed to in order to get the credit for broken contract fine we paid to Verizon. It was processed in good time and we didn't pay a bill for the first I think it was three months, although the FIRST month before the papers were sent, we did pay the first bill.

    All I can vouch for is that I have very good experience with credo and working with their support and they seem to have it together now.

    Another note, I like that they offer the crafting of letters to send in to congress or other agencies for 3 dollars, BUT I have not done that. We need to take care with our funs too, but is nice to know I could get one more professionally and more concise if I decide to in he future.

    Good options here I didn't know about, in the comments

    Hope that helps.

  •  Why I keep a landline. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Aunt Pat, wayne

    1. Because we are in a cell dead-zone.
    2. Because when power goes out the phones still work.
    3. Because our DSL shares that copper wire.

    Alpacas spit if you annoy them. So don't do that.

    by alpaca farmer on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 08:23:09 PM PST

    •  Still have the landline (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      3.  Especially for your last reason - DSL.  Even though we had to keep the landline, we turned the landline phone ringer and answering machine off a couple of years ago after exploiting every reduction in monthly fees, and haven't answered it since.  There's no one who calls us who doesn't have our cell numbers.

      2.  If power outages are a consideration, you do have to have a landline phone that works off the phoneline power for power outages.  Most landline phones that people buy plug into a wall electrical socket,  and they won't work then.

      1.  Needs depend on whether you're in a city or out in the boonies.  Urbanites' advice seldom works for me, since like you I'm in a low reception area.   We got a network extender, which isn't perfect but helps a lot inside the house.  

      So yeah, we still keep the landline, but we never use it.

      I know, I veered out of the diarist's direct requests, but these are still considerations.  Good luck  on finding what you need!

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