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Thinking of dumping phone land lines...
Old 06-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #1
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Thinking of dumping phone land lines...

There has probably been a thread about this before, but I'll give this a shot:
I am thinking of totally dumping all land lines for the phone and just go cell all the way and get Magic Jack for the computer to run on. Can anyone find a negative in this or have bad luck going this way? I haven't had that much time to research Magic Jack, but any input is welcome.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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There has probably been a thread about this before...
Magic Jack Internet Phone Service
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:36 PM   #3
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Even if you drop service, keep your phones plugged in, especially in the bedroom, so you've got 911 access in an emergency. I think 911 still works even if you don't have service, right?

And make sure your internet bandwidth is high enough for Magic Jack, and is reliable. MyConnection Server, speed testing, Video and IPTV testing, speed capacity testing, network assessment testing, network route performance, VoIP quality testing tells you your current bandwidth and quality of service. Most likely it will be good enough but some people still don't have very high speed internet service.

Maybe try it for a month without using your land line (ringer turned off) and see how it goes before giving it up. The reconnect charge is probably a lot more than keeping the service for a month or couple of weeks.

Even though telemarketers aren't supposed to call cell numbers, will they still do it if that's the only number you have to give out?
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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I've quit giving out my land line number about 7 years ago. The only telemarketing calls I get--and they are always computer ones--have been from political candidates calling, and calling and calling and calling...sigh. But, otherwise, zip.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:04 PM   #5
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I gave up my landline in 2002 and have been cell phone only since.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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We've had no land line since December of 2006. Haven't missed it.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:13 PM   #7
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We had dropped the landline a few years ago and had been using Vonage. This past March we tried a 30 day free trial of Magicjack and liked it enough to cancel Vonage and keep the Magicjack.

We set up an extra, older computer in the basement and ran an ethernet cable to it and that's the one that has the Magicjack. It's halfway between the router and the kitchen where we have our most used phone. We wanted a few extensions so I bought a new phone system (DECT 6.0) with 4 cordless units. The one in the kitchen has the line to the magicjack and it's the main phone unit with an answering machine.

I didn't want to leave my regular computer on all the time so that's why we put the computer with the Magicjack in the basement. There is a keyboard and monitor attached for setup and then we just keep the monitor off. We use VNC to remote into the computer if we need to check anything.

I've been happy with the Magicjack and recommend that you try it while keeping your old system for a while. The toughest part of the whole transition has been giving up the old phone number and remembering who needs the new one.

A nice bonus to our conversion is that the new all cordless phone system is pretty slick! The saved directory is shared among all the handsets, so if you add a number on one handset all the phones will have it in their directory. Also, all the cordless units can be used as an in-house intercom. Any handset can be used to call any other handset. Very handy for calling folks to dinner.

One more thing about the MagicJack - the default for the voicemail is 4 rings. We didn't want to use the MJ voicemail, I want to use our answering machine. I found a way to change the computer registry for the MJ program that lets it ring longer so that the home answering machine gets a chance to pick up the call before the MJ voicemail.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:40 PM   #8
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I have a landline (it's hooked to the lobby of the condo) with only basic service, but to call out, I use a MagicJack competitor (Nettalk TK6000 -- still has growing pains, but have a lifetime membership, and works without having to leave computer on). For travel, my mobile is Tracfone prepaid, but I also use a MagicJack with my laptop during travel which saves a lot of minutes off the Tracfone.

My opinion: Magicjack is a great solution when it works. But customer support from the company is pretty much non-existent. They have a customer chat through their home page. From personal experience, it is pretty bad and a frustrating experience. There is an unofficial support site which other MagicJack users post to because of the non-existent customer service from the company.

I noticed there hasn't been a mention of Ooma yet in this thread, so thought I would. I've heard good things about this, but haven't tried Ooma myself.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:18 AM   #9
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Well, since you bring it up - we've been Ooma and cell only since March. We have the Premier service, since we want a dedicated fax line number and ring. When it works right it's great. It has never left us with no service, but any glitches or corrections take hours and days on the phone to correct. Example: noticed a $3.47 charge on our card for Ooma. Called to inquire, and found it was a monthly tax which they would refund and cancel since we prepaid on an annual basis. Only way they could do that was to refund our $3.47 charge and our annual charge and restart our service and re-bill the annual charge. Which they did. Except now the cell that was set to ring whenever the home phone rings got no ring tone when calling the house. The house phone rang, but if no one picked up the person on the cell had no idea the home phone was ringing until the answering machine picked up. Ooma fought that over several days before deciding that that was normal operation and that the ability of the cell caller to hear ringing when calling the house prior to the reset was a glitch. Not happy about losing the glitch that had been there for months, but one can spend only so many hours on the phone to India with Biff and Buffy and escalation to trouble service center level three before one decides that life is more than repeating my high school mascot's name and the last four of my social for security purposes. They did give us another 2 months of free Premier service. Sound quality is great, fax works just fine, no need to have a computer on for it to work, more features than Ma Bell, and in a few more months we'll have saved more money than we spent for the service and equipment. Good system and they do call back and try to solve things from their script.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:38 AM   #10
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I've had cell phone only since Sept. 2000. I see no reason for a land line. I've never heard of Magic Jack so can't help with that. I get internet from roadrunner. Maybe not the cheapest but it's convienent, fast, and have never had a problem in nearly 10 years.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:18 AM   #11
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Even if you drop service, keep your phones plugged in, especially in the bedroom, so you've got 911 access in an emergency. I think 911 still works even if you don't have service, right?

....
How big an issue is this? To have a landline for emergencies? I live in earthquake country and will keep my landline and a cheap cell for the foreseeabe future. By the way I felt my first quake in Wisconsin which is also prone to tornados. I'll have another chat with a neighbor who is deeply involved with neighborhood preparedness. A couple of weeks ago she said to keep the landline.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:37 AM   #12
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Even if you drop service, keep your phones plugged in, especially in the bedroom, so you've got 911 access in an emergency. I think 911 still works even if you don't have service, right?
While this is the case for cell phones, there is no emergency service capability if you drop your land line. You won't have a dial tone and without it the phone is completely dead .
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:00 AM   #13
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This just in from Ooma - an Iphone app that gives WiFi phone use without using cellular minutes for Iphone, Ipod Touch, and some versions of the Ipad - 3G only.

Ooma Mobile Application Now Available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad | Business Wire
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:28 AM   #14
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By the way I felt my first quake in Wisconsin which is also prone to tornados.
Really? I've lived in Wisconsin for nearly 31 years and never felt an earthquake. Tornados are a much bigger problem around here.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:52 AM   #15
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Today I saw an ad on TV for ooma, first time I've seen one.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:26 PM   #16
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While this is the case for cell phones, there is no emergency service capability if you drop your land line. You won't have a dial tone and without it the phone is completely dead .
This isn't true for us, REW. I dropped the service but the phone company said that I could still dial 911 from the phone and there is a dial tone, or was the last time I checked a few months ago.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:36 PM   #17
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We use MJ as a second line. We have an AX522 switch that routes incoming calls to the cordless base station, allowing any handset to answer.

For outgoing calls, we select the MJ by keying #0 for the alternate dialtone. We also have two dedicated phones on each line, enabling both lines to be used simultaneously. Have had it since June 2008. Just signed up for 5 more years of MJ for $60 ($1/mo).
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:21 PM   #18
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I am running OOMA too. Been very happy. They need an Android app now!
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:29 PM   #19
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Even if you drop service, keep your phones plugged in, especially in the bedroom, so you've got 911 access in an emergency.(snip)
While this is the case for cell phones, there is no emergency service capability if you drop your land line. You won't have a dial tone and without it the phone is completely dead .
This isn't true for us, REW. I dropped the service but the phone company said that I could still dial 911 from the phone and there is a dial tone, or was the last time I checked a few months ago.
One other thing to take into consideration is that unless your local emergency services have Enhanced 911, I don't think they can locate you from your cell phone. I think all 911 services can get the address from a landline. Here's the scoop from snopes.com.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:19 AM   #20
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I read the article, but there is no "Location" under "Settings" on my cell at all. Any other idea what it might be called?
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