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How do you save on these?

I am currently paying $99 mo for phone, internet & cable but the promotion is ending 12/31. I will get rid of cable and keep internet, but will still need a home phone. I am also terminating DH's cell contract at $80 mo (gave up my cell phone months ago) - so I would not give up both cell AND home phone. (I am also thinking of getting a Verizon prepaid cell phone to "share" with DH for emergencies).

I have been looking at phone through internet options and I'm confused. I just need free US long distance. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I start to research it and then get bored or frustrated and give up, but since these expenses are adding up to $2100/ year and I need to figure it out ASAP!

Thanks!!
 

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We're, like, telecommunication twins. I gave up cable, kept internet, and then puzzled over the phone sitch too. I'm in Canada, but here's what I did:

  • Switched to a free-after-5-&-on weekends cell phone plan. Got a great rate by talking to the loyalty department.
  • Started using Yak Communications for all long-distance on the cell (you dial a local access number before dialing the long-distance #, and pay only $0.03/min)
  • Bought a $2.99/month Skype plan because a) this is even cheaper than the cell's rates (unlimited LD to landlines in N. America), and b) maintaining a phone line other than my cell means that I can write off the cost of the cell's basic plan as a business expense. Skype is actually completely free if you're calling another skype user. It's free to register so it's worth having friends and fam sign up if they don't mind talking over the computer. It also has a webcam feature so you can see the person you're talking to.
So I don't have a home phone per se, but I know some people do use Skype that way. You can even buy handsets, so it looks like a regular phone. Drawbacks are that the sound quality can be occasionally tinny, and because VoIP calls aren't automatically tracked, 911 can't figure out your address unless you tell them. The 911 thing could be a major consideration if you have older ppl or children in the house.

The cell could be even cheaper than it is if I could find a plan that still included free incoming. Yak has a feature where you call an access number first and it makes your outgoing calls look like incoming calls. This is probably why Telus no longer offers this plan.
 
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I have a Boost cell phone. $50 a month and I have unlimited everything. I also have done Magic Jack. Verizon in NJ did a number on Magic Jack so I just forward the number to my cell now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a Boost cell phone. $50 a month and I have unlimited everything. I also have done Magic Jack. Verizon in NJ did a number on Magic Jack so I just forward the number to my cell now.
Thanks!

what do you mean about verizon/ magic jack?
do you get a phone number and incoming calls with it?
 

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Yes, Magic Jack sends you a small device--smaller than a deck of cards that plugs into a USB port on your computer. You can sign up for a number in almost any area code you wish. You plug a normal land line phone into the device. Viola! You have phone service. Long distance is free to the US and I think Canada.
Verizon, beloved Verizon decided that there was a problem with the software and would try to block it. (I'm sure Verizon would not be acting selfishly and trying to keep those customers on standard phone lines!!!) Supposedly if you call Verizon (and know your verizon dsl phone number) they will lift the block.
As I recall, all calls received while the computer is off are directed to voicemail. So your computer may be on more than usual. However calls can still be forwarded.
I don't know what family plans Boost offers but it might be worth a look. Also look at Metro? or Cricket if it is available in your area. Look carefully at maps of covered areas 'cause that will break you.
 

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Okay, MagicJack is $39.95 which includes the device and one year of service. Ask around someone might have some extra devices. One year of service is 19.95.
Boost mobile offers a pay as you go plan but no family.

Oh, and MagicJack allows you to enter your address which appears to 911 operators.
 

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I would love to know myself. I can't drop my land line or I would not be able to have broadband unless I paid over $200 to change my line over to a dsl only line -- then I would still have to find some sort of cell plan that was reasonable. Right now I pay $40 just for land line with no long distance or toll plan. It bites. Magic Jack doesn't work well where I live. I haven't had any pay tv service in years. Can't afford it AND internet too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would love to know myself. I can't drop my land line or I would not be able to have broadband unless I paid over $200 to change my line over to a dsl only line -- then I would still have to find some sort of cell plan that was reasonable. Right now I pay $40 just for land line with no long distance or toll plan. It bites. Magic Jack doesn't work well where I live. I haven't had any pay tv service in years. Can't afford it AND internet too.
Do you have internet available through your cable company?
I am able to have high speed internet through my cable company without being required to have a phone or cable, but of course they give you "discounts" for multiple services. I have to check to see what it costs for internet only, but i think it's 40 or 50/ mo.
 

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We have basic no frills phone service and use 10-10-220 for long distance. It's $1.20 for a 10 minute long distance call.
 

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I work at home and have to have a phone line, fax line, cell and high speed internet. When I first moved here I was paying about $200 a month for all of that. I called the cable company to see what the best they could do was and then used that offer to get the phone company to lower their price. I actually ended up doing that twice. I finally switched everything over to the cable company (I don't use the TV service) last month and have the total down to about $145.

So, you may be able to negoitate a better rate.
 

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We live in the boonies and the only phone provider here is a little one. The only way we can get what we've got cheaper is to add a Satellite dish/get cable. I have no TV, and don't want one, so that's a waste. Also the landline is a must. I have a cell phone, that we switched from prepaid to a min. monthly fee, as I kept running out of minutes.

DH's cell is provided by his employer.

Judi
 

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MagicJack needs to develop a small box that can attach directly to the router. I would pick one up, but I'm not going to leave my computer on all the time. The cost for leaving my computer on is greater than my cost for phone service.
 

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We have a land line with no long distance or add-ons like caller id, it runs about $18/month by the time you add in taxes. I was using my cell phone for long distance, but now use Google Call. It works great and is currently free, hopefully they can find a way to keep it that way. Luckily I already had a headset with a mic to use for this. I've gone to a prepaid cell phone but hardly use it for anything but text, which is $5 per month and is taken out of the $25 I have to pay every 90 days to keep the service going.
 
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