I thought to myself, "I'm paying $34 a month for my landline. Shoot, that's how much some cell phone plans cost. Why am I doing this?" So, I started checking out various cell phone plans, intent on ditching the landline once and for all.
And, boy-howdy, there's a lot of cell phone providers out there. There are pay-as-you-go plans and month-to-month deals, and of course the always dreaded year-or-two-or-eight contracts that the Big Guys lock people into. Some offer free phones; I have a fairly recent Blackberry, so I don't really need one.
- We give you X local minutes free per month!
- Unlimited texting to Canadian and US numbers!
- Evenings and weekends, as many minutes as you want!
- Free beer!
And then there's the X minutes per month thing. Some months I might talk on the phone less than 30 minutes in total; other times I'll call up an old friend and we'll chat for two hours. How do I know how many minutes I'll need, in advance? There's really no way to tell.
Yes, I could've gotten around some of those issues; if I wanted to call up an old chum and chew the fat for a good long while, I could dial them up using Google Voice for free. Primus has this phone system which only needs a high-speed internet connection. Skype might've been an option.
In the end, everything which isn't a landline is a giant damn hassle. I've had a VOIP phone before (years ago with Rogers Cable) and the quality was shitty; my parents have the same thing now with Cogeco and they've had service guys out to their house so often they probably know 'em by name. If I was to go cell-only, I'd have to charge the damn thing all the damn time, it wouldn't work if the power was out, and if I lost it I'd be totally fuuuuuuucked (as so many people seem to be when they lose their designed-to-be-lost cell phone in a cab or at a rave or in a wax museum or wherever the deuce it is people go these days).
So, I called up Bell, asked what they could do for me, and they hacked $10/month off my bill. Status quo achieved! Landline and a cell I use sparingly, it'll remain.