Help cutting the cord (landline)

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4nursebee
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Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by 4nursebee »

We have kept our phone for E911 access and because the phone company was our only option for internet. Tomorrow we expect to take delivery of our Starlink satellite service. We have one real cell phone with data plan. We are considering a 2nd cell phone. What seems ideal is a pay per use phone plan but ATT acted like they did not have that any longer, it was $100 for 1000 minutes. ATT initially said they could not port landline, then said it would take 3 days. Verizon was too busy to talk. We get a lot of spam calls on the landline, have been handled by a ATT call blocker. We have concerns about changing our number off long time landline number for folks to reach us with. So my questions/concerns:

How does porting landline number to cell work? Should all carriers do it? (Cell company said we would need our PIN????)
Is there still a ATT $100 pay per use phone plan and how do we get it?
Are there other carriers or plans where the phone would work over wifi for most things and as an emergency phone when out and about? What carriers and plans?
Are there desktop phones that work or connect to cellular over wifi? This would be to replicate the classic sit down and gab/chat for hours holding a traditional handset.
If we are able to port landline phone to new cell, is there an effective way to block the up to 30 calls a day that are spam/robocalls? We do not even want them to ring.
What else can make this easy and not so expensive?

Thank you,
4RNB
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bradinsky
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by bradinsky »

Try Consumer Cellular. We have 3 lines with unlimited talk & text for $62 per month. That includes all taxes & fees.
yohac
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by yohac »

When we ported our landline, we did need to provide a PIN and a statement. In fact the PIN was on the statement. You might consider porting to T-Mobile, assuming it has good coverage in your area. They have a plan with unlimited minutes for $15 a month, and they seem to have better than average junk call blocking. They support wifi calling, like most carriers these days.

There are definitely phone sets that can link to a cell phone over bluetooth. Some also have their own call blocking features.
bob60014
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by bob60014 »

Age? We ported over many years ago to TMobile 55+, 2 lines, unlimited data, minutes, text plus international coverage for $60/mo. It is really hard to beat.
Saving$
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Saving$ »

A few considerations:
1. There are two strategies for existing number
a. You can port your existing number to a Google voice number (free), and then just get a new number for your second cell phone. The advantage to this include:
i. OFTEN you are required to provide a phone number for online ordering, meal ordering, etc. You can use your Google voice number and not be worried that the entity to which you are providing the number is going to sell the number for spam.
ii. You also get to keep your old phone number, old friends or even businesses who don't have your cell and call your old phone can leave a message, and that message gets emailed to you.
b. You can port your existing number to a cell phone, as you are suggesting. The advantage is you have one less number to keep track of, and your old number rings direct to your cell phone (which can also be a disadvantage if you get alot of spam calls).

2. There are several strategies for your new cell phone
a. If coverage is an issue with your existing cell phone in your area, get your second phone from a different carrier (not just a different MVNO, make sure their signal source is a different carrier - so you have two of the big three - T-Mobile, ATT or Verizon).
b. Get phones from the same carrier, and qualify for a family bundle. On Verizon prepaid, you can get two lines with unlimited minutes and text and 5GB of data each for $25/each/month on a two or more phone bundle when you use autopay.
c. Some of the phone hardware has better spam blocking than other hardware. For example, a Google Pixel phone will have the Google call screening service, so even if the calling number is not screened as spam, when it rings, you can let google screen it.

Yes, there is hardware you can buy in which you connect your cell and it runs the cell signal to your local phones. However, you may find this is more trouble than it is worth - once you switch to using cell phones instead of landlines, you may find they are convenient, and for long conversations, headphones are great. Cell phone batteries last hours.
Church Lady
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Church Lady »

is there an effective way to block the up to 30 calls a day that are spam/robocalls?
First, there is a 'national do not call' list you should register your phone with. Sadly, political robo-calls are explicitly excluded from this list, but you should get fewer calls. Search the web for National Do Not Call Registry

Second, I know someone with Boost Mobile (plans starting $8.33/mo). This person sees certain calls flagged as 'likely spam' (or is it likely scam?). So the phone rings, but no need to answer it.

Cell phones display the caller's number. A certain pastor says it is OK to not answer calls from numbers you don't recognize. Just saying! 8-)
as an emergency phone when out and about?
tello.com: plans start at $5/mo and would seem to be a good option if you don't need unlimited talk/text/data. T mobile network.

Boost mobile: starts at $8.33/mo. I don't know which network they use. No complaints from my friend.

Tracfone: $20 gets you 60 minutes voice and 3 months of service. They are quite chintzy with text messages, though. Verizon or ATT network.

It so happens I just switched from tracfone (chintzy with text messages) to tello because I use a lot of text messages, what with 2 factor authentication becoming increasingly mandatory. I found this plan by searching the web for 'best cell plan for seniors', 'best no data cell phone plan', 'cheap cell phone plans', and things of that nature. Depending on what is important to you, you will surely find something cheaper than AT&T.

Good luck!
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
retire2022
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by retire2022 »

Op

If you have Iphone go to settings>phone>silence callers not in contact.

This is a way to prevent spam callers from disturbing you.
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4nursebee
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by 4nursebee »

retire2022 wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:30 pm Op

If you have Iphone go to settings>phone>silence callers not in contact.

This is a way to prevent spam callers from disturbing you.
Woohoo, thank you.
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4nursebee
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by 4nursebee »

bradinsky wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 7:46 pm Try Consumer Cellular. We have 3 lines with unlimited talk & text for $62 per month. That includes all taxes & fees.
Thank you, will look into it.

To further clarify, the first cell phone already in use will likely remain with Verizon due to a need for data coverage with them. So we are only looking for a 2nd phone that will not be used much. We are likely to keep with apple products.
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mary1492
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by mary1492 »

Consider Ooma. The basic service is free and you get a lot of features just with that.

Moving from landline to VOIP with Ooma is straightforward, and they will port your landline number within days. Paying a little extra ($9.99/month) will get you more features including automated spam blocking and additional manual ways to block calls.

In moving to Ooma, you can also keep your existing landline phones and make the transition seamless.

https://www.ooma.com/home-phone-service/premier/
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lthenderson
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by lthenderson »

All my friends who have ditched their landline have one thing in common. They gets lots of spam calls to their cellphones forcing them to mute any call not in their contacts which makes it inconvenient when you are expecting calls from someone not in your contacts like lab results from a doctors visit, delivery people, etc. I’m the only one among my peers who rarely gets any spam on my cellphone. I have a landline which the ringer is turned off and has an answering machine. I just check for messages once a day but 99.9% are hangups from spambots. I never put my cell number on any form online.

Something to consider but well worth the token fee I pay for the landline.
Last edited by lthenderson on Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Luke Duke
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Luke Duke »

I dropped my copper land line and ported my number to Ooma. There's some upfront equipment charges, but it's free after that if you choose a basic plan.
mhalley
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by mhalley »

I used Ooma as a bridge to finally losing the land line, it works fine. If Verizon works fine for you now, consider visible. $25 a month for unlimited data when you setup a party with others. I used the reddit one I believe.
https://www.visible.com/plan/?CMP=Marke ... lsrc=aw.ds
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K72
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by K72 »

OP, this thread might be useful to you: viewtopic.php?t=369026
Saving$ wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:08 pm You can port your existing number to a Google voice number (free),
I believe the landline must be ported to a cell first.
All we want are the facts...
Zonian59
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Zonian59 »

I'm trying to do the same thing. Landline is now costing me $65/month. Amazing how fees and taxes add 50% to the basic rate.
I've thought about VOIP, but then the carrier (AT&T) wants me to bundle internet, phone and TV services . Already have internet but to go VOIP, they require a new plan (and higher price than currently paying). Don't watch TV and can't justify 100+ channels. Also their "great prices" is only for 12 months. After that can see paying $200/month.

Though about going cell phone only, but they insist on 2-lines. Single line will cost $55-$70 plus. Not much different than currently paying for landline. Then there's the phone itself. Can't imagine paying over $400 for a simple phone. How is Consumer Cellular and Jitterbug?

If I do go the cell phone, is it possible to dock the cell phone to a "docking station" to connect to my cord-free phone?

Any thoughts for a single-line user, no family?
mary1492
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by mary1492 »

Zonian59 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:59 pm Already have internet but to go VOIP, they require a new plan (and higher price than currently paying).
Don't understand this. Why even talk to AT&T about VOIP? You have internet, you don't require anything else. Pick your VOIP provider and you're good to go.

Is your internet service at least 25 Mb/s? If so, you will be fine. 10 Mb/s may even be sufficient.
lgerla
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by lgerla »

+1 for Ooma. I pay $5.89 per month. One time equipment charge. Plugs into my router and my phone line to my previous landline phones. You can port a number or pick a new one.

I ditched my Spectrum landline for this.

Only reason I needed I landline was poor cell service in my home office and my current cell phones don't support WiFi calling.
SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by SlowMovingInvestor »

I use Ooma. The only cost for the free plan is 911 access, which I'm happy to pay for.
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NCPE
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by NCPE »

Another + for OOMA, have been very pleased with them, also a + for Consumer Cellular, we have had excellent service from them. Give Consumer Cellular a call, they should be able to assist with porting your landline number to a cell phone.

Also check with your cell carrier and see if they offer a wireless home phone adapter, Verizon has them and the monthly rates were fairly reasonable monthly rate

NCPE
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

ooma has been our VoIP provider since November of 2010. Never had an issue with ooma; if the 'net is up, ooma is also.

DW dropped the ooma equipment and cracked the outside case, but I taped it up and it is still working just fine.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
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4nursebee
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by 4nursebee »

Thanks to everyone that replied. Update as follows.

When our phone company turned off the internet per our request the phone line went dead.
Did not go VOIP route as feature costs were 50% or so of a prepaid cell plan.
Iphone arrived, signed up for service today.
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softwaregeek
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by softwaregeek »

Zonian59 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:59 pm I'm trying to do the same thing. Landline is now costing me $65/month. Amazing how fees and taxes add 50% to the basic rate.
I've thought about VOIP, but then the carrier (AT&T) wants me to bundle internet, phone and TV services . Already have internet but to go VOIP, they require a new plan (and higher price than currently paying). Don't watch TV and can't justify 100+ channels. Also their "great prices" is only for 12 months. After that can see paying $200/month.

Though about going cell phone only, but they insist on 2-lines. Single line will cost $55-$70 plus. Not much different than currently paying for landline. Then there's the phone itself. Can't imagine paying over $400 for a simple phone. How is Consumer Cellular and Jitterbug?

If I do go the cell phone, is it possible to dock the cell phone to a "docking station" to connect to my cord-free phone?

Any thoughts for a single-line user, no family?
Ooma phone service. You pay taxes (about $6 a month). Hardware is about $100 and porting fee is about $50. I am still on my 2011 hardware. Plug into internet on one side of the box, the other side gets a cordless phone with extensions.

I do get a lot of spam calls, it's $10 a month for their premium services which includes spam blocking and a lot of bells and whistles - like flashing smart home lights when calls come in etc.

So all in, $16 a month for the fancy premium service.
Wrench
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Wrench »

K72 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:08 pm OP, this thread might be useful to you: viewtopic.php?t=369026
Saving$ wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:08 pm You can port your existing number to a Google voice number (free),
I believe the landline must be ported to a cell first.
That is correct. Here is a description on how to do it:
https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/how-to ... gle-voice/
We moved our landline to Google Voice about 5 years ago. You can purchase an Obi-ObiTalk so you can keep your landline phones and tie them into Google Voice. See: https://www.obitalk.com/info/googlevoice
This has worked perfectly for us, and the best part - after initial ~$75 in hardware/SIM card/burner phone, it is FREE.

Wrench
MindBogler
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by MindBogler »

Church Lady wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:39 pm Cell phones display the caller's number. A certain pastor says it is OK to not answer calls from numbers you don't recognize. Just saying! 8-)
I don't recommend answering any unknown calls, especially as you get older. It is much harder to get into a scam conversation when you don't pick up the phone. Anyone of importance will leave a message and you can call them back at your convenience.
tunafish
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by tunafish »

I have Consumer Cellular $128 a month for 4 phones unlimited use and a mobile hot spot. I would still have a copper landline but Verizon disabled them here. I liked a phone in every room and the fact that landlines are almost always usable still in natural disasters.
Zonian59
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Zonian59 »

softwaregeek wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:00 pm
Zonian59 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:59 pm I'm trying to do the same thing. Landline is now costing me $65/month. Amazing how fees and taxes add 50% to the basic rate.
I've thought about VOIP, but then the carrier (AT&T) wants me to bundle internet, phone and TV services . Already have internet but to go VOIP, they require a new plan (and higher price than currently paying). Don't watch TV and can't justify 100+ channels. Also their "great prices" is only for 12 months. After that can see paying $200/month.

Though about going cell phone only, but they insist on 2-lines. Single line will cost $55-$70 plus. Not much different than currently paying for landline. Then there's the phone itself. Can't imagine paying over $400 for a simple phone. How is Consumer Cellular and Jitterbug?

If I do go the cell phone, is it possible to dock the cell phone to a "docking station" to connect to my cord-free phone?

Any thoughts for a single-line user, no family?
Ooma phone service. You pay taxes (about $6 a month). Hardware is about $100 and porting fee is about $50. I am still on my 2011 hardware. Plug into internet on one side of the box, the other side gets a cordless phone with extensions.

I do get a lot of spam calls, it's $10 a month for their premium services which includes spam blocking and a lot of bells and whistles - like flashing smart home lights when calls come in etc.

So all in, $16 a month for the fancy premium service.
Thanks for suggestion. Will consider.
RealSunset
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by RealSunset »

yohac wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:03 pm You might consider porting to T-Mobile, assuming it has good coverage in your area. They have a plan with unlimited minutes for $15 a month, and they seem to have better than average junk call blocking.
+1 on this. When I had T-Mobile they were very good with the "Spam Risk" warning.
Saving$
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Saving$ »

Wrench wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:12 pm
K72 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:08 pm OP, this thread might be useful to you: viewtopic.php?t=369026
Saving$ wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:08 pm You can port your existing number to a Google voice number (free),
I believe the landline must be ported to a cell first.
That is correct. Here is a description on how to do it:
https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/how-to ... gle-voice/
We moved our landline to Google Voice about 5 years ago. You can purchase an Obi-ObiTalk so you can keep your landline phones and tie them into Google Voice. See: https://www.obitalk.com/info/googlevoice
This has worked perfectly for us, and the best part - after initial ~$75 in hardware/SIM card/burner phone, it is FREE.

Wrench
If your cell phone is compatible with a Google Fi plan, you can port the landline to Google Fi (qualifies as porting to a cell phone) and then port the Google Fi number to a Google Voice number. Process is documented on several websites and worked flawlessly for me. I had bought a new Google phone anyway, and did this porting right when I got the phone, before moving my existing cell number off my old phone to the new Google phone. The advantage is that Google Fi can use an electronic Sim so you don't have to buy a Sim (and/or burner phone), Google Fi will charge you by days of use and prorate the monthly fee, so if you take 6 days to do the above you get an 80% refund on the month of Google Fi you bought, and there is no charge to port from Google Fi to Google Voice, so you save that $20 fee. I
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celia
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by celia »

Church Lady wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:39 pm First, there is a 'national do not call' list you should register your phone with. Sadly, political robo-calls are explicitly excluded from this list, but you should get fewer calls. Search the web for National Do Not Call Registry
I doubt this is true. You’re likely getting campaign ads the few months before an election because your phone number is on file with your registrar of voters. Candidates and campaigns are eligible to get the phone numbers and addresses of registered voters so they can get their message out to you.

The way to get off this list is to remove your phone number at the registrar’s office. But you need to also remove it for every current and past voter who also used that phone number. (DH and I once removed it, but when the first kid registered to vote, the same address and last name matching put the phone number back on all our records.)

Note that there is no requirement that you must have a phone number to vote. So call your registrar now. Some campaigns already have your phone number if your area had a recent primary. But this will reduce calls in the future.
Afty
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Afty »

Here is a bit of a wacky, but free idea -- what if you ported your landline number to Google Voice, then forwarded that number to your existing cell phone?
Church Lady
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Church Lady »

celia wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:48 pm
Church Lady wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:39 pm First, there is a 'national do not call' list you should register your phone with. Sadly, political robo-calls are explicitly excluded from this list, but you should get fewer calls. Search the web for National Do Not Call Registry
I doubt this is true. ....
Doubt is no substitute for facts.

https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/natio ... esn't%20do
Are any other types of calls still allowed under FTC rules if I’m on the Registry?
The rules allow

political calls
charitable calls
debt collection calls
purely informational calls
surveys
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
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celia
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by celia »

Church Lady wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 2:34 pm
celia wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:48 pm
Church Lady wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:39 pm First, there is a 'national do not call' list you should register your phone with. Sadly, political robo-calls are explicitly excluded from this list, but you should get fewer calls. Search the web for National Do Not Call Registry
I doubt this is true. ....
Doubt is no substitute for facts.

https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/natio ... esn't%20do
Are any other types of calls still allowed under FTC rules if I’m on the Registry?
The rules allow

political calls
charitable calls
debt collection calls
purely informational calls
surveys
Sure, you’ll get political calls….if the registrar of voters has your phone number. If they don’t have it, how can the campaigns call you?

Do you ever notice that you don’t get political calls on your employer’s phone unless they misdialled?
freight_train
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by freight_train »

K72 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:08 pm OP, this thread might be useful to you: viewtopic.php?t=369026
Saving$ wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:08 pm You can port your existing number to a Google voice number (free),
I believe the landline must be ported to a cell first.
That's what I did. I'm probably in that thread. Now I kind of wish I hadn't bothered bothered because the only calls to that line are total spam!
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beyou
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by beyou »

Wrench wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:12 pm
K72 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:08 pm OP, this thread might be useful to you: viewtopic.php?t=369026
Saving$ wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:08 pm You can port your existing number to a Google voice number (free),
I believe the landline must be ported to a cell first.
That is correct. Here is a description on how to do it:
https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/how-to ... gle-voice/
We moved our landline to Google Voice about 5 years ago. You can purchase an Obi-ObiTalk so you can keep your landline phones and tie them into Google Voice. See: https://www.obitalk.com/info/googlevoice
This has worked perfectly for us, and the best part - after initial ~$75 in hardware/SIM card/burner phone, it is FREE.

Wrench

Obitalk no longer sells these consumer devices and will soon stop supporting Google Voice for existing customers.
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beyou
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by beyou »

Wrench wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:12 pm
K72 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:08 pm OP, this thread might be useful to you: viewtopic.php?t=369026
Saving$ wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:08 pm You can port your existing number to a Google voice number (free),
I believe the landline must be ported to a cell first.
That is correct. Here is a description on how to do it:
https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/how-to ... gle-voice/
We moved our landline to Google Voice about 5 years ago. You can purchase an Obi-ObiTalk so you can keep your landline phones and tie them into Google Voice. See: https://www.obitalk.com/info/googlevoice
This has worked perfectly for us, and the best part - after initial ~$75 in hardware/SIM card/burner phone, it is FREE.

Wrench

Obitalk no longer sells these consumer devices and will soon stop supporting Google Voice for existing customers.

https://www.obitalk.com/info/products/obi200
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Help cutting the cord (landline)

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

celia wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 7:24 pm
Church Lady wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 2:34 pm
celia wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:48 pm
Church Lady wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 9:39 pm First, there is a 'national do not call' list you should register your phone with. Sadly, political robo-calls are explicitly excluded from this list, but you should get fewer calls. Search the web for National Do Not Call Registry
I doubt this is true. ....
Doubt is no substitute for facts.

https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/natio ... esn't%20do
Are any other types of calls still allowed under FTC rules if I’m on the Registry?
The rules allow

political calls
charitable calls
debt collection calls
purely informational calls
surveys
Sure, you’ll get political calls….if the registrar of voters has your phone number. If they don’t have it, how can the campaigns call you?

Do you ever notice that you don’t get political calls on your employer’s phone unless they misdialled?
Auto dialers. No one needs to know who you are to be able to dial your number. A lot of time robocallers will spoof the same area code and NXX in the calling number ID so the called party thinks it is from someone in their community.

I very seldom answer a call on my ooma line unless I recognize the number, or I have set up my phones to announce the caller's name. If I don't recognize the number, and a voicemail was not left, I figure it wasn't anyone I wanted to talk to.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
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