A question on mobile phones

I don’t often do this, but every so often I come across a question that I need help deciding. What’s the use of having a moderately popular blog (alas, 3,000 visits a day do not constitute an “immensely popular” blog) if I can’t sometimes use it for my own nefarious purposes, right?

The question is simple, and, I expect, one that many of my readers have experience with.

My wife and I have been contemplating getting rid of our land line telephone and going just with our mobile phones. One of the reasons we’re contemplating this is that Verizon just keeps increasing the price for basic service. For a phone with Caller-ID and voice mail (two absolutely essential features, as far as I’m concerned; we long ago gave up using an answering machine) has crept up past the $40 a month range. That’s nearly $500 a year. Given that we make most of our calls these days on or cellular phones and that my wife now receives most of her calls on her cell phone, we’ve started to question whether we need the land line anymore. We rarely go over our daytime minutes. (Actually, I never go over my minutes and in fact probably have more than I need; although my wife on occasion flirts with going over hers)

The advantage of ditching the land line is obvious: Not having to pay for it anymore. But what are the disadvantages? One that I can think of is that if there’s a prolonged power outage, the batteries in the cell towers run out and you can’t make calls, whereas with a land line, as long as you have a basic phone that doesn’t require plugging in to work, you still can. But is that consideration worth $500 a year? One other disadvantage that I can think of is that, when I leave my phone upstairs and I’m downstairs, I often don’t hear it if there’s a call, particularly if the TV is on. With a land line we have phones both upstairs and downstairs that ring when someone calls. Again, I don’t know if that’s worth $500 a year anymore. And are there any disadvantages that I haven’t thought of, that only someone who has ditched their land line would have discovered.

The comments are open.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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