Why I Cancelled My Landline

While putting together our family budget last year, we were looking for ways to save money as we adjusted to single income living.  One of the first expenses we decided to eliminate was our home telephone.  At $39.95/month, our landline was quickly becoming a cost we could do without.  And we’re not alone.

According to a recent report by the Convergence Consulting Group, Canadians will cancel their landline at a rate of 9% a year in 2010 and 2011.  It was suggested that 25% of Canadians have already ditched their home phones in favor of using a cell phone.

Why We Cancelled Our Landline

  • The Cost – Saving nearly $500 a year sounded like a pretty good deal to my wife and I, and considering we both have cell phones we didn’t really see the point in having the landline any longer.  My cell phone bill is paid for by my employer, so it’s just my wife’s plan that we pay for each month (around $65/month).
  • The Convenience – We carry our cell phones everywhere, and with technology improving all the time, reception is rarely an issue.  Plus, with smart phones like the iPhone or BlackBerry, my wife and I can use BlackBerry Messenger to quickly communicate for free.
  • The Inconvenience – Quite frankly it got to the point where the only time our home phone rang, it was a telemarketer or some recorded message telling us to press #1 now because we’ve won a free trip.  With our cell phones, besides the occasional wrong number, we aren’t bothered with unwanted phone calls.

Now there are some drawbacks to not having a landline.  One being that if there is a power outage and your cell phone battery dies, you won’t be able to make a phone call.  But I would hardly say that’s a good enough reason to shell out close to $500 a year for that piece of mind.

For some people, another negative to cancelling your landline and using a cell phone exclusively is that you might end up paying more for your cell phone plans by having to increase minutes or add other features.

Unless you have a good evenings and weekends plan, or don’t call long distance very often, it might be worth it to stick with your home phone.  However with the emergence Skype and other VoIP services, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate your long distance charges as well.

It’s been more than three years since we cancelled our landline and we haven’t missed it at all.  But now that I think about it, we haven’t “won” a free trip in a while either 🙂

Would you ditch your landline for a cell phone or VoIP service?

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  1. The Passive Income Earner on September 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I have been wanting to cancel it but I just can’t yet …
    – It’s the way to contact my children for their friends. It doesn’t really work to call my or my wife’s cell phone … I have not figured out a way around this.
    – Long distance calling is crucial. We don’t have any family around us in Vancouver. Skype and such don’t work with my wife’s parents and grand-parents. I tried it with my parents and it’s not working well either.

    I ended up merging my cable, internet and phone with Shaw, so I pay 20$ per month for phone with the package with 1000 minutes of free long distance anywhere in the world.

    I just don’t know when I will be able to cut that one off … When I reviewed the telecoms financial reports, it’s clear that the land line subscribers are going down. 50% of their revenue is from wireless.

    • Echo on September 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

      @The Passive Income Earner
      It would be difficult to cancel if the landline is already an established part of your family communication. We made the decision before we had kids and I’m sure we have quite a few years before my daughter needs to be reached by her friends (I hope).

      Now that we’ve eliminated the home phone line, it will be unlikely that we get it again down the road just for our kids sake. I’m sure there will be some type of new messenger technology the kids can’t live without at that point 🙂

  2. Financial Cents on September 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Good post.

    Cancel our landline? Not yet. We pay about $450/year for ours. For us, it’s worth it.
    We don’t use our cell phones that much, at least my wife certainly doesn’t – so there’s little value in us paying over $30/month each for cell phone data plans we don’t use.

    I know of some folks who spend $100/month on cell phone plans. Crazy.

    We also have a landline for security reasons.

    Cheers Echo,

    • Echo on September 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Mark, when you say that you have a landline for security reasons, are you referring to 911? I believe that it is a requirement that all wireless carriers must be able to pinpoint your exact location through GPS.

  3. ronika on September 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Within two months of getting my iphone, I cancelled my landline. I had switch over to a VOIP service a few months prior to cancelling, which turned into a bit of a nightmare (two routers, a modem and a laptop is rarely a recipe for optimum functionality), so it was an easy decision. I haven’t really missed it.

  4. Dd on September 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I just got a land line. My wife and I moved to Vancouver Island and needed a phone that allowed long distance. I also find that if you have to call companies or places like BC Student loans all your cell minutes get eaten up by getting stuck on hold or hitting buttons trying to get through the tree of options and find an operator.

    We do use Skype but people say it sounds like I am in a cave or underwater. I actualy have people hang up on me when I am on Skype because the reception can be poor. To be fair though I do not have a full headset–only ear buds and an iMac mic.

    I would love to get rid of the land line but until there is a solution that works acceptably well, I have to keep it. I pay about $250 a year for it.

    • Echo on September 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      I have heard that about Skype…but some people swear by it. Good point about phoning the call centres and using all your minutes.

      $20/month is not bad, better than the $39 I was paying!

  5. Francoise on July 16, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I’d like to get rid of my landline. I too get only telemarketing calls. Family and friend know that they can best reach me on my cell. But the issue for me is internet. It’s Bell. Apparently you can get a “dry” landline but that is more expensive, I understand. I’ve not looked into it. If it is, it makes little sense to pay more for less service. I finally gave in to cable because I can’t get antenna reception at my new apartment. So now I’m considering switching all services to Roger…ugh… always swore I’d never use them. Bell has generally been good, despite the odd problem which they quickly rectified.

    I don’t enjoy spending my time looking for new deals and switching from provider to provider. I prefer to just sign on and leave it for a year or so. But as I have to get a new phone now, I guess I’m stuck looking into it all. Just procrasting like crazy.

  6. Echo on July 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

    @Francoise – I thought internet would be an issue for me as well but TELUS just provided me with a phone number for my internet connection and everything’s been fine.

  7. new936 on January 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Even I switched to VOIP at Freephoneline around 2 years ago and now no more phone bills for a life. Initial cost was around $120.

    • Lobna on October 5, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you new936, you got me switch to VOIP immediately, I pay now $204/yearfor my land phone with Vonage, but hey! what’s wrong with saving $80 more. Thanks 🙂 I wish I knew this 4 years earlier man.

  8. Steve on January 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Nice post which One being that if there is a power outage and your cell phone battery dies, you won’t be able to make a phone call. But I would hardly say that’s a good enough reason to shell out close to $500 a year for that piece of mind. For some people, another negative to cancelling your landline and using a cell phone exclusively is that you might end up paying more for your cell phone plans by having to increase minutes or add other features. Thanks a lot for posting.

  9. Annette Facette on April 11, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    We tried to cancel our landline because we do not need it as we both have cell phones. Bell customer service told me that if we were to cancel the landline we would no longer be entitled to the bundle savings in our current contract. We have internet, cable, one cell phone and the landline with Bell. So, in effect, it would cost us more for the three remaining services than it currently does for four services. I told the customer service person that that was a ridiculous solution. I wanted to save money by cancelling the phone but he said he always convinced customers to keep the home phone because of the loss of the bundle savings. I don’t want the landline but I don’t have a choice to cancel it to save money. How does this make any sense?? The solution of course is to change provider, which we will do once our current contract is over.

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