Dump your old phone service & save

I’ve been thinking about dumping my traditional landline. There are so many options now, keeping it feels like a waste of money.



Online only.



I have a home line and a business line and because I live in the boonies, I have to have a long-distance package on both. It’s costing me a pretty penny. So I’ve been thinking about switching to one of the alternative services to save some money.

The first thing I looked at came on the recommendation of a co-worker. She blew out her traditional landline in favour of a “magicJack”. I’ve seen these advertised on TV, and always thought, “too good to be true.” Not according to my co-worker. So I did some research. Seems magicJack offers you unlimited local and long-distance calling in North America for about $50 a year. Yah, that’s “year”, not “month.”

A small electronic device, the magicJack has a USB connector on one end and a standard telephone port on the other, and takes advantage of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology. You just plug it into your computer and it installs itself.

You get voicemail, caller ID (just the number, not the name) call waiting, call forwarding, and conference calling for your annual $50, saving yourself about $500 a year on a traditional landline with unlimited long distance.

Of course, you could drop your long-distance package on your landline and go with Skype, which will give you both an audio and visual signal so you can see who you’re talking to. Or you can use Gmail telephone to call anywhere in the U.S. for free and make cheap international calls. Or how about freephoneline.ca, which not only gives you a landline option, but offers free long distance on your smartphone.

Make sure you do your research before you jump at the savings. Know the pros and cons of the services you’re comparing to your traditional phone service so you don’t jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

5 comments on “Dump your old phone service & save

  1. There is one more thing to think about and that is your 911 service. Some of these systems are not compatible with the emergency service and therefore when you call 911 it would be the same as your cell phone. If you are unable to identify where you are they will not be able to send the medical or other emergency services that you need.


  2. My only problem with Skype is the lag time…it makes a job I already find awkward (talking on the phone) even more awkward. I chose instead to cut my cell down to the bare minimum and bundle my phone and internet…I like having a cell, but I've decided against a smartphone (to get myself off social networking and into the face-to-face world) and find myself using my cell only when necessary these days….which amounts to very few minutes in a month, because these are usually quick calls.

    Really, that's what made sense for us…if we used a bunch more minutes than we do, it probably would've made more sense to kill the landline, like you say. All this is why it's important to do the math, I guess!


  3. So did yu jump into the frying pan? I'm cautious because of the satellite services I currently have.


  4. Gail/Ginny – I have a magic jack at home and it works great. You can get it at any Best Buy store in Canada and you have an option to get a "vanity" number if you prefer it. Also, you may need to pay additional $10 if you want to get an area code in Canada like 416 or 647 (if you are in Toronto like me).

    It's true – there is no limit to your calls and I have this device for 2 years now. The problem is it must be connected to your pc or laptop to work and it must be turned on all the time to receive any incoming calls.


  5. I don't have a home phone only a cell and I only use it to txt and the occasional call. I have 10$/month pay as you go plan from telus with caller ID and voicemail 3. I can access wifi on my phone from free networks (which are often). Works if you don't actually like talking on the phone. it may take people a while to get used to only txting but that is so common now that I havne'T had a problem


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