OT: Alternatives to landline and VOIP telephones?

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On 9/13/2014 7:33 AM, Lee B wrote:

The phone options change faster than I can type. Critically dependent on where you live.
I have wireless WiMax internet service thru FreedomPop $15/month. I use Google voice for my phone for free. It forwards to my OBI box for free. It forwards to my MagicJack Plus. Got that when google was threatening to kill off the obi option. It forwards to my cellphone thru PagePlus for $30/yr. It forwards to another cellphone thru Lycamobile. I answer on the computer or either or the voip boxes using regular cordless phones, or either of the cellphones.
Lycamobile is interesting if your 5-6 calls are short, or you make them thru your computer. It's prepaid 5-cents/minute...was 2-cents when I signed up. Data is 6-cents/megabyte...outrageously expensive...but. The prepaid minutes never expire, as long as you spend 5-cents every 3 months.
If you don't use it much, it's dramatically cheaper than anything else I've found. $6 for 100 megabytes doesn't sound so bad if you're saving $40/month...and rarely use it anyway.
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Lee B wrote:

We had planned to cancel our landline. They asked what it would take to 'keep us' as customers. I told them if they could get us around $20 a month we'd consider. After talking with a supervisor we were offered a barebones service for $20. We accepted, kept it about a year and then cancelled anyway as both of our cellphones have proven very reliable over the years.
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On Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:53:49 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband

What happens if you turn the phone on and start walkign to the cell tower?
BTW, the donot call list required renewal at the start, biut before the first expiration date, they made it permanent.

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wrote:

I know card services. I said she had a pretty voice. She said Thank you. I asked what she was wearing. She said Clothes, like at the office. I said, two or three times, What else are you wearing. I think that's when she hung up.

I have the bell of the phone near my bed turned off, but if I'm expecting a call, I turn it on. Then the spammers call and wake me up. Well, once that happend.
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On Sat, 13 Sep 2014 20:09:53 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Nonetheless, the number of spam calls I get is much lower.
And they all come from card services, and a smaller number from something like the thing that calls 911 if you fall down. And maybe a third company but I don't think so.
Why do they call over and over agin. Havent' they caught on t hat I'm not buying. Forget about my time, what about their time?. Isn't their time worth anything to them.

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wrote:

maybe it is not a cell tower, but a secret monitoring tower.
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I'm looking for the same kind of thing. Home land line phone sits with cobwebs for months, but I need to keep that number for elderly relatives.
I'm thinking about getting an AT&T prepaid phone. Buy $100 and it's good for a year, and you can keep the same number. Then if I decided to go back to land line, just have it installed again and the number put back on.
Time Warner Cable here is $19/month for internet and $10 more for phone. I'm thinking about getting the internet only. Then if the prepaid phone doesn't work out, I'll at $10 and try that.
I found out the price trumps quality with most people. I would pay extra for good audio on the phone, but not $80 vs $15.
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On Sunday, September 14, 2014 1:05:16 AM UTC-4, Guv Bob wrote:

If I were you, I'd probably go with Oooma.
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On 9/13/2014 10:33 AM, Lee B wrote:

First of all, you should be able to get a land line with minimum stuff for a whole lot less. I'm an old time telephone guy and will probably always have a land line. In fact, thanks to my telco, I now have a free, 2nd land line ... I guess there are too many people abandoning copper for cell. But mine is connected to a 2 line phone and the fax/modem card on the computer. When I moved here in the western mountains of NC 5 years ago, cell was pretty bad. Verizon has made some improvements to their cell towers; I can actually walk around with only a few dropouts. Gee, I actually said something good about Verizon ... amazing. But, it's no where near as good as a real copper based land line. Back in the day (I hate that phrase) if we would give people service twice as good as the best cell service, on land lines, we would be fired. Now people just accept "can you here me?" "are you there?" etc. etc.
Also, there are those cell adapters, as many have said, that make your in-house string of copper based phone, work with cell. Walmart, Verizon, etc. have them. I know a few people that have them here and, when talking to them, it's "what happened, I can't here you", etc. And of course it's always my fault on the land line .... sure.
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I think I heard somewhere (maybe even here on another thread) that you can get the tone the telco uses to say "number isn't in service anymore, dude") and put it on your answering machine. I am wondering if the same might be available in .wav files or similar. I could then answer the phone, hold it to my computer speakers and let it rip.
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On 9/14/2014 6:05 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

I did that. Didn't make one bit of difference to the one number that kept calling me every day. Best I could do was give him a "special" ringtone and not answer it.
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my great aunts verizon copper landline quit working. the drop was rock hard, still had the old carbon pile lightning arrestor, no NID.
she called verizon and they wanted to upgrade her to FIOS, when all she wanted was a working phone line.
so I went over and we talkked to the repair tech who was sent out. he was very nice everyone else worthless.
We told the tech either replace the drop, or cut it down she wouldnt ever be using verizon anything. a argument occured with techs boss.
in the end we won new copper drop installed:)
I told the supervisor just cut it down or replace all the bad wiring, or give me your name I am writing to the president of verizon how you just cost landline another customer.
the worst customer service I EVER GOT was FIOS. Finally had them remove every verizon landline hardware from my home.
Not having reliable FIOS phone service for 3 months lit a fire about verizon
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On 9/14/2014 10:07 AM, bob haller wrote:

I mentioned that I have a FIOS line to my house. Average cost is about $35/month. I use MCI long distance service and have an international charge to allow low cost calls to Canada and Europe. I use it as a business line and bill it out to my main client. Have had no problems with it. Use Comcast triple play for rest of the house. Comcast can be a PITA but dealing with Verizon is far worse.
Our services are all underground and copper might have been 40 years old and was badly deteriorating. Verizon had to get permission to bring it to my house as they have to put the battery backup and other box attachments to the house as well as string the optical line. Talk about a mess as the crew that brought it to the house, brought it to the wrong side of the house and when installation crew came in they had to be called back. Cable is only buried about 6 inches and wonders all over my front lawn.
About the same time that year, Comcast put in a new cable and accidentally cut Verizon's line. Verizon was sloppy too and a neighbor had the optical cable laying across his driveway and it must have been driven over a hundred times.
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My land line phone is slightly less than $ 20, but by the time the tax, 911, long distance connect and a bunch of other things are added that I seem not to have any control over, it is almost $ 40.
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wrote:

This may be what you want
http://www.thisisarecording.com/not-in-service.html
I wondered about that myself. I think you just want the three tones and you put your own message in. It *might* trick the robo dialers into removing your number from their database. but I doubt it would last long. They probably try it again after a month or so, assuming someone will have it by then.
Some of the robo dialers simply call the whole10,000 number LATA. That is why you hear the pause after you answer and sometimes it just disconnects. They don't put a live person on until the dialer thinks he has a live answerer. If nobody is available in the boiler room, it hangs up.
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Micky,


We can get a signal at random places around our property, but those locations seem to vary from day to day. Maybe atmospheric conditions changing, I don't know. Indoors, there is one spot at the end of our dining table, near the front door that seems better than others, but that's not reliable either. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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We only get two or three a year. If I had a repeat offender I could add them to my blocked number list, but it doesn't happen often enough to worry about. As soon as I realize it's a sales call, I hang up.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Sun, 14 Sep 2014 15:34:55 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband

A couple years ago we rented a house in western NC (Nantahala area) and the best part of it was no cell service and no WiFi We were truly "on vacation". We could hike up to the top of the mountain and get 4G or drive down to the hot dog stand and get WiFi This is the hot spot
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/North%20Carolina/Hot%20spot.jpg
There was also a little store nearby with WiFi. You had to be a chip shot from this building
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/North%20Carolina/verizon.jpg
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I have a friend who enjoys screwing with these people. He tries to keep them on the line as long as he can without buying anything, under the assumption that this hurts them more than any other strategy. There is merit to that idea but I just do not have the patience. I do wonder if that could get you off the list if you were really hurting them.
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wrote:

I did that, 3 or 4 weeks ago.
Webpages said that it was no longer very effective, because the spammers' new software now continues to listen to see if there's a message. Of course the phone company plays a message too, "We're sorry. The number you have clalled is no longer in service. Please check the number you have called and call again or call the operator." My normal message is no longer than that, but if voice recognition can tell what I'm saying versus what the phone company says, they could figure out that it's not really disconnected. And that must be what those webpages are saying the software does.

That wouldn't work in a timely manner. The tones have to come right after the phone stops ringing, I think. But what you can do is change the recording on your phone machine, and maybe even voice mail, though I only have a 1970's style phone machine**. It took me 10 or 20 tries to get the timing etc. right, but only about 10 or 15 minute total.
I unplugged my phone machine and brought it where my computer is. I had to play the 3 tones several times to get them loud enough and get the timing right (how long after I clicked Play did it really play) and once I did that, I had to learn the routine for recording my outgoing message (3 steps) and I had to hold the phone machine with its microphone up to the computer speaker(s) while keeping a finger on the button, which when released, ended the recording of my outgoing message.
Then I had to wait what I thought was the right time, about the same time as the phone company message waited, to start my message, which I had to say correctly. not so easy in the first place and harder when following all this other stuff.
But I like how it turned out. Strangely, no one who has left a message has asked me about the 3 tones. Maybe I told most of them months ago.
I still get 4 kinds of calls**, those that hang up right after the 3 tones, those that hang up in the middle of or right after the whole message, and those that leave a message.
The number of messages from spammers really does seem to be going down, but I can hardly believe it's because of the three tones. Still, I knew I'd feel this way if the number went down, and I also knew I wanted to try it, no matter what, to know for myself. I plan to leave the tones on for at least 6 more months. My old machine had replaceable outgoing message tapes, microcassettes. That was better, because I could change messages without erasing old messages.
**And I don't have caller id so I have no easy cheap way to see if anyone I wanted to hear from hung up without leaving a message.
**Voice mail is useful if you need to get your messages from other locations, but I don't, and even if I did, this phone machine will do that.
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