Is A Home Phone Worth It?

Fido's home phone service is available for $10/month
if you're a Fido customer.
Wifey recently got a call from Fido about their new home phone service. They got through their pitch and asked wifey how much we pay for our home phone service. She proudly told them we paid $5 each month for our home phone. Suffice it to say, that shocked the guy on the other end of the line. With their price of $10 a month, the sales rep had nothing to say but to thank wifey for her time*.

Unfortunately, wifey was incorrect in stating we paid $5 each month for our home phone. We actually pay $3.98 a month.

So why have a home phone service at all? With mobile phones what is the point of a home phone?

We need the home phone for a few reasons. One is more sentimental than anything. For as long as I can remember, I've had a home phone. This was before mobile phones became ubiquitous.

Another reason is for the in-laws. It's cheaper to pay $3.98 a month for unlimited use (in addition to free calling Canada-wide) rather than $30 a month for an unlimited plan at Wind. Additionally, since they don't speak English, they need reliable mobile phone service in case they get lost somewhere and need help getting home. With that in mind, we just signed them up with Rogers prepaid for $113 a year. That's just $13.40 a month, much lower than the $33.90 a month at Wind Mobile. They get access to the Rogers network and wifey gets peace of mind knowing they can call for help without worrying about poor reception**. In addition to local calls, they need a phone to make and receive calls to Vancouver (we have that for free) and internationally. They use the home phone in combination with phone cards to save extra money when calling internationally.

Finally, the last reason is for the voicemail. I can hook up an answering machine for free to our home phone. Before, when I was with Mobilicity and Wind Mobile, they would charge $5 a month for voicemail. I didn't add the voicemail option to my phone plan as it was cheaper to pay the $3.98 a month for voicemail at home. With Rogers voicemail was "free". However, when a call went to voicemail, they would charge me airtime (since I was on prepaid) for the voicemail picking up the call. If I wanted to check the voicemail, Rogers would charge me additional airtime. In total, it was 50 cents each time someone left me voicemail. As a result, I just removed voicemail completely and I haven't had voicemail on my mobile phones since 2009.

However, now that I am with Fido prepaid, I have the option of signing up for free voicemail. I'm not sure I want to set it up. If they are anything like Rogers, they will charge me each time someone calls and reaches my voicemail box.

Wifey thinks I should add voicemail to my Fido prepaid. I don't think it's necessary. I've done without voicemail for over 5 years now. No point in adding it now as most friends send me texts anyway. Only my mom calls me. If she can't reach me on my mobile, she'll call me on my home phone and leave me a message there.

So is home phone worth it? It really depends. In my situation, for sure!  I use the home phone as my voicemail.

In-laws use the land line often to make and receive calls. If anything, they use the home phone every day and we usually have a voicemail or two from their friends waiting for them.

*To hear wifey tell the story, he asked her how much we paid for home phone service and was shocked at her answer. He didn't even tell wifey the price of the home phone and thanked her for her time.

**At least in the Toronto and GTA area. Not sure what the reception is like in rural Ontario, but why would they drive on their own outside the GTA?


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