Pros & Cons of a Wireless Home Phone

 PROS:

  • SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS
  • In some cases you'll save more than half your landline charges.  Also, you get FREE Long Distance and all your favorite calling features: Caller ID, Call Waiting, Voice Mail, 3-way Calling, and more, all for the same low monthly price.

  • YOUR HOME PHONE CAN FOLLOW YOU
    It's great for taking it with you on vacation, using it in the cabin or your second home, or if you move frequently.

  • YOU CAN USE YOUR OLD PHONE NUMBER...OR NOT
    The switch will be transparent to your friends and family, or you can get a shiny new number.  In some cases it's possible to choose a non-local number.

  • SAFETY
    You are no longer depending on a single wireless phone, or if you have visitors or a baby sitter who may not have reliable service at your home.  The Wireless Home Phone can always call 911. Some units have GPS positioning which tells the emergency call center your approximate position which works best if the base unit is placed near a window.

  • THE WIRELESS HOME PHONE CAN GO WHERE NO PHONE HAS GONE BEFORE
    If you live 'off the grid' or just a little too far down the road, as long as you can get a cellular signal, you can have the convenience of a Home Phone.  You can set it up in a temporary location for use over a short period for a very small investment.

  • YOU HAVE A "HOUSE" PHONE FOR THE FAMILY
    No need to carry your cell phone in your pocket at home. You get a 'dial tone,' which may be a big deal for older relatives or visitors either when using the phone in their home or yours.

  • FEWER TELEMARKETERS
    Those pesky callers know a lot less about you when your number is registered as "Wireless" instead of "Bob and Linda's Home Phone." At least for now, you'll be targeted a lot less and you're still eligible to register your number on the Do Not Call Registry.

  • GET A SECOND LINE FOR THE HOUSE OR FOR A BUSINESS
    It's a very economical way to have a business or special line, a second number, or just for Voice Mail.



 CONS:

  • EMERGENCY CALLS
    Calls to 911 may not be routed to the same emergency call center as a landline so you may need to provide a detailed description of your situation and location.

  • SOME PLUG-IN DEVICES WON'T WORK
    The Wireless Home Phone is a voice-only service and isn’t compatible with devices that require data including fax machines, alarm systems, credit card machines, satellite modems, medical alert systems, or dialup Internet service.

  • CALLER ID LIMITATIONS
    Incoming Caller ID on a Wireless Home Phone does not show the calling party's name, only their phone number, unless you have that name stored in your phone's phone book.  Caller ID on outgoing calls are limited to the information provided by the wireless carrier which may show Caller Location (based on your number, not your actual location), as "UNAVAILABLE," "WIRELESS CALLER," or similar identification, or no information at all.

  • POWER OUTAGES
    Each Wireless Home Phone base unit comes with a backup battery.  During a power outage you can expect that battery to operate the phone for as much as 35 hours standby and up to four hours of talk time.  However, a landline can operate for weeks without power as long as you have a regular wired type telephone. Backup batteries don't last forever so you should check it at least once a year, or maybe when you replace your smoke detector batteries. Just unplug it for a few minutes and see if it works.

  • WIRELESS NETWORK RELIABILITY
    While wireless cell sites are quite reliable and all have backup power, their networks can get overloaded preventing you from making or receiving calls. Even though your phone provides a "dial tone", you are not connected to the network until you actually complete entering the number you are calling.  This overload is usually a temporary situation which may clear up shortly.  Incoming calls that cannot reach your Wireless Home Phone are normally directed to Voice Mail which should eventually illuminate your voice mail message indicator.


  • EQUIPMENT RELIABILITY
    Your Wireless Home Phone is guaranteed from defects for an initial period but if your Wireless Home Phone base unit stops working you are responsible for repairs.  That usually means replacing the unit which may involve a trip to a store or a wait for another unit to be shipped.

  • LIMITS TO HOW MANY HANDSETS YOU CAN USE
    You can plug in several wired phones into The Wireless Home Phone base unit and even into the house wiring, but there are limits, some as few as 2 phones. A solution is a multiple-unit cordless phone system where only one plug is needed for all handsets.

  • DIFFERENT CALL BEHAVIOR
    The Wireless Home Phone base needs to interpret what number you are entering and therefore waits until it thinks you are done pressing numbers.  This can result in a lengthy pause before the called number starts ringing.  Or, if you pause too long between digits the box will 'time out' and require you to start over.  On incoming calls, the Wireless Home Phone also interprets the incoming calls which may cause the phone to ring several times at the caller's end before your phone rings.  Often the cell site knows that it is taking extra time to connect the call, but you may hear a shorter total number of rings on the Wireless Home Phone before going to Voice Mail.  You can disable Voice Mail which will give you a larger number of incoming rings, but after 30 seconds (or about 6 rings) the calling party may hear "The Wireless party you are calling is not available." 

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