Save Money on Your Landline

1 August 2015


According to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) the average monthly cost for a landline varies from $35 to $55 a month.  Annually, the landline costs anywhere from $420 to $660 a year.  The lower end is for a basic landline with  no caller ID, no voicemail, no call waiting, and no bells and whistles.  When you add caller ID and call waiting and other necessities to a landline, that adds up a lot more monthly.  Over $600 is a lot of money for something that isn't considered a necessity.  These days, the Internet is considered more of a necessity, something that we need to use on a daily basis, more than the landline telephone.

Who still has a landline?  Well my mom still does and I do call her on that even though she has a cell phone (she has limited daytime minutes).

How do you save money on your landline?

One way to save money on your landline is to... you guessed it... get rid of it.  Even Globe and Mail recommends this to save money on your landline.

As much as I have fond memories of talking on the phone for hours on end as a teenager to my crush, or to my friends, the days of talking for hours are over.  These days, adolescents and teenagers rarely talk on the phone and mostly text.  In fact, a lot of people mostly text (that's another issue altogether, we are losing our communication skills, but I digress).

In a previous article on how to save money on a home phone line, I mention using VoIP services instead of a landline, which means Voice over IP, and discussed providers such as Skype (this is the one I usually use, works great when I am overseas or traveling, long distance calls are dirt cheap) and Magic Jack.

The Downsides to Skype and Magic Jack

Some of the downsides to Skype are dropped calls. I don't know how many times I have to redial to get through sometimes, when I call from overseas. For Magic Jack, the downsides include poor call quality and an annual fee of $20 a year in addition to the $50 to purchase the Magic Jack device.  I have also heard that the voice quality on Magic Jack is not the greatest.  Also, you cannot keep your current phone number (which is a big downside for many).

Ooma, a New Sleek VoIP Contender

I recently heard about Ooma, a new VoIP contender that costs $149.99 CAD to purchase the device (kind of like purchasing Apple TV) and it includes all the bells and whistles, such as voicemail, caller ID, and call waiting... forever.  You connect the Ooma device to the Internet modem and your home phone and then set it up online and you are done.  The voice quality is better and according to the website, you might not notice a difference because you are using your home phone like you usually do.  In addition, all calls across Canada are free.

The monthly charges are taxes and the emergency phone number fee which for the province of British Columbia, amounted to $3.98 a month.

With Ooma, you can keep your present home phone number for an additional fee (I'm not sure what it is).

Magic Jack is, I believe, more economical than Ooma, but Ooma looks so sleek and smooth.  Is it worth double the price of Magic Jack on an annual basis (plus the additional more expensive upfront cost).  Ooma can even connect with your Nest system if you are fancy enough to have one.

Ooma Reviews

As with many things, I like looking at reviews.  On Ooma tell Canada has about a 4.5 star rating which is pretty decent, however there are some issues that reviewers notice like having to call the number twice, or not being able to call 1-800 numbers.  One reviewer labelled it as the "Netflix" for telephone service.  Note- you cannot buy Ooma on anymore, but it can be still purchased from Bestbuy or on the Ooma website itself.

PCMag also has a review on the Ooma telephone service, but I believe it is the U.S. version of the device.

I'll be sure to tell my mom about this new fangled device, but not sure if she will make the change!

Bargainmoosers, have you used Ooma before?  What do you think of it?  Do you have a landline?

Photo credit: Tim G. Photography

TOPICS:   Tablets


  • alison
    I have a land line, a necessity it seems if you have a home alarm.
  • Jeremie D.
    I use from 2012, best thing for me!
  • Tanya
    I use Fido home phone for my landline - It's only $15 (+tax) a month. Works great!
  • Patrica
    Thanks for reminding me about needing the phone as my home security is connected through the phone, however, you can drop everything and save money for basic service. I was going to cancel Bell but see that is not possible. Another Canadian company to check out is FONGO. I use it when I am traveling in Europe with some good success depending what country I am calling from. Iceland was loud and clear, Europe - Spain not very good, kept cutting out. They offer home service also.
  • Rodney D.
    I really hope Ooma is somehow sponsoring this post, cause the same type of service has been offered for YEARS by companies such as Comwave, Vonage, and practically EVERY independent Internet Service Provider out there, all for around $15 a month. They all use your existing internet service as a backbone to place and receive calls in lieu of having a dedicated phone landline. A VOIP modem (provided by the VOIP provider in question) connects your already-internet-accessing router to your telephone jacks, and through this method, you can place and receive phone calls on your existing home phones. This article neglects two huge trends that are doing away with even VOIP home phone in order to save users even more money: 1) Using your mobile phone as your primary phone (if you already are paying a mobile phone bill, why on earth would you ALSO pay for a home phone bill? Low cost services such as Public Mobile, Mobilicity and Wind Mobile often have plans with unlimited incoming and outgoing calling for around $25 a month (not to mention the included unlimited incoming and outgoing SMS text messaging, which you do not get with a VOIP home phone service)). 2) Free phone calling programs and apps: I abandoned use of Skype years ago...why in the would I go through such nonsense when logging into your Gmail account using a modern web browser gives you unlimited outgoing telephone calls anywhere in Canada or the U.S. for free (yes, to actual telephone numbers, not to only other Gmail users). Feel that wearing a microphone headset connected to your computer is not 'telephone-like' enough? If you have a tablet or smartphone (even if it has no cellular service on it and is being used exclusively on wi-fi) can use the Fongo app (gives you a free local telephone number, free unlimited incoming calls, free call display, free voicemail, free call waiting, free incoming SMS text messages and free unlimited outgoing calling to major Canadian cities), Text Free by Pinger (gives you a free local telephone number, free unlimited incoming calls, free call display, free voicemail, free incoming and outgoing SMS text messages), or Groove IP Lite (gives you a free US-based telephone number, free unlimited incoming calls, free call display, and free unlimited outgoing calling to anywhere in Canada or the US (your Groove IP Lite account can also be used in conjunction with the app, which gives you free voicemail and free incoming and outging SMS text messages).
    • Anna Waters EDITOR
      Rodney, we don't do sponsored posts on Bargainmoose. :)

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