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Thread: Solutions for elderly

  1. #1
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    Solutions for elderly

    Hi there,

    I am trying to help my parents save a little money on their phone bill. They're currently paying $50 + taxes for a landline they don't use it for any outbound calls. They only use it for voicemail & return those messages with their cellphones.

    They're not willing to part with their landline. Fear that's the only way many people know how to get in touch with them. My parents are starting to get up there in years. Not technology savvy at all.

    I've got to think they can be paying a lot less here for a phone they are using for voicemail only. They don't need to make any outbound calls on their landline.

    Their concerns are keeping their same number. And making sure they still appear in phone book.

    If anyone has any idea what might be a good option with VOIP, I would appreciate the input. Thank you

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjesper View Post
    Hi there,

    I am trying to help my parents save a little money on their phone bill. They're currently paying $50 + taxes for a landline they don't use it for any outbound calls. They only use it for voicemail & return those messages with their cellphones.

    They're not willing to part with their landline. Fear that's the only way many people know how to get in touch with them. My parents are starting to get up there in years. Not technology savvy at all.

    I've got to think they can be paying a lot less here for a phone they are using for voicemail only. They don't need to make any outbound calls on their landline.

    Their concerns are keeping their same number. And making sure they still appear in phone book.

    If anyone has any idea what might be a good option with VOIP, I would appreciate the input. Thank you
    Do they qualify for the Lifeline program?
    It can lower their cost to keep the landline.
    Seniors and lower income people qualify.
    Check with the phone company that they are using to see if they can be put on the program.
    They would be able to keep their phone number.
    And equipment.

    Sent from my Monstrous Moto e5

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    Thank you for the reply. It doesn't appear they would qualify for the Lifeline program.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjesper View Post
    ...Their concerns are keeping their same number. And making sure they still appear in phone book....
    This part is actually a tough one.

    If they have cable service, landline phone service from cable might include phone book listing.

    Otherwise, porting the landline number to Google Voice and using an Obitalk would work. That requires broadband Internet with cable or similar.

    You could check with Ooma and Vonage to see if they provide phone book publishing. They also require broadband Internet with cable or similar.

    What about 911? Is that important?

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    Thank you. I will check regarding phone book publishing with Ooma and Vonage.

    Not sure that's a dealbreaker, but seems to be one of their concerns.

    911 doesn't seem to be a present concern for them. However, that may be an option that they would like to have the capability for in the future.

    I take it that obitalk would not allow phone book publishing?

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    Ooma is the simplest VOIP solution for non tech savvy types, it just works. Includes 911.
    I don't think any VOIP solution is going to get you in the phone book though.

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    If you have Verizon cell service in the area check out the StraightTalk home phone device sold at Walmart. Unlimited for 15bux a month and you can port your number in to it. ZTE 723
    Its completely standalone and will work with the phones they are using now.

    Another thing to do is dig in to your landline telco's "tariff" filing with the FCC. I found a local only $7.45/month "per call" plan from Frontier in my state. Its not listed anywhere on the website or their advertisements. Incoming and 1800 calling is free but outgoing they charge per min. Would work great if your only using the line for incoming and you stay listed in the phonebook.

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    Thank you all for the input. I feel like I have several options to help them with now, whereas yesterday I wasn't too sure how to help.

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    Around here reverse 911 doesn't work well or at all with non-landlines.
    If my actions include deeds of philanthropy in charity and acts of loving kindness I am living in my Faith.

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    Ooma makes this simple but the hardware cost may be a turnoff.

    What I did was port my number to Voipms and now I get my voicemail in my email. I don't need to be in the phone book, but they can probably call the local phone book and pay some small fee per year to be listed after they port the number somewhere.

    Some folks port to google voice, this also may be too complex.

    My folks went to the ATT store and got what looks like a cordless phone that plugs into a little box with a sim and a cellular antenna. I don't know what it costs though. TMO has a similar home phone service, have to go into the store to get it.

  11. #11
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    I recently went through this with my elderly parents. Ending up getting the Straight Talk Home phone from WM for $40. Cost is $15 per month for unlimited calls in the US. The unit uses Verizon cell towers so they would need to have good Verizon cell signal in their home. My parents have not encountered any issues over the past 9 months they've had the service. Their number, however, is not included in the phone book.

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