Don’t Waste Your Money: Landline phones

(WHTM)– If you have older parents, chances are they still use an old school landline phone, but that’s about to change, whether they want to or not.

Richard Slater’s landline doesn’t work.

“Hi this is Richard, the line is dead and has been dead five weeks.”

These days, most of us would use our cell. But Slater is a disabled resident of a retirement home, and says his old flip phone has terrible reception in his room.

“A lot of contacts with doctors and hospitals,” Slater said.

Slater says the problem is no company supports his landline anymore.

“They tell me mine cannot be fixed until a new phone system is installed,” Slater said.

It’s going to get tougher and tougher in the coming months to get help fixing a broken landline. That’s because it doesn’t matter whether you have a landline with a cordless phone, or grandma’s old phone on the wall, phone companies are phasing them out.

Slater’s friend Linda Handley worries about him not having a phone.

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“For their own safety they need one,” Handley said.

We contacted the home’s manager who told us they hope to have a new service company soon and until then are offering life alert type systems at no charge.

As landlines go away, lawmakers like Ohio state Senator Kent Smith are pushing for next-gen 911 system to help people like Slater.

“Next generation 911 has the ability to use routing technology so we will have the ability to know where the call is coming from,” —

Phone and cable companies, meantime, now offer voice over internet phones as landline replacements, and the FCC requires them to give locations to 911.

The good news: the latest voice-over internet phones feel and sound just like landlines. So your older relatives should not notice too much change, so you don’t waste your money.

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