Read these 8 Local Home Phone Service Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Phone Service tips and hundreds of other topics.
One of the latest technology fads is the use of a cellular phone docking station to take advantage of unused evening and weekend cellular minutes that don't rollover as your local phone service.
Placing your cell phone into the docking station transforms your existing phone jacks, and phones, into a wire line service.
The prices for these docking stations can range from $80 to $200, depending on how many features you choose and where you buy the product.
This idea works well if you don't mind spotty cellular voice quality sometimes and typically don't use your unlimited night and weekend minutes.
If you do prefer better quality, choosing a traditional landline carrier is the way to go.
The best way to make sure you get the right local phone service for your needs is to shop around.
A comparison search engine is a great place to start and will allow you to directly compare up to three phone services at a time. If you run it multiple times with different services and keep printouts of each, you can then go through each one side by side and see how they all stack up.
Be sure to take a look at all the "service" charges at the bottom of the page that are listed instead of just the published rate. That way you will be sure to have all the facts when making your decision.
Take a look also at local-only services versus local and long distance packages. Often, the combined savings results in a better overall deal.
Be sure to review your current usage, if you are away from home a lot and just don't use your phone, a measured rate service with a very low monthly fee may be the best option.
Last but not least, take a look at the features that you currently use against those offered. Features, such as caller ID and call waiting with caller ID, can be significant time savers.
If you want the best possible deal without sacrificing phone features, you are in luck. Many carriers are now offering features packages along with local phone services that were unheard of just two years ago.
VoIP services offer the best features packages at the lowest cost because feature information can easily be carried in the voice packet headers. This means the cost to the service provider is less than in traditional telephone systems.
The traditional carriers have had to keep up, so great features deals can also be had from most local carriers.
Local number portability, referred to as LNP, allows you to keep your existing phone number when switching carriers.
This service makes it easier than ever before to make sure you always have the best local phone deal you can get!
The requirements imposed on carriers for this service have resulted in an additional charge that you will see on your monthly bill. This charge is assessed whether you take advantage of LNP or not.
If you want to keep your current number, be sure to tell your carrier when you sign up. Otherwise, you will be assigned a new number.
Many people are not aware that their local phone company does not automatically cover inside wiring issues, until they get the bill for a service call! Service calls are billed by the hour and can add up quickly.
If you have an older house and have the potential for a problem, it's prudent to sign up for a wire line maintenance plan that covers you in case you do need service. It's really inconvenient to be without phone service due to wiring problems and during months when the budget is tight, this could happen without protection.
Most wire line protection plans do not cover adding new jacks or jack reconfiguration. Some service providers, such as AT&T, offer plans that cover your phone equipment, as well.
If most of your friends and relatives live in your local area, unlimited local calling provides a great way to keep your phone bill consistent and manageable.
Many local phone companies offer unlimited local calling packages. Some deals include the Qwest Unlimited Plan, which offers nationwide and Canada calling. There is also the unlimited local and long distance calling package from Cincinnati Bell and the unlimited local calling plan with voicemail, plus backup power from Embarq.
With unlimited calling, there are never any surprises in your monthly phone bills and budgeting becomes much easier.
Most people only associate VoIP with long distance savings and don't realize that some VoIP carriers also offer local-only packages at dramatically lower rates than conventional carriers.
There are many VoIP local-only services available that provide the lowest cost solutions for households that already have broadband Internet access.
Some of the providers offering local-only services include Myphonecall.com with unlimited local service at a low rate. Additional long distance calls are billed at a low VoIP rate, so the overall package is still lower than competitive rates from traditional providers.
There are many great ways to enhance your local home phone service without breaking the bank.
If your phone jacks are in inconvenient locations, one way to improve your talk time experiences is to invest in a cordless phone set with multiple satellite handsets. The handsets can be placed anywhere you find convenient, as long as there is an outlet available to plug them in. If the phone always rings when you are making dinner, put one in the kitchen.
Another way to enhance your service and make it more efficient is by the use of distinctive rings. If you want to know immediately if the call is your mother and can't always see the caller ID, set up a ring that audibly tells you that she is calling. This allows you to make the decision to pick up or not.
Yet another way to improve your home communications is by adding picture caller ID phones, such as the VTech i5857. This way, you can see who is calling you before you pick up.