Cell phones are essential for personal communication because they offer the benefits of mobility and flexibility. Yet home phone services continue to be a part of many American homes. Statistics show that nearly a quarter of American homes have landline devices. They are more common among owners (34%) than renters (15%).
While these numbers appear low, the revenues narrate a different story. Home phone market revenue in the US is projected to reach $1.1 billion in 2023. It is expected to gain a volume growth of 1.3% in 2024. Since the growth prospects are good enough, the industry has many providers offering services.
As a customer, you may find several options on home phone service plans. But being spoiled for choice can be overwhelming. Knowing the comparison points can help you compare different plans and providers and pick the best one.
Here is a list of factors to help you make a comprehensive comparison and choose a home phone plan wisely.
Assess Your Needs
The first step to choosing a home phone plan is to assess your needs. Home phone usage in the US does not follow a one-size-fits-all pattern. Nearly 75% of householders aged 75 and older have landlines, while less than 5% of people under 25 have them. The usage pattern is obvious because older residents stay home, and younger people prefer mobility.
Besides assessing your need for a home phone plan, you should consider whether you want to make mostly local or long-distance calls. Also, list features, such as caller ID, call waiting, voicemail, and three-way calling, which you want the service to include. Your budget is another factor when determining an ideal solution.
According to WOW!, low-income households can leverage Lifeline Assistance, a federal program for affordable home phone and Internet service. This program ensures that even low-budget homes have the connectivity they need.
Consider Future Requirements
Understanding your current needs is a good start when it comes to comparing home phone plans. But you shouldn’t stop there because your needs may change in the future. For example, you may want to start a home-based business after a few years. Likewise, sending a child abroad means you may need to make more international calls.
Scalability should be in your mind when picking a phone plan for your home. Choose one that aligns seamlessly with your needs. Ensure that the plan can be upgraded or downgraded according to your circumstances.
Check Providers, Plans, and Services
Once you define your expectations and needs, you can compare providers, plans, and services. Check the phone service providers in your area in the first place. Seek recommendations and read customer reviews to gain insights into their service quality and value. Look for a provider with the bundling option because adding internet and cable TV to your home phone plan can help you save.
You can also explore different types of services and consider their pros and cons. These include:
- Traditional Landline: The service is reliable but may cost more
- Cellular Home Phone: Since this option uses a cellular network, it is ideal for areas with poor landline coverage
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): This service uses an internet connection, has more features, and is cost-effective
Read the Fine Print
When it comes to making a comprehensive comparison between home phone plans and providers, you should dig deep and read the fine print. Go through the terms and conditions of the plan carefully before finalizing it. Here are a few things you should check:
- Check whether the plan requires a contract, and avoid one with a long-term contract.
- Hidden fees such as installation charges, cancellation fees, and equipment rental are red flags.
- Ask for discounts or ongoing promotions on specific plans, as they can save you a lot of money.
- Consider negotiating with the service provider, specifically when opting for a bundling plan.
- Pick a provider offering a trial period to get a chance to test the service.
- Read terms for customer service and support to ensure seamless connectivity.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right home phone plan is crucial because it ensures call quality, optimal service coverage, and affordable cost. You must also opt for a reputable provider and a plan that adapts to your needs and fits your budget.
Thorough research and an in-depth comparison can help you choose wisely and ensure that you don’t end up with the wrong plan and provider. Follow this actionable checklist to opt for a home phone plan that keeps you connected without burning a hole in your wallet.