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A landline has many advantages over a cellphone, and for me the advantages were always worth the price. I kept my landline for over 20 years (that's how long I have lived in my present apartment in NYC). I had 3 lines, actually – an additional roll-over line and a fax line.

As I have chronicled in these pages before, Verizon has decided to severely curtail repair activities for copper lines, which effectively means that if your copper-wired landline conks out, it won't get repaired; Verizon customer service will tell you to subscribe to its FiOS system. This so infuriated me when our landline expired that I ported the main number over to a cellular line (from Credo), and cancelled the roll-over and fax lines. The home cell is connected via bluetooth to the same Panasonic KX-TG9541 that we used with the landline, so, aside from my forgetting to charge the cellphone every so often, the rest of the household has seen little change in how the physical phone is used (as long as we remember to punch the "cell" button to make a call).

Fortunately, the reception here on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is pretty good, so sound quality is close to what we are used to. I miss the security of knowing that the phone will work when the power goes off on the eastern seaboard (phone lines underground), but c'est la vie.
 


Yeah, we went from "You can hear a pin drop!" to "Can you hear me now?" Video is the same way, with motion artifacts, moire patterns, stutter and skipped frames not just accepted, but cheered because it's digital.
This race away from quality was discussed by Hirschner 40 years ago in "Exit, Voice and Loyalty" in his description of the Kenyan railway. MacInTouch is Voice, by the way, and Apple used to price Loyalty. Guess what is left?
Yes about phone service, but I have no problems with video - shooting mostly 4K stuff now.
 




The most recent problem that I've had with Ooma is that unlike a real landline, when someone tries to send you a text, Ooma can't receive it nor does it send back a "failed" response to the sender. I'm up to about 2-3 missed communications now a month...
Ooma has been okay up until now as a substitute landline. The quality of service is not great, but most importantly, I can't receive SMS text messages, nor is there an error message given to the sender telling them that the message did not get through, so it falls into an SMS black hole. I'm finding more and more people assume that they can text to any phone number in 2019.

I've been busy the last couple of weeks with a moving project, but here's where I'm at with this as of today:
  • A landline is much too expensive and it cannot receive text messages.
  • I'd like to keep it simple and find an Ooma VoIP-type company that also can receive SMS texts, but I have a bit more research to do with companies like CallCentric, Consumer Cellular, 1-VoIP, LinkCentral, and others. I do know that texting doesn't work with Ooma, Vonage, my broadband provider Spectrum, or MagicJack (without an app on your phone).
  • Neither one of my pay-as-you-go cell phones (an iPhone and an LG Android) work at my house, and I've tested all carriers with neighbor phones. Verizon is the best, but I still only get 2-2.5 bars, and it's just not good enough.
  • I don't want to connect my cells to the wi-fi, as then I'm also connecting to Apple or Google, which I really don't want to do. I just want to use my phones as phones and nothing else. I have a laptop that I'm on all day and I can take it with me to check email and such when needed.
  • I've talked extensively to my carrier, T-Mobile, about the poor reception here, and the best they can offer is a cell spot that would connect to my wi-fi and amplify the cell signal. The problem with this solution is that I would have to upgrade my plan to a more expensive one, which I don't want or need, and I'm also concerned about the EM radiation emitted from the cell spot. Also, because it's an actual mini cell tower, anyone within 3000 ft. can connect to my mini cell tower.
I hope to get the final research done and make a decision this week. I am hindered by the fact that I value my privacy, don't want extra EM radiation in the house, and I can't get a cell phone to work at home without walking about a block away.

If there is no great solution, I will just have to miss the occasional text and hope the sender will figure out to call or email me. I think the best solution for me would be my second bullet point, which is to find an Ooma substitute that can receive text messages.
 


... If there is no great solution, I will just have to miss the occasional text and hope the sender will figure out to call or email me. I think the best solution for me would be my second bullet point, which is to find an Ooma substitute that can receive text messages.
You could make your life a lot easier if you abandoned texts. I rarely find them worth the trouble, particularly because I rarely use my cell phone and avoid giving the number to people. SMS is a horrible system, because it never gives an indication of failure (although a few texting systems do send voice messages when landline voice mail picks up).

I also discovered another problem with texts recently. Although it is possible to send email to text numbers in certain cases (e.g., for ATT Wireless lines), the recipients cannot reply to you from their mobile line, although the message acts like you can reply to it. I had been sending texts through email from my desktop, because I find it much easier to send information that way than texting on a phone.
 


I also discovered another problem with texts recently. Although it is possible to send email to text numbers in certain cases (e.g., for ATT Wireless lines), the recipients cannot reply to you from their mobile line, although the message acts like you can reply to it. I had been sending texts through email from my desktop, because I find it much easier to send information that way than texting on a phone.
I could have sworn that replying from phone via SMS to SMS sent via email got emailed back, so I tested it (Consumer Cellular/ATT), and it works:
  • Sent email to number@txt.att.net
  • Received SMS at number
  • Replied from number via iOS Messages app.
  • Received reply at original email address.
Also successful was text and reply to an Android device.

Is it possible replies are going into a spam bucket?
 


I could have sworn that replying from phone via SMS to SMS sent via email got emailed back, so I tested it (Consumer Cellular/ATT), and it works:
  • Sent email to number@txt.att.net
  • Received SMS at number
  • Replied from number via iOS Messages app.
  • Received reply at original email address.
Also successful was text and reply to an Android device.

Is it possible replies are going into a spam bucket?
I just tried it to my cell, and it came through without getting caught in a spam filter, which surprised me. I did check the spam filter, but it's possible that my wife's brief reply (something like OK) was blocked by my server or I might have missed it in the spam filter.

It's good news that it works at least some of the time. As a touch typist, texting is like typing with mittens, and I hate it.
 


I could have sworn that replying from phone via SMS to SMS sent via email got emailed back, so I tested it (Consumer Cellular/ATT), and it works:
  • Sent email to number@txt.att.net
  • Received SMS at number
  • Replied from number via iOS Messages app.
  • Received reply at original email address.
Also successful was text and reply to an Android device.

Is it possible replies are going into a spam bucket?
I've been "texting" to phones from Apple Mail for a year or two, but only to family and people I know, and if I know who their carriers are, because the formatting of the emailed text address is different for each carrier.

Here are some examples:
  • AT&T: number@txt.att.net
  • Qwest: number@qwestmp.com
  • T-Mobile: number@tmomail.net
  • Verizon: number@vtext.com
  • Sprint: number@messaging.sprintpcs.com or number@pm.sprint.com
I also do not include a subject, although it may be possible. I believe the amount of characters is limited, coming from email, where apparently it's not when sent from a phone.

When the recipient replies, I delete any subject line that may have been added and delete the history of the email before I reply back. This seems to work fine for multiple messages back and forth.
 



I've been "texting" to phones from Apple Mail for a year or two, but only to family and people I know, and if I know who their carriers are, because the formatting of the emailed text address is different for each carrier.

Here are some examples:
  • AT&T: number@txt.att.net
  • Qwest: number@qwestmp.com
  • T-Mobile: number@tmomail.net
  • Verizon: number@vtext.com
  • Sprint: number@messaging.sprintpcs.com or number@pm.sprint.com
I also do not include a subject, although it may be possible. I believe the amount of characters is limited, coming from email, where apparently it's not when sent from a phone.

When the recipient replies, I delete any subject line that may have been added and delete the history of the email before I reply back. This seems to work fine for multiple messages back and forth.
Excellent information! Thank you, Dave!
 


I've been "texting" to phones from Apple Mail for a year or two, but only to family and people I know, and if I know who their carriers are, because the formatting of the emailed text address is different for each carrier. Here are some examples:
  • AT&T: number@txt.att.net
  • Qwest: number@qwestmp.com
  • T-Mobile: number@tmomail.net
  • Verizon: number@vtext.com
  • Sprint: number@messaging.sprintpcs.com or number@pm.sprint.com
I use this method for sending notifications from my Mac Mini AppleScript workforce to check-in with me. Here are a few more carriers:
  • SprintPCS: number@messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • Nextel: number@messaging.nextel.com
  • Consumer Cellular: number@mailmymobile.net
  • Cricket Wireless: number@sms.cricketwireless.net
  • Metro PCS: number@mymetropcs.com
  • Boost : number@sms.myboostmobile.com
  • Virgin: number@vmobl.com
  • XFinity: number@vtext.com
  • Tracfone: number@mmst5.tracfone.com
  • Republic Wireless: number@text.republicwireless.com
 


I use this method for sending notifications from my Mac Mini AppleScript workforce to check-in with me. Here are a few more carriers:
  • SprintPCS: number@messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • Nextel: number@messaging.nextel.com
  • Consumer Cellular: number@mailmymobile.net
  • Cricket Wireless: number@sms.cricketwireless.net
  • Metro PCS: number@mymetropcs.com
  • Boost : number@sms.myboostmobile.com
  • Virgin: number@vmobl.com
  • XFinity: number@vtext.com
  • Tracfone: number@mmst5.tracfone.com
  • Republic Wireless: number@text.republicwireless.com
There's also a web site that can identify the carrier by typing in the number:
It also provides the SMS (simple message service) Gateway Address and MMS (multimedia message service) Gateway Address for that phone number. That's very handy if you don't know the carrier.
 



I suggest getting a Google voice line for texts. You can text and reply from there. It's free and it's the number I give out anytime someone wants an number. Only my friends and close business associates have my actual cell number - although I can receive and place calls via Google voice, if I choose. Every one else - insurance, credit card companies, memberships, get the Google Voice number.

Unlike my wife, I rarely receive any spam calls or text messages at my real number, having followed this practice. (Although, having recently registered some domain names for a new enterprise using my Google Voice number in the ICANN directory, it is getting spammed multiple times a day with text messages and hang-up calls from apparent US origin, as well as Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Egypt, some African country codes, and a few other European countries.)
 


Unlike my wife, I rarely receive any spam calls or text messages at my real number, having followed this practice. (Although, having recently registered some domain names for a new enterprise using my Google Voice number in the ICANN directory, it is getting spammed multiple times a day with text messages and hang-up calls from apparent US origin, as well as Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Egypt, some African country codes, and a few other European countries.)
I wish I were as lucky. I was, several times, spam-called within minutes by consecutive numbers purportedly from within my exchange (obviously false caller ID) — until I subscribed to Nomorobo and, more recently, Verizon's free tier of spam filtering. Now, I get 0 - 2 spam calls per week, with most squelched before they can ring a second time.

Since retiring, most of my "business" calls (from delivery outfits, doctors' offices, and pharmacies) have become text messages. It's only occasionally that I use voice communication over my phone, and then usually only with family members (to the bemusement of those under 40).
 


In case there was any doubt, this is pretty much proof that XFinity Mobile is reselling Verizon services. :-)
I just found out by calling support a couple of days ago that Spectrum is doing the same. For me, it's a good thing. Most of my friends and neighbors are happy with Verizon, and others are not with Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, etc.
 


I suggest getting a Google voice line for texts.
As I said in my original post, I want absolutely nothing to do with Google or Microsoft or Apple if I can avoid it. When I have the time, I will also make the final move away from Apple to Linux for day-to-day work. I can keep my Macs around for Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X, but I think everything else will be covered by Linux.
 


Since retiring, most of my "business" calls (from delivery outfits, doctors' offices, and pharmacies) have become text messages. It's only occasionally that I use voice communication over my phone, and then usually only with family members (to the bemusement of those under 40).
I, on the other hand, hate texting and only give out my cell phone in rare cases when I have to be reached away from my home/office. Doctors and dentists usually catch on and use email for appointment reminders. There are services that can turn texts into recorded messages for landline phones; we had a contractor last year who used one of those, and it worked very well. One of the problems of having so many alternatives for messaging is that too many people assume that everybody uses the same one they prefer. That's why I like services that bridge the gap.
 


There are services that can turn texts into recorded messages for landline phones; we had a contractor last year who used one of those, and it worked very well.
Jeff, let me know if you have any specific names or recommendations for these types of companies. I found two Ooma-type services that work in conjunction with a business called Zoiper.com.

The two Ooma-like companies I have narrowed my research down to are Callcentric and 1-VoIP. Both companies ultilize the Zoiper partnership model, where you can check your text message via a free downloaded app to your Mac, PC, Linux computer, or mobile device. (I'm not sure why Ooma can't figure out how to do this, it would make my life simpler at the moment.)

Between the two, 1-VoIP seems simpler with a flat monthly charge and a support phone number.. Callcentric has a complicated billing system where you pay for received calls and also pay separately for outgoing calls, and there is no phone support. I will need to research them both further before making a decision.
One of the problems of having so many alternatives for messaging is that too many people assume that everybody uses the same one they prefer.
Yes, a brilliant summation of my situation too.
 


Jeff, let me know if you have any specific names or recommendations for these types of companies. I found two Ooma-type services that work in conjunction with a business called Zoiper.com.
A little searching found that Verizon Wireless has a service that converts text to landline message.

If you read the FAQs, you will see some restrictions on what numbers it can reach.

AT&T also seems to have some kind of landline texting that I have not explored or used.

I checked Verizon FiOS, and according to an online forum
if you try to text a Verizon FIOS landline phone, they offer to convert it to voice for 25 cents. Haven't checked anywhere else. I don't think that would work for computers that automatically text appointment reminders; I think one local appliance dealer does that and nothing comes through.
 


The two Ooma-like companies I have narrowed my research down to are Callcentric and 1-VoIP.
Callcentric has been trouble-free for me so far, but you have to get your own equipment - in my case a little box. Sound quality is sometimes poor and sometimes very good, while Ooma is uniformly good. The company itself has been pretty good, no surprises. Certain things are hard to figure out, but I love the spam-killer feature of forcing callers to press a number key... and being able to send spammers straight to voicemail (or a disconnected number message).

Callcentric is a bit conservative in terms of marking people as spammers.

I haven't tried or heard of 1-VoIP and am curious about your experiences.
 


...while Ooma is uniformly good. The company itself has been pretty good, no surprises.
As I've said before, the quality of Ooma has not been good at all for me and is especially bad when talking with someone on a cell phone (and much worse if they are using speaker phone and/or driving). But, my expectations now for phone communication of any type is extremely low now, so I live with it.
Callcentric is a bit conservative in terms of marking people as spammers.
I was not impressed by their outdated website, strange pricing, and lack of phone support, but when I have more time I will look into them further, as well as 1-VoIP.

I think at this point, though, I will take a break from my research and live with what I have with Ooma for a while longer. If I occasionally lose a text from someone trying to text to my VoIP line, they will just have to call back and leave a message.
 


As I've said before, the quality of Ooma has not been good at all for me and is especially bad when talking with someone on a cell phone (and much worse if they are using speaker phone and/or driving).
Well... I suspect that's a problem on the cellphone end. I had the same issues when I had a ‘real’ wired phone. I am a bit surprised at the Ooma issues, though. I've found them pretty identical to my old Cablevision and FIOS phones, albeit not quite up to Bell standards.

I use Callcentric with both a “modern” phone and an old Western Electric (Bell rental) phone. Sometimes it's perfect, sometimes there's a bad echo, so I tend to use it less. I will say it's been improving quite a bit lately.

Part of the problem may be that I have the Callcentric box for the Western Electric phone at the end of the Ethernet line, rather than at the beginning (I have the Ooma box and one of the Callcentric boxes connected by a twelve inch Ethernet cable to the first router; the second Callcentric box has to get its Ethernet after crossing all across the house and through another switch). If you can deal with the web site's old design, the service is OK.

The one thing I like about Ooma over Callcentric is having a whitelist of callers, and nobody else can get through. Their web site is really modern-looking, but that hides some basic design flaws and some paucity of options. Callcentric has been filtering better lately, but I was still getting numerous spam calls every day until I figured out how to make callers press a random number key before getting through. (I will admit I lose rotary dial-phone callers! If any are left.)

I would be using only Callcentric, with a better ethernet-to-phone box, but as I said before, the alarm company insists on Ooma, with their system designated as a fax machine, though the fax machine itself works just fine on an ordinary VoIP line.
 


I've had Ooma in the past, but for the last several years I have used Callcentric for my landline. Both have worked flawlessly for me. I think the real key is the quality of your internet service. Speedy pings and low jitter are very important. The reason I switched from Ooma to Callcentric was cost. Ooma charges for their better features and Callcentric bundles everything in.

I would rate Ooma higher for ease of use - it really does just work, and their hardware is beautiful. The Callcentric website takes some getting used to, but the functionality is very sophisticated. I use call treatments to block numbers, send unknown callers to voicemail, and only ring the phone when the Caller ID matches my whitelist or matches other specified criteria. I even used Callcentric for a couple of years with a virtual overseas number from zadarma.com and a SIP connection, so my in-laws could call from Asia for free.
 


I got an email from AT&T that my data plan had been doubled. This was concerning, since I did not initiate the change.

I logged in and verified it had been doubled, and my monthly bill had increased by $10/month. I called customer service, and the nice gentleman said AT&T had sent out emails and texts saying they were going to double data plans for $5-10/month extra, and you had to opt out of the change, if you didn’t want that to happen. And it was going to roll out to other AT&T customers as a customer service, because people were saying the data plans were too small.

I should mention I have never gone over our current plan’s allotment. I should also mention that my wife and I never got those supposed texts and emails warning us about the change.

The customer service rep was able to put me back on our original plan for our normal monthly payment and credit back what we had been charged for the switch.

I am not sure if this is going to affect everyone, but I suggest people check their AT&T bill and data plan!
 


I got an email from AT&T that my data plan had been doubled. This was concerning, since I did not initiate the change.
I logged in and verified it had been doubled, and my monthly bill had increased by $10/month. I called customer service, and the nice gentleman said AT&T had sent out emails and texts saying they were going to double data plans for $5-10/month extra, and you had to opt out of the change, if you didn’t want that to happen. And it was going to roll out to other AT&T customers as a customer service, because people were saying the data plans were too small.

I should mention I have never gone over our current plan’s allotment. I should also mention that my wife and I never got those supposed texts and emails warning us about the change.

The customer service rep was able to put me back on our original plan for our normal monthly payment and credit back what we had been charged for the switch.

I am not sure if this is going to affect everyone, but I suggest people check their AT&T bill and data plan!
I had the same thing happen, only, when I called I was told there was nothing that could be done. I’ve never come close to using my 2GB allotment.
 


I got an email from AT&T that my data plan had been doubled. This was concerning, since I did not initiate the change. I logged in and verified it had been doubled, and my monthly bill had increased by $10/month. I called customer service, and the nice gentleman said AT&T had sent out emails and texts saying they were going to double data plans for $5-10/month extra, and you had to opt out of the change, if you didn’t want that to happen. And it was going to roll out to other AT&T customers as a customer service, because people were saying the data plans were too small.

I should mention I have never gone over our current plan’s allotment. I should also mention that my wife and I never got those supposed texts and emails warning us about the change.

The customer service rep was able to put me back on our original plan for our normal monthly payment and credit back what we had been charged for the switch.

I am not sure if this is going to affect everyone, but I suggest people check their AT&T bill and data plan!
I am hating AT&T - poor signal in areas that (Verizon) colleagues have no issue, and now I checked my last bill and have late fee (due on 16th of month, text record that I paid on 13th)! Off to cellhell to find out why...

Update: So ATT has my due date as 7th but end of billing the 16th. Makes perfect sense! </sarcasm>.

(I pay via debit, so it's not like I have a paper bill to send in. Nothing shows about increased dataplan cost but will keep eye on this. ATT rep crediting me... so polite. :)
 


I had the same increase on my last bill. I called customer support, and they put me back on the old plan (I have rollover). The rep also said that they had sent an email that I never received.

Perhaps time for T-Mobile.
 


This happened to me, too. They said it was on the previous bill, or the one before it. It was there... in small type on the last page, which no one keeps. Also, they said it was an inflation increase and, as such, they doubled the data to help make up for it. Yeah. Sure. Since when are they looking out for my best interests? Also, if it makes it any better, Charter/Spectrum around here is far worse. Far worse.
 


Thanks for the warning. We just received our latest e-bill, and it was the same as last month's. However, this is an autopayment thing, so they don't actually send us any kind of statement; we can only download it if we decide to, so there's no warning. That leaves AT&T an opportunity to be sneaky and sleazy about it.
 


I got an email from AT&T that my data plan had been doubled. This was concerning, since I did not initiate the change. I logged in and verified it had been doubled, and my monthly bill had increased by $10/month. I called customer service, and the nice gentleman said AT&T had sent out emails and texts saying they were going to double data plans for $5-10/month extra, and you had to opt out of the change, if you didn’t want that to happen. And it was going to roll out to other AT&T customers as a customer service, because people were saying the data plans were too small.

I should mention I have never gone over our current plan’s allotment. I should also mention that my wife and I never got those supposed texts and emails warning us about the change.
The customer service rep was able to put me back on our original plan for our normal monthly payment and credit back what we had been charged for the switch.
I am not sure if this is going to affect everyone, but I suggest people check their AT&T bill and data plan!
I had exactly the same experience. One e-mail was received after the fact; no texts or emails before the change. I was able to revert to my old data plan (which I was told should not have happened) but lost all my rollover GBs, which caused six $15 overage charges.

It took two weeks and calls to 6 service reps, one tech support person and one manager to get it all straightened out. Bottom line: now on the doubled plan with three months of credit for the cost difference, and if the "right" service representative had been reached the first time, it would all have been corrected immediately. The one (thank you, Barbara) who made it all good did not do anything that any of the others could not have done. For a communication company that prides itself in its customers, they screwed up big on communication and customers.
 


Also AT&T has increased the cost of the data plans for iPad users. My data plan for my iPad will be increased by $5.00 a month later this month.
 


Got my bill via email, noticed the $5 increase. Logged in and saw my plan had "doubled." Opened a chat session and spent about 30 minutes asking why my plan changed without my interaction. Ended up getting a credit and keeping the plan. Poor customer relations. Rep in the chat was awesome.
 


After reading these posts, I logged in to my AT&T account. We had been on a 6GB plan that we share three ways. I called AT&T and was told that my 6GB plan was phased out, and they moved me to a 12GB plan for a one-time charge of $10.

The AT&T rep said the old 6GB plan was no longer available. And the choices I saw on my account page were 12, 9 and 3GB.

However, the AT&T rep said the $10 charge was a one-time charge. I specifically asked, are you sure it's not a recurring charge. Nope, it's a one-time charge, they said.

And, since I called to complain, they credited my bill $10.

I'm not convinced it is a one-time charge. I'll be monitoring my bills for the next few months.

BTW, the plans are priced in a way to get folks to pay for more data than they may need. For example, the 12GB plan was $109/month. The 9GB plan was $105/month, the 3GB plan was $103/month. Only $6 month difference between 12 GB and 3 GB? Seems like some funny stuff going on...
 


Thanks for the warning. We just received our latest e-bill, and it was the same as last month's. However, this is an autopayment thing, so they don't actually send us any kind of statement; we can only download it if we decide to, so there's no warning. That leaves AT&T an opportunity to be sneaky and sleazy about it.
This kind of situation is precisely why I very much prefer to give my service providers payment rather than let them take it. Yes, I have to remember to do it, but it means there are no nasty surprises. They send me a PDF statement, and I pay it, without anything sneaking past me.

That is worth any convenience I give up.
 


This kind of situation is precisely why I very much prefer to give my service providers payment rather than let them take it. Yes, I have to remember to do it, but it means there are no nasty surprises. They send me a PDF statement, and I pay it, without anything sneaking past me. That is worth any convenience I give up.
AT&T was pushing the e-billing and autopayment by offering a discount on the monthly rate, which supposedly was fixed. What they did not say was that they would not send itemized electronic statements, just an email stating the billing amount, along with a link to the statement on their web site. That would require logging into my wife's account, and that access is now screwed up and requires resetting.

I have used autopayment without problems before for other fixed payments, like mortgage and loans, and the banks handled it flawlessly (although final payments required human intervention). I did not expect AT&T would fail to notify customers of rare increases (although, so far, our rate has not increased).

I would never use autopayment for utility bills that vary month to month, because major screwups can happen. The local gas company billed new tenants $8000 for seven days of service in July, because they had overestimated a prior reading and their computer misinterpreted the first real reading as the meter having gone through a full cycle rather than the previous estimate being off.
 


For those dissatisfied with AT&T or any other carrier, I have been very pleased with Consumer Cellular for my iPhone 5C and Ting for my old LG LX225 flip phone. I use auto-pay, and both companies send me an invoice for my review in advance of booking the charge. Consumer Cellular offers either an AT&T or T-Mobile SIM card. AT&T has much a stronger signal in my home area, so that's what I use.

My principal reason for selecting these carriers is that they allow me to pay for just what I use (in small lumps) rather than having to buy a huge amount of voice or data that I will hardly ever use. I have been very pleased with their services.
…Also, if it makes it any better, Charter/Spectrum around here is far worse. Far worse.
Michael, I'm a Spectrum internet and cable TV customer, so I have been inundated with solicitations for their new phone service. While I'm not looking for an alternative carrier, I like to keep my eyes and ears open. Can you give us specifics of how Charter/Spectrum is screwing up its cell phone service?
 


I would never use autopayment for utility bills that vary month to month, because major screwups can happen. The local gas company billed new tenants $8000 for seven days of service in July, because they had overestimated a prior reading and their computer misinterpreted the first real reading as the meter having gone through a full cycle rather than the previous estimate being off.
I haven't had problems with auto-pay for utilities. But I have the billing statement mailed to me, as well as an email notice of when the statement is actually posted. That gives me a chance to review it before it actually gets paid. The notification process is critical, since the electronic notification is much quicker than snail mail. But the wife insists on getting the paper bill (can't say I disagree) so that we have a record of billings and it is done on their paper. Besides, we have to support the Post Office. :-)
 


I left AT&T after many years of being with them, because they simply charge too much for data and their cell coverage is pretty awful [where I live]. There are many places near where I live that require better coverage than anything AT&T was willing to do. I know because I complained many times to AT&T about their coverage. I've moved on to T-Mobile with unlimited data, texting and much better coverage.
 


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