What’s the most recognizable phone number you can think of?
For me, that answer comes straight from 1981: the iconic seven digits of Tommy Tutone’s 867-5309/Jenny. Apparently, that’s pretty common: a woman in Alabama named Lorene Burns, who once held the number, had this to say about the digits:
"When we'd first get calls at 2 or 3 in the morning, my husband would answer the phone. He can't hear too well. They'd ask for Jenny and he'd say 'Jimmy doesn't live here anymore.'... Tommy Tutone was the one who had the record. I'd like to get hold of his neck and choke him."
Yikes! Needless to say, after receiving dozens of phone calls each day for months, the Burns family changed their home phone number in 1982. (That’s probably a good thing, for both the Burns and their nuisance callers.)
Thankfully, most people don’t have the Burns’ problem. In fact, the number of residential land lines has plummeted in the last decade; when the song 867-5309 was released in 1981, virtually every household in the United States had at least one land line. In 2012, a CDC study concluded that 38.5 percent of Americans don’t have a land line and use only their cell phones, and another 15.9 percent people, who have both a land line and cell phone don’t use their land lines.
More than half of Americans don’t have or use their home phone numbers!
The trend lines show that residential consumers will continue to drop their land lines in favor of cellular devices; technology researchers estimate that by 2016 the number of wireless-only households could climb to 50.8 million.
Those numbers may not come as a surprise to you, but maybe you’re on the fence about whether you should drop your home phone number. You’re not alone.
Dropping your home phone is a big decision. If you are on the fence about cutting the cord, it makes sense to look at the pros and cons of having a land line phone number.
The pros and cons of cutting the cord to your home phone line:
Pro: You could stand to save quite a bit of money if you drop your home phone. If you already have and use a cell phone, you should take a look at the costs of your land line. Consider whether bundling your internet, phone and TV (or some combination thereof) is a savings or leaves you with services you hardly use.
Con: Not all cell phone plans are cheaper than land lines and bundles they are included in, especially if you use your home phone regularly.
Pro: You can do almost everything you do on your home phone on a cell phone. Keep in touch with family and friends, order a pizza, etc. Most cellular technology allows a lot more than phone calls, providing internet, video chat, and so much more.
Con (and this is a big one): In some places, cellular phone reception is not reliable enough to use in case of emergency. In fact, at my own home, a land line is a necessity because there isn’t strong enough signal to rely on reliable 911 service if I call from my cell phone. Similarly, if you don’t have reliable cell phone reception at your home, you may opt to keep your land line. This is especially true for business and errand calls, when video chat or text messages won’t suffice.
There's one more, final hesitation many people have. This is the big one.
The sticking point: the thought of losing their home phone numbers along with their land lines.
For many people, their home phone numbers are as much of their adult identities as their names or addresses. Losing it would be weird. Confusing. Stressful.
How in the world could they notify everybody of the change of number? It’s not as simple as a change of address form. In fact, it’s enough to make most people stop cold in their tracks, even if they could potentially save a lot of hard-earned money by dropping their home phone number.
Guess what? There is a way.
If you decide to drop your home phone line, you can keep your phone number.
Yes, really! You don’t have to worry about losing the phone number you’ve had for 5 or 65 years, and it is a simple process that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. So, don’t let the thought of losing your phone number and the headache that comes along with getting a new number stop you from making a move that might save you money and eliminate something that’s not really adding any value to your life.