October, 2004 Contest: How are cell phones affecting your usage of the telephones in your home?

We have a tie!
Congratulations to the winners.

Mary Ann Begbie of Houston, TX

Originally, my husband and I used our cell phones whenever possible for long distance calls (to save money). But because we found the reception unreliable inside our home, we ended up making most of those calls while away. Last year, our phone company offered a package of long distance hours (cell phone style) for around $5 per call so now we call more from home. There’s nothing like having a cup of coffee and chatting with your mom or watching the kids’ faces while they talk to their Grandma!

What I see as the trend, however, is more emphasis on portability, and as the cell companies move to the standardized transmission format (like Europe) and collaboratively improve service and reception, I expect we all will “convert” to total cell phone usage. An improvement in battery life and recharging ability will need to occur before a complete changeover can be expected. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the next generation of phones to include a “locator button” either!

Heather Gilham of Cape Coral, FL

Funny you should ask. We went through Hurricane Charley and lost phone service in our home for several days. We used our cell phones to contact our loved ones – friends, families, and coworkers – to let them know we were okay and find out if they were all right as well. All of the land lines were down in our area and without our cell phones we wouldn’t have been able to contact ANYONE!