Matthew Yglesias connects two disparate thoughts in one short post:

I’ve been thinking about it, and why not add charities to the do not call register as well? Or at least establish two registers and let people sign up for one, the other, or both. Personally, I find charitable solicitations more annoying since I feel bad hanging up on them. On the other hand, I’m now operating without a land-line so I don’t need to put up with these calls one way or the other. Everyone ought to try the mobile-only life. As long as you have an office at which to make those important non-night, non-weekend calls it should be able to meet your needs.

I actually agree with him on the charities issue. I give to charities with some regularity, but the only time I’ve ever given because of a phone solicitation was to my college alumni association.

I’d go cell-only in a heartbeat if I could find the right plan. Right now, I’m stuck in the absurd position of having a Montgomery, Alabama cell phone number despite having been in Northern Virginia for thirteen months. Why? The Cingular package I committed myself to, with the all-important “no roaming” (which is a strange name for a feature that is in fact “roam all you want at no charge”) is no longer available. The only way to keep it was to keep the old phone number and I’m still in the contract for another four months. Honestly, were it not for incoming calls, which most cell companies charge for as if they were outgoing, I could get by on a very minimal cell plan.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. acline says:

    We’re moving in that direction. By next summer we may keep a land-line for emergencies–no phone connected to the line unless we connect it.

    We have the T-mobile family plan. With the free minutes among family members, we don’t come close to using up the plan’s regular minutes. So phone service for us is one price per month for everything we need.

  2. 42nd SSD says:

    I’d go cell-only, but the service in and around my house is totally unusable. (I’ve tried five different providers; I’m just in an RF black hole, as it works great 5-6 blocks in any direction.) I generally give out my cell number when I have to give out a number and it’s not real important if it goes to voicemail or whatever.

    Another possible solution is to get an 800 number, as I haven’t had any problems with them calling mine. Obviously how practical that is depends on how often you’d need to give it out, but I don’t get many calls so the cost is low.

    In general I get very few telemarketing calls (haven’t had any for months, actually). I got rid of the only two persistent companies (the SF Bay Chronicle and AT&T) by telling them “do not call again”.

  3. BobM says:

    The “charities” that call you include ones for which the putative cause gets about a nickel on the dollar. Hard to know this on an unsolicited call.

  4. JohnC says:

    Looks like the cell phone refuge is about to fold.