Mobile phones have become so prevalent that many people have hung up their landlines for good. But are there still situations when a landline number comes in handy?
Recently my partner and I went to hire a van. We had all the required documents, but were a bit stumped when asked to provide a landline number ‘for security reasons’. Neither of us has a landline, so what were we to do?
I haven’t had a landline for about four years, and I don’t miss it. I get enough free mobile minutes that I can call whoever I like without paying a penny, and the idea of having to run through my flat just to pick up a phone is alien to me.
Will any old number do?
And yet every now and again I’m asked for a landline number. Not just when hiring this van, but on things like credit applications too.
Although I doubt I’d give a credit card company the home number of an elderly relative – as we did with the car hire company. I know, not a great idea, but to be fair it was what the friendly assistant from the car hire company recommended.
‘Oh, loads of people have that problem,’ she said, and asked if we knew anyone who did have a landline. We wrote down grandma’s home number, just so that we’d have something that didn’t begin with ‘07’. We did warn Grandma too, in case she received an unexpected phone call!
Does a landline equal stability?
So is there any need to have a landline number? I don’t think so. But then I’m occasionally confronted with situations like this, and I wonder if I should have a landline number in my back pocket in case it proves useful.
For instance, it’s often said that adding a landline to your credit application means you’re more likely to be accepted. Experian says that putting a landline number instead of a mobile can be a stability indicator in credit scoring, along with things like relationship status and the time you’ve been with your bank.
However, the good news for those without landlines is that the effect is unlikely to be significant, because so many other things are taken into account and more people are ditching their landlines for mobiles.
I certainly don’t think it should be significant. After all, I’ve had the same mobile number for ten years, certainly longer than I’ve been with my current bank, and far longer than I’ve managed to hold down a relationship. If I were to put a landline number down, all it would prove was that I was happy to fork out money each month just so I had a number to put on credit applications!
No longer tied to a landline
I used to have a landline, but only because it came as part of a bundle from my internet provider. I couldn’t get broadband unless I had a phone line too. However, despite paying for the line, my wired phone sat gathering dust in a box until my ISP announced that it would start providing internet-only packages. I sent my dusty, unused phone away via Freecycle, never to be seen again.
But if so many people are dropping landline phones, why are we still being asked to supply landline numbers? Have you been asked to provide a landline rather than a mobile number?