Can't afford the home phone? How about some new low-cost options?

Have you seen the new commercials for Straight Talk? 

If you don't know, it's a prepaid cell phone service from Walmart, and it now wants to be your home phone service too.

Straight Talk is following the lead of Verizon Wireless. They're offering a home phone that operates using cell phone lines.

Jim Alexander recently switched to Verizon's Home Connect Service. He and his wife, Deb, say they save about $27 a month.

The Verizon plan costs $20 a month. It offers unlimited long distance, caller ID, call waiting and call forwarding.

You can get that plan for just $10 a month if you already have Verizon's family-shared plan.

AT&T has its own version in some markets, also $10 or $20 a month.

Now, Walmart's Straight Talk is hoping to dominate the category by offering home phone service for just $15 a month.

Several consumer groups say its a great deal. You get caller ID, battery backup for power failures, and even a GPS for 911 service.

The downside?

These phones may not work with your home alarm or medical alert systems, and you may get a few garbled or dropped calls.

The other question with any land line: what are the taxes you have to pay?

They can sometimes be as much as the service itself.

Still, it's something to consider if you just can't cut the ties to the home phone.

If you need help with any consumer issue, email me or "like" my ABC 15 Facebook page and tell me about it there.

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