Fear is the tool in new AT&T campaign to make sure you have a landline

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telephoneBetter not ditch that landline -- or if you already have, get a new one before it's too late!

That's the scary message courtesy of AT&T, coincidentally one of the most dominant players in the wireless market. What the? They're not suggesting you dump your cell phone.

Like arch rival Verizon, the telecom giant also dominates the land-line market. And as wireless has become a more reliable option -- and the obvious choice if you going to have one or the other -- the number of wireless-only households has grown.

Nearly one in five U.S. homes don't have a landline, making what was once a given into a growth opportunity. So, how do you convince someone who has decided they don't need a home phone anymore to get one? Fear, of course.

Here are some reasons from AT&T why you need a landline:

  • "Your security system needs to be hooked up to something." Translation: No home phone + no security system = home invasions and break-ins. Scary stuff.
  • "When you need it most in an emergency, 911 responders can determine your exact location." Translation: Without that security system, you're going to need to call for help and your cell phone-based call for help is going to end up with the wrong police department or without your address on their screen. This is starting to add up.
  • "You need a way to call your cell phone when you lose it." Translation: If you don't have a home phone and you misplace your cell (which you will do) you'll be paralyzed. There will be no way to call the police.

OK, so AT&T's not completely serious. There is some humor mixed with their scare tactics. They've got to do what they've got to do to grow their market and that's why they're headed in that direction. But, realistically, how many of those who chose for financial or other reasons to abandon their landlines didn't already know everything they're saying?

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