Monday, March 15, 2010

Death of the Home Phone

We finally did it.

We cancelled our home phone service. I've had a home phone my entire life. Back in the day... before cell phones existed... when we had to walk to school uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow... or better yet, when pay phones still existed and took quarters...

The only real reason we had a "land line" was in case of emergencies. It was worth a couple of dollars a month for that "peace of mind", knowing that I could always try to reach whoever was here watching Ada (typically Rick) if their (his) cell phone died or the ringer was turned off by mistake. It was nice to know that they could always make an emergency call if they needed to. And it was convenient when our cell phone coverage in our house was so bad I'd drop 90% of my calls (that's why I don't have AT&T as my cell phone service provider).

Recently, I noticed that our land line phone bill was creeping up a lot higher than I originally thought. Ten dollars a month for that emergency access line was a good deal to me. But when I looked at the actual breakdown of our bill, I learned that it was really costing us $25 a month. And about $18 of that was taxes. We had the most basic, bare bones service possible and never even used the phone (except for that one month our nanny made a bunch of long distance calls and ran up the bill...) So it was time for it to go.

I did some research and learned that for $10 less each month, I could double my DSL Internet speed and drop my home phone. Great! What a deal! After all, I've been getting a lot of wrong numbers, solicitations, surveys, and calls that I just didn't want--all at really inconvenient times, like during naps... mine and Ada's both.

All would be fine in the world had I not been connected with a series of poorly trained customer service staff at AT&T. To make a VERY LONG story short, my phone was cut off a week ago Tuesday and I just now got my Internet connection back at 8 pm on Monday night. It's a VERY SORE subject at my house right now so avoid mentioning AT&T around me for the next twenty years or so -- unless you're trying to push me into labor. At least wait until I get to 38 weeks, please.

All of this drama for what? Well, in theory, we'll save $120/year and a bit of my sanity since I won't be woken up by wrong numbers and telemarketers anymore -- until they get ahold of my cell phone number anyway. The only call I will miss is Beverly from the Doctoress' office who calls the day before to remind us of our appointments. I'll have to remember to give her my cell, or just remember the appointments myself.

And now that the Internet is FINALLY up and running... (after I've spent 2.5 hours of my life on my (Sprint) cell phone with tech services, most of that on hold)... I will say I already missed my land line for about 5 minutes today when I couldn't remember where I put my cell phone down and I realized, I can no longer used the land line to call my cell phone to help locate it. And I can't call Rick to call my cell phone to locate it, because I can't find my cell phone to call him with and I no longer have a land line. So I just can't misplace my phone anymore. Talk about being thrown into new levels of responsibility I never knew existed.

Moral of the story: Times change, technology changes, but AT&T customer services will always be atrocious.

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