We rarely use our home phone. Scanners and email eliminate the necessity of having a fax machine, so last week we gave up the landline and the ability to fax. Anyone insisting on receiving a fax from us will have to settle for snail mail.
For the past year, most calls were from telemarketers or political opinion polls. Other calls were from debt collectors for people we’d never heard of. I thought we’d have to give DNA evidence to stop one from calling. We could have captured Bin Laden much faster if we had allowed a debt collector to get on his case. Those people are relentless.
Who says utility companies are heartless? Our phone provider sounded weepy over our departure. They were doing an almost convincing job in having us keep the landline until they played the creepy age “what will you do in an emergency” card. The fact we owned the second phone Bell invented was a dead giveaway to our vintage.
Giving up the landline meant updating our obsolete cell phones. One of us had missing parts on his, held together with duct tape. The free cell phone upgrade proved to be NOT. Another conundrum with the wireless provider was how would we know we had enough minutes to compensate for the landline? The perky agent assured me I could check our balance just before billing time and if we were over our allotted minutes, for a small additional fee, we could upgrade and they would banish the overage.
I soon discovered a call to anyone’s customer service or help desk inhales minutes. Gone are the days of loading the dishwasher, taking a shower or cooking while you are in the Muzak queue hell. A couple of those incidents on the cell, without the appropriate plan could mean the difference between chicken or feathers for dinner.
O.K., I surrender. You’re gonna pay one way or the other. Add cell phone and cable providers to death and taxes.