Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Gone Baby Gone!

Some of our telephones soon to find a home at a local thrift store

Today I made a decision that I have been mulling over for years, I got rid of my landline.

Folks, this wasn't an easy decision. But I had to make it.  99.8% of the calls I receive on my landline were from telemarketers ("Credit Card Services of America - "this is your last chance!"), charities (American Cancer Society, Fraternal Order of Police, et al)l and political robo calls.

Telemarketers, the bane of our existence in our modern day society

You ask "Weren't you on the Do Not Call List?"  Of course.  But as you know folks (and I'm sure most of you are also on it), 

IT.DOESN'T.WORK.

Folks, I have lost count of the thousands of times I have answered the phone at around 6:00 PM only to hear a "Click!".  That's a computer checking to make sure someone is at home so the telemarketer can call later. 

The solution, REMOVE THE PHONE

How many times have I received phone calls from "Credit Card Services of America" informing me this was the LAST time they were offering me the "opportunity" to switch my credit card balances to their scam company.  I push the "0" button on my phone to get a live person only to have them hang up on me when I ask them to take me off of their calling list.  Countless times folks, countless times.  But no more. 

Then there are all the calls from the charities.  The deep voiced man calling from the Fraternal Order of Police (always a "butch" voice when THE POLICE call - which by the way isn't THE POLICE but a company that takes up to 97% of the funds they raise for themselves, giving the FOP only about 3%).  

Oh, and I almost forgot.  There are the calls incoming me "You have been chosen . . . . " or "You have won!"  Yeah, right.



Yesterday I received a call from the American Cancer Society (another regular) and the FOP.  The FOP call was the one that did it.  I told Mr. Deep Voice "That's it.  I'm done."

Last year I called Verizon to cancel my service for which I was paying $59.99 a month.  They offered to reduce my rate to $30 a month, which in my weakness (and lifelong habit of having a landline) accepted.  However, during the last year the only calls I received on my landline that were legitimate were from the VA (Veteran's Administration) reminding me and Bill of our appointments.  I called the VA this morning and gave them my cell phone.  

So how do I feel now not having a "regular phone" in the house?  I have to admit I feel nervous but on the other hand, it sure was nice not to hear my phone ring at 6 o'clock this evening like it does almost every evening.  

By the way, I think I got a lot of those calls because I have contributed to political campaigns in the past.  And they sell those phone numbers. That's why I was receiving so many phone calls.  

Now moving forward I will no longer give to any political campaign no matter how worthy (sorry Donald).  And I will not give out my phone number except to our doctors.  And I'm even leary of that because I suspect they sell my phone number too.  

Folks, I have to tell you that it was a great relief not to hear that phone ring tonight.  Ah, peace and quiet.

Ernestine, I am in charge now.







20 comments:

  1. Ron,

    I only wish the calls from those I need to deal with would put on their Caller ID Name. I don't answer unavailable or no number or any anonymous calls. If it is important they will leave a message and I can either delete or call them back. I am just reluctant to let go of the land line. I don't trust the reliability of cell phones and I'm not sure I can afford one.

    Lar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lar,
      Getting rid of the land line isn't for everyone. For someone like you, who doesn't use his cell phone, it wouldn't work. However, I use my cell phone for all my phone calls now. Also, my dentist, dermatologist and cardiologist notify me by text message for my appointments now. I came to the conclusion that I was only keeping my land line out of habit. The calls I did receive, like you I checked to see where there were coming from but that didn't always work for me because when the VA called to confirm appointments and such, the display also said "Unavailable." I hate to break it to you Lar but land lines will eventually go the way of the horse and buggy. Now is probably the time for you to get your cell phone out of your glove compartment and turn on the power and join the 21st century.
      Ron

      Delete
    2. Ron,

      At those rare times, other than an emergency, when I have turned my cell phone on and left it on all I receive are tele markers and scam artists. The only difference I see between this and my land line is a lot of these are text messages rather than voice mail. Yes, I know eventually I will be forced to go to a cell phone, like it or not, but I dread that day, especially the cost of those things.

      As far as internet hooked into the phone line, I don't get that. My phone, cable and internet are bundled together for the discount, but I could have gotten each separately and from different providers if I wished. I can make or receive calls from anywhere without any additional charges and what I pay for the landline is less than what I use to pay for T-Mobile The cell phone service was costly and poor and I was locked into a long contract. Once that contract was up I got rid of T-Mobile.

      Lar

      Delete
    3. Lar,
      The cell phone is definitely more expensive. But to me it is worth it because of my lifestyle. Probably wouldn't work for you, because you have one of those bundled packages that suits your lifestyle. I don't have a problem with telemarketers on my cellphone. I have received some (very rare) but I easily blocked them. I like having my phone with me all the time and not being tied to the location of my land line wherever it is located in my house. But the big advantage for me is the cessation of telemarketing calls, which I received EVERY day. I feel like a tremendous burden has been lifted from my shoulders.
      Ron

      Delete
  2. You're a braver man than I, Gunga Din.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jono,
      I won't deny I mulled over this decision for several years but the time has finally come. The day I got two telemarketers in a row when I was expecting a "real" call was the straw that broke the camel's back. "No more!" is what I told the last telemarketer.
      Ron

      Delete
  3. i wish to get rid of the landline but apparently it is linked to the cable system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Spo,
      I don't understand that unless you have a DSL line. I also have cable for my Internet but my land line was separate.
      Ron

      Delete
  4. Good going! I'm more like Larry... I don't use a cell phone (except for the emergency phone we keep in the car) and our internet comes on the land line. And my land line comes with free international calling, which is important in our household. But that leaves us open to the telemarketers. I do like Larry does, don't answer when I don't recognize the number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt,
      I can see where you would want to keep your land line because of free international calling. By the way, can't you do that already with FaceTime (if you're using an Apple product) or that other Internet face to face video? That's free too.
      Ron

      Delete
    2. I suppose it is, but doesn't the other party have to have it, too? That's not the case with some of our older family members (older than you, you youngster!), so we still need the phone.

      Delete
    3. Walt,
      Yes, the other party has to also have an Apple product. By the way, do you use Apple computers?
      Ron

      Delete
  5. I would NEVER have a landline phone - for ALL the reasons you stated - but I supposedly need it for my computer connection (don't ask me - I don't know a thing about computers). I plead completely ignorance when it comes to technology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous9:17 AM

      Jon, I cancelled my land line 3 years ago, but can have frontier internet provided by DSL. check with your company again, or look for another internet provider. It was no hassle at all.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9:19 AM

      I used to love that sketch on Laugh In.... One ringy dingy and also Is this the party to whom I am speaking??? Thanks for the memory

      Delete
    3. Jon,
      Check again, you might not have your Internet connection to your land line. They would like you to think that. I would take "Anonymous" suggestion, if your land line is connected to your Internet provider, look for another Internet provider.
      Ron

      Delete
  6. I can see us all doing this. I get very few real calls on my home phone. I love my smart phone, but it makes a lousy phone unless I plug a headset in. It is awkward to hold, sometimes hard to hear. Living in the city the reception if reliable. For somethings like activating a credit card, the desk phone is so much easier to use. But someday I can see the house phone going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,
      Like you I got very few "real" calls on my home phone. And, I found I received a better connection with my iPhone and it was more convenient. My phone goes with me instead of me going to my land line phone to answer it only to find out yet another telemarketer was on the phone. Mark my words David, house phone (land lines) will go the way of 8 track tape recorders.
      Ron

      Delete
  7. Ron - I rec'd notice of this blog a day late I think - or maybe not. But good for you on that decision. I know of late you managed to get your bill cut in half. But if you think that paying $60 per month for 10 years .... that would be 120 X 60 which equals $7200.00 for mainly non important calls. Altho some of us can manage to lose that amount on the stock market in a day LOL.

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat,
      I feel like a heavy burden has been lifted from my shoulders. This morning I set up an automatic transfer from my checking account to my E*Trade account for $60 a month. Money that I'm saving by eliminating my land line phone and thus depriving telemarketers of harassing me. And to think I was paying all that money over the years just to enable them to torture me with their daily phone calls.
      Ron

      Delete