Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Land line yes??? Land line no??

We've been kicking around the idea of disconnecting our land line for some time now. But kicking old habits are hard and this one didn't go without a fight.

Let me start from the beginning. We've had this phone number since 1988. That means that everyone knows it. All business that is transacted has this phone number for a contact number. Not only did we have a land line but we were also using dial up. Which is an absolute pain.

Over the years, we have had bouts of really poor reception on our phone. Our telephone provider is Verizon. I would call and complain about the reception. The call usually resulted in a long wait before someone would answer. The standard drill would be for them to tell me that I needed to go outside and plug a phone into the grey box. If there wasn't any static, it meant that my inside wiring was to blame. Now I pay $2 something a month for inside wiring plan but that didn't make any difference to these people. Also it doesn't sound like a big deal to plug your phone into a little grey box to check the reception. But in our case it did. All of our phones need 110v to operate. I just wasn't going to go buy a phone for diagnostic purposes only. My bill was already too high.

The last 3 years have been a constant battle with Verizon to keep Sprint and MCI off our bills. A normal month for us is 9 calls. No really, 9 calls. Probably 8 of those were attempts to get online using dial up. Now for the real kicker...our bill is normally $47.00. No really....47 big ones. Now before you say..."well disconnect caller id, 3 way calling, etc etc". We have none of that. The only extra I have authorized is that stupid inside wiring plan. I have tried to lower our bill or speak with someone but they refuse to talk to me. They insist on speaking with my husband because his name is on the bill. R doesn't take care of any of the bills. I take care of all paperwork etc.

The final straw was in the last few weeks when all of a sudden we have gotten a rash of telemarketing calls.........at 8:30 and 9:00 AM. Yup...that's right. Now that may not be a big deal to you but I don't arrive back home from work until 3AM and usually the earliest I crawl into bed is 4AM.

Add all this up. Bad reception, high $$$$, impending elections with please vote for "candidate's name", and dial up. It all added up to....kill the land line and go cable Internet. Dollar wise it is cheaper. $47 for land line, $28 for AOL=$75 Cable Internet=$19.99 for 6 months and then $42.00 a month.

But first we had to get Verizon to turn off our phone. Took 3 hours......and two phone calls to me at work from R to get it disconnected. Seems his first attempt didn't go too well. I had made a list of why we were shutting off our phone, bad reception too much $$$, yadda yadda yadda. I wrote down the phone number for him to call. 1-800-Verizon sucks or something like that. He calls and after going through the long menu, he is put on hold for 15 minutes. Finally he is connected to someone with a heavy accent and practically no grasp of the English language. She refused to cancel the phone because he didn't have a copy of the bill in front of him. He told her if she thought by giving him the run around it was going to keep our phone on, she was sadly mistaken.

So he hung up and called me at work. He needed to know how much our last bill was? I told him and he called Verizon back. This time he was connected to an English speaking person. He explained the whole deal to her and get this......."Oh Sir, we can lower your bill to $17.60." What in the world. All the other times we complained about our bill being too high, we were always told that's the lowest plan we offer. Completely unreal. He was able to have her disconnect and we are now free....free...free at last!!!!!

I would suggest looking at your land line bill. Look at all the little charges. 2 something for this, 3 something for that. It all adds up to too much. Especially when you can have cable Internet for less money.

I'm waiting for all the big phone companies to start crying how they have lost customers and will need to lay off people. I say, "Too bad." I'm just concerned that there are a lot of elderly people who need their land lines and the phone companies are taking advantage of them.