My Week 256: I Walk The (Land) Line

Last week, Ken and I decided to get rid of our landline. We both have cell phones, and no one EVER calls us on the landline except for telemarketers. At first it was fun toying with them:

Telemarketer: Good day. I’m Sanjay, and I’m calling with an exciting offer to clean your ducts.
Me: Well, I don’t have any ducks, but I DO have a very dirty goose. Do you think your company can handle that? He gets a little hissy with strangers and might poop on your agent.
Telemarketer: Pardon me?
Me: Is the shampoo bio-degradable? Does it contain sulphates or is it like the stuff they advertise on TV when they have to rescue birds from oilspills?
Telemarketer: (*hangs up*)

After a while though, it gets boring:

Telemarketer: Good day. I’m Sanjay and I’m calling–
Me: It’s an open concept house. No ducts. Goodbye.

In fact, the last time an actual person I know called the house, it was over a month ago:

Me: Hello?
Dad: Were you exercising? You sound out of breath.
Me: Good one. No,  I was RUNNING FOR THE HOUSE PHONE. You know, my cell phone was right next to me.
Dad: Oh, ha ha. Anyway, I was calling for Ken.
Me: He’s out right now, sorry.
Dad: Well, when he gets home, can you ask him–
Me: Why don’t you call him on his cell phone and ask him yourself?
Dad: Oh, I, er—I don’t think I have his number.
Me: It’s 555-1236.
Dad: That number sounds really familiar.
Me: Maybe because it’s Ken’s CELL PHONE NUMBER.
Dad: No, I think it was a year.
Me: Like a year in the 13th century? Maybe it was a really bad year.
Dad: It was the Middle Ages. Presumably, they were ALL bad years. Anyway, I’ll call Ken myself.
Me: Are you going to call him on YOUR cell phone?
Dad: Oh, I, er—I left it in the car.

So most of the time, the house phone sits idle, and between the cost of the phone itself, the line to the house, and the long distance plan that costs up to $10 a month in service charges even though we no longer call anyone long distance, and the fact that we both have cell phones, the whole thing seemed kind of pointless. So I called Bell. I had to call them on the landline because I have a company cell phone with Rogers and I didn’t want to seem disloyal. Which is good because they put me through to their “Loyalty Department”. I explained to the woman what I wanted, which was to get rid of the home phone but keep the line for our satellite and internet because we live out in the country and have to be hardwired to everything. She was very sweet and understanding:

Bell Rep: I understand. You want to get rid of the home phone because you both have cell phones, am I correct?
Me: Yes, that’s right.
Bell Rep: Well, I can certainly do that. It just concerns me though.
Me: Why?
Bell Rep: Well, if you ever have to call 911 on your home phone, the police and ambulance will automatically have your address. What if you call 911 on your cell phone and you’re too incapacitated to tell them where you live?
Me: Isn’t what you’re describing a ‘worst case scenario’?
Bell Rep: Possibly, but—
Me: You had me at ‘911’.

I talked to her for a little while longer, then I got off the phone and found Ken:

Ken: Did you cancel the landline?
Me: Don’t be silly. Picture this scenario—I’m alone in the house and I’m having a heart attack, but I’m too incapacitated to tell the 911 operator where I live. I could DIE, KEN!
Ken: Okay, so we’re keeping the landline?
Me: Obviously. Also, a guy is coming tomorrow to install our new high speed internet. But we’re getting a discount on our movie package because we’re such good loyal customers. I think it will all balance out.

And now I have to cancel our long-distance plan. Wish me luck.

68 thoughts on “My Week 256: I Walk The (Land) Line

  1. I need to cancel my cable subscription since I’ve literally stopped watching TV altogether, but dread the same hassle I’ll get from their Loyalty Department and likely suffer for many hours having to listen to all of the fantastic promotional discounts they’ll give me if I remain a subscriber so their count doesn’t go down and adversely affect the outrageous fees they pay to the professional sports channels. One of these days, I just might do it….

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I stopped using landlines long go. Saved quite a bit.

    As for the telemarketers. I ran call centers for over 20 years, When, I get one of those calls I coach the telemarketer, pointing out the flaws in their delivery and pitch, By the end of the cal theywere happy and relieved to add me to the do not call list.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. My parents have had a landline since they built their house and refuse to get rid of it. I’ve never had one sine I’ve lived on my own since I divorced, I take my cell where ever I go, easy peasy. But the duct/duck thing was fab, I’m sure Sanjay was like, wtf!? Lol 😂🤣😝

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The nuance of word play is likely list on poor Sanjay.
    I guess karma got you back since the bell call centre rep clearly had your number! I guess they’re very prepared to have The Talk.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m not sure I understand the 911 scare thing. They used to tell us that also, but considering every app on your cell phone can tell your location and both times I have had to call 911 from my cell they not only froze my phone so they could track me, they found me

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ooma. Works. No fuss.

    People who know your home phone # can still call it.

    Cheaper than a landline. Call forwarding and messaging to your cell if you want it.

    911 too.

    When the CME finally hits, all the phones will be dead, so, it evens out in the End.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A couple of people still call us on the landline so we can’t cut it just yet, but I suspect it’s coming. And with advances in technology won’t 911 be able to figure out where your phone is? There are already apps that can find your phone if it’s lost or stolen.
    Although I do miss being able to make prank calls, but that has less to do with landlines and cell phones and more to do with the fact that no one keeps Prince Edward in a can anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m a landliner, too! And, like you, only telemarketers and my mother ever seem to call me on that phone!

    Your experience with customer service, Suzanne, is exactly why I let my wife handle all that stuff! She’s an experienced businesswoman who loves negotiating (she genuinely enjoys sparring with car salesmen; I’ve witnessed her break the best of them), whereas whenever I try to cancel a service or subscription, I invariably wind up being talked into upgrading our plan!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Suzanne,
    We still have our landline and other than telemarketers, the only other person to call us on it is Dad, which is ironic because he gave up his landline like a million years ago. However, I will say this — we have a lot of dead spots in our house and sometimes, the only way to have a conversation without the line dropping or that annoying cutting in and out is on our landline; yes the one with the cord! Also, when I’m discussing sensitive information over the phone, I’d much rather use our landline than a mobile. I understand that it’s fairly easy to hack into someone’s phone conversation over the airwaves. Don’t know if it’s true, but it makes sense to me.Good luck getting rid of your long distance! Ha! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My second favorite thing is to be called by a machine that tells me, immediately, “Don’t hang up, a representative from our company will be with you in a moment with a very important offer!”

    WAIT! You are going to call ME and put ME on hold for your sales call?!

    Please.

    But my very favorite thing is when the call comes from “Reno, NV” and the guy on the other end from India starts, in a very thick accent, with: “Hello, this is Franklin — your local neighborhood rep-re-sent-a-tive — with a special offer …”

    Double please …

    Liked by 2 people

  11. That first conversation about the dirty goose that hisses had me laughing. I met a pretty pesky goose once when I was running in a park. It hissed at me, so I hissed back–then it started running at me. I had to speed up–I was actually scared!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Cancelling my landline was scary, here in land of earthquakes & me when my old phone barely held a charge. But we survived. Lately we got so tired of fighting with cable company & making ourselves sick with binge-watching that we cut all TV everything – now we’re down to Columbo & MASH with commercials lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL: My wife recently floated the idea of canceling our cable service, and the emotion that flooded over me when she suggested it was pure relief! Nothing would make me happier than to dump that infernal box of never-ending content, which increasingly feels like homework to me! I think we all need to turn off the TV — and I say this as someone who used to make my living as a screenwriter! — and spend more time out on the street, amongst our friends and neighbors, partaking in life rather than passively watching programming.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is indeed freeing, Sean – & tho we have a vdr hooked to the tv, we decided not to bother learning how to record – totally old-style of catching whatever shows as catch can. If we really want to see something, we’ll get it from library…

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yep. For me, it’s about watching less material, and watching what remains more mindfully. If we’re really being honest with ourselves, 80% of the programming we watch we’ve long since stopped enjoying; we’ve merely stayed with it out of habit, or out of loyalty to a show we once loved. I always ask myself, “If I never saw another episode of this, would I find myself missing it?” More often than not, the answer is a resounding no, and that’s when I know to bail on it.

          Liked by 2 people

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