Breaking Up is Hard to Do


I’ve had land-line telephone service, well, forever. Each and every month for nearly forty years, without fail, I have paid a land-line telephone bill. And each and every month for more than fifteen years, I’ve also paid a cell phone bill. You might ask why would I maintain both services, I know I ask that question a lot, and the only reasonable answer I can muster is that I’m an old coot.

I’m unaware of a single soul under forty years of age who maintains a land-line telephone. In the mobile age, the need for both services is considered redundant by people under a certain age.

While I applaud Ma Bell for delivering such reliable service to my home, (my telephone service hasn’t been interrupted in decades), I’m ending our very long-term relationship. This break-up began years ago when I removed a long distance provider from my land-line. “Long distance” charges are a 20th century relic. We simply use our cell phones to make free long distance calls.

Then, in an effort to further reduce the cost of the seldom used utility, I got rid of caller ID, call waiting and three way calling. Ours is the barest of bones service but despite that, the bill has slowly crept back up to forty dollars a month.

Even at that, I would be more than willing to keep paying for the service, if the phone would ring just once a month with a call from someone I know. But it doesn’t. We get, on average, six calls a week and every single one of them are soliciting something. We’ve had hundreds of calls offering us “one final chance to reduce your credit card interest rates”. In close second place behind that one is the dozens of calls asking for donations for everything from save the police to save the whales.

Our forty dollar a month telephone is nothing more than a conduit for spam.

The telephone company could fix that, thought they aren’t inclined. After all, they’re double dipping since they sell phone service to the spammer and to the spammed. It’s a win-win for them with no consideration at all for me. So now I get to return the favor.

My divorce with Ma Bell becomes final on December 31st. I won’t have a landline telephone in 2015.

Author: Jeff Davis


1 thought on “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”

  1. I have the same issue here in Australia although I use VOIP for our landline service, I would dearly love to loose it because we have 4 mobile phones in our house. Alas, my wife likes the home phone so for the time being, it stays.

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