Recently, my wife and I upgraded my phone/television/Internet service. Well, upgrade may not be the most accurate term, because we cut back on a lot of television channels that we never watched (how many channels dedicated to cooking does one really need, anyway?). Since our three services are bundled, we got a “new” digital telephone service, with a whole lot of bells and whistles that we’ll never use anyway: Call Forwarding, Call Blocking by number, you know, stuff like that.
In the process of the upgrade, our voicemail with the phone company was reset, so to speak, and I had to reinitialize it. OK, no problem. Log into the website, click the FAQ, click the “Call my voicemail” button. Really, all I wanted was to set up the voicemail – who’s idea was it to require a website logon?! Anyway, I clicked the button, and my phone rang. It was the voicemail lady, “Please enter your password, followed by the pound sign.”
Blah, blah, blah… I follow the prompts and hang up the phone. Then the website prompts me for more setup options. OK, at least I don’t have to listen to the voicemail lady tell me to press this number, or that symbol, or to speak the command in Ancash to continue. Websites are generally the superior interface for these sorts of things.
Then, one of the options presented to me is something like Simultaneous Ring, which, despite sounding like a wedding-day custom, didn’t really appeal to me. Its purpose is to ring another number at the same time someone calls your home number. So, if someone were to call my home, it would ring at, say, my cell phone at the same time. Without hesitation, I kept that feature disabled. There is no way in God’s green Earth that I would want that. The only people who call my home are pests who want to sell me something, pests who are asking for donations, and, especially here in the United States at this time of year, pests who want me to vote for them.
It was at this moment that it occurred to me – my home phone is pretty much useless now. It has devolved into a marketing tool for other people! Despite my registering on the Do Not Call List, I still get these calls. Now, here’s the kicker, and the thing that really gets my goat: I’m paying for this – literally AND figuratively! I use my cell phone for all my calls now. My friends and family with whom I care to speak have my cell number. Any time a phone call comes in to my land line, I let it go to voice mail for immediate screening.
Before I go off on a rant, which I’m really close to doing, I’ll close with a question to you, dear readers. If you have a cell phone and a land line, do you use your land line for anything else other than a screening service? Are the only folks, or a large majority of them, who call your land line those who want to sell something? Would you cut the phone line permanently, if you haven’t already?
Let me know in the comments below.