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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Listen up AGAIN, AT&T: One year without home phone or Internet, and I LOVE it

Update 1/31/2018 - Goons from the telephone industry ripped he last pay phone in my area off a wall about 6 months ago, within 24 hrs after I used it. I had given my name and had mentioned how much I enjoy not having home phone or Internet. As pay phones disappear, businesses seem to be helping the telephone industry try to force consumers to shell out big bucks each month to communicate. Here's a link to my blog post (same as below) about the situation. We need a campaign to increase the number of good ol' coin-operated pay phones. Such an option would empower consumers, and motivate the phone industry to end robocalls. I remain DELIGHTED having no landline, cell, or home Internet.

Update 1/13/2018 - Consumers Union replied on the 10th, but I had already left the library and didn't get back online until today. They assured me that my reply to their tweet (see 1/10 update below) was NOT removed, but had been shared with the appropriate staff person to investigate, and they would be in touch. That's WAY MORE than good enough for me - I regret that I was unable to post this update sooner. 

Update 1/10/2018 - Tweeted Consumers Union asking if they are trying to keep things quiet about businesses helping phone companies try to force consumers to pay to communicate. I asked after I replied to one of their tweets with a link to my blog post, "Is Mountain America Federal Credit Union in cahoots with the telephone industry?" and thought my reply was removed. I also sent 'em a tweet that it's time they addressed the issue. 

Update 5/20/2017 - Now over 2 years without home phone or Internet, and I enjoy the advantages more and more as time goes by. Not having a phone sure cuts down on the junk mail. And I've now saved about $2,000.

Wow. Tomorrow, 5/13/16, a whole year will have gone by since discontinuing my "service" with AT&T. And what a year it's been.

The absence of robocalls has been absolutely WONDERFUL. I didn't realize just how stressful the daily, decades-long annoyances had been until they ended. For the first couple of weeks, all I wanted to do was sleep, and being retired, I could afford the luxury. In fact, before the "unwinding" ended, I got downright worried.

Ironically enough, when I had a home phone, wunna the worst robocall offenders was United Health Care. They showed their appreciation for my Medicare Advantage business by targeting me with robocalls demanding that I sign up for regular home health-care visits. Much to the medical fraternity's chagrin, I've been blessed with exceptionally good health, take no medications, and have no interest in United Health Care's supposedly optional program. I'd told 'em so more than once, but the robocalls continued, sometimes ringing my phone for up to 50 times. Much more of that - their strategy, perhaps? - and I woulda needed home health care visits.

What a pleasure it was - after I no longer had a home phone - to get a letter from United Health Care - suitable for framing - angrily informing me in big bold print at the top, "We've been trying to reach you." followed by a demand that I contact them. Really.

Okay. This venture has also been about the money, but only in the sense that I don't appreciate being kicked around by a crooked corporation that assumes everyone who can afford it somehow has to have home phone (or surely a -YUK - cell phone) and Internet.

Ah yes, the Internet

I've cut my computer use by 75%, visiting the library has been a ton of fun, and a cute girl who works there even sang to me on my birthday. Top that, AT&T.

To sum it all up, this first year without home phone or Internet has been a delightful experience. The bicycling turned out to be so much fun that I've used my bicycle instead of my car 95% of the time. I've learned new riding techniques, saved a bundle of moolah, and look forward to continuing this modern day adventure in self-reliance.

 Update 5/18/2016 - My pleasure to send AT&T and the SC Dept of Consumer Affairs a link to this post.

Update 11/19/2016 - Now it's been over a year and a half without home phone or Internet, and I enjoy my new routine as much - or more - than ever. I'll take this opportunity to once again applaud Tim Marvin and Consumers Union for their campaign to end robocalls