Monday, June 23, 2014

Landline: Keep it or Get Rid of it????

It's summer, which means I, Pamela Tracy, am home during the day.  That is when I'm not carting my son to dive team, rollerskating with friends, public swim, or one of the million of things to occupy a mom during summer. Have I mentioned I have contracts for five books.  Yup, lots of writing.

Today, son is rollerskating and I'm home doing my to-do list.  And, writing.

So far, the home phone has run twice
1)  My credit card company - computer voice - no problem with account but they have an important message for me about refinancing.  Easy to hang up on robot voice.
2)  Autoglass company - real person - who I told "No, my windshields are fine."  After I said that, I added, "Just like I told you last week when you called."

Yesterday, I fielded five calls.  Two were computer voices; three were dead air.

I've started to rethink being nice.  See, I've worked on phones.  In college, I worked for MiCor, loved the job.  It was a perfect summer job.  I answered when someone called the 800 number.  "Quality Inns, what city and state can I help you with?"

My birth mother worked customer service for a phone company.  She often bemoaned how rude people could be.  "How hard is it to be nice?"

So, here's the truth.  I rethought being nice, and now I'm annoyed.

Now that I'm home days, and I'm answering my home line, I'm realizing that the landline is not for friends and family, it's for sales people.  And, my nice has segued to annoyed and is escalating to irritated.

An irritated author really does black moment well.  But, hey, I write romance.  Instead of sales calls, I need a Brad Pitt or Bobby Sherman kind of call.

One of the cable choices - not saying which one -  put me on their call list.  They called almost every day.  I'm not kidding.  I said no nicely a hundred times; I hung up a thousand times; I asked nicely that they stop calling at least ten times.  Once, my family went out of town for four days.  When I came home, my landline had nine messages from them (not really, but call waiting identified how many times they'd called.)

The next time they called, I asked for a manager and told him about the - nicely said no, hanging up, stop calling me - scenario.  Then, I mentioned the nine missed calls, over a four day period, I had on my phone.  I also said the words "Harassment and Lawyer."

I'm finally on the do-not call list for them.

My next goal is to get on the do not call list for auto-glass, solar panels, refinancing, home security systems, and insurance.

I've still got a nine year old at home.  I want to keep the landline because of him.

Am I the only one who no longer gets excited when the phone rings?

Pamela's book, Holiday Homecoming is a November 2014 release from Harlequin Heartwarming (no phones were harmed during the writing of this book)


  1. Yikes, I'd probably be turning the ringer off! We put our land line as unlisted so the only solicitations we get are from autodialers. The first time this happened, I asked how they got the number, and they explained that the computer systematically dials all numbers in an exchange. I told them I didn't want to be called again, reminded them of the law (not sure if you have a similar one in the US) and didn't hear from them again. My hubby gets harassed by faxers on his business phone and has gotten into the habit of pulling the line out of the back of the machine the instant he sees a 1-800 number pop up on caller ID. The phone company told him that if the computer tries a half dozen times and never gets through it will give up. Seems to be true, but the days the phone rings on and on a half dozen times is really annoying. ;)

  2. Pamela, I agree! I have caller ID and I screen calls because the majority are not real calls. Lately, it's been all political candidate calls! Oh my goodness. Driving me crazy!

  3. Back when I was in phone service (note my nice midwestern accent) If a customer said, "Please put me on your 'do not call' list" we were required by law to stop calling. Sometimes took a week or two, but it had to happen.

  4. Sandra,
    At one time we were on the Do Not Call. This infiltration started happening about two years ago. I know the day it started. It started when my husband filled out a YOU MIGHT QUALIFY FOR REFINANCING on an online form. Oh, my, from that moment on, we were the fish looking at a thousand lines.

    Guess I need to look into getting on the list again.

  5. Missy,
    That's what my husband does, and I don't because every once in awhile it's a real call. Last week it was the camp nurse.

    Worse, my husband works grave. He's hearing these calls while he's trying to sleep.

  6. Sherri,
    I"m glad it's required by law. Sometimes though I have to listen to the whole robot message before I can get to the end of the call and push the button for do not call again.

    LOL, I love the robot voice that says Do Not Hang Up

  7. Pamela, unwanted calls are certainly a pain. We're on the do not call list where you list your numbers, but that still allows charities and anyone you already do business with (credit cards and banks)to call. We have caller ID, so don't answer unless we know the number. Of course, our land line is for my husband's business so we need it. We do get calls on that line from people we have given the number to, but mostly I give people my cell number. Every day for weeks we would get a call from Comcast at 3 PM. Finally one day I decided to answer to find out why they keep calling. The woman said my husband had filled out some kind of thing requesting business info. Not true. They just got the number when we got our current internet connection. I told her he wasn't interested and not to call again. Haven't had another call. Hubby also has a second line, and any call that comes across on that one is one we don't even bother to look at because we have never given anyone that number. I don't even know what it is. :)


  8. I keep the landline because the it connects to both hubby and I and for 911 purposes.

    LOL, I had to laugh about you knowing exactly how the callers got your number.

  9. Pamela, we've gone only to cellphones. We each have one. But like you I kept my landline until the kids were old enough( teenagers) to be responsible for taking care of their own cell phone. I rarely answered the landline(we didn't give out the number), it was more for calling out in case of an emergency or if I left the kids home alone, then I would instruct them to answer if it rang because I would be calling to check on them.

  10. Terri,
    It's to the point that when it rings, I frown. And I feel sorry for the people on the other end, who are doing their job, I know. I answer with this flat, "Hello." And when they start talking I'm curt. I hate that. If I only got one or two a week, I'd be much nicer.

  11. We still have a landline, and I do have to hurry from my office at one side of the house to catch the phone before it goes to voice mail. I guess if nothing else, it's helping me get some walking in and forcing me to get off the computer. And yes, when I arrive out of breath only to hear it's a sales pitch or robo-dialed call, I'm not in a pleasant mood until I settle back in with my hero and heroine.

    Missy, those political candidate calls are the worst. So sorry you're going through that. The election season seems endless sometimes.

  12. I have been told to get of lists you have to bluntly say please delete me from you calling list. hanging up etc wont work but if you ask to be removed they have to remove you. (of course this doesn't work for the scammers.)

    Here we have a do not call list which included most of the calls you mentioned except you own phone, electicity etc providers and some government things.

    I get so few calls but every so often we get a spate of the scammers about your computer being faulty.

  13. if you are not the donot call register you can ask for the name and phone number of the person calling take it down and tell them you are on the do not call register and you will be putting in a complaint. I have done this to a couple of calls and they hung up very quickly and didn't hear from them again.

  14. Christine,
    You're so good thinking of the positive :)
    My favorite is the solar panel people. We live in an historic district (laugh if your from the East as my home was build in 1959) and we're not allowed to get panels or we'll be removed from the registry.

  15. Jenny,
    Good to see you!
    Good idea about asking for the name and number :)
    I've gotten the computer one, too! But that's on my cell.

  16. Pamela, I know exactly what you mean. We've contemplated getting rid of our land line, but I can't seem to let go. Even though the only ones who seem to call are people wanting money, to sell me something or political calls (boy was I glad when voting day was over). I'm just glad we have caller ID. If I don't recognize the name or number, I don't answer.

    But you're right. We used to get excited when the phone rang. Nowadays it's, "Oh, what do they want now."

  17. Mindy,
    Yes, and I feel bad when I answer the phone with the what-do-want-now voice and it's actually family or friend LOL


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