COLUMN: Making the call to cut the cord

Cost of a keeping a landline makes little sense in 2019

The call has been made. It’s time to cut the cord.

While it’s unlikely I’m the last person I know still paying for home phone service on a landline, it sometimes feels that way.

It’s not that the phone never rings – good heavens, no.

Sitting and gathering dust on the kitchen counter, my old telephone has essentially become a plastic-and-wire brick that takes nonstop robocalls all day long, in return for $20 of my hard-earned money each month.

The actual call to cancel, made last week on – unsurprisingly – a smartphone, was met immediately with an offer to reduce my monthly bill by half.

So I can pay $10 per month to sit and listen to it ring instead of $20? Pass.

It was obvious long ago that at $240 a year, it was making less and less sense to keep the landline, but the hassle of reaching out to various medical professionals, insurance providers, etc. who had, over the years, been given the number as part of my contact information somehow always tipped the scale toward lazy.

And so the bill would come every month, with the cost of the phone wrapped innocuously in the cable/internet package, and I would grit my teeth and pay it.

Actual conversations, meanwhile, were becoming increasingly rare when a quick text exchange could get the job done with a fraction of the time-consuming pleasantries required when speaking with someone.

I don’t feel great about this, but I also don’t want to be the one calling and disturbing someone’s peace and quiet.

Or, worse, their dinner.

My relationship with the telephone has definitely changed over the decades.

For example, I never quite understood as a teenager, why every incoming call seemed to set my mother’s teeth on edge. Unlike her, I hadn’t been sitting in an office all day, listening to the constant ringing.

For me, the sound was rife with possibility. A ringing phone meant one of my friends could be calling to issue an invitation to hang out, to make plans for the weekend or share a bit of juicy gossip.

Once I entered the working world, I began to understand mom’s point of view a little better. After answering calls all day, time spent at home should offer a bit of a reprieve.

But these days, even work calls have dwindled to no more than a handful on any given day, with more and more people choosing to reach out to us via email or social media.

Whether at work or at home, thanks to our computers and assorted devices, we’re more accessible than ever, so the odds any of us will miss something are at an all-time low, landline or no.

Apart from having a few extra inches of free counter space and not having to deliberately tune out its clamouring robotic ring several times a night, it’s unlikely I’ll notice its absence.

My smartphone on the other hand…

Over the past decade, as for most people, it has become a necessary tool for navigating day-to-day life – both private and professional.

And while, unlike some, I have no problem tucking it out of sight (and out of mind) when I’m driving or socializing, on the rare occasion I forget it at home, its absence niggles at me all day long.

What am I missing?

An invitation, a juicy bit of gossip, a chance to hang out?

Probably not.

But for the time being, at least, I’m likely not missing an endless stream of calls from telemarketers, survey takers and would-be scammers either.

And I’ll have an extra 20 bucks burning a hole in my pocket each month.

Yup, definitely the right call.

Brenda Anderson is editor of Peace Arch News.



brenda.anderson@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Wind project between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert moves forward once more

Naikun Wind Energy Group announced partnership with major offshore wind development company

Adverse weather forces ferry schedule change

Thursday’s Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

Coast Mountain College announces interim president

Ken Burt, current president and CEO, will say goodbye to CMNT come September

Queen Charlotte crackdown

RCMP target impaired driving amidst rising numbers of the offence

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read