Most folks are a sucker for a deal. A recent example is the throwing over Ma Bell’s phone service for the Cable Guy’s phone service. Those Cable Guys enticed us with lower rates. Once we were hooked, service seemed to declin
One of Ma Bell’s accomplishments was the telephone directory. When you needed a phone number, you looked in the phone book. Everybody and everything was in that book. A lot like the Sears Catalog.
You could also call and ask information, no charge. Some folks thought that you could ask information anything. They used it like a precursor to Siri or Alexa. History is full of charming stories about information operators helping some cute kid with their homework.
Then the phone book became a source of annoyance, once the telemarketers of the world figured out how to have a computer dial every listing over and over again.
A while back, the Cable Guy started sending letters informing its phone subscribers they needed to install a new modem for free. This to provide improved phone service. Some subscribers declined the offer.
What does this modem do? The phone works just fine. Maybe that modem is a new way to harvest and use personal data. These are not unreasonable suspicions in the age of Facebook and Wells Fargo Bank.
The letters persisted. Then came, “FINAL NOTICE…Prompt action is needed to avoid service interruption…on or after March 13, 2018.” This was enough to prompt the CEO at Wet Suit Worldwide Headquarters to take action.
She called up the Cable Guys and had that new modem installed forthwith. She even sprang for the extra $30 so you can have battery backup for the free modem.
The first “improvement” from the modem was apparent right away. Now, when the phone rang, it also had a little voice that said, “Out of area private caller.” Of course, it’s an out of area private caller. Almost all calls are from telemarketers.
The staff didn’t find this added feature useful at all. If it can speak, it must be listening, too. Cable Guy’s phone service suffered service interruption due to customer termination. We’ve all got cell phones anyway, right? But where’s their phone book?
Thus, goes the death march of the landline telephone. Just like it was for Ma Bell, it isn’t looking good for the Cable Guys. Folks have long been cutting the cable TV cord. Now they’re cutting the landline phone cord. All that’s left is the internet cord. Did somebody just say, “wireless internet 5G?”
J.J. Gasparotti moved to Laguna Beach with his family when he was 11 years old. He has loved it ever since.