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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

High turbidity in water supply remains an issue in Whiskey Creek

Regional District of Nanaimo trucking in water as required

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Discussion on importance of Orange Shirt Day set for Parksville Museum

Annishnawbeg Nation elder Samuel Stevens to lead talks

Parksville Generals face Nanaimo Buccaneers to open VIJHL season

Fans not permitted inside arenas due to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Man who stole truck and canoe in View Royal believed he was fleeing zombies, court finds

Judge finds man not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder for 2019 thefts

RCMP hope public can help locate missing Nanaimo man

Gary Alexander Davidson, 54, has not been seen or heard from since Sept. 20

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

Most Read