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Friday, April 17, 2015

Cutting the Cord


Dear Verizon,

I know we have been going steady for twenty years, and I probably will miss my phone number, but I think the time has come for us to break up. You've served your purpose pretty well over the years. Whenever I picked up the receiver there was a dial tone, sometimes it was crackly, but you usually fixed that in a timely fashion. When my folks were alive they had my number on their speed dial, but since they're gone not many others call me on that number. Oh sure, Kroger will leave a message to tell me if I don't come right now to pick up my prescriptions they're going to go back on the shelf, and the library will let me know that I have four days to pick up a book I requested, but other than those two parties the rest of the time that phone rings I don't pick it up.

Why don't I show love for your line any more? Because most of the time it's telemarketers calling, and even though I'm on the supposed "do-not-call" list, every day I get at least a couple of recordings, hang-ups, automated calls telling me "DO NOT HANG UP!" and political messages. In fact, if I see an unavailable number, 800, 888, no name number, or one I don't recognize, I let the phone ring. I always say, "If it's important they'll leave a message." Nine times out of ten, they don't. And since your line allows anyone to call any time of the day or night, it's gotten to the point that I take the phone off the hook before going to bed, and sometimes I even remember to put it back on when I wake up. Sometimes I don't, and don't even notice.

Now, my husband is opposed to you and I breaking up. He keeps saying, "What if there's an emergency and we have to get in touch with our loved ones?" Well, if there is an emergency more than likely I will be calling them from my iPhone to their cellphone. Most of the people I speak with do not even have a landline. His response, "Well what if they have to call us?" Ummm, they can call my iPhone or your cellphone. He asks, "What if there's a disaster and all the cellphone towers are inoperable?" I say, "If that's the case then no one is talking to anyone!" He reminds me, "Remember 9/11?" Of course I do, but except for his mom, everyone else we know in the New York City area no longer has a landline. Besides, that means his mom could still call out and us not having a landline has little effect on that.

Whereas my husband doesn't want me to write you this Dear John letter because of practicality, my hesitance is because of nostalgia. I like my phone number and will probably feel bad losing it. If I do I'll have to remember my cellphone number, which I don't. There's also nothing more satisfying than slamming down the receiver on someone who I want to piss off. Luckily, since I no longer deal with people who get me to that point, I can just hit the "end" button on my iPhone.

We've had a good run Verizon, but you have taken advantage of me. I received your bill this morning and you raised my rates once again so that I now have to pay you $79.97 for the privilege of having an obsolete landline. I have no fancy services, other than caller ID, which is free on my iPhone, and call waiting, which is also free on my iPhone. Yet your bill has a bunch of other charges, like Freedom Essentials for $61.99, Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees for $5.67, and Verizon Surcharges for $12.31. My iPhone costs me $46.27 and that includes unlimited talk, texting (something you can't do) internet (something you can't do) taxes and fees (something you charge me $17.98 for!)

Another great thing about my iPhone is I really never get any telemarketers calling. I did get some druggies, I believe, calling when I first got my Straight Talk number, but after two years they know Ms. Black no longer has that number. Besides, I have the ability to block a number I no longer want to get calls from. Can you do that Verizon, or would that cost me even additional fees??? About the only thing you can do that my cellphone cannot is send and receive a fax. But you know what, this isn't the 80's any longer and I barely fax anything. If I have to, I can go to the shop and use that one. I cannot get rid of you there because you have me over a barrel as I am a business. So although we are breaking up here, rest assured you will still get your $130 monthly ransom from me.

So there you have it. I took you out to dinner one last time. When my husband comes home I will talk into seeing things my way. If only you hadn't gotten so damn greedy maybe we could have still dated, or at least be friends...

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