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

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Stellar musicians, performers recognized at 54th Pacific Northwest Music Festival

More than 150 awards, scholarships given out to Northwest B.C. participants

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read