Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Phone Woes

Many people have only cellphones these days, those mini-computers, cameras, sources of entertainment that can be taken any- and everywhere.  The only drawback that I can see is that they must be regularly recharged.  That becomes a problem up here where power goes out, sometimes at length.  I have all these nifty wireless phones in the house that are useless without electricity.  Also, depending on the provider, cell service is spotty and there are many dead zones.  That explains why many of us in the hills, including me, keep an active landline as well as having a cellphone.  In an emergency, calls to 911 can be automatically traced by address.  A 911 call on my cellphone, because I'm on Craig's family plan, would identify my location in Woodland.  I need a landline.

Camille found herself in a pickle when her landline went dead and has been out for two weeks.  She has a cellphone, but her only charger is in her truck.  Also, her property just down the road does not get cell service.  We normally talk regularly, but for two weeks I knew if she called that she was driving around recharging her cell and was in a spot where it worked.  She told me of an episode in the past when the landlines had gone dead.  When the lines were repaired, they had literally crossed wires.  Calls to one person were routed to another.  Before they knew about the problem, one couple thought they were being pranked when they kept receiving Happy Birthday calls and got pretty testy about it.  Worse, the young woman whose birthday it was thought she'd been forgotten and that nobody loved her.

My landline went on the blink the day I went into town and I called it in (on my cell).  When I got home, the dial tone was back and I thought no more about it.  Yesterday while I was in the barn, I was surprised to see the AT&T repair truck coming up the drive.  I couldn't leave with a girl on the stand, so Phone Guy and I hollered back and forth.  He had come to check the lines going into the house, so I gave him directions to the box and we both went about our chores.  Before he got back in his truck, he yelled that, yes, I did have a dial tone, but it wasn't mine.  (Who knew?)  He was going to some junction box to fix the situation and would be back.  Returning to the house later, I did have a dial tone and tried to call Camille to see if she was back on line.  The call went through, but ten seconds later we were cut off.  She tried a couple of times to call me with the same results.  Aarrgh!

Calling AT&T for repair service is an exercise in patience.  Long gone are the days when dialing 0 (on a rotary dial) would get you an honest-to-God real person on the line, a woman with a friendly, sympathetic voice who would plug in her cords and get your call where it needed to go, one-stop shopping, as it were.  Now it's, "Push 1, 2, whatever and we'll play nice music and tell you that your call is important and stay on the line."  It took 45 minutes (I'm not kidding) to be rerouted to Greg.  I'd no more started telling him my tale of woe when Cam called in (yay for call waiting) and said she'd found Phone Guy having lunch at The Pub and he knew about the problem and would be back to fix it.  I told Greg that it was all under control.  He was happy, I was happy, and Cam was pleased.  I've got to hand it to her, she doesn't give up easily!  Later in the day, PG worked his magic and our phones are once again in service.

It's raining.

1 comment:

Kathryn Williams said...

Oh my gosh HOW frustrating. Carrier Pigeons? Glad you got it solved for this time!