After decades of steadily escalating home phone costs, I decided to switch over to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone service with my high-speed wireless internet service provider. For $19 monthly, I was promised everything for which I was paying Ma Bell roughly $80. It didn’t take long for that to strike a chord with this farm boy. After switching, the shine quickly wore off the apple, and we began to have a “failure to communicate.”
Putting up with marginal phone service for about two years, Helen and I decided to again give a large chunk of our children’s inheritance to AT&T. As repugnant as it seemed, we chose to grovel, throw money at them and beg to be reconnected to Ma Bell’s extortion network – the price we have to pay for a phone that works.
To facilitate the switch over, I spent many hours waiting on hold for a Third World service rep who couldn’t speak English and only wanted to sell me a bundle of services that are not available on Route One Millsap, despite the USF. When the day for hookup arrived, I waited 12 hours for a technician who never showed. Naturally, he showed the next afternoon when we were out of town.
Enduring three days without Internet, no home phone and cell phones with no signal, we finally made it. However, in retrospect, being out of touch with the rest of the world really wasn’t all that bad.
Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.