Landline went dead. That, of course, meant that I couldn’t call Cox from here, and since I’d have to use WonderAccountant’s phone to reach Cox from her house,…well, there’s a limit to how much nerve I have.
But ta daaaa! The iPhone got right through to an exceptionally funny and clever Cox phone tech. It took her a few minutes to identify the exact problem (among several options), and then she was able to coach me through rebooting the landline’s modem. And it WORKED.
How neat, eh?
Ate up a bunch of minutes, though:
Consider: you, the blessed customer, get on the phone to Cox….
Forthwith the annoying AI bot tells you that one (1) person is in the queue ahead of you and the wait is about 3 minutes.
Then it comes back on and, after four or five minutes of superbly annoying jingly noise, tells you there are three people ahead of you and now the wait is 7 minutes. After it tells you another couple of times that varying numbers of customers have jumped the virtual line ahead of you, a human comes on. Mercifully, this was one very bright human.
The whole adventure probably consumed about 20 chargeable minutes.
Despite the tech’s expertise and grace, the episode brought me back to the feeling that for what Cox is charging — which is outrageous, IMHO, for phone service that’s not real phone service — it might be better to have a half-dozen inexpensive flip phones in the rooms where I think I should have an extension in case I fall and need to call 911, and then use the iPhone for regular talking on the horn to friends and sales associates. Thereby getting rid of the landline…
Cox charges $32.49 a month for a phone service best described as third-rate. It cannot be relied on. It goes down whenever the power goes out, which in these parts is every time it rains. And today it went down because, said our excellent Cox lady, every now and again you just have to reboot the modem. That means unplug it from the power, remove the battery, waitwaitwaitwaitwait, plug the battery back in, waitwaitwaitwaitwait, plug the power cable back in, waitwaitwaitwaitwait…and hope for the best, such as it is. I’m paying Cox $390 a year for THAT?
The reasons I have a phone in every room are a) so that I don’t have to jump up and RUN to answer the phone every time it rings and b) so there will be a phone to call 911 from if I fall and can’t drag myself into some other room where a phone is located, or reach a phone up on a table or a counter. Both of those issues can be easily resolved with cell phones: the iPhone can simply be picked up and carried around. The proposed flip-phones, which would have no minutes on them and so could only be used to dial 911, can be set in every room, preferably near the floor (again: in case of falls). All cell phones have to be able to dial 911 whether or not they have paid minutes on them. So there would be no reason to pay for minutes on any of them, except maybe to have one preloaded in case something happened to the iPhone.
And the reason I haven’t started learning to use the iPhone till now, after my son gave it to me last May: what’s my excuse?
I have developed such a flinch reflex about techno-hassles that having to learn some new gadget or new software just makes me cringe. And this iPhone thing: it’s a whole universe unto itself. You reach a certain point in your life where the if it ain’t broke why fix it? question applies with a vengeance. You just don’t want to struggle with having to learn still more involved, complicated frustrations, especially when you know how ephemeral computer technology is: in another couple of years, you’ll have to discard all you just learned and figure out some new involved, labyrinthine complication.
And I’ve resisted the whole cell phone idea for a whole long series of reasons…
- The things are damned expensive. If you drop it or lose it or someone steals it, you’re out a chunk of dough…to say nothing of subjected to hassles without end.
- The idea that advertisers and Big Brother or WhoEverTheHell can track your location with these things gives me the willies. Big time!
- Have you reflected, ever, on how stupid people sound when they’re walking down a sidewalk and yapping into a cell phone? Folks. I don’t want to hear about your kid’s school day or the office gossip or what restaurant you’re planning to descend on tonight…and neither does anyone else! And I most certainly do not want to number myself among the yappers.
- I value my privacy. I don’t want people to be able to get ahold of me no matter where I am or what I’m doing! I do not want anybody, whether Big Brother or Big Merchandiser, to track me everyplace I go. Mostly, I would like people to leave me alone.
Learned a double-click trick from the veterinarian’s technician today…it lets you scroll through open apps. 😀 Very entertaining.