Northern Californians who lived through the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 often have a fondness for landlines – phones that use a metal wire telephone line for transmission rather than a mobile cellular line, which use radio waves. After Loma Prieta, only the landlines worked. Nonetheless, this week, we are dumping our landline phones. Beside that our family uses our personal iPhones much more frequently – even within the house as an intercom, the number of daily telemarketing calls have become overwhelming.
Our energy company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is proud that they “…have helped customers connect more solar systems than any other utility in the country”. However, that means we get far too many landline calls from companies aggressively wanting to sell us solar systems. While I support the installation of home solar power in general, our house in Willow Glen has a beautiful 80+ year old ceramic tile roof in good condition – not appropriate for solar panel installation. We only receive about six landline calls a day and usually four or more of them are telemarketing calls from solar vendors. I called PG&E and they say they are not responsible. We are on the Do Not Call Registry and routinely ask the companies to “Take Us Off Your List!”. Nothing has helped against the relentless tide of telemarketing. Enough!
The calls that we get that are not from solar power shills are often from companies trying to sell us new construction or carpet cleaning. Only one or two calls a week on our landline are from friends and family. Now that I am working from my home office daily, I would rather take my chances that the cell phones will work after a major earthquake than talk to six telemarketers every day. At least on an iPhone, I can easily block unwanted callers.
John is now transferring our home phone number to Google Voice on our temporary ZTE phone. In a week, we will have reduced our daily frustrations, saved $71/month in payments to AT&T, and have more space on our desks where the landlines used to be. Hooray!
28 Feb 2015 Update:
Our house is old enough to have a niche for a wall telephone. What do I do with that now that the landlines are dead? Maybe a sculpture niche? The birds are not sure if they want to share their corner with a cat sculpture…
Photos Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson