Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

A Quiet Word To The Honchos At Ma Bell…

Recently I began letting my answering machine answer all incoming calls.

And, for the last several weeks, have been mentioning to random people that I am considering stopping my landline service altogether, due to the fact that (an average of) 12 telemarketing calls a day is making me see red.

Their response to me has been almost universal. It goes, “you mean you haven’t done that yet?

Now.. we all know Washington’s Do Not Call List is a sad joke, but I was an early adopter, and I am not going to ding the idea behind it. What I am going to say here is, if you happen to be a honcho at a TelCo, and you’re losing sleep over all the folks UNsubscribing, you might want to reconsider the idea (blame) that we’ve all switched to cell phones. (It’s not totally true.)

And consider doing something about the vile plague that is telemarketing.

If you don’t, soon, well.. at least one fella is going to stop sending you cash every month —

And that is the most polite way I can phrase it.

*     *     *

Here in the Bay Area, the theft of cell phones (iPhones) and tablets (iPads) has gotten so.. um, common, that authorities are advising us not to use them in public.. (kinda where you need them). Here’s a great read: A cell phone of my very own. Hello, crooks – San Francisco Chronicle

A visit to my local cell phone store on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland brought the frenzy connected to the rollout of each new generation of ...”

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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September 26, 2012 - Posted by | computers


  1. If you walk around with an iphone or ipad you could loose your life….This iphone thing is crazy.


    Comment by MikeyK | September 26, 2012 | Reply

    • MikeyK,
      This iphone thing is crazy“..

      Half the product at twice the price: yes, you could say that. (Though, I know that isn’t what you were talking about.) My only real answer to you is… We live in interesting times.


      Comment by techpaul | September 26, 2012 | Reply

  2. The trouble is, we’ve been getting telemarketing calls and texts on our cell phones lately too! Options seem to be becoming somewhat limited.


    Comment by hermit2003 | September 26, 2012 | Reply

    • hermit2003,
      Consumerism run amok.

      I think maybe it’s time we did something about these *people*. (Besides threaten them with toothless laws, that is.) It doesn’t have to be our “that’s just the way it is”.


      Comment by techpaul | September 26, 2012 | Reply

  3. I switched to VOIP (Obi110/Google Voice) and use my cordless Panasonic phones for the service. Voice quality is great and the monthly price is fantastic (free). I got a new phone number which isn’t listed so I get almost no sales/political calls. It’s a little bit of a pain letting your friends know your new number, but well worth it. New Panasonic phones have room for more than 3000 phone # in the address book and announce the caller when someone in your book calls. You don’t need to leave your computer on with the Obi for those who turn theirs off at night.


    Comment by Jim1940 | September 26, 2012 | Reply

    • Jim1940,
      Once I started talking about this with folks, it became pretty clear to me that people thought me strange for still having a landline..

      And I have heard raves about Google Voice, but, man, running even more of my life through their servers? Not this guy (they know enough about me already).
      And Google’s one purpose is to show ads. (About as repugnant a purpose as there is.)

      And Skype is Microsoft..


      I really, really do like the sound of “almost no sales/political calls”, though. Advertisements/”marketing” is pollution.

      (And I prefer to cure the disease, not relieve the symptom.)


      Comment by techpaul | September 26, 2012 | Reply

      • A friend of mine uses MagicJack here in Canada. It is really slow, drops calls and is choppy at I would check with others in your area as to how it works.

        I am considering getting rid of my cable. i hardly watch it and what I do, I could download. I get charged for my bandwidth as it is in my what’s the diff?


        Comment by delenn13 | September 29, 2012 | Reply

        • delenn13,
          Well… one is legal and the other sometimes not. And, for many people, their service is part of a “bundle”: when you take one element out of the ‘bundle’, they just charge more for the other ‘individual’ services, and the expected ‘savings’ kind of gets counteracted. But it may be worth looking into, and will vary case-to-case/provider-to-provider. (It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to pay for something not being used.. )

          And yes. It always – it sure seems to me – pays to do some basic research (like asking users) before buying. But what I find galling is, I have to consider making major changes because society has a disease.
          But there seems to be a lot of that, for a lot of people.


          Comment by techpaul | September 29, 2012 | Reply

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