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Old 06-12-2010, 09:03 AM   #21
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Hi All,
I have been here two years so far with no service calls, so $180.00 down the tubes. Do you all carry this on your home phones? Do you think it is a waste?
Yes, it's a total waste of money. Phone wires are amazingly reliable and as someone else said, you can run them yourself.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:09 AM   #22
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We had a bad rural service so we kept one rental phone to prove that the problem was theirs. It used to fail every time there was a serious rainstorm. this was 30 years ago.

As long as you can isolate the house wiring from their network, they will repair wires outside your home for free. Unplug the modular jack from the line at the entrance to the house.

(Back in the day, cheap $5 phones used to build up static and eventually cause the line to fail temporarily. In this situation, do what meadbh suggested.)
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:37 AM   #23
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Wire protection is a ripoff. Great money maker for telcos. Wires don't wear out. If they break you usually know 'cause you did some drilling or other hacking that damaged it.

Most houses nowadays have a nice gray box outside where the Telco line is connected to the house wiring. Called the "demark".

To isolate house problems open this box, inside is one or more short cable(s) with a phone jack on it. Unplug. Connect your phone to the now empty socket. If you get dialtone here and not in the house then problem is inside. Occainally the protectors in this box short to ground. They are on the telco's side of the box thus it is their problem.

Sometimes a dead line is caused by telco working in the neighborhood. Wait a while it will be back on.
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:51 AM   #24
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Hi All,

Would like your opinion. I live in an older 1972 house with older phone wiring. At&t charges me 7.50 a month for inside wire protection. In other words if my phone lines go out or get messed up, there is no service call fee for repairs. That amounts to $90 a year. Coincidently a service call for the first hour with At&t is either $90 or $99.

I have been here two years so far with no service calls, so $180.00 down the tubes. Do you all carry this on your home phones? Do you think it is a waste?
May I relate this story: A client of mine in Houston had a huge house and a big wedding in two days. Her phone lines broke during the two days before her only child's big hoopla of a wedding. She did not take the insurance. She had to have it fixed, obviously, so AT&T came out and repaired the lines inside the house. Took an entire day. Cost her $450 around 23 years ago!!! Can you imagine how they would sock it to you now? Yikes!

Moral of this story: I ALWAYS take the insurance now. I have had the lines chewed around the house by squirrels in Houston, but also I HAVE had inside wiring problems before. I think it's well worth it if even you just have them come out one time in a number of years. Seems I have several visits within my last 7 years for inside wiring in Houston as I remember for my 1939 bungalow. And, just like any insurance, you pays yo' money and takes yo' chances...but I'm not chancing it IF the lines were to go inside the house. Just IMHO.

Not sure if I will do that when I get a newer home when I move, tho, this time. Might go mostly cell, anyway.

Is99 knows more about this than I do I'm sure. I'd try that suggestion for sure if I didn't have the insurance.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:05 PM   #25
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I've had AT&T come in and repair the inside wiring before. At that time I had the insurance so no charge. Since I've FIRE'd I decided to not keep the insurance as I figure at $7.50 a month, if the wire doesn't mess up until several years, I've already been ahead.

Insurance - feels like a ripoff when you don't need it, but when you do, it sure is handy.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:12 PM   #26
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May I relate this story: A client of mine in Houston had a huge house and a big wedding in two days. Her phone lines broke during the two days before her only child's big hoopla of a wedding. She did not take the insurance. She had to have it fixed, obviously, so AT&T came out and repaired the lines inside the house. Took an entire day. Cost her $450 around 23 years ago!!! Can you imagine how they would sock it to you now? Yikes!
Orchidflower, with all due respect, I think your client got ripped off. Telephone wiring hasn't changed essentially since Alexander Graham Bell and it was dirt simple them. These days we have the snap in connectors instead of hard wires to the receivers, but that is about it. If you can wire a door bell button, you can repair your own phone lines.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:12 PM   #27
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May I relate this story: A client of mine in Houston had a huge house and a big wedding in two days. Her phone lines broke ... Cost her $450 around 23 years ago!!!

Moral of this story: I ALWAYS take the insurance now.
Not necessary at all. Very, very simple alternative to this, even more so today.

Learn where the phone line comes into your house. As others have said, there is usually a little box and it will have a standard phone jack on it that connects to the house wiring. All you need to do if you think you have a wiring problem is:

1) Unplug the house wiring from that box.
2) Plug a phone directly into the box.
3) Make a phone call.

If you get no dial tone on that phone, either the Phone Company line is bad (they fix it no charge), or that phone itself is bad. Try another phone, a known good one if possible.

This is easier today, as you can put a wireless base there, and have phone access all through the house and take your time getting the inside wiring checked out. Or just run a new line from there to some place convenient.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:02 AM   #28
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Orchidflower, with all due respect, I think your client got ripped off. Telephone wiring hasn't changed essentially since Alexander Graham Bell and it was dirt simple them. These days we have the snap in connectors instead of hard wires to the receivers, but that is about it. If you can wire a door bell button, you can repair your own phone lines.

She probably did get ripped off, but it was two days before a huge wedding, so.....they had her by the neck.
I got ripped off with just installing two phones in Chicago with a bill for $850 7 years ago! I called and they halved it, but it was still a rip. Just had too many things going on at the time to argue, so I just paid it.
I'm seriously considering going strictly cell next time, anyway, but I sure plan to use this thread if I don't next time. Good to have experts here on this subject here.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:17 PM   #29
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I bought some new cordless panasonic phones a couple of years ago for my house. Only the base station needs a jack. The rest just need electric power. Really handy since i can put a phone in my workshop that doesn't have a jack. You can also buy more handsets for it.

I have just about zero cell phone coverage at my house because the community keeps defeating the planned cell phone towers.

J
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