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Old 07-17-2009, 10:07 PM   #41
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The home we live in now is down in a river canyon. Cell phones - no coverage, rural area with no cable service. The land line is our only option for both phone and internet. At least we have DSL internet over the phone line and don't have to suffer with dial-up
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:07 PM   #42
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Hawaiian Tel charges more for naked DSL than for land line/DSL, so we really wouldn't be saving more than $20/month. And if I did drop the land line, I'd have three issues:
- 911 address/location feature. Do cell phones do that yet?
- Sending a fax 2-3 times/year. Not so easy for ERs who don't go to an office. I'd send PDFs in an e-mail if some businesses & banks would drag their sorry assets into the 21st century.
- Calls during power outages. Oahu's cell towers don't always maintain their backup power.

No one in our house sprints to answer a ringing phone. We leave our answering machine on 24/7 and turn off the ringers. If we expect a callback or if a call's scheduled then we'll turn on the ringers and turn them off again when we're done. We don't bother "screening"-- we just don't call back until we're finished with whatever the phone would have interrupted.

The advantage of not answering is that the call center's computer will detect our answering machine and just hang up. The phone light may flash once or twice (or there may be a few seconds of dead air before the disconnect) but they don't wait around to hear our message, let alone leave one of their own.

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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
First, if it lasts that long I'm probably going to check into a hotel for a few days....
After Katrina, W2R would've had to drive quite a few miles through highway evacuation routes (or what was left of them). And on Oahu after a hurricane, I'd have to get on a plane.

My mental attitude is that a hurricane could turn us into charcoal-barbequing tarp campers for about two weeks. I don't want to add cell phone batteries to the list of things to worry about, and I'd be real reluctant to waste precious car gas on a cell-phone charge.
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:21 PM   #43
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- 911 address/location feature. Do cell phones do that yet?
It depends on where you live. The city/county/state has to set it up.
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:56 PM   #44
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I always tell people (i almost put this on my machine) that if it was important enough to call, it was important enough to leave a message.
-ERD50
Amen. I totally believe this. I absolutely detest phones. If you're going to call me, it better damn well be important, important enough to leave a message. If this irks you, tough. Your failure to leave a message in my opinion is an explicit admission that you didn't have anything important to say. In which case, why should I care if you're irked? If this causes you to stop calling me, then THANK YOU!

I'm on the national "do not call" list. But almost every day I get three or four calls that don't leave a message. If I answer these calls, it's almost always a telemarketer. I simply do not answer calls any more because of this. Has this hurt me. Not that I can tell.

Sorry if this offends anybody, but it's really a pet peeve of mine.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:39 PM   #45
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hmmm ... except that I usually have 2 or 3 number to try (office, home and multiple cell) before I leave a message.

Vonage has done a pretty decent job keeping the home phone alive. The call forwarding and dashboard features are putting Ma Bell out of business. We'll keep our number for a while longer.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:16 PM   #46
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I'm in the "too cheap too worry about" camp. With the price + contributes to bundled savings with cell and dsl it's not significant at all.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:18 PM   #47
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Vonage has done a pretty decent job keeping the home phone alive. The call forwarding and dashboard features are putting Ma Bell out of business. We'll keep our number for a while longer.
Yes, Vonage keeps us happy with a land line and away from going cell phone only. I especially like getting voicemails in my email inbox. It also came in handy when I took our vonage adapter with us on the week long family beach trip last year. The old folks who were down there with us were amazed that we could box up our home phone and plug it up anywhere with internet. And free long distance and much better call quality than cell phones, especially where we were on a somewhat isolated barrier island with poor cell reception. People trying to call us could still reach us. It also came in handy for all the youngsters who had to make business calls and attend conference calls while away on vacation. You don't want to have to say "can you hear me now" a dozen times during an important call.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:25 AM   #48
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- Calls during power outages. Oahu's cell towers don't always maintain their backup power.

After Katrina, W2R would've had to drive quite a few miles through highway evacuation routes (or what was left of them). And on Oahu after a hurricane, I'd have to get on a plane.

My mental attitude is that a hurricane could turn us into charcoal-barbequing tarp campers for about two weeks. I don't want to add cell phone batteries to the list of things to worry about, and I'd be real reluctant to waste precious car gas on a cell-phone charge.
Nords brings up the point I was waiting to hear. During the debacle that was our last hurricane scare, there were people stuck in traffic trying to get out of town for 10-12 hours without moving. Every road out of Charleston was backed up. The cell towers just got overloaded and all of the cell phones quit working. This can happen in any disaster situation and makes the cell phone not such a great primary resource.

Additionally, if we are camped out post hurricane, the landline doesn't need power to work and even in the dismal days post Hugo (our last direct Cat 5 hit in 1989) we could use the phones, though power didn't come back to our island for weeks.

We keep the landline and the DSL because of these concerns and the fact that our cell phones don't get great reception out here in the country all the time.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:42 AM   #49
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After Katrina, phone coverage was disrupted for both cell and landline. At the time Frank was working south of Montgomery, Alabama and had a rental trailer there where we stayed for four days.

From Alabama I could not get through to anyone in New Orleans on my cell phone (Verizon), his cell phone (Sprint), or by land line. Those who stayed in New Orleans said that in general they could text locally but could not get out of the local area for the most part and everything was very sporadic. As for me, after trying for hours and hours to get through to New Orleans by cell phone and landline, I finally reported to my work that I was safe by sending an e-mail from my location in Alabama to a co-worker in the D.C. area and eventually was able to phone in to D.C. E-mail was fine with absolutely no problems.

When we returned about five days after Katrina, we were driving through a desolate swamp in the back roads as we approached New Orleans, since the freeways were still closed. We had not seen another car or any light for miles and miles, and it was the dark of the moon, the road was covered with tree limbs and debris to weave around, it was totally silent with not a bird or other animal to be heard, and I have never been anywhere darker or spookier. Suddenly, my cell phone beeped! It was a voicemail message from my supervisor (who lived in Covington, on the north shore, and stayed). She had left the voicemail message two or three days earlier using her husband's cell phone, but it didn't get to me until I was within fifteen miles or so of New Orleans.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:48 AM   #50
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Interesting, W2R. I wondered if that was the case. The systems are built for normal, not extraordinary usage and I guess just get overwhelmed. I wonder if the landline problems were because of the extensive flooding that stayed? In Hugo, we had areas with more than 10 feet (the first floor of our home flooded to 5'6") of water, but it receded with the storm, leaving most houses intact.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:05 AM   #51
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I wonder if the landline problems were because of the extensive flooding that stayed?
The landline problems existed over a larger area than the flooded area, maybe because most/all telephone poles were blown down. Below is a photo that I took about a month after the storm - - not a great photo, but it illustrates the problem. When the poles were blown down, breaks in the lines developed. We saw poles at similar or worse angles for miles and miles and miles of roads through many counties and parishes.

In my neighborhood, the poles were no longer perpendicular to the ground, but not really blown down to the extent shown in the photo below. Flood waters did not exceed 3 feet or so, but lines were just hanging. I guess falling tree limbs and trees broke them. About a dozen large trees on my block were completely blown down and destroyed, blocking the street and damaging roofs, and that was typical for the area - - Frank's block had it worse. The telephone company was present very early after the storm, working hard on restoring phone service.

When we returned to work two months after the storm. the K-Mart parking lot across the street was completely filled with stacks and stacks of brand new, still green phone poles as it was a staging area for them. The phone company had a monumental task and accomplished it admirably.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:09 AM   #52
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Anybody use Google Voice? I read a rave review about it. Google it.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:20 AM   #53
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Anybody use Google Voice? I read a rave review about it. Google it.
I have used it a little just to talk to my brother the computer guy. It sounded really good. But there was something funny about how we got disconnected once and it was hard to get reconnected (can't remember the details).
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:31 PM   #54
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For emergencies, the best is to invest the time and a little money into getting a ham license and a rig that can fun off marine batteries.

Keep your batteries dry and you are ok.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:15 PM   #55
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Here's mine (much less funny):

Caller: Hello, can I speak with Ms. Want2retire?
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Caller: This is the Bank of W2R and we have a great mortgage refinance offer for Ms. Want2retire.
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I began using this years ago. Has not failed me yet. (Works best with female caller)

Caller: Hello this is Mary calling from _____....

Me: Oh, hi Mary. I have not had sex in over a year and this gal is just about to give me a BJ. Can you call back in 30 seconds?"

Click.........
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:28 PM   #56
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If you're going to call me, it better damn well be important, important enough to leave a message. If this irks you, tough. Your failure to leave a message in my opinion is an explicit admission that you didn't have anything important to say. In which case, why should I care if you're irked? If this causes you to stop calling me, then THANK YOU!
If I call someone, i'm calling to talk to a person not a machine. I hate answering machines and will almost never leave a message. If you have caller id and you don't recognize the number then I understand not picking up but if the person knows it's me calling and doesn't pick up and I find out about it then that person doesn't exist to me anymore. They're not worth my time.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:36 PM   #57
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If I call someone, i'm calling to talk to a person not a machine. I hate answering machines and will almost never leave a message. If you have caller id and you don't recognize the number then I understand not picking up but if the person knows it's me calling and doesn't pick up and I find out about it then that person doesn't exist to me anymore. They're not worth my time.
Not picking on you Aaron, just a general observation.

It is really strange looking at some people's expectations of others when using the phone. And what some other peoples' idiosyncrasies are.

I just assumed that the standard reason for someone calling me was that they had something to tell me. They either talk to me and tell me or leave me a message telling me or leave me a message telling me to call them regarding what they had to tell me. If it is a time critical message that requires my urgent attention (it could be an emergency), I presume the person calling me would call back at least once to see if I just missed the call due to having stepped out of the house for a minute, being in the bathroom or otherwise predisposed.

As others have expressed, if I'm preoccupied and can't talk at the moment, I sometimes don't answer immediately, but assuming the call is important, it will be returned promptly. I usually don't answer the phone if we are sitting down to a family meal, for example. 99% of calls can wait up to an hour to be addressed after dinner, and the other 1%, I hope they call back a second time so I'll know it is really important.

I didn't realize not jumping up immediately to answer every incoming phone call could jeopardize that relationship if the individual found out I knew it was them calling but did not pick up (even if I was preoccupied). I guess that is a relationship not worth having anyway. This is sort of the same theory or etiquette that would make me not answer a cell phone call from a third party when I am with someone else in person (unless I thought the cell call was highly important). I'm not going to drop everything I'm doing just to answer a phone call when I can more adequately address the phone call in a few minutes or an hour or two.

My position also places the burden of loss on me. For example, those calls that involve someone else wanting to give me 2 free tickets to tonight's concert/show/game but I missed out because I didn't answer immediately - that IS my fault and it is just something I'll have to risk once in a blue moon.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:45 PM   #58
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If I call someone, i'm calling to talk to a person not a machine. I hate answering machines and will almost never leave a message.
Just be aware that some people on the other end may consider your behavior rude (or just bothersome). If I'm out, or can't get to the phone, it's nice to know why the person called. Should I call back right away, or were they on their way out to run a short errand so call in an hour, or would later that night be better, etc?

In my view, a little information is helpful and considerate. Hanging up is rude (or at least unhelpful).

And how many times have you hung up, and then dialed someone else since the first person was not there? So, I come in from getting the mail, see the caller ID, call you back and your line is busy - what the heck!!!! So, should I just keep calling every minute to try to catch you right after you hang up, and before you call someone else, or you leave the house? Geez, that's not very considerate of my time, is it?


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but if the person knows it's me calling and doesn't pick up and I find out about it then that person doesn't exist to me anymore. They're not worth my time.
I don't know about other people, but that is *not* what I do. If I recognize that it is most likely for me, and I can get to the phone, I pick up. Why wouldn't I? If I was actually trying to "dodge" some annoying caller that isn't really a "friend", well then I guess the problem is solved!

edit/add - I didn't see FUEGO's post when I submitted - so ... what he said

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