First, A Word From Your Phone Company

I have about 1,000 photos from my Maine trip, and stories to tell. I will in the next day or so.

Meanwhile, a problem was simmering at home while I was gone. Crank, hang-up, phone calls. The caller ID was no help as the display read “Unknown.”

The problem is now fixed, but not without cost – and it really riles me. Here’s what I just sent to AT&T:

This week, while I was away, my wife began receiving calls which were listed on caller ID as “Unknown Name” “Unknown Number.” The caller hung up as soon as the phone was answered. These calls were very disturbing to my wife and me.

I have just signed on for your blocking feature. However, I am incensed to be forced to pay to stop these calls. I am upset that AT&T would charge such a large amount, $60 per year, for a service which costs you next to nothing and which is needed because of a crank caller – out of our control.

If you’re looking for reasons people are jumping to VOIP or cellular, this is one. I don’t want to be nickel and dimed to death by you, especially when the VOIP provider for my second phone (Broadvoice) offers this feature for free.

Under these circumstances I will consider moving my number to my VOIP unless AT&T waives the fee for this service. I have been your customer for 22 years in Connecticut, but you are surely driving me away.

Geoff Fox

OK – maybe the threat of moving my number, though a real threat, is over-the-top. This is a service that costs them nothing… or nearly nothing. Certainly, once it’s turned on there is no additional incremental cost to AT&T.

It should be noted that since we’ve been here, we’ve had SNET, SBC and now AT&T – all supplying the same line. With each corporate restructure, Connecticut in general and my phone in particular, has become a smaller more inconsequential piece of their puzzling business.

To add insult to injury, while on the phone with an AT&T rep, she tried to “upsell” me more services. Wasn’t this an inappropriate time to try and make a sale?

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