Verizon goes down; Going to cell

I totally forgot to describe the ending of my Verizon story, last discussed here.
We received a letter from their collection agency dated January 3. Stubbornly holding on to our $22.45, I called and wrote to that company on January 4, explaining YET AGAIN what happened. I believe I sent a copy to the Public Service Commission.

After getting no sense of satisfaction, and fearing threat they would wreck her good credit, my wife also wrote to the collection agency on February 6, with a copy to the PSC, fully documenting the debacle of their billing process. A day later, we got a letter from the PSC saying, essentially that they were going to aggressively look into this matter. In a letter dated February 10, Verizon wrote:

“Thank you for the opportunity to address your concern regarding the above account. This letter is to confirm that the above mentioned telephone number is satisfied in full.” It also noted the collection agency was notified, that we’d have no derogatory notice on our credit report and that we could call them if we had questions.


Subsequently, we’ve gotten letters from Verizon asking us to come back, even offering us $25 to return. $25? A few years back, phone companies were offering us twice that, THRICE that to switch. No thanks.

Meanwhile, we need to get a couple cell phones. (Wait a minute: did I write “cell phones” and “need to get” in the same sentence? What’s happened to me?) OK, we OUGHT to get a couple cell phones; the troubles I’ve had getting home from the new work place have convinced me of the efficacy of doing so. The last time we had cell phones, we had Verizon, we didn’t use them all that much, probably 3 or 4 times a week max, and it was costing us WAY too much, maybe $70-$80/month.

And I’ve been peeved about how Verizon capitulated so easily in this NSA thing, though I’ve read that they said they did resist.

When I went down to my first conference this month down in Catskill, I was going to use someone’s cell phone, with service provided by Cingular. Unfortunately, the phone didn’t work. The only phones that were functional there were those that had services provided by…Verizon.

So, what does one do? Get one of those “per call” phones? And Allah knows I don’t want to spend a fortune on the phones themselves. What does someone who wants to have two phones but for emergency use only want to get?

Know that if we DO get cell phones, I won’t be giving out the number except to my spouse, and maybe my child’s daycare. My need to be available 24/7 is virtually nil. I don’t want to become one of those cell phone users who utter the words, “Oh, I have to take this call.”

At some level, I have some contempt for cell phones, or is it the users? Three out the last four times I almost got hit by a car at a street corner, it was with the driver’s ear in the cell phone. New York State’s anti-cell ban is ineffectual, as it is unenforceable. So, I feel as though I’m going over to the dark side.

Well, this has been very therapeutic. Thanks. The check’s in the mail.

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