I remember when a problem arose, let’s say, for example, the telephone was out of order, and all one had to do is look up the number for the telephone company’s office (it was always a local number) and a real person answered the phone, usually saying, “May I help you?”
You would tell them that your phone is out of order, and you didn’t know why.
The phone company’s receptionist would tell you what time their telephone repairmen would be out to work on your line, “around 2 p.m.,” she’s say – and then the repairmen would actually show up on the scheduled time!
Not only would they show up on time, but they’d fix the telephone line! Amazing!
In this day and time, gone are the local offices for things like telephone companies.
There is no more issuing just one call and getting help and the days of “Local Service” of any kind is almost non-existent.
Once a month, one received a telephone bill and on that bill, all of your billed services were listed and paid either through walking into the local telephone office and paying the bill or mailing in cash or check.
You would know all of the names of the people who worked in those local offices and because you were friendly with them, you knew your problems would be taken care of and handled.
Last week, I had a problem with my home telephone, It was just dead, no dial tone when I picked it up to make a call. So I called the telephone number given to report problems with the phone.
After three or four rings, I get an answer, but its from an automated, robotic voice.
The feminine “ bot-voice” asks me to punch in or say the phone number I was having problems with.
I try to say the number out loud, but the lady-robot never understands what I said, so I have to dial or tap the telephone number in.
Finally, the voice comes back to tell me that they have found my phone number and they say the full number.
They ask if I “wish to pay my bill” or if I would like to “add a new product or service” through them, the company.
I just want to fix the problem I am having with my line.
They then ask me if I would like to add insurance to my bill, so that I won’t have to pay for today’s repair, should a repairman need to come out.
The robotic voice also tells me that if the repairman can’t find anything wrong outside, then he may have to come inside and find the problem.
Finally, the robot gives me the option to, “alk to a representative” or “Call for a repair”, and I pressed the button for repairs until, finally, a human voice comes on and asks me to tell them what the problem is.
I tell them, and they say they can send out a repairman, who should come out the following day between the hours of 12-noon and 5 p.m.
I agree with this time.
The next day, I wait at home all day for the repairman.
At about 5:15 p.m., he calls me and tells me the phone has been fixed and should now be working fine.
According to this repairman, there was a problem with some rain leaking into the little shelter structure, that kept the wires, and other telephone-stuff working.
“Thanks,” I managed to say before he quickly hung up.
These days, there are very few local offices for any service that is still; it’s sad but true!
I miss the good old days where you could make a call and talk to a real-life-person right away, or where you could just pop into the local office and pay your bill and make a complaint – know what I mean?
Be kind to one another, and take care of yourselves.
Patricia Ann Hinson Mordes