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Summary:

[qi:086] Keep your landline or your loved ones may die, seems to be the messaging tied to AT&T’s Home Base campaign released today. It comes on the heels of a Verizon ad aimed at getting non-Verizon landline customers to ditch their wires in exchange for wireless. […]

[qi:086] Keep your landline or your loved ones may die, seems to be the messaging tied to AT&T’s Home Base campaign released today. It comes on the heels of a Verizon ad aimed at getting non-Verizon landline customers to ditch their wires in exchange for wireless. The battle between wired and wireless is heating up.  The AT&T campaign, complete with a picture of an ambulance racing to the scene, highlights the reliability and certainty that comes from being able to dial 9-1-1 from a landline. Copper, it could save your life.

I can’t fault AT&T for its scare tactics, given that those fears are exactly why we chose to revert back to a landline in our own home after going completely wireless. My mother-in-law was just too concerned about watching our toddler without that copper connection, since she often has a less-than-fully-charged wireless phone. However, some of the other reasons, pulled directly from an AT&T PDF, offer pretty lame rationales (fax machines? finding a phone in the dark?), as well as a failed grasp of numbering. How many of the reasons below do y’all find legit — or merely worth the $20 per month to connect via a copper landline?

attpdf

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  1. Reason #27 – security system need to be hooked up to something — this is bogus. Most security systems have a cell option these days which seems much safer than a land line because it can’t be cut and because the box can be put up out of reach of malicious intent.

  2. Don’t forget the “optional” wire maintenance plan @ 4.95 per month that takes forever to cancel.

    1. Would you like to know why it takes forever to remove wire maintenance? Because at a call center if the rep removes a product they take a financial hit on their monthly goals. So I am willing to believe that you had called several times and no one removed it. I can tell you horror stories that endangered customers lives with this rule by AT&T. The level of unethical sales techniques has arisen by the thousands with AT&T’s implementation of how customer service reps take a negative hit on their sales numbers.

      1. at&t is now negotiating to base the service rep pay on sales. you thought it was bad before, just wait til they’re paid on commission.

      2. This is not true. I worked for AT&T in the call center and this was NEVER the case. The service techs are horrible and this is why stuff takes forever. Mind you this…I would NEVER stick up for AT&T but this fact is not true.

      3. This is TOTALLY TRUE! Not only does the rep taking the cancelation order take the hit so does their supervisor/team leader. I work in an AT&T call center and it is VERY common to see call logs indicating the customer called in but no notes were entered by the rep. It’s because the customer wanted to cancel and the rep said ok it is all done you will get a prorated bill in the mail.ETC. Happens everyday. Call in and place the order then call in at least TWICE again in the next 48 hours to verify it has been done. Even then there is no guarentee because when you ask about it the rep on the line thinks if they say no they will have to do it. We have had fist fights over stuff like this. AT&T is very shady in this department. Hell if you have DSL from them test your speed. most people never see 70% of the speed they pay for. You can also get discounts by saying you want to cancel and going to the cancelation dept. They will offer you discounts they rep can not.

      4. sounds like AT&T uses the same call center techniques that En terprise car rental uses. Threaten your employees until they are so scared they will screw the customer or quit. Im sure they have the revolving door employee policy as well with a steady stream of new hires replaces hundreds of employees who walk or get fired every month.

  3. how long before geo-location info from smartphones is accurate enough for auto-911 pinpointing to better than 5-10 meters….

    1. Forever, since gps signals aren’t very good at getting into buildings.

      1. Cell tower triangulation can be used to compliment or replace a GPS signal I’m pretty sure

  4. AT&T is not wrong. Landlines are good. I maintain a land line for the following reasons:

    >I’m not convinced that use off cell phones is healthy–may cause brain cancer. Studies, mostly paid for by the cell phone industry, says they are safe. Independent studies are inconclusive. Stands to reason that the radiation cell
    phones emit next to you skull could be harmful over time. Increased use of cell phones resulting from eliminating ones landline isn’t too smart. There was a time when the cigarette industry advertised that cigarettes were healthy and had physicians attest to the fact in advertisements. Look what happened!!

    >In Florida where I live we are exposed to natural disasters including hurricanes. In past storms land lines stood up better than cell phone towers–no interruption of service. I like a landline for use in any emergency as an alternative backup.

    >I find a landline more comfortable to use.

    >Landlines are relatively inexpensive for unlimited local and long distance use.

    1. In response to Richard:
      >I’m not convinced that use off cell phones is healthy–may cause brain cancer. Studies, mostly paid for by the cell phone industry, says they are safe. Independent studies are inconclusive. Stands to reason that the radiation cell phones emit next to you skull could be harmful over time. Increased use of cell phones resulting from eliminating ones landline isn’t too smart. There was a time when the cigarette industry advertised that cigarettes were healthy and had physicians attest to the fact in advertisements. Look what happened!!In Florida where I live we are exposed to natural disasters including hurricanes. In past storms land lines stood up better than cell phone towers–no interruption of service. I like a landline for use in any emergency as an alternative backup.I find a landline more comfortable to use.Landlines are relatively inexpensive for unlimited local and long distance use.<
      You don't have the right cell plan if you truly believe this.

    2. It’s OK, I’m sure your tinfoil hat will protect you.

      1. The tinfoil hat line is as cliche as some stupid Jesus line, the people who use it are generally ignorant and easily programmed.. There are plenty of things people are swindled into for $, including the stimulus package which puts America into debt to the Federal Reserve Ghouls.. Just like they did South America, and Europe with the Marshall Act (A Jew Banker Funded Hitlers Takeover of the Reichtag) and you knew thats why we were in Iraq, right? Nah, go watch Fox instead, who cares they are never consistent with their B.S.. Go Watch Zeitgeist II on youtube if you still do not understand..

    3. Richard, let’s say for the argument’s sake that cell phones do emit harmful radiation. Do you know that most places now-a-days have wireless internet (WiFi)? That also emits signals which go through your body at a similar power levels as the cellphones and virtually the same frequency spectrum! So use it or don’t… there is stuff flying through the air everywhere in most semi-urban environments.

      *Just to be clear I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but by not using cell phone you forgo a ton of convenience for a negligible reduction in exposure.

      P.S. And I guarantee that within a 5-10 years most of your computer hookups as well as TV will be wireless. So unless you become Amish there is no chance for you.

      P.S.S. Besides the radiation depends on the strength of emitting device and radios and TV stations have been broadcasting things over the air for decades at a much higher powerlevels, in fact you should be relieved that the TV’s aren’t going to broadcast anymore starting (January 2009, July… whenever that actually takes effect).

    4. Even cordless landline phones emit radiation, so you are getting the same negative effect if you use anything other than a corded phone.

      I’m sure there are some negative health side effects to the radiation from cell phones. But I’d be willing to bet you are far more exposed by going to the dentist (X-rays), visiting a coffee shop that has WiFi, watching TV, sitting in front of a computer, using a microwave oven, living within four miles of high voltage power lines, or myriad other events. The only true way to protect yourself is to stop living.

      So, in comparison, the danger from cell phones seems negligible — unless you’re on it constantly.

  5. Janko Roettgers Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    What’s up with the “work” from home “joke”? That alone should be enough to get web workers to ditch AT&T …

    1. Janko, I didn’t even catch that. I must be “working” instead of working :)

  6. Scott Seely Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    For $9.99/month + a $100 device to integrate a cell phone into my already wired home, I use a cell phone on a family plan to allow one number to ring all over the house. This has worked well for the last 7 months. I ‘broke even’ on the plan about 2 months ago. You can get a cell plan and still use your home phone people!

    1. I’m looking to get one of those but have found a couple of different brands and wanted to get some real world reviews.
      How is yours holding up and would you recommend one brand over another.

    2. What is this $100 device? I’m sold!

      1. Joe, it’s a Bluetooth gateway like the XLink BT.

  7. 34: What? Will my cell phone’s battery suddenly drain if the power goes out? What about the phones you keep selling me that promise days and days of idle time?

    32: 1989 called; it wants its fax machine back (throw in that landline if there’s room)

    5: “We realize our wireless service blows. Matter of fact, you might live in one of the biggest cities on earth and STILL not get great service. You can fix that problem by giving us more money”

    27: Not true. The security system in my mom’s house uses wireless to alert the company if the alarm is tripped — tested monthly, never fails.

    21: “You don’t need friends; you need a land line”

    972: Why aren’t these in numerical order?

    1. 34: The Cold War had a huge effect on the design of the telephone system – especially the Central Office (CO) in each community. Most of them use backup generators and fuel cells to keep operating even when supply from the electrical mains is out. Some still have the HUGE lead-acid batteries to power the system. The CO is usually built like a bunker, with resistance to floods, earthquakes, storms, and in most cases, bomb strikes. I know of several COs and remote switch facilities that have multiple underground vault levels, all with weeks of backup power. Not many cell sites have that level of disaster resistance. Most can’t operate too long after the electric grid goes out – I think 48 hours is an oft-quoted unattended duration.

      Just think of the the land line like a spare tire. You don’t use your spare tire every day, but when you need it, you better believe you’re happy it’s there!

  8. Strategiclee Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    I have been “working” from home for 7 years and just showed AT&T the door today. When they can explain to me why my phone bill cost more than my cellphone, cable and PG&E bill combined then I’ll stay. They are a joke.

  9. Are any of you aware that Communication Workers of America have been working for ATT WITHOUT a contract since April? Are you aware that ATT made over 3 bil in profits for the first quarter of this year? Must be nice eh? ATT left the bargaining table because of disagreements with CWA. ATT wants CWA workers, you know, the people that MADE the company what it is, to pay 3x more for healthcare then the previous contract. This will also include retirees, my husband being one. He gave 37+ years to ATT/SBC/PacBell and last year they bought him out and asked him to take early retirement. We are 2 years away from SS age. Greedy Bastards!! It is greed like this that has caused the problems in Americas economy.

    1. Linda,

      You call that early retirement after 37 years?

      With all do respect, your husband should have left on his own. People with that kinda of time in telco often don’t want to change with the company.

      Doesn’t make sense to pay his wage after that length of service.

      1. Umm, it is called a contract,something AT&T never honors.
        There was nothing “respectful” about that shot. It makes perfect sense to honor an agreement. They get forced out and forced to accept a small percentage of what they were promised.

    2. Shall I call the whambulence on my Verizon landline or T-Mobile cell? Get over yourself, and learn something about the history of American labor relations. I’ll leave you with Samuel Gompers, 19th labor leader who remarked that the objective of every business is to turn a profit, because a company that goes out of business employs no one.

      By the way, are those same CWA workers also responsible for the decline in service? Because if they made the company the way it is they are.

    3. Must be nice to have had 37 years. My group was laid off in May, I had only 5 years and I was a management employee and worked on UVerse. I covered for the strike in 2004, so I’m a little bitter about the union people asking for more and more. How sad that healthcare premiums are going up… because they are everywhere in every job in the country that even offers healthcare. I’d pay 3x for coverage, if only I still had a job.

    4. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone brought the CWA issue into this. Seems every chance they get, they’re quick to jump in to say how AT&T’s being unfair.

      The people that MADE the company? Yes, CWA had a part in it, but you were not the only ones. Management made decisions where to build, what to deploy, and how to deploy it as part of that network that every order you take gets routed over.

      $3B in profits? Ever stop to think about where that money is going? It’s so hard for companies to float paper these days that a lot of that has gone right back into the network that you guys are selling products on. Yet you guys keep pointing out the profit number. If they give in to all your demands, then did you ever stop to think what happens to the network? No money to repair a switch when it goes down, meaning all your customers are out of service. No money to deploy U-Verse, which you guys actively push. Stop and think about that for a second.

      Greedy bastards? It is a company’s job to turn a profit. I’m not saying they are being fair, but they are not being nearly as evil as the CWA makes them out to be.

    5. Your AT&T union worker has paid next to nothing for benefits while the non-union employees costs have climbed every year. Non-union employees pay around 40% of the cost of their benefits, CWA members pay less than 10%. AT&T is trying to bring the union percentage closer to the non-union percentage.

      Was your husband crowing the past few years about how cheap his benfits were? Didn’t think so….

    6. Sorry to hear about being ripped off by AT&T after working there so long. More power to CWA and all unions!!!

  10. Anyone who is actually scared by this ad, should lose voting privileges in the US. Not that it will dramatically help in the selection of a politicians based on purely intellectual reasoning, but it’s a start at eliminating the ones that vote without a clue!

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