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Geplaatst door Radio Dharan 88.8 op Maandag 18 mei 2020

This new “digital phone” thing had me curious. Could I really pay regular normal monthly prices for virtually the same phone service I was already overpaying with Verizon? I decided to investigate.

Home Phone photo
Photo by Fred Veenkamp

First, Time Warner told me that I wouldn’t have to change my phone number, because it would simply be “ported” to their digital system. That was the first lie. Apparently, my phone number wasn’t “portable” and so I had to change it. I didn’t want to, but I did because I figured the savings would be worth it.

Then, they said my area code wasn’t available. Why? I still have no idea. So now I have a phone number with a different area code than everyone else I know in my area. The area code I do have is known for use with cell phones, so every time I give someone my phone number they ask me, “Oh, is that your cell?” NO!

The next problem began when Time Warner neglected to tell me that if I want voice-mail on my service, it costs an extra $4 a month. I thought I was going to receive all the same services as Verizon? Apparently not. Call waiting is standard, but there is no *69 or *66, no three-way calling, and if you want your phone number to be unlisted it costs extra.

Wait, I’m not done. The next problem (and as of yet unfixed problem) was with the caller-ID. When people called me, their names weren’t showing up correctly. And when I would call someone who didn’t also have the Time Warner digital phone, my number would appear correctly BUT my name would appear as a completely different name. (We think it is the name of the previous owner of the phone number I was given). This problem has been in the mix for almost two months now and has yet to be fixed. My plan? I am waiting until the next available business day and then I’m threatening to switch back to Verizon.

Another problem with Time Warner digital phone is these crazy phone numbers that call me. I keep my ringer off a lot of the time and so usually I just see who called on the Caller-ID and just call them back, but ever since I got the digital phone I get phone calls from numbers I can’t call back because the name will say “Unknown” and the number – instead of being a regular standard number with three digits for the area code, then three digits- then four – I get a phone number like “72”, or a number with an area code of “9”. How am I supposed to call that back? All of this stuff NEVER happened with my regular, plain old, un-digital Verizon service.

The good thing about digital phone? Ever since I got it my phone’s light, which blinks when I get a message, finally works. It never did with Verizon (why? I have no idea), but now all I need to do is look at the light to see if I have messages. It’s a small bonus compared to the other problems.

The truth is, I miss Verizon. I wasn’t a fan of their DSL but their phone service was great. I had a regular number with a normal area code. My number was unlisted and I never had any phone calls from weird numbers that I couldn’t call back. Everyone who called me had their number appear correctly on my Caller-ID, and more importantly, my number (and name) appeared normally on everyone else’s Caller-ID.

And with digital phone there is this whole issue of dialing 911 during a black-out. They tell you to make sure you have a cell phone because during a black-out 911 won’t work with digital phone. They also tell you that if you move to a different address, you must notify them immediately because if you have to dial 911 they won’t know where to go. It all just seems more trouble than it’s worth. I think I’m switching back soon, and I advise everyone else to not jump at the idea of a cheap phone bill and opt for something they wind up regretting.