News: Press Clippings

On landlines and moving and where we renovate

Reposted from philly.com

Publication date 4/25/16

A few weeks back, the phone company came to my house to upgrade the landline service to fiber optic from copper.

I had received a letter a month before asking me to make an appointment to have this done – otherwise I’d lose landline service sometime in March.

I took it as a “so what” threat because the only time the landline is used is to disregard telemarketing calls, maybe six a week.

I know that $58.57 a month for phone service that pretty much goes unused is a waste of money, but maybe the next owner of my house might consider it important, so I decided what the heck and made the appointment.

Bottom line: There has been a hum in the phone for the last 15 years that the upgrade appears to have gotten rid of.

I wasn’t sure whether this letter from the phone company was some sort of effort to get me to take its Internet and TV service, so I asked a few of my neighbors if they, too, had been contacted.

One vaguely recalled that she had been contacted by the phone company a couple years back, and that the service was upgraded at that time.

Another has phone service through a cable TV provider – the whole package – so that neighbor couldn’t help me.

A third neighbor hadn’t been contacted at all, so I just bit the bullet and had the matter taken care of.

The only drawback: We live in a society in which everyone needs to be applauded for simply doing their jobs, so I was inundated by phone and text afterward to answer performance surveys.

Still preferable to telemarketing calls, however.

Did you know that more Americans have Internet service than cable television or a landline phone?

I didn’t, but Fluent, a marketing company that apparently takes surveys nonstop, says that 3,816 American adults they polled earlier this year told them as much.

(By the way, it only seems as if I report these surveys nonstop.)

In addition, Fluent says, more people say they have Netflix than say they have a home telephone.

Netflix does exist in my house, but I have nothing to do with it and don’t even recall ever watching it.

The only things I watch regularly are reruns of The Andy Griffith Show and Adam-12, and a couple of mysteries on NJTV when it isn’t fund-raising.

I’m a senior citizen, remember that.

In its “Consumer Pulse: Home Services 2016” report at performance marketer LeadsCon, Fluent also says that one in six Americans plans to move to a new home this year.

They are evenly split on whether they will buy or rent their new homes, Fluent found.

Meanwhile, the survey also found that only 33 percent of renters have renter’s insurance. When asked why they were uninsured, one in five respondents said they were simply “too busy” to get insurance.

From personal experience, I urge those people to take some time to look into it. It has been more than 30 years, and I used the insurance only once, but it paid for itself.

When it comes to interior home-improvement projects for those not planing to move, the kitchen dominates, the survey found.

Of those who plan to renovate, 43 percent say they will do work on their kitchens, compared with 16 percent who will work on their bedrooms, 14 percent on bathrooms, and 13 percent on living rooms.

Those surveyed did not elaborate on what the renovations would entail, but I know from recent stories on apartment upgrades that change is focusing on appliances and flooring.

Living rooms came as a surprise, however, because for years we’ve been told they’re unnecessary.

Not to everyone, I guess.

Fluent
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