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If It Costs $35, Is It Really Free?

When you have to deal with a stupid person who is supposed to be able to assist you, do you calmly try explaining your situation, or do you resort to your college training in creative cussing? Yeah, me too.

I don’t want voice mail on my home phone. No one calls me there anyway. voice mail

I’m not even sure why I still have a land line to have voice mail on, but I do. I just don’t want the damn voice mail on it.

I’ve tried on-line for months to cancel the stupid thing but I am apparently inept or stupid where phone services are involved.

Today I put matters into the hands of an on-line chat guru who knows all.

Don’t ask for the guru’s name. He/she/they didn’t provide it. It didn’t matter because by the time the chat was finished I had my own name for the person. It consists of the characters above the numbers on every keyboard. Either that or shorten it to 4 letters.

After waiting on-line until my next phone bill was posted, an ‘active chat’ finally opened and I was able to tell the person (that’s an assumption) that I wanted to cancel the voice mail on my home phone.

The person was kind and friendly – to begin with.

“I can help you with that. Will you be adding an answering machine to your service after you disconnect the voice mail?”

“I can’t see how that makes a difference. I simply want the voice mail gone. I’m tired of paying $35 per month for a service I don’t use, I don’t want, and I don’t need.”

“Your answer to the question helps me provide a more accurate handling of your problem.”

“Here’s the problem. I have voice mail on my home phone. I pay monthly for voice mail on my home phone. I no longer want voice mail on my home phone. It doesn’t matter if I have one or 57 answering machines on my phone. The issue is the same.”

“I completely understand. Now, do yo currently have or will you be adding an answering machine to this line?”

“Aaaarg, yes, no, maybe, I don’t give a damn. Choose the answer of your choice.”

“Ma’am, there is no reason to be huffy. If you will follow these instructions you will be able to turn the voice mail off.”

“Will turning it off, remove it from my bill?”

“You don’t pay for voice mail. That fee is for 20 features on your phone. Voice mail comes with your phone plan.”

“Can I get rid of these 20 features along with the voice mail and stop paying that fee?”

“They are part of your plan. Why would you want to remove them?”

“Look whoever you are. I’ve had this same phone plan since the Reagan administration and haven’t used these 20 features one time. I didn’t know I had them to use and if I had known about them I probably couldn’t have figured them out. Now can we just remove the voice mail and/or the 20 phone features along with the $35 per month I’m paying for something I don’t want, can’t use, and don’t need.”

“You can turn the voice mail off, but since it’s free you can’t get rid of it.”

“What about the 20 phone features? Can I get rid of them?”

“No ma’am. They are part of your plan.”

“Then can I get rid of the home phone, the $35 per month, the voice mail, the 20 phone features, you, and this chat?”

From the life and mind of Wanda M. Argersinger

© 2015 All Rights Reserved


About Wanda Argersinger


  1. Lol. You obviously did not speak their language.
    How frustrating, but so true. You tell it so well.

  2. …And this is why no one has land lines anymore. The only reason we have one is for our alarm system.
    At least you got a blog post out of it!!

  3. six + = 11


    I have become so jade I have no problem with people , or services like that.
    In my first sentence I tell them where to go.
    We canceled everything but basic service. Nothing extra, but the %$&%^ extra charges the $#%^&* Federal government adds in taxes and line fees is more than the phone company charges.

    I would cancel it today but Camilla says “we need it in case of emergency.”

    I don’t care Que sera! I want that bill gone.

  4. I’m relieved to discover I’m not the only one with this insane problem! We never use our home phone and only keep it, as someone said earlier, because it’s necessary for our alarm. But to get rid of all the “features” it has and the price tag that comes with them, I have to get rid of the phone or downgrade our internet service because you can’t break up a package. Ridiculous! Great post, though.

  5. Oh my God, do I ever feel your pain, girlie! Had a go-round with the bank recently–similar to yours, just with a lower IQ. As usual, wonderful. Keep up the good work and thanks for the laughs!

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