Tuesday, February 03, 2015

My Phone Goes Out

When I got home from my walk I found out that my home phone wasn’t working. Normally I would use my cell phone to call someone but it had about 9% left on the battery. I decided I’d charge it and make the call using my land line.

When I picked up the phone it was dead. I looked at the read out on the hand set and it said line in use. I was puzzled by that. What exactly did that mean. Then I thought maybe the cats had knocked the hand set I have in my bedroom off of the charger. And maybe it had some how been activated when it fell off the dresser. I went upstairs but the phone was where it was supposed to be.

I called up Verizon to report the problem. I got an automated agent. It tested the line but was unable to figure out where the problem was coming from. It then said that it was going to walk me through some steps to try and check on the phone to determine where the problem was in the line. If it was outside Verizon would fix it and pay for it. But if the problem was inside the house I would be charged. More on the potential charges later.

The first thing I was told that I would need a screw driver and another phone with a cord. I’d need the screw driver to open the network interface device. I would use that phone to plug into the phone jack in the access box to see if the phone was working.

First things first. The extra phone had to be a phone that wasn’t a cordless phone. There’s no way the base of the cordless phone would work unless it was plugged into an electrical outlet. So you’d have to have an older touch tone phone. It just so happens I have one. I have it just in case the power goes out at my house. If that were to happen I could plug in the touch tone phone and still be able to call someone.

But back to my phone fixing. I was told by the automated attendant (it said I should probably write down the instructions) to go out and find the interface. I was able to do that. It was in the back of the house.

I used my trusty screw driver and opened up the box. I was to look for tag with my phone number on it. There would be a phone jack near that.

I wasn’t entirely sure what I supposed to be looking for but I gave it my best shot. I found the tag. I looked for the phone jack and could not find it. I looked really hard but just didn’t see any place where a phone jack would be. I decided that poking around would not be the best idea. I decided to call the phone company back and have someone come out and look at it.

I got the automatic attendant again. She said there was an appointment available on Monday between 8am and 7pm. I thought no not going to do that. I asked for the next one. Same times for Tuesday. No other appointments after that. It said it would connect me to a real person.

The real person was very helpful. I said I tried to find the jack but couldn’t. He said that some access boxes would not have them. I felt better about that. He also told me that I didn’t need to be home for the appointment because the box was outside. I told him where it was on the house. I said I thought this probably happened because of all the wind we’d had the night before. He agreed with me. Reconfirmed the appointment and then we were done.

Now back to the charges if the problem was inside the house. Because I didn’t have a maintenance plan with Verizon I would be charged for any work they had to do. It would be $92 for the service call. Another $92 for the first half hour. Then $46 for each additional half hour. I couldn’t believe that it would be that expensive. I thought if it was my problem I might just have the number disconnected.

Turns out I don’t have to worry about it. The repairman showed up at my house early afternoon. He called about an hour later saying the phone had been fixed. He added he’d leave his card in my front door in case I had any problems.

Nice to have something be an easy fix for a change.

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