Moms_Getting_Screwed's profile

New Member

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11 Messages

Thu, May 26, 2022 11:08 PM

Pricing and the elderly

Hello,

I had been appalled for quite a while that my elderly mother in FL was paying $50+ taxes/fees for a landline that provided her with local only calling. I finally decided to do something about it.  I went down there last year and set her up with the same VOIP system I had been using.  She hasn't had to pay for internet because her assisted living facility provides community WiFi.  So I gave her my modem, ordered her Comcast internet along with Phone Power VOIP. The combination came out to substantially less than the $50+ she was paying AT&T, gave her unlimited everything (and because she could now call long distance, we were able to downgrade her to a bare bones cell plan that cost $8.57, which added to the savings even further).

The one problem is that if (really more of a when) her internet signal dropped for a couple of seconds, which is to be expected every now and then, her call would drop (as anyone can attest to, this is especially aggravating when you've already been on hold for a long time for one thing or another).  While she does have a cell, she is not very good with it.  She can make a call just fine, but sometimes can't get to it fast enough to answer.  And if a voicemail is left, she cannot figure out how to listen to it (if she's even aware of it to being with).

So I'm looking to switch her back to a traditional landline, for which AT&T has a monopoly on where she is (huge problem with the entire telecommunications industry). There really needs to be some type of provisional pricing for the elderly, who can't be expected to be all that adept with today's technology.  If you're going to charge a 90 y.o. woman a total of $56, you darn well should be including long distance with it.  Or at the very least, provide a more reasonably priced local only plan, so the difference can be used to put her on an unlimited cell plan for long distance calling.  She was essentially paying $56 to call within her facility because that's where most of her friends are. As far as I'm concerned, this is an abuse of capitalism, especially for the elderly who don't have the options younger people have because of their inability to adapt.  Not to mention a reliable form of communication is all that much important for people with health issues. If she's having some type of crisis (something that has happened a couple of times over the years) and her cell signal is weak at the time for some reason or another, she has no way to contact family.

I was wondering if anyone else out there with an elderly parent might have come up with a solution that I have not thought of.

Sorry for the wordiness, but I've been badly in need of rant about this.

Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone might be able to provide.

Glenn

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

ATTHelp

Community Support

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192K Messages

24 d ago

We're here to assist with your landline inquiry, @Moms_Getting_Screwed!

 

We have traditional home phone plans that start at 39 dollars a month plus taxes and fees. 

 

For the best price and assistance with signing up for traditional home phone, you will need to contact us at 800.288.2020.

 

Don't hesitate to reach back out if you ever need our assistance again. Thank you for choosing the AT&T Community Forums!

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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57.8K Messages

1 m ago

There is no monopoly on landline service. Landline service is a dying business ATT and all landline providers would like to get out of. Costs are high because so few people still have landlines but the cost of maintaining all the equipment hasn’t changed. Landline service is also heavily regulated. It’s possible ATT won’t even provide landline service at her location again. My advice, if she has decent cellular service, get her a cell phone she is comfortable using and dump the landline altogether. There is no reason to remain “not good at” using a cell phone. Even us older folk can still learn.

ACE - Expert

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22.5K Messages

1 m ago

As stated, there's a good chance that POTS is no longer available.  

Look into a Jitterbug phone (starting at $49) and their unlimited service is $20 a month.

New Member

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11 Messages

1 m ago

Well then why don't they just get out of it right now then?

Something tells me you're considerably younger than 90 years and that you've already lost both your parents to lack empathy to such an extent.  Come back to me when you're that age and your mind and memory aren't what they are now and you can easily forget what you've been shown two days earlier.  Until then, your post is meaningless.

And the truth is cell signals aren't great where she is, regardless of carrier. But that's not even the point.

New Member

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11 Messages

1 m ago

Sandblaster...and you've received the "Award for Customer Excellence?"  Your reply was thoroughly useless.

ACE - Expert

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22.5K Messages

1 m ago

Is POTS even an option?  Have you checked with the facility to see what's available?

And yes, I'm old and I dealt with my older sister when she was in assisted living and then when she had to move to skilled nursing and lastly, hospice.

ETA:  We are all customers like you.  I understand your frustration (been there...done that) but that does not excuse the insolent attitude.

(edited)

New Member

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11 Messages

1 m ago

How could it no longer be available?  They're advertising the plans on this site.

New Member

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11 Messages

1 m ago

We're talking less than year ago - how much would have changed since then?  And as I said, it's still being advertised.

ACE - Expert

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22.5K Messages

1 m ago

Once VOIP (IP based phone service) is introduced into an area, POTS is no longer offered.  

I know POTS is no longer available in my area but I switched to digital years ago.

Google "is POTS still available".  You might be shocked.  

(edited)

New Member

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11 Messages

1 m ago

Well isn't VOIP available anywhere internet is available?  Which would mean, based on what you're saying,  that POTS wouldn't be available anywhere except the most remotest of locations.  And that's obviously not the case.  And again - it's being ADVERTISED.

JefferMC

ACE - Expert

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28.7K Messages

1 m ago

it's being ADVERTISED.

Show me.

my thoughts

Employee

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19.2K Messages

1 m ago

What is being advertised?

UVERSE VOIP (digital internet phone service) was renamed to ATT PHONE In December 2016 

This requires paying for both internet service and the VOIP service as ATT PHONE is an ADD ON to the internet service.

TRADITIONAL PHONE known as POTS is being phased out in a process that started years ago.

POTS is Plain Old Telephone Service installed and maintained by line techs, ATT PHONE is installed by Uverse techs. Both have a $99 installation charge.

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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57.8K Messages

1 m ago

Well then why don't they just get out of it right now then?

As I said, it’s a highly regulated service. They can’t simply stop providing service to whoever still has it but they don’t have to provide service to new customers. Sorry you didn’t like my response but now that several others have said the same thing, maybe it wasn’t useless. 

ACE - Expert

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22.5K Messages

1 m ago

As I've said before: 

"Just because you don't LIKE the answer doesn't mean the answer is WRONG."

New Member

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11 Messages

1 m ago

...with the exception of when you are actually wrong. Why are you guys in such collective disbelief that AT&T no longer offers POTS?

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