Sam Spade wrote:
> Smart consumers almost always fare better than those who cannot, or will
> not, figure things out by doing some homework.
> ... A potential subscriber can see in advance all the NPA and office
> codes available. If the potential subscriber cannot figure out
> whether any of those are local calls for his physical area, he isn't
> very able.
Unfortunately, in today's world it's a great deal of homework and
everday consumers don't have the time to do it. To make it worse, the
situation constantly changes; someone who is knowledgeable today will
be obsolete six months from now. (I think the companies do that
purposely to keep people confused and benefit from inertia.)
The average person doesn't know what an "NPA" or office code even is.
A phone number is a phone number. Keep in mind that neighbors that
once had one or two exchanges serving them now have a great many.
Depending on the service option (low, medium, high), my local calling
area covers SEVEN area codes, and minor toll service (5c minute) adds
another three area codes to that. That's an awful lot of exchanges to
keep in mind.
Note how many regulars in this newsgroup need to discuss today's
service options and debate clarifications and specifics. If "people
in the know" aren't sure of the situation, how can everyday people?
In the old days a person could simply ask their neighbor and compare
bills since everyone had the same situation. Can't do that today.
A lot of people use their cell phones at all times, but such service
costs about $50+ a month and is subject to poor quality (last night I
was talking to such a person and the reception was horrible, I could
barely hear them.) I'd sure hate to need to make an urgent call and
discover I'm in a dead spot or the battery is dead.
As to customer service, I use Verizon and am very satisfied with them.
It's much better now that my LD is with them instead of AT&T. I'm not
quite as happy with their wireless service; they buried a notice about
holidays no longer counting as offpeak time in text about obscure
overseas calls, but they gave me a credit for the calls I made.
[TELECOM Digest Eidtor's Note: What Sam Spade does not grasp, and what
the telcos grasp all too well, is that most non-telco people do not
understand, nor do they care about the workings of the telephone
company. Over the past century, telco has made lots of money based on
the ignorance of the general public, and they are still at it. PAT]