I just spent two hours finding out what it would cost to have a POTS line.
I moved to North Carolina last year, and since my cellular bills have been running high, I decided to price a POTS line. That was two hours ago: 120 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.
There is no "telephone company" listing in either 411.com or anywho.com. Every listing that is on those sites went to a fast-talking salesman who tried to talk over me, push his "package", and get my credit card number, sometimes all in one breath.
I don't mind someone telling me what's available: that's their job, after all. I *do* mind being interrupted, having someone who is thousands of miles away telling me what my "best option" is, and being lied to. I've been told that I "must" have a modem, that "everything" comes with a "service plan", and that lifeline rates are "only for people on welfare".
Sigh. That was the part that took 100 minutes.
I did, finally, find out the name of the ILEC which serves this area. I also found their website, and got an 800 number to call them with. The person I spoke to told me that the price for a POTS line is $33.98 per month, plus taxes: he wouldn't tell me what the taxes would be, nor the Universal Service, access, or other fees; he did, however, estimate that they would be about "fourteen to eighteen" dollars per month. He also suggested that I look at my neighbor's phone bill to find out the exact figure.
I'm angry about this: getting basic, publicly-available information from a public utility should not be this hard. I suppose that all the fast-buck operators who pay for ads on 411.com think that they'll make up for every guy like me by selling a "package" to some twenty- something who just fell off a turnip truck, but I expect the ILEC to be willing to quote me the rates that their tariffs specify.