Ok it's something as simple as the phone not working right. We've had static on it for four years and only recently it got worse. In the past, every time we called BellSouth about it they would tell us that it was on the inside, not the outside. Finally I gave up. The phone worked, that's all that mattered.
For two weeks we haven't received a single incoming call, well hell we thought maybe no one liked us anymore. Then we find out that our phone isn't working for incoming calls. When calling in folks just got a lot of static and shit like that. Called BellSouth, first I got the automated repair service, that didn't do it for me, then I called back and spoke to a live person. The live person took the repair call. We didn't hear from them for a few days, so I finally called them back. THey told me they didn't have a way to call me--that their tech had been to our house and determined the problem was inside the house. Uh didn't they ever hear of leaving a note? We were never notified that he'd ever come out here. They said it cost $80 just for the service guy to come out to the house, not to mention the fees for materials and labor. I said "screw it" and called my dad, a veteran telephone man, because I know he'd know what to do. He advised me to put a new jack in, so I did that, damn thing still didn't work, so he drove 45 minutes out here and took a look at the box outside, pondered the problem a few minutes, tested the lines, and finally determined it was something bad in the interface box outside the house.
Five minutes. That's all it took. All the service guy did when he was here was plug his phone into the outside jack, got a dial tone, packed up his stuff and left. He never even tested the wires to see there was a short somewhere.
Thank goodness dad is the kind of guy who believes in doing things right the first time, it's his motto, he's always been that way. And for nearly 30 years, Bell South was sure as hell lucky to have him working for them. I know not all the guys who work for Bell South these days are incompetent like the one who came out here, there are many who truly care and do do their jobs right, it's just that they seem to be so few and far between. And it's not just in this industry. As the hardworking, dedicated, customer service oriented baby boomers begin to retire, we are seeing a new crop of younger people who rely on technology at incompetent customer service centers to do their jobs for them.
Sometimes a little pondering and use of commons sense is all you need to fix the problem. That's all my dad used and my phone line is working like new.