Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Oh, oh, Telephone Line, Give Me Some Time

Those were the days.
Dear Verizon,

We need to talk. I've been fairly loyal to your service for probably 15 years or more.

Keep in mind, I'm specifically talking about Verizon Wireless. Verizon (the mothership) Fios, we have some issues there also, but I'll cut you a break since I saw that you're returning the Weather Channel to my TV.

Small victories, I guess.

No, this is about my cell phone service.

Or lack thereof.

Let's start with my home. I'll be succinct: the service stinks. I've worked hard to get Wifi calling on my Apple devices (iPad and iPhone), but I'm still having dropped calls.

More drops than a bad wide receiver, amirite? (Even I'm groaning at that one)

If I want to text a picture to my own son -- yes, my own flesh and blood -- who for reasons unknown to me has an Android device, I have to go outside for him to receive it. Maybe.

Same goes with other Android users that I want to text. Because of unacceptable service, I have to go outside.

But today, for whatever reason, I had to pace in my road to have a cell phone conversation with a fellow Verizon iPhone user. Does that make sense?

Then there's driving. Oh I know, service drops are a fact of life, and this is where I'll take you slightly off the griddle, and say an extra HOWYADOIN! to the fine folks of Westchester County, NY.

Specifically, Bedford. Oh yeah, Pound Ridge, you get to join in this as well.

Go into Bedford Center. Lovely green down there, right? So perfect small town. So -- how did one resident put it? Ah, yes -- "bucolic."

Drive Long Ridge Road sometime. G'head. Just for the fun of it.

Head over to Scotts Corners. Pop into the market there, where I used to fill the shelves with lots of frozen treats!

Now use your phone, and hope your call doesn't drop. Numerous times. If you get service at all.

Lewisboro and North Salem aren't completely avoiding this conversation, and neither are Ridgefield, New Canaan, and some others in Connecticut.

But I feel a special rise in blood pressure when it comes to Bedford and Pound Ridge.

You see, it's one thing to have the usual 3-5 dropped calls when chatting with Paul or Susan or whomever.

Certainly, it's another when it's about something serious.

Like -- dare I say -- if my 82-year-old mother is driving through one of these areas.

She's on dialysis. She's getting around and doing her best. But what happens if she has a tire problem (you know, like I did a few weeks ago)? Or a more serious emergency?

How about if it happens on Long Ridge Road, right where there's no service. Think that's going to go well? Think the denizens of the lovely houses out there will welcome a stranger in to use a house phone? Think they'll call help for her?

I've been driving that stretch of road for years. I've been going through Pound Ridge for years as well. In each case, I simply call it, "The Dead Zone."

Ah, but wait. Now it's all starting to make sense. In the days of YOLO and OMG and YMMV, I bring you an oldie, but a goodie:


That's right, friends. Not In My Back Yard.

Seems Verizon wants to put a cell tower in Bedford. Near Long Ridge Road.

Not so fast, say the well-heeled folks around the site. What a shock!

News12 reports from last year!

As always, here's my favorite part: "...residents say the tower is dangerous and would bring commercial traffic to a quiet neighborhood. Neighbors also say they are worried about the tower's appearance and what it would do to property values."

And there we have it. It's not Bedford residents' problem.

They can afford the lawyers.

So it sucks to be us.

Apparently, Lewisboro and Mount Kisco are among those who have also pushed back on towers. I've additionally seen grumbling here in Mahopac.

We'll continue to keep an eye on this whole thing, Verizon.

You're not entirely off the hook.

As your slogan once said: "Can you hear me now?"

Quite often, the answer is "no."

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