6 Reasons Your Parents Should Kill Their Landline
No one under 30, maybe 40, has a landline. Ours, while technically a landline, is actually VOIP and we are in our sixties. It only costs us about $5 a month, so procrastination plays a part in its continued existence. Thanks to current laws, cell phones enjoy certain privacy restrictions that limit solicitations. Not that I never receive scams and solicitations on my cell, but I constantly receive them on the landline. Convincing your parents to part with their landline should be easy. Use this as a valuable free guide, worth every penny you paid for it.
1- Handsets and especially the home base are bulky and take up valuable counter space. Of course they do add a retro style to the home. Getting them a Bluetooth handset as an adjunct to their cell phone will enable them to be both hip (so important to the elderly and near-elderly) and stylish. And the empty counter space will make it easier for them to downsize to a smaller house, reducing their carbon footprint.
2- They will no longer receive calls from the IRS helpfully informing them of pending lawsuits for taxes they don’t owe. We receive these at least twice a week. If they choose to keep their landline despite your intervention, have them respond and waste as much time as possible talking to these scammers. It reduces the time they have to scam others. Note: The IRS NEVER phones. And they don’t accept gift cards as payment, but the scammers do. And they will threaten to arrest your children. The real IRS does not threaten this. It is not an option available to them. Really, this has happened to people I know.
3- Calls from carpet and air duct cleaners will not be received. Carpets do not need cleaning every week, but the calls come in like the sun rising in the east. Get them a vacuum instead. Even if you’re the one that will have to use it. In the same vein, air ducts do not need cleaning every week, month or even year. The EPA recommends cleaning air ducts ONLY if the ducts or other system parts have become contaminated.
4- Professional solicitors will no longer be able to convince your parents to send them money. This can potentially lower your inheritance, so take it seriously. Any funds donated via professional fund raisers go first to pay the fundraiser and not to provide services. And many phone solicitations are for charities no one has ever heard of. Many of these so-called charities provide less than 10% to actual charitable endeavors. My favorites are the solicitors for the charities with the word Police in the name. It’s not an officer on the phone, and there is no way to know the call is above board, but what I find assuming is their intimidating tone of voice. Is it an attempt to suggest they might not respond to your call if you don’t give?
5- Other out and out scammers call periodically. Your Grandchild is in jail (they will have their first name), and you must send bail money immediately is a personal favorite. The relative, usually a child (maybe you) or grandchild (also maybe you), is fine and not in jail. Or if they are, any money sent will not get them released. Surprisingly this works especially well when the relative is away at college or lives out of town. Another favorite is the Indian accented call from Windows Support. They have noticed your computer is infected. How helpful of Microsoft to do this! Except it is not the former evil empire doing this, but will your parents realize this? Again, waste as much of their time as possible.
6- If nothing else works, you can tell your parents they will no longer get calls asking them to switch their long distance carrier. It would take too long to explain what long distance was, but your parents will know and it will scare them.
So there you have it. It’s not safe to let old people to keep their landlines anymore. Do your parents a favor and cancel their service for them. Have them be the first ones on their block to cut the cord. Or the second or twenty-third, it doesn’t matter. If nothing else, once the ringing stops, they will thank you for the silence (unless they have tinnitus).