Before moving to the Victor Valley I was using outdated phone services. I had an answering machine for messages. I needed two phone lines to be able to dedicate one exclusively to Internet use. Ugly weather-frayed phone lines carried service from the polls in the alley across my back yard into my house. It was an older community, with old equipment and periodically entire sections of town had service interrupted from blips in the system.


 


Some fixes were made at switching stations. When a service call was required, the repairpersons coming to the house usually had the on-the-job experienced that came from working the same section for a number of years. They became familiar with reoccurring problems. The repairman who came by just before I moved away told me he had installed my service forty-two years earlier and was surprised the lines he had tacked to the outside of the house held up so long.


 


Knowing this, you can appreciate how delighted I was to leave obsolesce behind and find that, in Hesperia, we are provided with underground utilities, access to high speed, broadband DSL, and phone company provided voice mail. I'm so grateful for the new technology that I'm not going to complain that in February, voice mail went down for three days while the high-techies searched for the cause.


 


I suspect that newer and increasingly complex systems might be more difficult to trouble-shoot. We probably had a warning that there might be servicing problems when all Internet service went down last month and when reported, the phone company hadn't yet become aware of the problem.


 


I commend the telephone company for promising partial rebates on the voice mail interruption. However, my rebate should not be based on residential service because my residential service requires that I answer telephone calls to a local business.


 


This peculiarity developed three years ago when my residential phone number was incorrectly printed as the main business phone number in the yellow pages ad of a local establishment. Through the years, I've had the opportunity to talk to a lot of their customers. These are all nice people and when I explain the printing error and provide them the correct phone number they all express their appreciation.


 


Everybody makes mistakes and I guess the phone company couldn't be expected to print all new phone books just because my number was listed in an ad that has nothing to do with me.


 


I don't resent getting the calls. I haven't kept track of how often I've answered the business calls but it was long enough to cause me to pause when I recite my own phone number. I've learned the business number so well that I'm concerned that I might give it as my own.


 


I understand why they didn't reprint or retract the ad. The error was corrected in the phone book the following year. But I am very unhappy that they did not acknowledge that they should provide me with some consideration for the inconvenience and intrusion.


 


They provided the local business with a rebate on the ad because it listed the wrong number; and as far as I know they lost no business because I directed those misinformed folks to call the correct number. The phone company told me they couldn't determine that my number was the one incorrectly listed in the ad. Perhaps I should have forward the calls to them.


 


My number is clearly printed on my bill. If they couldn't find my name and number by looking in their white pages database, it's because my number is unlisted. They must have a database somewhere that could prove that the number is mine. Maybe they misplaced it. Maybe it got crossed wired with the phone lines providing Internet and voice mail services.


 


Hope in fairness is rekindled. They found me in some database when they left the recorded message about the voice mail service being back. I should ask them again to rebate me for the premium I paid for my unlisted number. I should also expect them to rebate me at the business rate for the days they lost the voice mail. There were probably business calls in mine.