How answering the home phone saved us $134 in our budget!

answer home phone maleNO WE DON’T NEED AIR DUCT CLEANING


If you are like us having a home phone these days’ means you are burdened by relentless sales people who never give up.

If they aren’t asking you to buy something they are calling the home phone to ask for donations such as clothing and furniture at least 7 times per week. Match all of this with the array of phone scams that are on the rise and you’ve got one home phone you don’t want to answer.

In the past I wrote about putting your home phone number  or cell phone number on the free Do Not Call List in Canada and it does work, for a while. Every so often we have to go back and enter our number again just to make sure we are still in the system.

I don’t know how it all works behind the scenes but for the most part the home phone settles down for a while which is good news.

We have in the past done a reverse look up in Canada to see if we recognize the phone numbers that call before we block them but we’ve gotten to the point where if they continue to call without leaving voice-mail the phone number gets blocked. If it’s that important they would have left a phone message.

We have a Rogers home phone and sometimes we both ask ourselves why even bother to have a home phone when the wife has her ancient cell phone. Ah, probably because the cell phone is older than the hills and to replace a home phone even if it’s an old-fashioned telephone means it will cost less. Heck, you can practically get a home phone for free if you are lucky enough.

Just last year for Christmas my wife put in her request for a new home phone but she wanted a set of 4 cordless Panasonic phones since her last set didn’t go on the fritz for about 10 years which is pretty good. Actually, we still use the original set in our spare bedrooms and they hold a charge for about half an hour, they just need new battery packs in them.

The best thing about the new Panasonic cordless handset is that when someone calls it says the number by voice so we can hear who is calling no matter where we are in the house. If we have the number programmed the phone will also say the name of who is calling. Add to that a call block list ability and the cordless phones have been a hit.

These cool features also means we won’t run every time the home phone rings especially if it’s someone we don’t want to talk to, i.e: sales people and this time of year politicians securing support for their riding by gaining our vote. If only they had some sort of the same service for people ringing our doorbell, ha-ha!

Since we are with Rogers communications we have our Rogers phone number set up with our cable and every time someone calls it also shows up on our television screen. We pretty much don’t need to get off our butts these days to answer the phone as the ease of decision has been made for us.


Saving money


I know, you want me to get to the point of the story… it’s coming. So, while I was making the bed yesterday the home phone rings and like usual I try to tune it out because if it’s not my parents it’s someone I don’t want to talk to. I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone in the first place.

As you probably know we budget (shocker) and with-in our budget we have built-in projected expenses which means we save every month for a service or bill that we know we will have to pay for at some point. This has saved us on countless occasions from dipping into our emergency savings fund which is a no-brainer for us these days.

Earlier in the day we had our yearly A/C inspection which was part of the extended warranty purchase when we bought our central air back 3 years ago. Every year I schedule for the service guy to come around and complete a full A/C inspection and to see if anything needs to be fixed. Yup, just another way for them to make money because it would have been easier to call them when it wasn’t working and save the cash every year. Anyhow, maybe preventative maintenance is better than waiting for something to happen and for that we must pay.

When we get the yearly letter in the mail informing us to book our appointment our heating and cooling service provider mentions that if we book before a certain date we will get a discount. Another no-brainer for us especially if we can save some money. Take that a step further and book online and you can save another 5% on top of that price. I’m loving the discounts.

The service guy came as planned between the hours that were discussed and although I was busy my wife took care of letting him in the house. He was very courteous, introduced himself and my wife directed him to the A/C and furnace room. He went on his way to do his inspection and about 30 minutes later rang the doorbell to come back inside.

At that point he explained exactly what he did even though it likely went in one ear and out the other of my wife but she was soaking up all the new to her words and nodding her head in trust. This is one of those times you have to trust that the professionals know what they are doing and talking about.

He said that everything was working fine and recommended a couple of products such as UV filter, which we already have but it’s not the $450 posh one apparently. He also suggested a humidifier but that has been on the cards for a while as is currently being researched for the CBB household. She thanked him for coming on time and for the excellent service, paid the bill and he went on his way. My wife came to tell me the news that the A/C was in tip-top shape and we both went on with our day.

So, while I was making the bed as I was explaining above the home phone rings and it’s a number I’m not familiar with. In my head I thought do I answer it or just leave it. It was a Toronto area code so I thought fine, it’s not a 1-888 or 1-777 number so I’ll pick it up and see who it is. I’m sure glad I did!


Home phone pays off


I said hello and the male voice on the other end started off with hello and I thought oh goodness here we go it’s a sales guy. In a way he was but he was actually a customer service rep for the A/C company that had just come to our house.

He wanted to confirm that our A/C was indeed inspected earlier in the day and was wondering if I had a few minutes to answer some questions about the customer service that was provided. I thought sure because I am a huge believer in excellent customer service and not only do I give such service in my career I expect it back from other businesses.

I went on to answer his questions about the service provided and in the end gave them a 10/10 according to the feedback my wife gave me. SCORE!! Today was my lucky day because he then asked if I would be so kind as to leave a customer comment on their website. That was no problem since I’m on the computer quite often so I agreed and gave him my email address.

In return for this he offered me our next year’s service call FREE of charge! That means that we have about $134 that we save in the budget over the course of the year that we don’t have to save in 2015. I’m pretty sure that we will still save it but for someone who has a tight budget saving this money would really help out.

You can’t beat a company that not only gives excellent service but rewards customers this way. Now, I’m sure if I had complaints they would have made them right judging by the way they care for their customers.

The morale of this story today is that just because the home phone rings and you don’t know who is calling judging by the phone number don’t be shocked if it’s a call you don’t want to miss.

I almost missed out on this savings for our household budget but since knowing the area code was local I took a chance and thought the worst that could happen is I say, no thanks I’m not interested.

How often do you answer your home phone or do you let it go to voice-mail?


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  1. Nice! You make me want to fix my home phone… It can make outgoing calls but it doesn’t ring when there is an incoming call. At first I don’t mind because it automatically blocks out unwanted calls, but now that you mention that it might be worth it to pick up a call, maybe I should have it fixed soon.

  2. We have Rogers for the landline here but have never bothered to set up the answering machine on it. We don’t get that many calls we care to answer and figure if it’s important they will call back. We do have a long distance ring for the phone so we can tell if it’s local or not. The cordless in the kitchen also has call display.the important people we talk to on the phone, I know the number so can tell at a glance who it is calling.
    We don’t have A/C here but we do have the furnace serviced every fall. It’s the same company that put it in 20 years ago so they know the furnace. In those 20 years I think we have missed a couple but the service guy writes the call on the side of the furnace every time they are here. A number of years back we were randomly picked by the insurance company for a visit where a rep would look the house over to see if there was anything they should know about in the event of a claim. The couple doing the tour were very impressed with the fact we were getting the furnace looked at regularly. As they said, so many people do not bother unless there is an issue with a furnace but we looked after ours… Brownie points in our favour! My thinking is that we take our vehicles in for tune-ups and such, why wouldn’t we give something as important as our furnace the same care!! Plus it builds a relationship with the people who will be called to fix things if there is no heat problem. We’ve had that happen a few times and the service has always been prompt.
    I have done those online surveys you find on your receipts and such and have found if I mention a problem it gets dealt with quickly.
    There are so many places looking to get our business I tend to reward good service with repeat business…..

    1. We just have a separate answering machine so it’s not through Rogers. I wouldn’t pay to use their answering machine, it’s not worth it. I think we bought one for $5 at Value Village and it’s been working like a charm. I agree that if you get your vehicle tuned up you should get your furnace and A/C checked as well.

  3. Good job of answering their questions promptly, Mr. CBB! Having at next year’s service call free of charge really save you a lot! Actually, we don’t have a home phone now, well, we had it last year, but I decided to cut it off since we didn’t use it anymore.

    1. We’ve been thinking about getting rid of it as well because it’s only my parents that call but for now we are going to hang on since we will have some changes in our lives coming soon.

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