All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

Ma Bell Will No Longer Be Reaching Out And Touching Me

I turned 67 late last year. Does this mean I am now getting old and crotchety?
I was sitting in the living room last week, watching television and suddenly realized, I can’t do this anymore. This is all pure crap. The News is depressing. Country Canada long ago morphed into something unrecognizable. It is no longer country, or rural, or resembles any of the fine programming that it once offered. There are probably over 30 music stations, only one of which I occasionally listen to, and the rest of the 200+ stations have duplicate programming of repeats, French stations that I can’t understand, sports which I
never watch,  Pay Per View that requires me to pay even more money on top of what I pay monthly, cartoons, and  raunchy triple X sex stations that have exorbitant fees attached. Even the Young and the Restless, a program that really should be listed with the sex stations and accompanied by a cover charge, has deteriorated well beyond what I thought it was capable of doing. There is not one living soul in Genowa City who has not been in bed with everyone else in that city.
Next morning, I poured myself a tall glass of grapefruit juice, calmed my nerves, and thought I’d try again. That’s when the Error 005 message came up, the third time in as many months, telling me that I was not subscribed to the few mysterious channels that remained on my screen. In the past month, I have called three different times about the recurring problem, talked to three different technicians, none of whom I could clearly understand, who gave me three different reasons for the problem. Each time has required over 60 minutes of fiddling and following instructions, and repeated requests from me “can you speak more slowly please”. The last time after spending a half hour being led through another ceremony of menu commands, I shut off the TV for the required 30 minutes as instructed, and turned it back on again.  The error message still hung ominously on the screen.
So, I cancelled my account, only this time, I couldn’t locate a single, breathing, human being to speak with and vent my frustrations. Only a recorded voice who, ironically, spoke perfect English, asking me to state what I needed. I said rather brusquely, “Cancel my account!” Back came a recorded voice stating, “Cancelling Bell TV account”, and a reminder that a simple flick of a switch at their end would take 30 days, meaning yet another invoice would likely appear in my mailbox for non-service. It reminded me of my former propane company charging me $200.00 last year to come out and haul away THEIR tank.
The big 52-inch screen now remains black, used only for DVD movies. Evenings are quiet, and the time spent wondering if Sharon isn’t out of her mind marrying Victor, is spent reading.  If I dare go down that road again, I will be returning to television’s roots, by using a simple antenna. Surely there must be someone in the County who erects TV antennas and who can speak English.

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About the Author: Terry Sprague became interested in nature at an early age. "Growing up on the family farm at Big Island, 12 miles north of Picton, on the shore of the beautiful Bay of Quinte, I was always interested in the natural world around me. During my elementary school days at the small one-room school I attended on Big Island, I received considerable encouragement from the late Marie Foster, my teacher in Grades 6 through 8. Her home was a short distance from where I lived and through the years she was responsible for developing my interest in birds. The late Phil Dodds, a former editor with the Picton Gazette, also a great nature enthusiast, suggested I undertake a nature column - a column I have submitted weekly since 1965. The column has since expanded to the Napanee Beaver and the Tweed News. Life has been good, and through the years I have enjoyed working with such nature related agencies as Glenora Fisheries Research as a resource technician, Sandbanks Provincial Park as a park interpreter and Quinte Conservation as a naturalist and outdoor events coordinator. As a nature interpreter, currently working from my home office, I now create and lead numerous interpretive events in the area and offer indoor audio/visual presentations to interested groups. Could one who is interested in nature have enjoyed a more exhilarating period in the work force?" Terry's website is

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    I agree with you Terry there is very little to watch on TV except the news and that is so depressing
    we just have to look around us to see what has happened to the county but to watch the whole world go into decline onTV is very sad indeed.

  2. I will be interested in seeing how many months it will take for them to actually cancel, and how many months I will be badgered into paying a monthly bill for non-service since early January before the spirit moves them to follow this simple request. To read some horror stories from other customers, click on:

    All the more reason to deal only with local businesses and run as fast as you can from large corporations.

  3. Jack Dall says:

    Lightfoot antenna installed an antenna on my home 7 years ago. It included a signal booster. I receive at least 4 different PBS stations,and at a minimum depending on where I point the antenna another 20 different channels, Peterborough, Kingston, Ottawa, Syracuse, Watertown, Rochester, Buffalo and they are mostly Digital and High definition. Zero cost ,no monthly bill. Why would anyone pay??

  4. Louisa says:

    Bravo Terry! Amid your frustration, clear in this blog post, I am amused at the scenario you describe (your gift of great writing coming through). It is typical of service from Bell, and many other large ‘public service’ companies. (we could all share some horror stories about Bell, let me assure you). We are considering cancelling our house phone – for a savings of $64.00/month – and just having a pay-as-you-go cell phone sit there instead. (Unfortunately some sort of phone is essential for safety/emergency/contact with family and friends, and work, since everyone is so geographically disntanced these days).

    I know you will adjust – have probably fully done so already – to the lack of TV programs being thrown out at your brain. I don’t think I have been harmed, myself, for not watching TV in the last 10+ years. In fact it is liberating, and time is spent on reading books of choice, enjoying the outdoors, or really getting to know yourself. See, we CAN go back in time, to when things were simpler and made more sense.

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