jump to navigation

Next Topic: The Death of the Handwritten Letter May 14, 2007

Posted by KG in Etc., Technology.

Reading this post on Unfogged got me thinking, though not about the obvious.  The topic brought back a hazy memory of being young and listening to my parents call India, often at very strange hours.  This was rationalized by the time difference and the fact that the long distance rate somehow varied based on the time of day.  Without knowing the specifics, I can’t recall whether it was cheaper to call late at night or more expensive.  Presumably late night calls were cheaper, kind of like peak and off-peak service on the Metro.

Nowadays, it seems domestic long distance plans have gone the way of the dodo, extinct via the spread of the cell phone.  Does anyone pay for long distance service anymore?  It feels like considerations as to whether or not you can cheaply call Muncie at 5 PM have been supplanted by considering airtime minutes and, for the unfortunate, roaming charges (and aren’t those pretty much gone as well?).  The poor telemarketers hawking money-saving discount plans are probably squabbling over the list of folks who subscribe to Luddite Monthly.

The veracity of this memory deserves to be questioned.  Was there really a visible savings if my parents called India at Time A instead of Time B?  Was there some sort of matrix listing long distance rates as they varied based on time?  It seems like a strange thing, and not horribly practical.   And for all I know, for international calls this practice may still exist — I’ve been using virtual phone “cards” and Skype exclusively, and have no idea about this kind of stuff.      

(For the record, I feel that I can officially pshaw most complaints about dating long distance at this point.  Talk to me when the issue is timezones, not area codes.)



1. Reenee - May 14, 2007

The phone cards I used to buy in England still worked vaguely on the time scale– evenings and weekends were free to some countries.

Also, the thing that I most clearly remember about those late night phone cards was the near-yelling that was needed to be heard on the other end. The raised voices are totally unnecessary now, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: