No matter who you call today – from the telephone company to your friendly doctors – the service you receive is certainly not customer-friendly. Most such organizations today use various voicemail screening to narrow down who you are trying to reach and put you in voicemail hell in the process.

It is especially difficult for older Mainers, with poor hearing, as many voicemail protocols are so poor in transmission level one cannot hear the choices that must be used. Then, you have to dial all over again to try and decipher what the recorded voice is telling you.

It is no wonder that FairPoint Communications is bailing out of Maine because their customer service is among the worst. Frustrated customers just gave up and quit, instead opting to use cellphones whose customer service is little better. The cell service is not much better because their digital voice quality is very limited, and, again, older customers have to guess at what the other party is saying.

A customer today doesn’t even have the Public Utilities Commission on their side, as they freely admit that the Legislature took away their ability to hold the telephone companies’ feet to the fire. And the many fragmented parts of today’s communication services leave pinning down whom to blame impossible.

Now aren’t you glad you broke up Ma Bell and the friendly voice at the end of “0”?

George A. Fogg

North Yarmouth