The (cough) New AT&T's new motto is "Simplify Your World".
Nothing simpler to motivate you than lack of service.
I had a very loud hum show up on my two land lines the other day out of the blue. AT&T's customer support was friendly and courteous... but said it could be two weeks before they got out to look at my line, and if it did turn out to be internal, it would be a $70 charge.
Tha's motivation for ya -- I could barely hear her due to the 60-cycle hum, didn't want to deal with it for two weeks, didn't want to pay $70, so I took one of the few non-cordless phones out to the interface box. Darn -- it's on my side, no hum when I plug straight in.
So it's time to do the usual crap -- unplug phones one at a time until I find the one that's causing the hum. It's the living room one with the cordless and the answering machine. Not good, I don't want to buy a new one. Also, is it the phone or the wires? Plugging another phone in showed no problem... good. Now it's the cable or the phone. Plugging a different cable into the same phone and I'm OK. But it's only a short cable, I need another one. I've got dozens of phone cords in the house of two varieties: short ones with four or six wires (just fine for the two-line phone), and longer ones with two wires (only good for a single-line phone), which probably all came with various phones and other devices that connect to phones like TiVo etc.
C'mon, guys, four wires on phones has been a standard for decades -- why get so cheap over two more strands of copper?
Anyway, back in business.