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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Verizons cuts telephone time, weather service: Do you care?

By Maggie Fazeli Fard

For 70 years you could get the time and weather by making a simple phone call. But those services are going the way of the rotary phone. (John Maier, Jr./Post)

For seven decades, kids eagerly awaiting news of a blizzard or the summer's first 80-degree day would call 936-1212 for the latest forecast, hoping the familiar automated voice at the other end of the line -- "The current downtown temperature is ..." -- would give them the news they so desperately wanted to hear. Snow day! Or, pull out the Slip 'n Slide!

But those days are going the way of the rotary phone, and not just because today's kids probably have no idea what a Slip 'n Slide is.

After 70 years of offering weather and time (844-1212) by telephone, Verizon is pulling the plug on the services June 1.

"Time and weather services are a remnant of another era - when sources for this information were very limited," wrote Verizon spokeswoman Sandra Arnette in an e-mail to Metro columnist John Kelly, who wrote about the decision to nix the services.

"That's no longer the case, as people can get time and weather information from radio, TV weather channels, online sites, wireless phones, PDAs and many landline phones."

Tell us: Are you disappointed by the impending doom of 936-1212 (and 844-1212)? Or did you -- like me and 39 percent of poll responders -- have no idea these services even existed?

Share your thoughts in the comments below or take the poll on the Capital Weather Gang blog.

By Maggie Fazeli Fard  | March 9, 2011; 11:40 AM ET
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Verizon, please don't do it! These guys are like friends of the family. Check out Facebook page "Save the Verizon Weather Line 936-1212" to protest.

Posted by: mary65 | March 9, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It's kind of sad, but that's life. Back when it was C&P Telephone, the weather was done by a British war bride with a beautiful accent. There was actually a controversy over her rather lengthy introduction.

You can get time from the Naval Observatory at (202) 762-1401. Can't get more official than that.

Posted by: dicklobb | March 9, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I am GAY and teach karate and I, Dr. Clifford Thomas of Bladensburg rec in PeeGeeCee Md and I love the "time" thang.

Posted by: NoDocCliffThomasKarate | March 9, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Along with its other failings too numerous to list, Verizon now shows itself totally unable - I had formerly thought them ALMOST totally unable - to understand the business concepts of "goodwill" and "efficiency."

1) Goodwill. Read all the blogs sprouting all around now - like flowers of the springtime! - to see what this has meant in those terms. And what it will mean, in those terms, when it stops. Read: you cannot buy it for money. (It is all I like about Verizon.)

2) Efficiency. Our Ms. Arnette, listing all the ways one can get weather, might as well list "horse-drawn buggy," "walking," and "walking on hands" as efficient alternatives to the automobile. THE most efficient way I get weather is as follows: grab cell phone. Contacts/w key/down arrow/Send. Get that weather. Scratching my nose requires as much thought. If you have internet access on your handheld? Quicker than that, by lots. (You don't have to ENTER "Washington, DC." You are IN Washington, DC.)

Verizon: you're dumb. Don't let me add stupid to that. Is THIS how you are showing us that maybe we deserve better services from our carrier than we are getting?

This reminds me of how Lowest Price got low gas prices: cut all but the gas. Then Sheetz and Wawa came along, gigtupled the goods and services sold....AND sold cheap gas. Guess where I go for gas.

Vonage, eh...? Hmmmmm...

Posted by: poorskins | March 10, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Your question is do I care, my answer is yes; very much! I use the weather service daily, so much so, that I recognize the meteorologists voices! How sad that Verizon feels the need to end another customer courtesy. I do hope they will reconsider and continue to offer this customer service that so many of us have come to depend on! Not really sure I understand the reasoning behind this.

Posted by: OhDarn | March 11, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I CARE very much that Verizon wants to discontinue this service. I call the weather line several times a week, and time-of-day when I want to check my clocks and watches for accuracy. I have other technology I could use, but I don't because I prefer the warmth of a human voice, and because sometimes it's just more convenient to dial my phone. C'mon, can't be that costly to keep it going. Besides, you're making a fortune on what you're charging me for my landline!

Posted by: dcdenizen17 | March 12, 2011 2:57 AM | Report abuse

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