Re: Ye Gods - back to the dark ages.
I'm conflicted. When I bought a house in the mid 80's I was treated as not worthy to own a telegraphic connection without extensive vetting, signatures and payment in advance, even though the line and phone were already installed.
But I also knew some folks who worked for the GPO/BT at the time, excellent and conscientious engineers who worked very hard and gave fantastic customer service. They were made redundant.
You're right, you can't turn back the clock.