On separate occasions, I've had AT&T block both data and text messages (incoming and outgoing) on lines where I did not have data and messaging plans. All it took each time was a short phone call to their customer service.
I've seen those in the PATH tunnels in NYC about 7 years ago - they were advertising Shark Week on Discovery Channel. It's been a while since I've taken that line and do not know if they still have these "flipbook" ads.
Likewise, I have to hand-write a check for my rent every month, rather than just going online and clicking a button to transfer a pre-registered amount to a pre-determined destination account (or just setting up a completely automatic monthly transfer).
You can likely setup your landlord as a payee in your online banking, and then set a recurring monthly payment of a pre-registered amount to the pre-determined payee and the bank will print and mail the check for you. Mine does. This would seem to resolve the issues you raised.
Interestingly, ING Direct offers this option for the username/userid field.
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