I've got the same questions from different students recently. They question the necessity of learning Perfect tenses (even the Present Perfect Simple) claiming that as rumors say or as they hear in serials (e.g. Sex in the city, it was the last reference), people in real life situations don't use them much sticking to the Present Simple/Continuous and Past Simple (in all past situations). I'm not a native English speaker and I don't live in an English speaking country. So, I'm also curious if that's true that Perfect tenses are not used by people who are not linguists/teachers and so on. I feel a bit desperate when students say things like that, I don't want them to think they waste their time.
For sure, I explain my students that the main aim of the language is to convey the message and basic grammar is more than enough. But what about B1+ students? Should they really give up on "unnecessary" tenses
UPD Please, if you answer my question, say if you're a native speaker and if it's BrE or AmE. Also, if you're a linguist or not. My students and I would appreciate that.