Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ring, ring goes the phone.

I hate my home phone. 

I like the idea of a home phone since the service is super reliable and normally unaffected by weather and whatnot, but I do not like the expense of having it.  I wouldn't have it if it wasn't for internet. 

In my town, Mediacom is the cable internet provider.  Unfortunately for me, even though I am in city limits they do not provide service on my block since I am the only residence.  Well, they will get me service, but only if I agree to pay to have them run the cables.  That's pretty much out of the question.

I should back up.

In 2007, I got divorced.  Since I got divorced, I have switched my home phone number six or seven times.   Each time I have done it, I have made my number unlisted.  Also, I am on the "Do Not Call" list.  The main reasons for these switches is that my ex wife has a multitude of collection agencies after her at any given time and even though she hasn't been a resident at my house for almost four years, they still constantly call looking for her.  Daily.  Last year I was still getting twenty to twenty five calls a week for her.  These days, it is more like fifteen or so per week.  Either way, I called the phone company today because I have had enough.

I asked the nice lady at Century Link (my phone provider) how I could be getting these calls since I AM on the "Do Not Call" list and my number is also unlisted.  Clearly, I told her, the problem lies with their company because they are the only ones that know I have this phone number.  She said that there really isn't anything that she can do for me other than try switching the number again.  Or, she told me,  for an additional fee I can block up to twelve numbers.  I guess she doesn't realize that I don't have numbers to the collection places or telemarketers.  If I did, I would call them a hundred times a day until they left me alone.  So, a mostly useless suggestion.

Back to why I called them in the first place.  I hate that I have a home phone.  Where I live, it is less expensive to have a home phone and compliment that service with DSL than it is to just have the DSL.  Go figure. 

So, I decided today that I would call and get information on getting my internet service through my cable provider which is Dish Network.  They usually send me a couple letters in the mail each year boldly proclaiming that they can save my "MEGA MONEY" by bundling my television and internet services together. 

I found one of my old bills from Dish Network and called customer service.  About eight minutes of computer menus later, I got a real, live person and he refused to tell me about their program.  He refused.  He would NOT tell me because since I am already a Century Link internet customer, so anything he could quote me may not be a solid rate.  So, he told me to get the rate, I need to call Century Link and cancel my service.  Then, I can call Dish Network back and they can set me up.  I asked if I would be saving money in doing this?  He said he didn't know. 

I hung up the phone and called Century Link back.  I got a nice woman that had the title of "Internet Specialist" on this call.  I asked her about the package programs that they have with Dish Network.  She told me that they don't do any business with Dish Network anymore.  She said that they have switched to Direct TV since the program was better.  I told her that I just got off the phone with Dish Network and the service representative there just told me that he could bundle his Dish Network programming with Century Link DSL and save me some money.  She told me that she had no knowledge that Dish Network could do that anymore. I said thanks and goodbye to her.

This is getting me nowhere.

I called Dish Network back and figured I would try to just tell them that I want to establish new service so I could at least get a rate idea.  So, I did.  The nice customer service representative I had this time quoted me rates that I thought were okay.  I asked her if Dish Network does all the billing for this.  She said no.  She told me that Century Link would bill me separately from them.  I asked her if there would be an access charge from Century Link.  She said that she didn't know, but that I would have to call Century Link and find out.  I said I already called Century Link and they said that they don't do business with Dish Network anymore.   She asked if I was already a Century Link DSL customer.  I said yes, but I want to consolidate these services into one bill and do away with my home phone.  She got a little angry with me as if I was wasting her time and said that if she would have known that I was already a Century Link customer, she would not have quoted me anything.  She informed me that any rate quote she had given me was null and void.  She said she could not help me, but if there was anything else she could do for me today, just let her know.


[facepalms again]

So, I called Century Link back and spoke with another "Internet Specialist."  This time, though, I asked her what speed my current DSL was.  She told me it was 1.5M.  I asked her how much more money it would be to go to their fastest service (10M).  She told me less than five dollars per month.  I told her to do it.

I don't know how it all came to this.  I didn't get rid of my home phone and the harassing calls from collection agencies and telemarketers.  I didn't reduce my monthly bills at all.  In fact, I raised my monthly bills.  I spend over two hours on the phone trying to get answers for questions that are, to my knowledge at this time, impossible to answer.

So, we are better off outsourcing customer service in this country?

Monday, January 24, 2011

We ALL want something...

This was forwarded to me by a friend.  I don't know who made it, so it is possible and likely that I am pissing somebody off.

It pretty much sums up almost anything I can think of. 

It's true.  We ALL want something.

No animals were injured or eaten in this post.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Second of June.

The second of June. 

I don't know if it is "blue car syndrome" or not.  Blue car syndrome would be after you buy a blue car, then you notice that EVERYONE seems to have a blue car.  Before you had a blue car, though, you never paid any attention to them.
June 2.
Yesterday, I was reading in the reading room (the bathroom) "Wolves of the Calla" by Stephen King.  The line I read was this. "The second of June."  That was the complete sentence.  Then, instantly following it was a knocking on the reading room door.  Who was knocking?  My beautiful fiance with her June 2nd birthday.

dos Junio

Last night my fiance and I were hanging out in the garage and I was looking through some boxes of old stuff from when I was a kid.  I found my eighth grade diploma from St. James Lutheran School.  I looked at the date on my diploma, and it was June 2, 1988.

June 2nd.

In another box in the garage last night I found my fishing license from the last year I went to Canada fishing with my family.  This was something that my family did together for a few years, but when my brothers and sisters and I started getting older, it became more difficult to go, so as a family we were never able to go again.  The date of issue of my fishing license was June 2, 1987.

The 2nd of June.

I noted this date quite a bit in the last few months and it seems to be a date for me that is evident in my life very frequently.

June 2nd happenings with their respective years:

1692 – Bridget Bishop is the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Found guilty, she is hanged on June 10.

1835 – P. T. Barnum and his circus start their first tour of the United States.

1886 – U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion.

1896 – Guglielmo Marconi applies for a patent for his newest invention: the radio.

1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.

1980 - The birth Amanda Rae.  The love of my life. 

I will keep a watchful eye on this date.  Or, maybe I won't.  Is it all coincidence?  Probably not.