Friday randomosity

A Friday Haiku

Here’s William Shatner

Ch ch ch ah ah ah Stab!

Friday the Thirteenth

Take a letter, Maria, address it to the CEO

I’ve mentioned all my frustrations with US Cellular every since we left Verizon for them. Things like their “we’ll pay you to leave your cell phone carrier” scam to their “no activation fees” claim.

I’ve now had my service cut off twice, neither of which I feel were justified and when they reactivated service, they charged me $25 per line each time. Wait. That’s an activation fee, isn’t it?

I finally got so fed up I wrote a letter, not an email, a real sent through the Post Office with a stamp two-page letter, detailing all my grievances with their customer service, how I feel we’ve been misled, and how we are currently being charged as much as we were being charged by Verizon, despite the fact the rep said we’d be paying nearly $100 less and no one can explain why.

I doubt he’ll read it or even receive it (secretaries usually just trash crank letgers, right?), but even if he does, I doubt he’ll bother responding.

But writing complaints is the American Way. I remember back in 1993 or so, we had bought a stairstepper from Sears and it broke almost immediately. We called for service and someone came out to look at it and then said it needed a certain part that he didn’t have.

After not hearing back, I called customer service again to see what was going on. Had they ordered the part? When would it arrive? When will they fix it?

I kept getting the runaround. I kept asking to talk to their supervisor, but nothing came of it.

Finally, someone said, that product was no longer serviceable, either the company stopped making that model and it’s replacement parts or they simply went out of business. I don’t recall which it was, but I was mad.

So I wrote an angry letter to the President of Sears, complete with dates, times, what was said, and how poor their customer care was.

I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but a few days later I got a whiney phone call from the store manager.

“Why did you write the President? You should have contacted me first.” Waa waa. To be honest, it hadn’t occurred to me to contact him since my beef was with Sear’s service department and not that particular Sears store.

Anyway, he offered me a replacement piece of exercise equipment similar in cost and I picked out the CardioFit that I still have.

So yes, sometimes writing a letter does get a response.

Living la vida ADHD

One thing I’ve learned in dealing with my ADHD is, it doesn’t take much to knock me off-kilter. It’s why I need a reliable routine. Some might call it a rut, but it’s essential to preventing what I can only describe as a flare-up that can override my meds.

I have a set routine of things I do in the morning and any deviation throws me for a loop. At work it’s the same, I turn on my computer, log in, go get coffee, come back and set up my desk with notepads, reminders, and important info I’ll need throughout the day, each item has its own place.

Yesterday, I logged in and noticed all my icons were gone from the task bar. I always open Outlook first, but it’s icon was gone as well. *twitch*

Then I noticed new icons on my desktop. I only have a few icons on my desktop and they’re in a specific order. *twitch*

Overnight they had updated to Office 2016. Ok, no problem, I can just save the 2016 icons in my task bar, then I’ll start Outlook and … *TWITCH!*

Aside from Outlook nowhaving an even uglier interface, aside from it defaulting to having the emails opening in a Preview Pane, which I hate, and despite other changes that I’ve spent the last two days correcting, the *twitch* biggest problem is that all my email Archive folders are gone!

Gone.

I need my archive folders. Every project gets its own folder and I drag all the responses to it’s respective folder, so I can work on it as the deadline looms.

I have deadlines looming and all my response emails are gone! *twitch*

So yesterday, as well as today, it’s like I hadn’t even taken my Adderal. If I had foresight, I would have taken a double dose. Instead, I feel like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing this way and that waiting to Tilt!

Speaking of Fidget Spinners

In June, I was walking with my son around an outlet mall. We passed a kiosk where they were selling these weird little triangular things. My son said, “Look. They’re selling those stupid fidget spinners.” And I had no idea what he was talking about, even after he tried to explain it. “You do what? Hold it and spin it? Why?”

“Nevermind, dad.”

Fastforward to now. We both have fidget spinners. I’ve got four.

We both have ADHD and despite the fact they really don’t do anything except spin, they are oddly compelling and satisfying. Instead of constantly twitching and moving and as my grade school report cards all said, “Cannot sit still, always distrupts the class,” I’ll pull out the fidget spinner and give it a spin, then I can focus on other things a little bit better.

It’s funny though, because in researching them, I’ve seen a ton of articles declaring the fad is now dead. I find it interesting when people don’t understand the usefulness of an item, they label it a fad then try to say its dead.

If you don’t understand the point of fidget spinners, don’t get one. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

Weigh-In Friday

I lost a pound according to my scale’s app, but then I remembered I didn’t track last week, so I might have gained a few ounces.

I’m taking the pound.

That’s a wrap

Have a great weekend. I’ll spare you the political rants again. There’s just far too much stupidity and assholery to discuss.

Just keep resisting.

And here’s a song to lead into the weekend:

-30-

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Friday Rants

This Friday, I’m all ranty, and it all has to do with buyer’s remorse. But first:

A Friday Haiku

I cannot help it

Another weekend is here

That makes me happy

Rant 1 – Cellphone Buyouts

I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest scam you could fall for is the “we’ll pay you up to $650 per line to leave your current cellphone company!”

We fell for it when we switched from Verizon to US Cellular.

The first problem you encounter is, you have to pay off your previous carrier first. In our case, that meant having to come up with over $1,200, which we didn’t really have.

Second, you need to prove you paid off the previous carrier, which means an itemized bill showing paid in full. It took me over six weeks before I finally could get our final Verizon bill. After several phone frustrating ohone calls, I eventually had to go to a corporate store to get it because I was locked out of my Verizon account almost immmediately.

Third, our new carrier has a waiting period, which no one mentioned. What are they waiting for? Who knows? But because we’re out that $1,200, we haven’t paid our US Cellular bill yet either.

Fourth, you have to turn in your old phones! No one told us that. We sold our phones so we’d have some spending money (for silly things, like food) while we waited for our rebate, because againz we’re in the hole $1,200. So now we’ve learned that because we didn’t turn in our phones, our possible rebate will be halved.

Fifth, we trusted the store reps to know what they were doing, but they didn’t. They didn’t tell us about turning in our phones, which we would have done on the spot if told, but additionally, the rep didn’t submit our claim properly. Only one phone, mine, was submitted and it looks like US Cellular, once that unspecified waiting period is over, is planning on giving me back a measly $40.

When all is said and done, the entire process cost us just under $2,000 and they think they’re going to call it square by giving me $40? Fuck you.

Rant 2 – Zagg screen protectors

The US Cellular rep talked us into buying Zagg Invisible Shield screen protectors for all our phones. (Well, mine is some other company, but same difference.) Each cost $50.

These aren’t the soft, flexible plastic screen protectors, these are some stiff product made from a hard glass-like substance.

My son managed to crack his the next day. My wife dropped her phone and the shield just popped off. Let me say that again: it just popped off! And mine has a crack in it as well.

They do come with free replacement warranties, but now I’m reading a ton of complaints about these Zagg shields.

So now I’m wondering if I should just take the $200 hit and chalk it up to experience because having to replace a poorly designed product every few weeks seems like an exercise in futility.

Don’t buy these hard glass protective shields. Find yourself the cheaper, flexible ones or go without one. Aren’t these new smartphones supposed to be made of near-indestructable Gorilla glass anyway?

Rant 3 – Fire and fury

The latest news is about a mentally unstable bully threatening to throw nukes around and a North Korean dictator who seems to know exactly which buttons to push.

TheRump has escalated tensions between the USA and North Korea by announcing we would respond to any missile attack with a fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen. (Either he’s never heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or he’s trying to outdo those events. Considering how ignorant he is about everything, I’d go with the former.)

When the entire world balked at his words, that he was not helping things and his rhetoric was inflamatory, TheRump replied, his fire and fury comments weren’t tough enough! That our military is “locked and loaded” and if North Korea “does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before, what will happen to North Korea.”

In other words, TheRump can’t fucking wait to push The Button. He thinks this is a game. We’re all stuck in the middle of a standoff between two small-minded schoolyard bullies trying to see who has the bigger dick.

Nobody wins a nuclear battle. Russia and China, South Korea, Japan, they’ll all suffer from radiation fallout. And who isn’t concerned that dropping nukes on North Korea won’t cause a chain reaction? Russia will retaliate. China will retaliate. Missiles will fall like rain and the world will burn because we elected a moron.

You know, I warned you this would happen if the orange turd was elected. I wrote this the day before the election, and it looks like it could come true.

I’d ask if the trumpettes were having buyer’s remorse yet, but I get the feeling ya’ll are pumping your fists and whooping it up, believing you finally got a manly president who won’t take shit from all them pesky feriners.

Funny thing is, our Founding Fathers envisioned the Electoral College would protect us from electing an egomaniacal psychopath. Won’t they be surprised when we all turn up in Heaven with radiation burns.

“Well? How’s our great experiment in democracy doing?” Benjamin Franklin will ask.

“Sit down, Ben, have we got a story to tell you.”

Weekend

Didn’t want to leave you all depressed about our future, so here are The Dictators singing “Weekend.”

Have a good one.

-30-

Can you hear me now?

Cellphone carriers have you coming and going. Once one has you in its clutches, it takes more than a superhero to free you. It takes cash and a lot if it.

There once was a time, back in the good old days, when it was much easier to deal with cellphone companies, and leave them.

They sold you a two-year plan and gave you a phone. For free! If you wanted the top-of-the-line phone, then you’d pay a little up front, anywhere from a few dollars to $150 or so. Easy peasy. The phone was yours and you were theirs for two years.

Once the two year contract ended, you could either get a new FREE phone with another two year contract or you could bail for a carrier that had a better deal.

This kept carriers honest. They had to give out decent phones for FREE or give other incentives to lure in new customers and all was right with the world.

Then one of them got the idea that if they could sell the phones on the installment plan, they could keep customers locked in while making the customers think this was a better deal. “See? We dont have two year contracts any more, you can leave any time. Just pay off your phone.”

And that was the catch. Because the phones, which we once got for a mere $150, now cost in the neighborhood of $700 or $800 or more.

And if you have a family plan with four or more phones, guess what? That buyout can end up costing you quite a bit of cash out of pocket. Add up the remaining phone balances plus your final bill (which can be two months worth depending on when you leave), and you find you have to plunk down $1500 or so to leave them.

And that was their evil plan. Hold customers hostage.

Until smaller companies questioned, “How can we get customers away from the Big 3?” That’s when they came up with their buyout plans. “Come to us and we’ll buyout your contract!”

Which sounds great on paper, until you go and talk to them and find out they don’t pay you in cash, they pay you in credits. 

In other words, if you think you’ll borrow money earmarked for your mortgage payment that month to pay off your cellphone contract with the Evil Empire in the hope that your new friendly Rebel Alliance cellphone company was going to give you cash back to pay for your house, you’ve got another think coming.

Those Rebel Alliance credits are only good for buying Rebel Alliance stuff, like to pay for your new phones, thus reducing your monthly bill or to pay your bill off for several months, so you can be bill free for a while.

Neither of which are truly bad if you can afford the initial buyout of the Evil Empire. If you can’t, you’re shit out of luck.

However, if you do manage to scrap together the extortion fee to pay off the Evil Empire, then it is possible to move to a new, more affordable cellphone carrier.

Which is what we finally were able to do. After being held hostage by Verizon Wireless for over 10 years, having to pay $350 a month, we left them for US Cellular where we’re already saving over $100 a month, and once we get our buyout credits, that price will drop even more.

Can you hear me now?

Tomorrow’s blog will talk about how good it feels to be rid of my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

-30-