Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Carroll's Journey: Time Marches On

Said goodbye to an old friend today. And time marches on.

It's been another crazy summer. One filled with everything you can think of. Ups, downs, side to side, wax on and wax off. You name it. And to think, we still have roughly six more weeks left before football kicks off. It ain't over yet. 

My goddaughter is coming over tomorrow to stay for a while during fair time. She will kick things off by spending Thursday night with her friend down the street. I hear they are having a sleep over event for the weekend. However, on Friday afternoon, her and her friend, along with a few others, will be coming to my place to A) Me escort them to the opening day of the fair across the street, and B) They will be spending Friday night, and Saturday night with me. And yes, I am to escort them again on Saturday and Sunday to the fair. lol Lucky me. 

On Sunday night, the mothers and or fathers will be coming to pick them up and take them back home, meanwhile, it will be Kelly and I for the next 10 ten days. I will be taking her with me to Iowa during that time also for a couple of days. She loves to travel. "Anything to get out of Piketon for a while." She says. Haha 

Then she will start preparing for the start of her high school career. She is so excited. I'm excited for her. I told her, "These will be the best four years of your life. Unfortunately, it won't be until you're forty years old before you realize this." 

Time. Marches. On.

This summer began with Kelly and I going to the beach to ride a Ferris wheel. What a week that was. Then a weekend of camping in which I dreaded. First of all, God created houses, electric and air conditioning. Use them! Secondly, I was in a huge tent with Kelly's brother, Boomer, and he and I shared that tent with Kelly and two of her female cousins and three tiny dogs. All told, there was 15 of us. Four tents total, a big RV and a small camper. There were a total of four dogs. I mean, it was fun, sort of, but too many people for me. And too hot also. But I survived the two nights, three days event and was sooooooooooooo happy to get back home. 

I finally broke down and talked to my mother over the phone a few times. After a year of not speaking to her or my younger sister, I just wanted to catch up a little and maybe open that door a little and see what happens. Turns out nothing happened, and it's been a couple of months since we last spoke. Just for the record, love is not all you need for a relationship of any kind. It takes trust and respect, too. It's just too bad that there is a huge lack of those two things between my mother, little sister and I. Because of this, it appears we are no longer family. But all is not lost because I still have Kelly, her brother, her mother and dad. I also have my brothers Dave in Iowa, and Ted in Chillicothe.

My health was looking a bit gloomy at the beginning of the summer, but now feels like I am taking a turn for the better. So that's something positive. And no matter what happens from here on, I still have my optimism for a better future. Kelly keeps me on my toes and certainly keeps things interesting. last week she mentioned something about maybe trying out for cheerleading. 

*GULP*

Time marches on. 




 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Spectrum: Worst Cable Company Ever!

So there I was living life as normal and minding my own business when in the month of March my Cable bill arrived in the mail. It was a little more than what I expected so when I got some time, I decided to call them and inquire about it.

The company is Spectrum. Formerly known as Time-Warner Cable. They were awesome. They were great. They were the best. (TWC that is). I had never had any problems with TWC for the ten years I had them when I first moved into this town. In return, I was never late on a payment. Not once. Always on time and always paid in full.

So when I called, I had no reason to expect that this was going to be the start of me getting greased in bum.

The guy on the phone explained my bill to me and said that one of my promotions expired which is why the bill was higher than usual. As we continued talking, he soon offered me another deal. He said he would cancel my other two promotions and give me a new deal for my internet / phone / cable. When he gave me the new price, I accepted. It was a good deal.

One month later, my bill came in and it was twice the amount that I was quoted a month earlier. Obviously, I called them up to straighten things up. I was now told that the deal I was given the previous month was not a "real deal". That deal never existed. I couldn't believe it! They went back on their word! They gave me a deal then took it right away from me.

THEY LIED!

Worst of all, they were not offering me any new deals. There was no way I was going to pay that amount on that bill. I never agreed to pay what they were charging me. I got so furious that I decided to contact the office of my State Attorney General, Mike DeWine.

After filing a complaint, I was advised by them to try and make contact with Spectrum again and get the issue resolved if at all possible. It was a Friday and they said if no resolution could be found then they would pick up the matter on Monday. So the next day, on Saturday, I reached out to Spectrum. I ended up talking to a supervisor and I explained that while no such promotion was taking place that justified the deal I was offered the previous month, the fact still remained that a customer service rep did indeed offer me that deal and I accepted on good faith. I felt it was the responsibility of the company to honor that deal. If they had a problem with it, they should address the individual who offered me that deal.

We spoke for a good solid hour or more before we came to a resolution. That current bill would be slashed to honor the price I was offered, but going forward I would be allowed to renegotiate a new deal, or disconnect my service. I really didn't want to do it because I felt they should honor their word, but I caved in because I didn't want to make a big issue of it and after all, I'm a pretty nice guy. (I hate that about myself).

The new deal only included phone and cable. They couldn't (or wouldn't) offer me anything good with internet so I turned to another company for my internet needs. No problem.

Ever since, I have been getting offers from Spectrum in the mail for a low price on internet. But I already have a new internet provider. One who came through for me when Spectrum went back on their word and then let me down by not being able to offer me this internet deal when we renegotiated the previous month. Anyhow, I just been throwing those mailers away. I am loyal to those who are loyal to me. Spectrum was not going to be loyal so, you know, I was sticking with my new internet provider.

So with this new "deal" with Spectrum, I was sent a channel box, remote and some cables. I was going from about 50 channels to 114 or so. Turned out that about 45 of those "new" channels were just a replica of other channels I already had. So great, now I got two Disney channels that always show the same shows at the same time. (And so on and so forth).

Not such a great deal after all, right?

I sucked it up and carried on. But there was a slight problem. It would seem when I wanted to change channels, it took this channel box / system about 3 to 5 seconds to go from one channel to the next.

REALLY?!

Channel surfing hell if you ask me. Even if I was on channel 5 and I wanted to check out channel 26, it took 3-5 seconds every time to change. What a drag. But I carried on without another peep.

And when the electric would cut out during a storm for a few minutes or whatever, this box takes like 20 to 30 minutes to "reboot". During this time you can't watch anything on the TV. 

Fast forward to this past Saturday morning. Around 5:30AM. Suddenly, and without warning, my remote was no longer able to change the channels on the box. Nor would the volume adjust work. It couldn't function anything. It was like the remote was dead or something. I tried different batteries but it still wouldn't work. Was it the remote? Was it the box? ..... I didn't know. So I called Spectrum.

After more than an hour trying to resolve the issue, the rep finally said she would put in an order request and I would get a call back around 9AM or so. And sure enough, I did. A different rep called me and informed me that a tech could come out as early as Monday morning between 10AM and 11AM.

What? Are you serious? A wonderful customer like me has to wait 55 hours before a tech can fix my problem? You mean to tell me that I have to go without TV for 55 freaking hours? This is 2017 for Christ's sake and you're telling me that I have to wait 55 hours for a tech?

I quickly refused by telling the lady that if it's going to take 55 hours before my problem can be fixed that she need not worry about fixing it and just send someone out to pick up their equipment because I could fix the problem myself (which I did) inside of an hour and I wouldn't be needing their useless and crappy junk equipment. If that is how they thought of me as a customer then I no longer want to be a good customer for them.

I fixed the problem. I got my cable back without the box. Sure, I'm back to about 50 channels again, but I got the cable I had before the box, back. And sure enough, the tech arrived on Monday morning. He didn't come there to pick up the equipment though, as I requested, he arrived to fix my problem. I told him I didn't want my problem fixed because I already fixed the problem. I just wanted him to collect the equipment. He refused. He said he didn't have a work order to pick up any equipment so therefor, he couldn't pick it up. But he sure as hell wasn't going to fix my problem because 1) I fixed it myself. And 2) The power was out in my area at the time due to a bad transformer so even if I allowed him inside, he still couldn't have fixed anything with the power outage.

When power was finally restored, I called Spectrum and told them they could pick up their equipment. I told them they could pick it up within the next 55 hours, the same time it took them to "service" me. I thought / think that was fair. I told them if they didn't pick it up within the next 55 hours, then I was tossing it in the garbage, where it belongs. So what did they do? They scheduled a pick up for the 20th of July.

I now have the feeling that even if they pick up their equipment, there is a good chance they might try to continue screwing me over because there is a problem with the remote and or the channel box, hence my need to call them in the first place. But they may try and charge me for their broken equipment so, and I just thought of this now as I'm writing, I am going to cancel the equipment pick up order and change it to a "repair" order. Let the tech come and fix my problem, since I'm still a paying customer, then when he leaves, take the box off the TV, place it in a bag and then call for a pick up order. That way, they will get a working box and remote, as I'm unsure why the current remote / box stopped working in the first place.

It's also another way to be a pain in their ass at the same time. lol So I tell you what, stay tuned for a follow up post regarding Spectrum: Worst Cable Company Ever! LMAO

Update: I called and cancelled the equipment pick-up. Turns out they thought by requesting them to pick up the box and remote that I wanted to disconnect my services. That's not what my intentions were / are at all. I did reschedule for a tech to come out and fix the original problem. My plan is, once he does that, and leaves, I will disassemble the box and either put it away somewhere or call Spectrum up on the following Monday and explain to them that I still want them to pick up their equipment, but I don't want to disconnect. I will also request the monthly rental of the equipment be subtracted from my bill. If they refuse, then another complaint I shall file with my State Attorney General. I don't know how it is in other states, but here in Ohio, you don't pay for anything you don't receive. And no one can force you to use "their" equipment or product. This may be how I get them. I will wait and see how many bills they charge me for the equipment - up to about three bills - then report them. But I will call Spectrum in between it all to try and get them to remove the fee voluntarily.

Stay tuned. 


 


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

California Gas Tax

California announces that it will be raising state gasoline tax by .12 cents a gallon to take in an extra 5B dollars a year to help fix their infrastructure / highways.

Isn't that what they said the last time they raised the gasoline tax? And did those roads / highways / infrastructure get repaired? .... No, they did not. So, what makes anyone think they will use this 5B a year to repair infrastructure?

Know what I think? I think 2B of the first 5B is going to go to Paris Climate Deal. That's what I think. The rest will end up in the hands of crooked politicians and their cronies. Or maybe going into election / re-election campaigns.

Californians will be lucky if even 1B dollars finds its way into the infrastructure project.

That's what I think. 
 
California has the worst financial situation than probably any other state in the Union. Their situation is so bad that most of the money they get from this gas tax hike is going to go to other needs. Just like it did the last time, and continues to this day. It almost makes me feel bad for the people of California. 
 
Almost.