Thursday, April 17, 2014

Screw You AT & T

Well, screwed by  AT & T.  I got an unsolicited call from them the other day, someone representing them, and he said I was spending X amount of dollars for my phone and internet service, and he was going to drop it by about ten bucks.  Not a huge amount, but hey, I'm all for saving a few bucks.  I asked him, okay, I keep the same thing I currently have (phone & internet service), no gimmicks, the price won't go up in a few months, etc.  He assured me that they would not that this was a no contract plan.  I said, okay, still skeptical.   I talked to his supervisor, and again, I wanted to make sure I understood this all correctly, and again he assured me my price would not go up, this was a no contract plan, but if I wanted to sign a contract for a year, he could further drop the price to about half of what I was paying to around $50. per month.  (Actually Suddenlink has a similar plan from what they advertise on TV if that ad can be believed as well--internet and phone $50. so it's not beyond believability.)  So again I said okay, and made arrangements for their tech to come over install the new router, etc. 

So tech guy comes by yesterday late, but I held my cool on that.  He goes outside to install or check out some wiring and what have you, and he tells me to get online and fill out the registration and agreement stuff, which I do, but get to a last page that says I agree to the Voice Phone package.  I don't check that, but wait for the tech to get back inside to ask about the Voice bullshit.  Indeed it's something I didn't agree too nor was even brought up over the phone.  I'm told now, I would get two separate bills: one for phone, the other for internet.  I wasn't told this either, and the voice package would indeed be more money than what I had been paying, and I don't need that extra stuff anyway.  As you might imagine, I'm starting to get angry, and steam a bit.

So we have AT & T, a large telecom corporation who has sales people AND  their managers now lying to customers over the phone!!  What the hell!!  If this isn't a scam in a half I don't know what is.  The tech guy said, "Well, word of advice, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."   Yes, thank you, I know the adage, but hell, if your sales people and representatives are going to out and out freaking lie to their customers that onus is on you and the corporation you are working for, and reflects your bad corporate policy, and your bad business practices.  So AT & T sucks. 

So now, I'm in the middle of this ordeal, and the tech is supposed to get back with me today.  I'm not sure what will happen, but I'm a pissed off  AT & T customer.   I even owned a little of their stock (T) which I'm considering selling--it this is an indication of how they are doing business, I don't want their stock or anything to do with them.   And even if they can rectify this situation to my satisfaction (good luck at this point--I don't like being lied to or deceived), I'm thinking about switching carriers to Suddenlink for the cheaper price (if indeed that's a honest deal).  So I guess I'll wait and see, what else can you do when dealing with such a deceitful plan and large corporation? 

Over the weekend they had a book sale and also a small arts festival at one of the old landmark homes in town.  I got a bit of a late start, but wanted to go to both affairs.  The arts festival was small, but okay, and it helped that we had a beautiful day going.  The artist ranged from amateur to better, more professional artist.  I did see one or two things I could appreciate, plus it was just fun to look around and talk to a few of the artist. 

I enjoyed one lady's artwork, which had an impressionistic Van Gosh quality to it.  Her name was Ellie Taylor, and she has a web site at   If you're interested in seeing some of her art you can view it there.  She worked in oils, which I'm not familiar with, but would like to try it some day.   I'd really like to attend one of her workshops someday.

Time was slipping away quickly, so I headed over to the book sale.  I'd been to these sale before, they usually hold them twice a year.  But this year they were held at a different location, and it was a much better venue.  It was larger and that helped to look things over and not get bumped into by the crowd.

I found a couple of books.  I found William Shatner's Star Trek Memories, which is about his memories and recollections about making the Star Trek television series many years ago.   I've been wanting to ready that for a while now.  I also found the above book, Dawn,  by Octavia E. Butler.  It's the beginning of her Xenogenesis series.  I've already started reading both books.  Dawn is well written in a clean, concise writing style. It's about a woman, Lilith Iyapo, who is Awakened many times.  She doesn't know where she is, or what's going, on even if she is crazy or not.  She can't remember how she got where she is, and doesn't have much memory of her past.  She just has brief memories, and is  trying to put the past together.  She gets frustrated and angry.  But somehow gets put back to sleep.  One day she hears a voice asking her if she can be approached and she meets one of her captors, Jdahya, who is an Oankali alien.  She finds out she's on a spacecraft, and that Earth has been in a nuclear holocaust (caused by humans).  She and other survivors have been rescued by the Oankali.  They are gene traders, and she has been selected to participate in the reproductive plan to repopulate Earth, but first she must learn many things from the Oankali, their strange environment, their culture, and also about the ooloi, which is Jdahya's relative. 

Octavia Butler has a good imagination and way to write about a strange alien culture. There are many questions raised about these aliens.  They are gene traders, and Lilith has been chosen to have her genes altered to help repopulate Earth along with other survivors.  But what is the price, and can she totally believe her captors?  How will the human race evolve after the alteration?  What will her child be like?  And how will the Earth's dark history be forever changed by the dawn of a chillingly alien, not-quite-earthly, civilizations.  It has made for a compelling read, and I can she how this story would entice you to seek out the next books in the Xeongenesis series. 


At 7:56 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Sorry to hear about your "adventures" with AT&T. I've never had good luck with them. My parents used them at their old place, and had lots of issues with their customer service and service people.

Well at least you found some interesting books. That series sounds intriguing for sure!

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Self-employed and answering my own phone (which as a business phone cannot be on the “do not call” list), every single day I field calls from reps offering to save me money – electric providers, phone companies, paper suppliers, online ad-placers, etc., etc. – not to mention the stockbrokers and financial advisors claiming they’ll make me money and the lenders offering to lend me some. Sometimes the reps walk in the door in person. Almost always there is a bear trap hidden among the leaves of the offer – for example a hefty early-termination charge for a current phone contract that outweighs any savings in a new one. Not out of native canniness but out of sad past experience, I NEVER agree even to discuss anything with unsolicited callers. Probably I have missed some savings by that policy, but I know I’ve deflected costs and grief as well. If I want to make a change, I’ll look up the alternatives myself. Has it gotten worse over the decades? Yes. There ALWAYS were scammers and semi-scammers (such as stationary sellers pretending to be your regular supplier – without actually saying so – and offering a deal on “renewing” your next order) but it is only fairly recently that large businesses with respected names have joined them – and the employees who drum up sales by those methods are likely to get bonuses. I don’t know it’s a generational thing, but, if only by coincidence, the shift started when Boomers moved into upper management and only has accelerated now that they’re starting to move out of it.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Well, I'm not sure where I stand with this current fiasco. I guess I'll ride it out and see what happens, and change it if I don't like it. At least one good thing came out of it--I got a new router, as the other one (I suspect as being a rebuild) had nearly quite working...

Yeah, it's hard to know who to trust these days unless it's close family and friends. I'm on a Do Not Call list & I STILL get calls. So I don't know how much good that has done. I've resorted to just hanging up on them without saying a word--if they can't play by the rules, neither can I.

That's a good rule of thumb Richard, just refuse to discuss anything with unsolicited callers. You wouldn't believe one previous phone salesperson I got from AT & T--this woman was a battleaxe & aggressive over the phone like I've never experienced before. I finally told her to shut the hell up and hung up on her, and I'm normally a nice guy, but was no mood to be bullied by some salesperson.

I suspect it will only get worse unless they step up some form of regulation and I don't see that as happening. sigh!


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