Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Opt Out

Junk mail is something we have grown to accept. So what if it aids in deforestation and identity theft. Its a right that corporate America believes is as important as the freedom of speech. But after a lot of pressure from consumer groups the major credit agencies have agreed to offer people the option to opt out.

By opting out, you are telling the credit agencies to not sell your financial information to other interested parties such as the Nigerian financial scam artists. Now, finally, the three credit agencies (TransUnion, Experion, and Equifax) have said "if you beg we will not sell your data to thieves." Thank you. You can opt out by going here www.OptOutPrescreen.com.

So you think you are safe, right? Wrong!!!!! The credit agencies are not the only ones with your data and are not the only ones selling your data. Your own credit card company, your bank, your insurance company, your mortgage company has your data and is actively selling your information to anyone who pays. Thats how you get that junk mail offering you better rates on your mortgage and thats how one day you realize that someone has stolen your identity or wiped clean your account.

Now these banks and mortgage companies are not as evil as I make them out to be. No Sir, they are worse. For example I just got a letter from Washington Mutual telling me of all the options I have to opt out. But this is what really pissed me off:

Washington Mutual wants me to opt out by sending them a written request or by calling them during business hours. Hmmmm! Let's analyze this a little. Washinton Mutual has a web site that they say is state of the art. You can handle any kind of online transaction. You can manage your mortgage, make payments, make extra payments, etc. So how come I cannot log on and simply check a box that says Opt Out?

How come Washington Mutual? How come?

And dear consumer, Washington Mutual is not the only one. 100% of all financial intitutions that I deal with (I deal with at least 20) have requested written or phone based opt out. Not one, I repeat not one says log on to your account and opt out.

I guess they want to make it as difficult as possible for you, the consumer, from stopping them, the banks, from selling your information to thieves and crooks. Why do you think they (the banks) sell you those credit protection policies? Its so that when they sell your information to a thief, you can be protected.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Purchase Protection Plans

Nowadays a purchase protection plan or an extended warranty is something that is offered by all manufacturers and stores. It appears the new strategy is not to build quality products but to build crap and then make the customer pay for the poor quality.

But how far are retailers willing to push this? Pretty far, let me tell you. The other day I purchased a telephone from Circuit City online but arranged for a store pickup. Since the phone was already paid for I go to the store, show my ID and pickup the phone.

Just as I was picking up the phone I could hear the loud sound coming from the home theater section of the store. Before I knew it my son abandoned me and was watching some movie demo. I pick up the telephone and head towards my son. Thats when I notice they were selling those padded envelopes. I picked up one as I have been wanting to mail this CD of family pictures to my folks.

I find myself back at the counter now having to pay for the envelope. A dollar something and then the guy asks me "would you like to purchase a protection plan?" In my shock I asked what kind of plans do you have? And then for 15 minutes he rattled of the details for 2 protection plans for products under $100. At the end I asked him, if I really needed one for an envelope and laughed.

Here is the worst part. As I laughed I could see by the look on his face, he had no clue as to why I was laughing. Sigh! Circuit City Sigh!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

United Airlines - Sneaky

I recently took a couple of flights on United Airlines. That the service was pathetic at best was understandable. I have flown United Airlines for years and have never felt that their service was worth talking about. Why do I fly them? Well I live in this bastion of capitalism and free market called the USA. Monopolistic corporations flourish here and so does support of military dictators. But remember, this is done to protect democracy and free markets. Go Figure!

The recent trips made on United were the result of a surprise vacation my wife had planned and as a result my frequent flyer information was not provided to the airline. Not a problem I said. When I get back I will log onto to my Mileage Plus account online and request the miles.

United Airlines, much to my surprise, has a feature whereby you can request miles as retro-credit, i.e., miles for flights you have already taken. So I clicked on the link for the online form.

Aha!!!!!!!! Not to my surprise the link is broken.

Great job United. Your efforts at Customer Service or lack thereof is exceptional. I am curious at what level of United's executives was this decision made to intentionally keep this feature non functional? I will keep reporting for how long this page does not work.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Bastards at Dish Network - Once Again

So I get yet another call from Echostar/Dish Network. I told them to please stop calling and that I am on the "Do not call list." I requested to speak to the supervisor who said this must be a technical glitch.

So here is my take, if these idiots do not know how to dial a telephone number why would I trust them with satellite service?

Anyway, a little research helped me find the names of these bozos who don't believe in following the law or are mentally challenged, i.e., do not know how to make a phone call.

Charles Ergen, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer
Steven Schaver, President of EchoStar International Corporation
Carl Vogel, Vice Chairman of the Board
David Moskowitz, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary, Director
David Rayner, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President
James DeFranco, Executive Vice President, Director
Mark Jackson, President, EchoStar Technologies Corporation
O. Nolan Daines, Executive Vice President of Business Development

Anyone wish to post their phone numbers? :-)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Bastards at Echostar AKA the Dish Network.

So once again I get a marketing call from Global Dish Netwrok trying to sell me the Dish Network service for Satellite TV. This is depsite the fact that I am on the do not call list ever since the list was created. This is also not the first time. I have talked about a previous call from them.

It appears that Echostar the owner of the Dish Network believes they can disregard all laws. I wish Bin Laden would shove a pole up Echostar's CEO's ass. If I were to ever support terrorism it would be to drag the mother fuckers from Echostar into the gas chamber on live TV. oops! on live satellite TV worldwide.

The number from which I got this call is 987.654.3210. I intend to persue this issue. More later based on where I get. I will also start listing as much information I can on senior Echostar executives if I can get my hands on it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

How does one handle these (Money magazine) Idiots

So you have seen my rants about Money magazine. If not you can read these:


The last time I posted on this issue I mentioned that I sent an email to Money Magazine. I then proceeded to post the response from the idiots at Money Magazine. See here http://meragussa.blogspot.com/2006/07/money-magazine-is-back-trying-to-steal.html.

In that response I was told I would be removed from their marketing list and that this would take 10 days. That response was on July 22, 2006. Today is Aug. 7, 2006, this basic math is probably beyond the capabilities of the morons working at Money Magazine, since just today I received yet another offer to renew my subscription.

Clearly this calls for another email to them. Let's see what these jackasses will say this time. I will post their reply if I get one. So I replied to their email with the following email (unnecessary text removed)

I am writing to follow up on my complaint regarding EXCESSIVE junk mail from your organization. In your response you mentioned that this will stop in 10 days. Clearly Money is incapable of getting their math right.

Please let me know as to what steps I need to take to have your department stop sending me unnecessary renewal notices.

A log of this is being maintained at http://meragussa.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-does-one-handle-these-money.html

Thank you

Will Money magazine provide proper customer service or send their blood thristy lawyers? We shall find out :-)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An Email to Comcast

July 31, 2007. 1930 hrs

Upon realizing that I was not getting any email for a few weeks I sent an email to my email forwarding company bigfoot.

July 31, 2007. 2022 hrs

I get an email from bigfoot that they are testing.

July 31, 2007. 2039 hrs

I get an email from bigfoot stating that all email from bigfoot to comcast was being blocked by comcast. Bigfoot said it was looking into the matter. So I decided to write a letter to Comcast too. This is what I sent to them:

For almost 5 years or longer I have been using bigfoot.com as an email forwarding service. Everything has always worked. They have forwarded all emails to my comcast account at mailto:$%$#%#$#@comcast.net.

However, for the past few weeks I stopped receiving email. On complaining to bigfoot they informed me that COMCAST is bouncing all email from them.

Why? Why did you choose to make such a drastic move without even inform your customers. I have lost critical email as a result of this.

In case your reason was to prevent spam, I will like to inform you that bigfoot's spam filters are far superior to those at comcast.

I sincerely hope that next time you will be slightly more careful in your approach.
A copy of this email can be found at http://meragussa.blogspot.com/2006/08/email-to-comcast.html

I also hope that this matter will be resolved IMMEDIATELY.

Thank you.


July 31, 2007. 2106 hrs

I get an email from bigfoot saying the problem has been resolved. I have yet to hear from Comcast.

Aug 1, 2006, 0630 hrs

I get this email from Comcast.

Thank you for your message concerning the Comcast High-Speed Internet service.
I apologize for the inconvenience and any problems you may have experienced because of this issue.
Could you tell me what is the error BigFoot is receiving when forwarding the messages to your Comcast account? If possible copy and paste the error on your reply to this message. We need this so we can properly escalate the issue.

For answers to frequently asked questions and updates on new features, please visit http://www.blogger.com/www.comcast.net and select Help.
Remember that Comcast will never ask for your password or billing information via e-mail.
Thank you for choosing Comcast.
Comcast Customer Care Specialist

Lets focus on the one line "Could you tell me what is the error BigFoot is receiving when forwarding the messages to your Comcast account?"

What the fuck? How am I to know what error bigfoot is getting? Isn't that Comcast's job, since they are the ones who blocked bigfoot in the first place. Why does Comcast find it so difficult to take the initiative to provide good customer support?

My message to Comcast, learn from bigfoot you idiots.
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