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Jun 21 2014

I wrote this poem before the invastion of Iraq:

Jun 12 2014

Last Saturday we got a computer-voice call from AT&T Uverse saying we had a technician appointment to install equipment the following Monday. We hadn't scheduled anything. Didn't ask for an appointment. So I called Uverse to let them know this was a mistake. This has to do with the house we've moved from that should only have telephone service as we try to sell it.  In the course of the conversation with the representative, I found out that we were still getting billed for data and TV service even though it was supposed to be stopped at least two weeks prior. I was then put in touch with a sales rep and went through the whole story again. He assured me that they would stop the unwanted services and give me an appopriate credit on my nexgt bill. And I was told the service call had been cancelled. This series of transactions took about 45 minutes altogether.

Sunday the phone rings and the computer voice again tells me we have a service call the next day. Told to press "7" to change or cancel the appointment, I did only to be told the office was closed on Sundays.

Monday rolled around and I got a call from a service technician who has been to my house and found no one home. He wanted to reschedule. I told him the service call was a mistake on Uverse's part and we had never requested it.

On Tuesday, I tried to open my email that is on an AT&T/Yahoo server only to find out that I could not gain access either through my mail program or on the web. I called Uverse and it took a nice rep an hour to work with me and figure out that when they had stopped my data service over the weekend at the old house, they had erased all my passwords to the email accounts even though they are free and not tied to any data service.

Today a nice rep from AT&T called to find out how satisfied I was with my experiences with them. Ha! Gave her an earfull.  

Feb 06 2014


Needing a new washer and dryer, I went into my local Sears store. I have been buying appliances from Sears for decades. Met with a nice salesman and quickly found the set that would meet our needs. The salesman said there would be a $70 delivery fee. I said that I had seen online that delivery was $50 and it was waived with orders of $500 or more, which this was. He said he could waive the fee as well. So, I ordered the washer and dryer, took a snapshot of them, and went home.

That night, I went online to look at the specifications of what I had just bought. After a search using the product number on my sales ticket, I found the units. However, online they were listed at $75 less each than the “sale” price I had paid at the store.

After exchanging forms and emails with Sears regarding their “price protection guarantee,” the next morning I called their customer service department since they said they didn’t have the right information to refund me the difference in prices.

I found out the kicker here is there was a tag online that said “Online Only Special.” The representative gave me the sales talk as to why there might be different prices for the same product in the store on sale vs. the same product on sale online. Bottom line is that no refund would be made for the difference.

I am left with either just keeping things as they are or cancelling my store-bought order and ordering the same items online. Bet there are other differences as well regarding setup and such which might not be available for online purchases. But I am not a happy camper about possibly spending $150 more for the same items from the same vendor. I’m Seared. 

I emailed my salesperson at Sears with my complaint and opinion that I was due the $150 credit. Within a few hours I got his reply that, indeed, the credit would be issued. Well done!


May 25 2014


We built a new house. The old house is for sale. Before we physically moved from one to the other, I arranged with the local AT&T Store near us to (1) put Uverse into the new house on, let’s say, Day 1; (2) move our existing land line number to the new house on Day 4; \ (3) put a new land line number at the old house (for our alarm) on Day 5; and (4) stop our data and TV service at the old house on Day 6. The timing for the above was recommended by the local AT&T sales people as the least problematic way to go.

All went swimmingly only on #1 above. Beyond that, I had to visit the local AT&T Store five times where the personnel there tried, in vain, to get the problem(s) solved. I talked to “back office” technicians on phone calls that totaled about 2 hours altogether. Everyone was “concerned” and apologetic, but nothing got solved for days and days. It took until Day 14 for all to fall into place.

The last piece in the puzzle was getting a telephone line at the old house to support the alarm. Technicians would call me each day to tell me the line was active and asked me to go to the old house and report. I did this several days in a row and, each time, the line was dead. I was told it was active day after day but it wasn’t. Finally the local AT&T Store sales people scheduled a Uverse technician to come to the old house to solve the problem. Even he had to spend over an hour on the phone with the back office people who finally, with his prompting, activated the doggone line they kept telling me was already activated.

What should have been a simple procedure turned out to be an ordeal. After all, all I really did was move. So, with AT&T, it ain’t ever easy.


May 21 2013
About a week ago, I went online and charged four picnic dinners for Opera Theatre of St. Louis to my credit card. I got an email confirmation of the charge that day.

I generally download my cc transactions pretty regularly and was surprised to see that I had been charged twice for the same thing. And the charges were from “Box Office” and from “Opera Theatre of St. Louis.” Different. But the same amount, same date.

Last week I called the OTSL box office to tell them about this. They said they needed proof I had been charged twice. So, I sent them a PDF file showing the two cc transactions clearly on the credit card’s website. I was told I’d be called back yesterday by the box office manager.
With no call yesterday, I called today and went through the whole thing again. I was told it was in the box office manager’s hands along with IT and I would get an email when the refund was made for the second charge. Well, I got a call from the box office manager instead.
She told me they only had a record of one charge and not two even though she saw the cc bill showing two. She said they could not refund me the money for the redundant charge since they had no record of it. She attributed it to a credit card company error on my account and I should call them to resolve it. I went through the logic that it really was two charges given one from “Box Office” and one from “Opera Theatre of St. Louis.” She blamed it on the credit card carrier and what I had to do was to call them. I told her I was unhappy that she was thrusting the issue back onto me to solve when it was their problem.
I called the credit card company. They told me they had paid the amount twice to Opera Theatre since they received two transactions, but they would put in a temporary credit for the second charge until it was resolved. Now it’s in the “dispute” area which can take up to eight weeks. I was given a dispute number. So, I called the box office at Opera Theatre to get the manager to update her, but it was after 4:30 and they were closed. I next called the main number (office hours until 5:00) at 4:40. Given what happened next, I sent the box office manager the following email with a copy to their director of development:

“At this point, I'm even more angry that I was when I talked to you earlier. Even though your office is open until 5:00, unless you know someone's name (and I didn't know yours), you cannot get a human to ask for "box office manager, please." So, I had to go to your website to find out who you are so I could then go back to the phone and try to get you. But you're not in right now at 4:45. Thus, since the box office closed at 4:30, I am using your email which I got from your website. It would be nice that during office hours there was a way to speak to an operator or attendant and not be forced to know the name of the person you are trying to call. Should be a default in there somewhere, but there isn't. Thus, the addition to my frustration over what should have been a simple transaction.

I called the credit card company as you suggested. They have two $xx charges coming from you and two $xx payments sent to you. It is as I told you I thought it was. They said, as I told you, the charges came from both "Opera Theatre of St. Louis" and "Box Office." They are going to dispute the "Box Office" entry and have credited me for the second $xx charge until the "dispute" is settled, which they can take up to 8 weeks. Eight weeks!

As a long-time donor and ticket buyer to OTSL, I am displeased about how all this is being handled as I expressed to you on the phone today. It was clear from the material I sent you in an earlier email as well as my reading to you the statement that I just got from the credit card company that I was charged twice. The fact that you cannot find it should not have been my problem. The evidence was clear about this. And a simple refund from you while you fished around to find out what happened would have solved the problem. However, it was thrown back to me to solve. As a customer, I don't see this as good customer service.”

Frankly, I hope my rant costs them more than the money they could have refunded me given I was double-charged.