Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Listen up, AT&T: No home phone or Internet has been a blessing

Why should this government - Repukes n Demagogues alike - and its crooked corporate cronies be allowed to terrorize citizens within their own homes?

Over two months without my "service," and the benefits remain well worth any inconveniences. Not being harassed by robocalls is relief beyond measure.

The biggest surprise was receiving notices in the mail that automatic payments for various bills hadn't been received. Really had me puzzled until I remembered that a "rewards" checking account I opened years ago required home phone and Internet. Bank First in Macon, Missippi (AVOID 'em like the plague) never sent any notice, they just suddenly stopped my autopays. Fortunately, I never had to shell out any late fees, and it wuzza pleasure to close the account. Bank First plays the teaser-rate game, and if anyone raked in "rewards," it wuz banksters and AT&T. I can get a better rate with a CD.

Cashing in - pardon the pun - on prior bicycling experience, I've made most of my trips to the pay phone and the library (8-10 milers) on my bike, done most of my shopping along the way, and saved a bundle on gas. Lots of fun, and phone calls have averaged a measly $1.25 per month. The trick is to cut way back on using computers, and I've made great progress.

Of course, I'm getting nasty threats in the mail from those sleazy, robocall-supportin' crooks at AT&T. Their latest absurdity is a bill for $118.09, which I ain't gonna pay. Successful collection efforts will be based on a "Grand Total" of $34.95 per month, and will be for February, March, and half of April. The banditos get nothing for the periods my "service" was "temporarily interrupted," partially disabled, or whatever the bullies wanna call it.

In addition to robocalls, AT&T had been ringing my landline with a tacky little recorded message about their bill, and the day before my "service" was "permanently disconnected," I unplugged all three of my phones. So go ahead, AT&T:

HIT ME WITH YER BEST SHOT.

Update 7/15/2015 - My pleasure to send AT&T, SC Dept. of Consumer Affairs, and Bank First a link to this blog post.

Update 8/29/2015 - It'll soon be four months without my "service," and things are going extremely well. Still early in the game, but I'm beginning to doubt that I'll ever pay to have home phone or Internet again.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Good riddance, AT&T. No robocalls, I save $80 per month

AT&T plans to throw this rabbit in the briar patch come 5/12 by "permanently" disconnecting my U-verse "service" that they promised me - in writing - for a "Grand Total" of $34.95 per month, then jacked up the price, and I refused to pay. Actually, I view AT&T's high-handed behavior as an opportunity.

For quite some time, I've been concerned not only about a constant barrage of robocalls, but also the fact that I've been spending way too much time sitting in front of my computer. Prolonged sitting isn't good for anyone, neither is the glare from monitor screens. Adding insult to injury, computers tend to be addictive, especially for folks like me who are retired and like to write. I've exchanged one bad habit - watching TV - for another. Fortunately, writing is only one of many interests, and the others cost a lot less than the $80 per month I've been handing over to AT&T.

An extended break in routine is an idea whose time has come, and I look forward to the peace and quiet of not being bothered with robocalls. Never wanted a cell phone, and I refuse to shell out one cent to avoid harassment that greedy, dishonest carriers like AT&T could have eliminated years ago. Things have gotten to the point where I rarely answer my phone. Pay to be harassed? No, thanks.

Last but not least is the satisfaction of not handing over about $200 per year in extra taxes to the corrupt state of South Carolina via the phone-tax scam. Dunno what the state's scumball legislators do with all the revenue they rake in, but they sure don't do anything for consumers. It's been a real hoot watching the South Carolina Attorney General's Office, the so-called Department of Consumer Affairs, and AT&T squirm after I obtained written evidence of AT&T's false advertising and insisted that all communications to "resolve" my complaint with Consumer Affairs be done by e-mail. AT&T and Consumer Affairs - bullies that they are - thought they could force me to go "off record" by AT&T constantly ringing my phone a ridiculous number of times, about 85 on at least one occasion.

America has fallen prey to a government - Repukes n Demagogues alike - owned by unscrupulous corporations. The situation is propped up by a cowardly, brain-dead public that accepts anything dished out by this warmongering, police-state oligarchy and its presstitute mainstream media. Just for the record, I don't blog under any illusion that my efforts will change a thing. Really, folks: I just enjoy speaking the truth.

Will using library computers and pay phones work out? I dunno. It'll be quite a change, but it's worth a try, especially when ya factor in the $80 per month I'll be saving. Considering what I've refused to pay AT&T, I'll come out of the starting gate at least $330 ahead.

Let the game begin.



Update 5/12/2015 - At least for the time-being, I still have partial access to the Internet. I've been without phone service for almost a month, and robocalls have continued, along with efforts by AT&T to contact me by phone instead of e-mail. AT&T is now billing me for $183.76, and I've updated the SC Dept. of Consumer Affairs, encouraging them to refer this matter to the appropriate authorities for an investigation of AT&T for fraudulent business practices.  

Update 5/13/2015 - Speaking of fraudulent business practices, AT&T and other carriers have been scamming customers with unauthorized charges, $50-70 million settlement reached this week with Sprint and Verizon. Kansas Attorney General said it well: "Consumers have a right to know what services they are signing up for and to be clearly informed about the cost of those services." 


Update 6/19/2015 - AT&T disconnected my "service" on 5/13/2015. So far so good without home phone or Internet. KNOWING my phone ain't gonna ring is jus' flat out DELICIOUS, and I have no shortage of better things to do than sit in front of a computer all day. Hope to publish a blog post about how things have been going - in the meantime, here's to PEACE and QUIET. :-)


Update 7/1/2015 - It wuzza hoot seein' AT&T get fined millions (drop in the bucket for 'em, of course) for misleading customers. I agree with remarks posted on Consumers Union's Facebook site: AT&T's customers should be reimbursed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

AT&T promotes government tax scam

Update 4/29/2015 - It has now come to light that AT&T's top advertising honcho - Aaron Slator - has been fired, and the company sued, due to a whistleblowing employee exposing racist images she found on Slator's cell phone. Nothin' like pristine, unassailable character when it comes to advertising. Worse yet, racism seems to be a systemic problem within AT&T.

No wonder AT&T deceitfully quoted me a "Grand Total" and made no mention of taxes and surcharges. These exorbitant fees are quietly levied by crooked, cash-strapped state governments, amounts vary from state to state, and it's a matter that neither phone companies nor legislators wanna talk about. From their point of view, it's best if the public can be duped and cowed into "just paying" phone bills without further ado. Sucker 'em in with misleading rate quotes, then tack on exorbitant charges when bill time rolls around. Exorbitant indeed. In my case, the additional charges amounted to about 50 percent of the rate I was promised.

Last thing the culprits want is news headlines that might cause an overtaxed citizenry to reflect on how they're being ripped off. That explains why so-called news media in my area and elsewhere have turned a blind eye to AT&T's outrageous bait and switch marketing ploy, and why the South Carolina Attorney General's Office quickly referred me to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, a toothless agency limited to "facilitating a resolution" of disputes with businesses.

My situation doesn't really constitute a "dispute" at all. It constitutes a simple, straightforward case of the marketing ploy known as bait and switch. The reason nothing is being done to stop crooks like AT&T is due to the nature of this corporate-controlled government and a paid-off mainstream media. If I hadn't lucked out and managed to obtain written confirmation of the rate I was promised, I wouldn't have ever attempted to confront the power structure's deceitful effort to soak people for extra revenue. Trying to downplay taxes, surcharges, fees, etc. is bad enough, but when there's no mention of such charges, even in general terms, and a rate is touted in writing as a "Grand Total," it becomes fraud, pure and simple.

It wuzza hoot the way AT&T "mistakenly" overbilled me about $165 when I got my first statement for U-verse, and then gradually - as I complained - lowered the amount down to an additional $17 in an effort to dupe me into thinking "Wow - look how much AT&T has reduced my bill," when in fact, of course, AT&T was increasing my bill from the $34.95 per month I was promised to a whoppin' $52 per month. The absurd ploy was even emblazoned on my account in the form of a graph. Along the way, billing amounts have inexpicably changed several times, raising questions about exactly how AT&T "computes" these additional charges.

AT&T's nauseating degree of gall evidences how utterly corrupt this government - Repukes and Demagogues alike - has become, and how powerless consumers are when confronted with corporate fraud. Likewise for AT&T claiming (I got it in writing in an e-mail) that they "couldn't calculate" the additional charges. Never mind, of course, that they have no problem "calculating" such charges when bill time rolls around. The person I communicated with in their president's office never did get around to offering a reasonable explaintion of the company's glaring misuse of the term "Grand Total," and I wasn't surprised that AT&T balked at my insistence on communicating only by e-mail. Nor was I surprised that the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs tried to persuade me to communicate with AT&T on the phone instead of by e-mail. It was a hoot when AT&T stated (here again, I got it in writing in an e-mail) that they would never include those additional charges as part of a "Grand Total." Standard definitions of terminology aside, AT&T apparently thinks folks should agree to buy their products wihout knowing how much they cost.

Isn't it a shame when government aligns itself with crooked corporations like AT&T, Toyota, GM, etc. ad nauseum in an effort to pump ill-gotten gain into corporate coffers? The "phone-tax and surcharge" scam bears stark similarity to the Homeowners Association (HOA) scam, whereby crooked legislators allow neighborhood gangs to bully homeowners into handing over what amounts to extra taxes.

quit voting over a decade ago, and the fact that elected officials are beholden to crooks like AT&T epitomizes my reasons for refusing to participate in this corporate-controlled sham of an electoral system. It's gotten to the point where we don't even have a free press in this country. Americans are confronted with a pervasively crooked power structure - tyranny is the word - that cannot be remedied at the ballot box.

Update 5/3/2015 - check out Time Warner's claim - at least they attach fine-print making vague reference to "additional" charges - of Internet only for $14.99. In South Carolina, that quietly prompts a tax - er I mean "surcharge" - of about 40%, increasing the monthly fee to around $21.00. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NEWS BLACKOUT re folks like Heather Barwick - a SC woman raised by lesbians - speaking out against same-sex "marriage"

WIS-TV has joined ranks with WLTX News19 in its unwarranted censorship of remarks critical of the LGBTQQIAAP gang. My impression of WIS as a sanctuary of free speech and impartial news coverage was sadly misplaced. My concerns about the absence of a free press in this country are right on target.

Heather Barwick's courageous letter to the homosexual community conveys the sincerity of conviction and the tenderness born of experience. She immediately expressed concerns that her voice would not be heard, and those concerns were well justified.

Today, after days of local media blackout, I placed a post on WIS-TV's Facebook page asking if they had done a story about Heather, and I included a link to an article about Heather's peers also speaking out in spite of bullying from the LGBTQQIAAP gang. About an hour later, I noticed that my post had been removed, and I asked WIS for an explanation, which they ignored.

The implications of mainstream media blocking stories about folks like Heather are enormous. It points to an Orwellian society controlled by sheer, unmitigated propaganda. Heather Barwick and her peers speak the truth, not to mention the fact that homosexuals are also beginning to speak out against subjecting children to same-sex "parenting." As the truth comes out, a recent study published in the British Journal of Education, Society, & Behavioural Science concludes that children subjected to same-sex "parenting" are indeed negatively impacted.  

How dare the "news leader" in Columbia, South Carolina ignore one of the capitol city's own residents willing to risk life and limb to expose such an important story? What a thigh-slappin' hoot that WIS has the unmitigated gall to tout its investigative clout. I was first alerted to WIS' outright lie in that regard when the station refused to interview a local professor of criminology who dares to speak out against the blood-spattered horrors of high speed police pursuits. 

The powerful, bullying nature of the LGBTQQIAAP gang obviously cannot be overestimated. The very idea that mainstream media in this country would gang up against defenseless children crying out to be heard. Likewise for a brain-dead, brainwashed American public so profoundly tail-tucked one has to wonder if its ability to discern right from wrong has been forever lost. I can't help being reminded of the public's deafening silence in response to the cold-blooded murder of teen-aged Marine recruit Jason Tharp.

The "Land of the Free" is in one sorry state of affairs.

Update 3/23/2015 - I tweeted WIS-TV and Jack Kuenzie - their "Senior Investigative Reporter" - a link to this post. I got a tweet back from Jack saying my "claim about the USC prof is absurd." Maybe WIS-TV's "Senior Investigative Reporter" has never heard of USC Professor Geoffrey Alpert (maybe he's never heard of Heather Barwick either). On WIS articles re high speed police pursuits, I've posted comments many times making references to Dr. Alpert's research, encouraging WIS-TV to interview him and do a story about the horrors of these pursuits. My comments have included a link to an investigative report that quotes Dr. Alpert, noting that he's "the country's leading expert on police chases." WIS is doing the public a disservice by not exposing the gruesome facts about these pursuits, and I've pointed that out. WIS has emphasized that they read comments posted on their Facebook page, but of course if newsworthy items are ignored (or removed as in the case of what I posted about Heather Barwick), it doesn't do the public any good. 

Update 3/24/2015 - The LGBTQQIAAP gang's efforts to bully people into silence extend far beyond Columbia, South Carolina. Amidst a continuing mainstream media blackout regarding Heather Barwick, here's an excellent article - from a relatively small publication, of course - exposing how the LGBTQQIAAP gang operates

Update 4/2/2015 - Vicious bullying by the LGBTQQIAAP gang has finally sparked a backlash. Money is pouring into a GoFundMe account set up to reimburse the owners of an Indiana pizza shop after bullying from the LGBTQQIAAP gang forced the shop to close. 

Update 4/4/2015 - The GoFundMe account mentioned above raised a WHOPPIN' $842,387. The public is finally gettin' fed up - pardon the pun - with the LGBTQQIAAP gang's bullying. Hee hee -the pizza shop owners got EXACTLY what they deserved, and it comes as no surprise that the guy who started the GoFundMe account - faced death threats and attacks on his family from the LGBTQQIAAP gang. Along the way, the pizza shop owners expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support.

Update 5/6/2015 - GoFundMe is now helping the LGBTQQIAAP gang bully people into submission. Sweet Cakes by Melissa raised over $109,000 on GoFundMe after the gang ran them out of business and one of the gang's judges recommended the bakery's owners be fined a whopping $135,000. At that point, lest there be a repeat of public support like that evidenced for the Indiana pizza shop, GoFundMe closed down the account. This is typical of the bullying tactics that have become the LGBTQQIAAP trademark. The good news is that an alternate site (problems with AT&T, readers will have to search) has been set up to help reimburse the bakery. Looks like the public is finally getting fed up with the LGBTQQIAAP gang. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Same-sex "marriage" propped up by the LGBTQQIAAP gang's psychotic agenda

"Mr. Zimmerman had a Great Dane with which he occasionally had sex, but it died four months ago. He now lives with his similarly zoophilic boyfriend and their Dalmatian." - New York Times

The LGBTQQIAAP gang epitomizes a house of cards propped up by one lie after another. Sheer, unbridled nonsense that has turned homosexuality into a fad as this sex-obsessed, STD-infested society proves foolish enough to look to the homosexual community for leadership.

The LGBTQQIAAP gang's fundamental lie revolves around promoting same-sex "marriage" as a "civil right," and necessitates more lies in order to prop up the sham. Distinctions between male and female (segregation) must be blurred or eliminated because such distinctions pose a threat to the gang's absurd "civil rights" analogy. So the LGBTQQIAAP gang's psychotic agenda necessarily includes blabber about men being able to choose to be women and women being able to choose to be men. Sanity is reduced to an Orwellian never-never land where men are viewed as "not necessarily men" and women are viewed as "not necessarily women." Stir in the gang's demand for unisex public restrooms and locker rooms (schools are a prime target), etc. ad nauseum. The gang conceals its ridiculous agenda by using the deceitfully abbreviated LGBT (with an occasional Q thrown in for good measure). The additional letters will be publicized as a brain-dead American public is gradually "conditioned" to accept what promises to be a never-ending parade of linguistic garbage. The gang's latest affront to sanity is the assertion that a change in sexual behavior isn't necessarily a change in sexual orientation. Such a notion is as indefensible as claiming rape is not about sex. By the LGBTQQIAAP gang's convoluted "logic," the intrinsic nature of reason itself is ultimately presented as unreliable.

The creepy, bullying nature of the LGBTQQIAAP gang cannot be overestimated. In Massachusetts, schools must now accept whatever gender a child chooses, and it took a public referendum to defeat the gang's demand for unisex public restrooms in Fayettville, Arkansas. Realizing that its agenda can't stand the light of day, the gang has been less vocal on the national level in its demand for unisex public restrooms. Propaganda spewed to a brain-dead public is the gang's best friend. Free speech is the gang's worst enemy. It's no accident that an openly homosexual legislator in Alabama is blackmailing other legislators if they dare to criticize homosexuality. In my case, speaking truth has gotten my remarks censored and participation in discussions banned by local television station WLTX News 19 on their Facebook page. My "crime" was consistently referring to "LGBTQQIAAP" and pointing out that the gang's demand for unisex public restrooms - especially in schools - is all the more ill-advised for a society struggling to contain an epidemic of child sex-abuse.

The direction things are headed is painfully obvious. Germany - a world leader in the promotion of homosexuality - has now seen the world's first pro-bestiality demo, and a German man is officially claiming he has a "civil right" to have sex with his dog. In Denmark - another leading aficionado of homosexuality - bestiality brothels are both popular and legal. In America, polygamy has been legalized in Utah, and a teenager is proudly declaring - as the LGBTQQIAAP gang promotes incest by blabbering about "Genetic Sexual Attraction" - her intent to marry her biological father. Of course, one of the LGBTQQIAAP gang's favorite techniques is to deceitfully howl that homosexuality is "different" from sexual perversions such as bestiality and pedofilia. In so doing, the gang feigns ignorance of the obvious fact that the common denominator linking homosexuality to other forms of sexual perversion is the discarding of traditional sexual norms.

Nationally franchised Planet Fitness gym has joined forces with the LGBTQQIAAP gang by cancelling a woman's membership after she complained about a man in the women's locker room. Use of the men's or women's locker room is dependent - under Planet Earth's Orwellian banner "judgement free zone" - on a person's "sincerely self-reported gender identity," and the "transexual" in the locker room claimed to be a woman. This headline-grabbing story may signal the beginning of a high-profile effort to force national acceptance of unisex public restrooms and locker rooms. And don't be shocked if it turns out the no frills, exceptionally-low-priced-membership "gym" is funded by special interests, both public and private.

As things now stand, the next "new normal" is anyone's guess. Stay tuned as the LGBTQQIAAP gang dupes gullible Americans into accepting most anything imaginable.

Update 3/15/2015 - Notice how USA Today promotes the absurd notion of "Genetic Sexual Attraction" in this article about the teenager planning to marry her father. Presstitute mainstream media is the LGBTQQIAAP gang's primary tool for spreading lies. 

Update 3/16/2015 - The branch of the LGBTQQIAAP gang that most likely played a major role in Massachusetts' schools now having to accept the gender a child "chooses," identifies itself as GLSEN. I wonder how many Americans are aware of GLSEN instructing school children how to perform various homosexual techniques, including the practice of "fisting." GLSEN has been infiltrating schools for many years via Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs.

Update 3/18/2015 - Columbia, South Carolina resident Heather Barwick - raised by lesbians - is speaking out against same-sex "marriage," and the LGBTQQIAAP gang - epitomized by Yahoo "Parenting" - is throwing its usual tantrum when anyone dares to expose a few unpleasant facts about the gang's inane "lifestyle." Be sure to click the link to Heather's SUPERB essay - she speaks SO admirably for her many peers. While Americans are making sure they don't offend members of the LGBTQQIAAP gang, maybe they should exercise some compassion and common sense regarding the helpless, hapless children subjected to these so-called "marriages." Of course, most homosexuals were raised by heterosexuals and have no concept of that it's like to be raised in a same-sex "marriage." The homosexual community's lack of empathy is as obvious as it is repulsive.

Update 3/20/2015 - South Carolina's mainstream media - most notably those in Columbia - musta not heard about Heather Barwick (see 3/18 update). Nuthin' like unbiased news coverage when it comes to the LGBTQQIAAP gang. Meanwhile, Heather is not alone in taking a stand: Other victims of "same-sex parenting" are also speaking out against same-sex "marriage," and those who dare to do so are being BULLIED by the LGBTQQIAAP gang. Victims have had enough of the gang's bullying and are producing a book about their experiences. Stay tuned.

Update 3/22/2015 - Homosexuals themselves are now speaking out against subjecting children to same-sex "parenting." Two world famous fashion designers - Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana - are being supported by an open letter from Heather and several of her peers. 

Update 3/23/2015 - Regarding GLSEN and its Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in schools (see 3/16 update), I came across this story of an Irmo, South Carolina high school principal who resigned back in 2008 rather than be bullied into approving such a club. Hooray for Mr. Walker, and at this point, nobody should be surprised that WIS-TV "neglected" to expose GLSEN's teaching schoolchildren homosexual techniques. If Americans are lame-brained and cowardly enough to allow the LGBTQQIAAP gang to run their public schools, so be it.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

AT&T tries bait and switch

I'm fed up with the telephone industry, especially AT&T. Robocalls are bad enough - I get two or three per day Monday thru Saturday - and now it's an ongoing, inexcusable effort to force me to pay more for U-verse than I was quoted.

It all began the first few days of last December when I called AT&T to discuss cancelling both my Internet and phone (I have a land line) service. Charges had been runnin' 'bout $72 - $80 per month, and given the constant barrage of robocalls - which had prompted me to generally avoid answering my phone - it just didn't seem worth it.

The lady I spoke with was very nice, seemed sincerely interested in helping me, and wound up quoting me a rate of $34.95 per month for a year if I would sign up for U-verse, which I gladly accepted. When AT&T showed up to install the U-verse, I inquired again about the rate. He quickly confirmed what I'd been told, and e-mailed me a copy of the charges (installation and modem fees waived), which ended off with a "Grand Total" of $34.95 per month.

No mention was made verbally or in writing of any addtional charges.

All well and good until charges showed up on my new U-verse account. Initially, I was billed for over $200, but after several online chat conversations with AT&T, that was gradually reduced to a little over $52 per month. AT&T dug their heels in for the $52 per month, and the online chats got somewhat less than cordial. 

ALWAYS - I repeat ALWAYS - get it in writing when AT&T specifies charges that you are in agreement with. Had I not obtained written confirmation, it's anybody's guess as to what I would have wound up being charged.

I refused to pay anything unless I was billed for the amount I had been quoted, and the next thing I knew, I got a nasty notice via snail mail advising me that my service would be "temporarily interrupted" the following day unless I forked over the $52 per month. So I immediately filed an online complaint with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

Good thing I got to Consumer Affairs' website when I did.

Next morning, my phone had been disconnected for all but emergency calls (of course, the robocalls continued), and my Internet usage was restricted to e-mail, Facebook, and, for a short while, Blogger. Attempts to navigate to other websites prompted a nasty, full-screen pop-up berating me to pay the fifty-two bucks. 

I persevered, and it took about a week before Consumer Affairs e-mailed me confirmation that AT&T had agreed to $34.95 per month, and I needed to pay for two months based on that rate. I paid the amount within hours after receiving notification from Consumer Affairs, full service was restored, and I hoped the matter had been resolved.

But alas.

My next bill (the current one) popped up for about $92, and I've again complained to AT&T (Consumer Affairs had given me contact info for someone in AT&T's president's office), with a copy of this latest complaint to the person I initially communicated with at Consumer Affairs. I e-mailed my complaint Monday, my bill is due on the 27th, and I haven't heard hide nor hair from Consumer Affairs or AT&T.

I can understand errors on the first bill for U-verse. But there's no excuse whatsoever for my service being interrupted for a week. Nor is there any excuse for the same thing starting all over again. This entire matter amounts to nothing more than a bait and switch tactic, with a dose of bullying thrown in for good measure. The 27th will be here soon, and I suppose AT&T plans to once again "temporarily interrupt my service" in an effort to make me accept a higher monthly rate than I was quoted. 

Clean up your act, AT&T. And while you're at it, block those robocalls.

Update 2/19/2015 - AT&T is developing quite a reputation for bait and switch. The FTC is suing AT&T over the company charging customers for "unlimited" data, then throttling the data. "'Unlimited' means 'unlimited," says the FTC. Someone also needs to tell AT&T that "'Grand Total' means 'Grand Total.'"

Update 2/20/2015 - 
> My tweets with a link to this blog post are being blocked from appearing in Twitter's real-time posts. Likewise re the tweets appearing on my Twitter profile page. Corporate CENSORSHIP in the age of the Internet. My pleasure to expose Twitter and AT&T on Facebook. 
> Who woulda thought? My Facebook posts with a link to this blog post are also being blocked from appearing in real-time. AT&T and their crooked, bullying cohorts don't like it when folks dare to expose AT&T's inexcusable behavior.

Update 2/23/2015 - 
> This morning I heard from the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs advising me that they will once again reach out to AT&T. Stay tuned as consumers get a firsthand look at how AT&T bullies its customers.
> AT&T prefers to argue instead of correcting my bill, realizing, of course, that the so-called South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs has no legal jurisdiction in the matter. Here's a copy of the e-mail I just now sent to Consumer Affairs with a copy to AT&T:


"I didn't speak with AT&T the last time you resolved my complaint, and I complained to Consumer Affairs only after repeated conversations with AT&T. I'm not interested in arguing with AT&T - that's why I contacted Consumer Affairs. 

If AT&T wanted to correct my bill, they would have done so by now - the bill continues to reflect over $90 instead of the $34.95 I was promised - so it appears the situation cannot be resolved through Consumer Affairs.

There's no reason whatsoever - other than a lack of good faith on AT&T's part - that AT&T can't respond to Consumer Affairs' inquiry the same way they did last time, taking action to correct my bill."

> I just love it when crooked corporations like AT&T feign ignorance in an attempt to bully customers into complying with unjust demands. Just now heard from Consumer Affairs with the "news" - who woulda thought? - that AT&T sees nothing wrong with my current bill for over $90. Consumer Affairs wants me to have yet another verbal exchange with AT&T, when the facts of my case have been clear to AT&T since the first part of last December. I refuse to be baited in such a manner. Toothless state "Consumer Affairs" departments - looking out for business interests instead of consumers - are part of the problem when it comes to crooked corporations. I never expected much when I contacted the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs to begin with.

> I understand, AT&T: Crooked corporations and their stooges in state government would rather not converse in writing. Sure am glad I lucked out and got a copy of that quote for U-verse at $34.95 per month.

Updates 2/28/2015 - 
> Consumer Affairs seems sincerely interested in helping me, and has explained that their actions are limited to facilitating a resolution between customers and businesses. They do not render decisions and have no legal jurisdiction over entities such as AT&T.
> AT&T reduced my current bill to about $38 and sent me an e-mail (copy to Consumer Affairs) claiming they would never include taxes and surcharges in a "Grand Total" because they "cannot calculate" such charges. Perhaps AT&T expects folks to purchase U-verse without knowing what it costs. My bill was due yesterday, I'll pay it when the amount is corrected to what I was promised, and I have advised AT&T (copy to Consumer Affairs) to review the definition of "Grand Total." 
> AT&T's claim that they "cannot calculate" taxes and surcharges is at odds not only with common sense, but also contradicts what they state on their website. Obviously, they are able to calculate such amounts and should advise potential customers accordingly. Failure to mention such amounts while offering a "Grand Total" price for U-verse, and then billing customers for such amounts epitomizes the marketing ploy known as "bait and switch." 

Update 3/9/2015 - Just for the record, I was referred to Consumer Affairs by the SC Attorney General's Office. Wonder why the SC Attorney General isn't taking a direct interest in what appears to be a bait and switch tactic.

Update 2/12/2015 - AT&T is now billing me for $86.40 - the correct amount (for two months) should be $69.90. I've updated Consumer Affairs (copy to AT&T) and have once again emphasized my willingness to pay the bill as soon as it's corrected to the amount I was promised. Truly a shame that paid-off legislators - Repukes and Demagogues alike - allow crooked corporations like AT&T to kick consumers around. 

Update 4/15/2015 - Effective today, AT&T has once again interrupted my service. I notified AT&T and Consumer Affairs via e-mail that I have no intentions whatsoever of paying AT&T one cent until my bill - now three months worth including April - is corrected to $34.95 per month. Consumer Affairs replied back that there's nothing more they can do. Isn't it wonderful that this paid-off, corporate-controlled government gives consumers such great recourse against crooked corporations?

Update 4/16/2015 - Future payments to AT&T - if any - will reflect a credit for each day my service has been interrupted.

Update 4/29/2015 - AT&T now says they will "permanently" disconnect my service if I don't pay by May 11. Real hoot when corporations are allowed to promise a rate in writing, then not honor it, and tack on about 50% of the rate as an additional charge. Apparently, AT&T expects folks to agree to pay for their product without knowing the cost. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

HOAs empowered by special interests, crooked state legislators

Talk about grand larceny. By what rhym or reason are these mafia-style gangs known as Homeowners Associations (HOAs) given the right to foreclose on homes? Does anyone else except tax authorities or mortgage holders have such a right? Can your doctor take your home because of money he claims you owe him? Your dentist? Your mechanic?

Does anyone in their right mind think HOAs should be allowed to literally strong-arm property owners out of hard earned dollars? Allowed to levy costs as the gangs see fit - often "punishing" homeowners who dare to speak out against the racket - backed by the tyrannical power of being able to foreclose on homes if people don't cooperate?

As the well-orchestrated racket provokes organized opposition all across the country, take at look at the filthy rich, special interest groups who bribe - er I mean lobby - bloodsucking state legislators to throw homeowners under the bus. Here are a few of the main cuprits:

National Home Builders Association
National Association of Realtors
Community Association Institute (CAI)
Property Management Association
Associa HRW, Inc. (America's largest property management firm, ramrodded by Texas legislator John Corona who started this whole thing about giving HOAs legal rights to foreclose on homes.)

I always get a thigh-slappin' HOOT out of folks who think this profoundly corrupt system of "government" can be remedied at the ballot box. I caught on to the "Your Vote Counts" scam years ago when I associated a common sense analysis of this two-headed, one party SHAM of an electoral system with a book I was assigned to read while earning my degree in Government and Public Administration. If you get a chance, read "An Economic Theory of Democracy," by Anthony Downs. Mr. Downs exposes a system fueled by corruption, pure and simple. A devil-take-the-hindmost affair, wherein "rational" political behavior is defined as whatever it takes to maximize votes. Period. Only recently did I realize the sarcasm so cleverly conveyed by the book's title.

Amidst compelling evidence that America is now an oligarchy, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has addressed the Washington gang's "selling" of political access, and the topic was given further exposure by this late-breaking article and video from CNN.

Insofar as Homeowners Associations are concerned, factor in a slew of local business interests that stand to take YOUR money via these neighborhood gangs. Everything from attorneys to ditch-diggers, and it's anyone's guess regarding how certain businesses get "chosen" to implement cooked-up projects, not to mention the fertile ground for kickbacks. Check out Associa HRW, Inc.'s 2/11/2015 seminar in Raleigh, North Carolina advising HOAs how to dog it over property owners when it comes to collecting the moolah.

Options to purchase properties free from HOA dictatorships are rapidly disappearing as crooked legislators allow almost all new developments to be subject to the scam. Meanwhile, my neighborhood - Quail Hollow, in West Columbia, South Carolina - is declaring dues mandatory, even though such dues have been voluntary for almost half a century. I wonder how many HOA gangs in similar neighborhoods are doing likewise.

I understood all too well when someone recently e-mailed me expressing their shock and dismay upon discovering that their HOA was part of a racket deeply entrenched in their state legislature. The name of the game, of course, is for corporate-controlled legislators to empower HOAs very quietly, making sure the public isn't aware of what's going on.

Know your enemies, folks. Chances are, the names of your elected representatives will be at the top of the list.

Update 2/13/2015 - Here's a late-breaking story (with video) about yet another homeowner - this one in South Carolina - unduly harassed and fined by an HOA. The very idea of state legislators empowering these gangs to bully homeowners by threatening to foreclose on homes. 

Update 3/13/2015 - Hot-off-the-press article re complaints about HOAs in South Carolina.