Tag Archive: billing


 This is one I have saved, while I thought whether to share it or not.  But since I am feeling particularly lonely this night, I say, “What the heck!” 

A couple of months ago, in the middle of my work-from-home day, I saw a scruffy, unshaven, grey-bearded white man through my kitchen window, who was in my driveway just after the noon hour, as I made a snack for brunch. What ensued is best described now by some notes I scribbled during  the next fifty-two hours that I spent in the dark,   “A B C D E F G, H” I will cut your electricity off if the payment is not to my liking.  So is the feel of another monopolistic entity which could be in your town or down-town big-city.  They can say your money isn’t timely and justify pulling the plug with a vicious “throat-slash” sign of a crusty power-hungry employee  in a cherry-picker truck.  I wouldn’t blame you if you cursed-them-out unmercifully, like I did, while on the phone and internet to all of my “friends in high places” (who couldn’t do “JACK” to help the situation), telling them that ‘NObody should even take [their] fuckin’ job!’ 

 When I went to the Electric “service” headquarters the next day, I had to wait in a waiting-room for even more mistreatment by a robotic-like Customer dis-service “negro” who kept repeating,“I’m sorry that you feel that way, Sir…” as I tried to appeal to his sense of humanity and flexibility [not] to take what cash I had in-hand to relight my wire- fire.  When I asked him if I could use his telephone to call for long-distance help, the bastard told me to “Go around the corner to the pay phone.”  WHAT “pay phone”? There aren’t any of those anymore, and that just tore it, adding insult to injury by the monopoly!  You know I suggested that they needed a competitor in-town so that they might be “friendlier” to the public;  Oh, yes I DID!  I received no “two-day warning” note slip at my door or anything!  

No electric slows things down; you notice the stains in the sink or bathtub in a different sun-only light.  The dust balls move from the rug in the bathroom to the parlor as you sit dejectedly upon the floor thinking about how your freezer is full of food you cannot cook (my range is electric), and will now likely spoil.  I wrote a dejected deliverance note on that refrigerator the first night, fueled by a bottle of red wine I didn’t know I had under the sink, to my fiancee overseas, should I die and they find me, that I loved her so, and was so sorry I had failed, in grease marker. It is still there these many weeks later – maybe a kind-of reminder/shrine.  Not wanting to open the refrigerator and let what cool air in there out, I lived on Ruffles potatoe chips, water, wine and tuna fish for a day-and-a-half, until a neighbor, having got wind of my plight brought me a whole chicken dinner, with squash and everything!

You Live for the sun, and die with the dusk-into-darkness formerly known as romantic “twilight”.  The one, or however-many candle you own becomes your best friend at night if you live alone – it’s flicker is the only movement to keep you company. No telephone even!  Coincidentally my celly had no minutes either.  I thought your land line would work without electricity – didn’t they used to back during the Blackout in 1965?  With much time to think; earlier to bed – in total darkness – while vulnerable to intruders, since your security alarm system now doesn’t work . In the end they didn’t admit their error and ripped us off for a “fee” to re-connect the power to my house!  My-bad for not communicating more with them and thinking that Big Brothers would step-up in-full instead of acting like an Orwellian tease tool with just a “yard”.  Have you ever had a similar surprise encounter with a utility who you pay monthly?  When they came back to turn me back on (those chaps were much nicer, by-the-way0, I was apprensive about senset for several days – as in “scared of sundown” – thanks to the cold-hearted-even-in-today’s poor economy, local Electric Company.

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                          There are a handful of times when I’ve been stupid as an adult – most of them involve women – the latest is not following my better judgement and going for the dreaded telecommunications and entertainment “bundle” or “triple-play” as this company now tried to disguise it.  Bundle packages from these companies and monopolies are never a good idea. You get a ridiculous monthly rate, fall behind, and then are at the mercy of the cold-hearted corporation.  I knew this and tried the ComCOST one anyway.  Ten months later, I am all about de-bundling and never again letting one hideous corporation hold all of my modern services hostage. For the second time in in nine weeks, CUMcast  “disconnected” my land line – even though I diligently pay them  weekly  as a show of good faith.  Their “bundle” began me with a $250.00 deficit, and each month’s bill out paced anything I can earn consistently.  Apparently I am not the only one who has had bad experiences with CumCost as any internet search on Ask.com will reveal; or better still, when I speak to my friends near and far, I get the “Oh I know what you MEAN about Comcast…” reply.  So if this monopoly is so bad for so many, WHY are they in business?  Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned BOYCOTT?  I mean, they are all about the money right?  So we consumers with our hard-earned $$ should stop giving it to corporations like this.  Where is a Ralph Nader consumer advocate when we need him? Off plotting his next failed run for President?? 

Go to a ComCOST payment location in this city and witness the backs who least can afford it upon the rich get richer with a cue of paying customers that rivals any bank.  As I stand there inching forward amongst the pleas for more time or payment “arrangements”, promotional announcements, Big Brother-style TV cameras in the ceiling and annoyingly loud conversations by pseudo Hip Hop outfitted homies on they “celly”, knowing there at least twenty people ahead of me, I feel the victim of a huge scam.  Comcast and entities like them are today’s banks; if I were Bonnie and Clyde, I’d go there for some action.  Maybe  they  need some of President Obama’s “tough love talk” to reign them in so that the people can get a bailout!  They are raking it in!  I feel bad for all the poor people on those lines who should – like me – be  watching less television and living more productively, and I reaffirm that vow to myself.

This is why I am actually glad that they suddenly cut off  all of my telecommunications with one outside of the company “contractor” climbing a telephone pole. Then he had the nerve to trespass upon my inner property and beat on my side door to demand some mysterious “box” that I supposedly had, but had “returned” the last time they disconnected me from life as I knew it. I had an excuse to vent upon somebody for a change, poor dude, it isn’t  his fault, but NOBODY should ever take jobs like that – to repossess upon the little people out here who are struggling to make ends meet.  I’m sorry, they are betrayers of the faith.  So, I had no internet, no TV, and no land line telephone with one snip (bastards), but what I got in return was a return back to basics.

Luckily no corporation can cut-off my music system and radio.   They didn’t count on the fact that they were dealing with a veteran of the real fun terrestrial radio days and an actual DJ/Personality with a music library and the acumen to fall back upon National Public Radio waay down at the “educational” part of the FM dial for my information fix; the BBC on the classical music NPR station, my old VHS tapes – stuff I forgot I’d even taped (and some of which I wonder why I did).  I worked more OFF-line, editing the manuscript of my hopefully forthcoming memoirs about my radio days book ; proofreading, researching and editing my music reviews as well.  Yeah, ComCOST did me a favor, and I am sharing that lesson with you, my favorite reader because we have become too reliant upon cable TV, gadgets and “new” technology toys and watching others who have their “millions” while we struggle, still watching them, while WE should be making our own “hay” as my Dad used to say.

I spent about sixty dollars on my Virgin Mobile top-up card celly just to be able to say in-touch with the outside world at twenty cents per minute; money that Cumcast could have had, La la la la Laaaa…’got back into using my huge Funk & Wagnall’s dictionary instead of dictionary.com; the actual Yellow Pages instead of “google” or “ask.com”.  This has been a refreshing wake-up call, and I wanted to share it as a lesson to us all – don’t be seduced by the bundle – EVER.  Separate your services – always.  Never let one company “handle” you like I did.  On the serious side, since I work from home on the telephone, I have lost three weeks of potential income – something I tried to explain to the “collections manager” so he would ‘put a hold” on my account, to no avail.  He even told me “too bad, I cannot downsize your bundle until you pay three hundred dollars”  I  said “If I can’t work the phones, I can’t possibly earn that much, so you are chasing your own tail inside a Catch-22.”  I guess that went over his feeble billing head as I ended-up having to hang-up upon his inflexible ear vowing that “I wished I’d never signed on with CumCast!”  And Yes, a former g/f  didn’t watch any TV,  and chastised me for doing so – kudos to her (and you know who “you” are) for one of your little wisdoms coming to pass with me – but not for you to enjoy or see. 

Daily, I hear the horror stories now, but most people just turn the other cheek and continue to PAY. Not me – no way.  So many of us are experiencing so much trial and tribulation that it takes those in control to help us get by.  I don’t feel that spirit from entities like ComCost or AT&T, even though their commericls (which I always mute by the way) try to pay lip-service to having our best interests at heart.  Bull! The only thing they are concerned about is the dolla sign and the bottom line.
[Editor’s note: two years later, I do not have ANY type of television in my home – and don’t miss it. Filed a claim against Comcast with the Division of Consumer Affairs in the state I live in for price-gouging and defamation of my credit history because they refused to do-bundle me despite my repeated requests for them to do so (which I saved in my email folders and printed). To be continued…] Thanks for reading; please comment.

Testing the H2O

Greeting’s… 

Many who claim to “really know” [me] have suggested I do this “blog thing”  for quite some time now.  Well, maybe it has taken some incredibly challenging ‘luck’ and the wolves gathering at my door for me to finally know I have nothing left to lose privacy wise,  and maybe everything to gain by heeding the advice of those who are my steadfast friends, and commence yet another literary journey.  I am scared, because I know not where it will lead both you and me.

Upon the eve of ,  this the day of my Mother’s eighty-fifth birthday, Comcast disconnected my telephone because THEY didn’t credit my recent payments this month.  Yet, they cannot restore it until I give them yet another fifty dollars…They said that it was a “technical problem” and so I requested a “service call”…the Tech guy came to my door this afternoon, when I opened it, he demanded over three-hundred dollars before he would even look at my modem.  It sounded like a bribe invitation or the lonesharking I grew up hearing about that took place along the northern New Jersey docks.

Nice way to begin Thanksgiving week, huh?  My career and life began with so much promise and high hopes…now in my mid fifties (I don’t look it either), my star seems to be falling exponentially. I often wonder is this my cue to ‘exit, stage left” as cartoon’s Snagglepuss used to say during my boyhood days?

How to write a desperate letter to a corporate media company: Well folks…this getting more and more hopeless for me, who lives alone and with the holidays approaching, the apparent inflexibility of Comcast is causing a DOMINO effect upon my hideous life.
A tech guy from Comcast just left here after coming and saying he needed three hundred dollars cash in order to turn my phone back on.
It sounded like he asked for a BRIBE!! It would be funny if not so tragic here as Thanksgiving approaches.

PLEASE forward this message to the highest levels of your company in an effort for flexibility on my telephone line being back on… If my service is “scheduled to be disconnected” on Monday November 30th…then that should be the amount of TIME I have to have ALL of my service working!!
been getting sales! It is commission ONLY and we get paid ONCE a month with my first check to arrive around December 2nd, so I would need at LEAST til December second to be able to bring some bill payment around to your Mainstream Drive, Nashville office.

I have been a customer of theirs for EIGHT years in some way, shape or form…and I always hated these “bundle” packages for JUST this reason. NEVER do the “bundle” unless you are a millionaire!

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