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Thursday, June 23, 2011

They have us over a barrel


Have ever read your end- user license agreement (EULA)? It's a software agreement that comes in all Microsoft products that gives you the right to copy their software on three computers, but they are not responsible for flaws and you never have complete ownership of the software. Periodically, when I download an app from ITunes they make me agree to several pages of gibberish before I'm allowed to purchase the app. I wonder how many lawsuits Microsoft and ITunes have won because people will never take the time to read every line of the contract?

Several weeks ago, I thought I had won an argument with Dish Network but my next door neighbor convinced me that they don't mind losing small arguments. I upgraded my DVR to one that had Internet capability. The DVR was added to my home network allowing me to watch live TV and recorded programs on my iPad. For some reason, the updated model didn't come with an off- air module; although it had a slot for it. When I asked the installer if he could take the module out of my old DVR and put in a new one; he said it not on a work order, so I thanked him and immediately called the service department. When I finally got an English speaking technician, he immediately told me that the module would be an additional $50.00 plus shipping and sales tax. After about 15 minutes of hearing the Dish Network policy, I asked to speak to his supervisor. He said that he would have to put me on a hold(like I care, I'm retired), so I waited for another 10 minutes before he came back said his boss was busy and would I mind holding for a little while longer; I said I would hold. He came back a third time and said his boss was busy, but since I was an old valued customer; he would approve and expedite my order at no charge. That made me happy until my neighbor told me “add up the cost of the package you are paying for; then check to see how much you actually watch daily." I wonder how many customers have paid the additional cost without complaining, or if they did complain, they were then deterred by the wait period. I bet that he didn't even go to a supervisor, or if he did; it was the supervisor who OK'd the order but the technician wanted to save face.. Who knows?

After being held over a barrel for all these years; I'm ready to read the fine print, stay on hold, or do whatever it takes to make sure I get as much bang for the buck as I can. I used to like haggling with car salesmen but one time I may have taken it too far. This one Saturday my whole family left the office, embarrassed because after the car salesman told me he wasn't going to get a commission if he sold me the car at the price I wanted; I said " I'm not gonna pay more, just so you get a bigger commission." The poor young guy was barely getting started and didn't know all the old tricks of financing or making me pay for things I didn't need. My daughters were embarrassed then, but guess who they asked to go with them when they purchased their first cars?


Edith Ann said...

Okay, first off, I sprayed iced tea all over my computer when I read "He said that he would have to put me on a hold(like I care, I'm retired)..." OMG! That was so funny!

So, I switched cell phone service. Went to AT&T and the girls from the Honda commercials on TV waited on me. He wasn't a happy camper becasue I insisted on just a plain, cheap phone and the basic plan. No date plan. No texting. (I know--I'm a dinosaur!) So, for $39.95 a month, I thought that is what I got. Until I got my bill! I had charges for accessing the internet. But I hadn't added a data plan to my deal. I had three charges for received text messages. I don't remember receiving text messages. I didn't add texting to my plan. My friends mistakenly assume I have texting capability.

Well, with much wrangling, and a lot of demanding on my part, I go them to remove the extra charges. When I asked why this had happened, I was told that if I had added the texting and data plan, there would have not been any extra charges. Of course my monthly bill would have been like $89.95!

I am glad I looked at my bill. My next project is to get them to send an itemized bill so I can see who I am being charged to talk to.

But what if I had not looked at the bill? Wonder how many folks don't look? Probably a bunch!

I have no problem hanging on hold,it just makes me madder when you answer. I don't mind holding you accountable for your mistakes. My kids tell me sometimes I embarrass them!

Mike said...

I was just kidding;you know it's like Little Big Horn at the VA,some posters are waiting to ambush you..:-)

Mike said...


It's funny how you mentioned your ATT problem; that was the basis of this blog but when I went to and transferred it from Word to BlogSpot; it disappeared.

I read a story about the problem you described but this customer had taken his battery out of his phone to test ATT.... ATT still charged him for Internet Services, etc.. They took it off his bill and blamed the error on the software. I believe the charges are embedded in the software, but I'm not positive of that.

As I stated in another blog; I'm duplicating services, since I have an iPad. I wasted about 45 minutes waiting at the local ATT Service Center, because as soon as I got to the service counter, they reminded me that all the smart phones come with a data plan($30 a month), and the $30.00 data plan for my iPad is optional..... That's why I don't have a standing argument when my wife buys another pair of shoes or purse.. I can hear her response "$60 a month for Internet?"...:-) I have to wait another nine months for contract to run out before I can buy a basic phone.

BTW You need to post at the VA; it’s completely dead..Do what you have to do; change the subject, bring up abortion; it needs a stimulus..:-)

Edith Ann said...

Why is it always my fault? Things go bad on the forum and it's because EA posted something! Things are dead at the Advocate and it's because EA's not posting! lol!

I love your suggestion--'bring up abortion'! Mike you are too, too funny! I am kind of on this self-imposed hiatus. It is boring and I just don't feel like being a target for Radiobabe and surffree and such.

But I was thinking I would wait until late tonight, post on the Bridgett Bise story and bump it up to the top. Get a few licks in before the delete nazi gets me, perhaps?

Mike said...

Being blamed for everything is a small price to pay for being number one,but your plan is a little risky because you just might have a special monitor assigned to you..:-)

Someone who posted on my VA blog got deleted last night but I'm pretty sure we all know who it was..A little hint; the police cannot do wrong, I'm a conservative and people that don't agree with me are liberal, I know it all, just ask me..

This morning I noticed a 2 hour lull between posts at the VA; that's unusual.

Edith Ann said...

One day earlier this week, it was over 4 hours between posts. I don't think I've ever seen that.

Okay--I'll go poke the Bridgette Bise story. I guess I have tortured Radiobabe and Surffree long enough...

(just for fun--over 2000 page views in 14 days...)(And your numbers aren't so shabby, either!)

Legion said...

Yeah the VicAd forum is kinda dead, but back to the over the barrel thing.

When LaWard cellular went out of business, I call to see what options I had with my nokia basic phone... ATT or Verizon.

I went to the ATT store next to Petes Fina, after waiting about 30 minutes. I walked all of 5' to the reps desk.

I told him right up front that I want to keep my same phone, no texting, no data plan.

He said Ok, then you qualify for a one year plan, $ 40 or so, plus taxes so add another $7 to the bill.

So far so good, I never use all my minutes and only one of brothers and my ex step daughters send me a text very rarely. The texts still add $.80 to the bill, but 4 in the last 5 months? No big deal.

Suddenlink, now that's another story. The DVR/converter box crapped out. I went to the local office and got another, same model, it lasted two months. I called the Temple people, they said the local office shouldn't have gave me the same model and scheduled a service call.

The guy showed up, tested the signal strength and brought in a brand new converter box. The heck with the local office, they don't know what they are doing.

Mike said...

I have SuddenLink for my Internet because we do not have DSL in our area but so far it's been good but they have to boost my signal one time.

I'm still looking for a carrier that will sell me a smart phone without a data plan.