Saturday, August 04, 2012


7AM - Flowers
A few days ago we showed you a pic of our little cactus garden. But there is more to our garden than the cactus. The rain over the past month brought several varieties of flowers. Mainly yellow, violet and white flowers.

The pano pic below was captured by New Mavicita this morning and shows the flowers near the little cactus garden.
Our flower garden

8AM - Cruz the plumber
We have made an appointment with Cruz the plumber for Monday morning. We would like Cruz to replace Tioga's sewer valve.

We bought a new black/grey water valve recently which was supposed to be a backup in case the valve in use broke. The handle for the current valve's black water broke a couple of days ago. Also, the connection to the black water tank shows some signs of seeping. So, we have decided to change out the sewer valve now rather than later.

2PM - Verizon like all the rest!
I've written to you about this billing scam before. A phone company creates a situation where a customer will not pay a bill, because the bill is NOT legitimate. Then, the phone company begins to add interest to the unpaid balance. When the balance rises to several times the original illegitimate charge, the phone company sells the debt to a collection company and makes a profit from something that they did not sell.

I've had this scam pulled on me several times. Even from credit card companies. I write that Verizon is like all the rest because this company is outlandish in their scheme. When I talked to somebody from Verizon on the phone, they told me that they could not cancel my account because I gave them the "wrong" last four numbers of my Social Security number and that the number that I gave them did not match their records. Can you imagine that?

I was told that I would have to go online and correct my Social Security number! Amazing! They are sooooo crooked!

7AM - Credit/bill tales
Want to hear about my credit/bill tales? Hmmmmm?

AT&T: I had terrific credit until shortly after I began being a vagabond in 2003. The first company that I had a disagreement with, was AT&T. I entered Baja California in the winter of 2003, and was using my AT&T cell phone in Mexico. I depended on AT&T's usage report to know when to stop using their phone service.

Little did I know, that AT&T was having some problems with their usage report. The report was not accurate! Was not being updated in a timely fashion. However, AT&T's billing was accurate! And when I received a monthly bill for over $750 [they charged $1/minute for Mexico], I complained. AT&T would not negotiate. I tried hard to negotiate a settlement with the company. Nothing doing! They wanted every cent.

So, I transferred to T-Mobile, and simply did not pay AT&T. Of course AT&T sold my account to a credit collection company. But after seven years, that "stain" on my credit report was removed.

T-Mobile: You likely know about my T-Mobile cell phone being stolen. So I will not repeat that story here, except to state that T-Mobile sold my account to collection when they claimed I owed them about $450. I tried to negotiate with T-Mobile. That was a no-go. But the collection company recently offered to settle for about $230.

HSBC Bank: I made a reservation for a California hotel thru Cheap Tickets. Before I made the reservation, I confirmed that the hotel had WiFi. But when I went to check in to the hotel, their WiFi was down. I told the hotel that I would return in several hours to see if the WiFi was working, and did not check in at that time. When I did return, the WiFi was still down with no promise from the hotel that it would be up soon. I told them that I would not be staying, and stayed that nite in another near-by hotel.

Cheap Tickets gave me some grief about paying for the hotel, even though I did not stay there. I had to tussle with Cheap Tickets, and talk to management in order for CT to issue a credit. Also, I demanded a $50 free voucher for all of my trouble, which Cheap Tickets issued thru my HSBC credit card.

However, HSBC latched on to that $50 voucher credit, and applied it to the credit Cheap Tickets issued me for the hotel! HSBC told me that Cheap Tickets should have mailed me the $50 voucher and not issued it using my credit card. This all occurred in the fall of 2010.

I phoned HSBC many, many times. Even have in my possession, a communication where HSBC agrees with my claim. Tells me that they will correct their records. But never, ever did correct. When that $50 amount grew to about $170 thru penalty and interest, HSBC sold to a collection company.

Verizon: This is a very simple story. In late 2010, I bought a Verizon/Pantech WiFi Modem on a plan. When I returned to Mexico, I paid the plan off. I then owned the Pantech device outright. Verizon told me that when I wanted to use my Pantech again, I would go to a Verizon store and activate it. Which I did.

When I went to tbe Verizon store, I told them that I wanted to use my Pantech for a couple of weeks, and asked for the charges for a one month period. I was told that I did not have to pay right now, that Verizon would bill me. That was weird. I told the salesperson that I wanted to pay now, and he told me that this was the best and only way to do it.

After I returned to Mexico, I received a $153 bill from Verizon. This included charges for several weeks! Even though I disagreed with the $153 amount, I did not debate it. Just paid it off. Then contacted Verizon to make sure that my account was cancelled. That was when Verizon began to give me grief because they claimed that I did not know my own Social Security number. Claimed that they did not know that I was the actual account holder, which is ridiculous. They asked me to go online to MyVerizon and correct my Social Security number. There is no way to check my Social Security number online, that I could find. That is part of their scheme.

Summation: It seems to me that so many companies trying to overcharge for services could not be a coincidence. It must be intentional. I have dealt with credit for decades, and never had these kinds of experiences before.

Moral values! Very few and far between in today's modern corporations.

Misty sky & distant clouds