Wednesday, July 09, 2008


7/9/08 Wednesday
Anger…I suppose I’ve been angry most of my life but this brain injury brings it out more. Perhaps it started when a man and his wife showed up at my grandmother’s house in Hearne, Texas. I was told “This is your father and new mother” and packed up, put in his car, and taken from the first person I ever remember in my life, who I called “Mama”. Perhaps it was instilled deep into my infant brain as I witnessed the violent emotion that goes with a marriage falling apart. I don’t know, just know I’ve been angry most of my life.

I went to Alltel to deal with another problem they have caused. One of our friends learned about how Alltel charged us a disconnect fee for the internet service that didn’t work and decided to pay it off. We had to make payment arrangements because despite keeping our two phone lines operational Alltel wanted their two hundred dollars immediately and threatened to turn off all service if we didn’t pay. When our friend called Cherie from Alltel’s office Cherie had her make sure that Alltel stopped automatically pulling the payments out of our bank account. She brought it up with the salesman and was assured that it was done. The other day we got notification that our account was overdrawn and charged a twenty five or thirty dollar overdraft fee.

At Sunday school I verified with our friend that she was told the withdrawals would be stopped before going to Alltel. I tried my best to be level headed, not fly off the handle like the last time. That lasted till Brian handed me the phone to talk to whoever handled this kind of thing. She starts in with her heavily accented voice (Who knows what country she was in) telling me that when we make payment arrangement it’s our obligation to make them. Trying to explain to her that the entire amount had been paid was an exercise in futility. “It doesn’t matter. When you make payment arrangements you are obligated to make them” she repeated. I then tried to explain that when the bill was paid the payment arrangement was brought up and we were told it was taken care of. “That doesn’t matter. You made an agreement. you are obligated to make your payments”. I tried again and heard “Did you call customer service?”. Upon hearing me say “No” she told me that I had to call customer service to change the payment arrangement. Explaining that our friend was in Alltel’s office talking with an Alltel employee didn’t matter. Again I heard “Did you call costumer service? You have to call customer service”. OK, I’ll try again, “We were told by the Alltel employee that it was taken care of?”. “He can’t do that, you have to call customer service. Did you call customer service?”. That did it, now I’m off. I finally got her to excuse the last two payments but I won’t hold my breath that it will happen.

During all this poor Brian said “You don’t have to be so hostile”. I know that and didn’t want to be but it happened anyway. At the end of my visit I apologized for my behavior as I did the last time. I think that was when we finally decided to turn of the internet line and I had gotten very vocal. I’m not sure but probably wrote about it in this journal. “Can you see anything I should be happy about?” I asked. He said he couldn’t. “I don’t suppose it would do me any good to ask for a credit equaling the overdraft charge you guys caused” I stated. Brian’s response was “I can’t do that. You have to call customer service”. “Brian, I doubt Alltel would do it. I mean, come on, here’s a multi million dollar company that is so greedy it wouldn’t let me out of a contract even when your own tech’s verified that the PC card did not work. One of them even told me that the nearest tower was five miles away and it needs to be within three miles for the PC card to work right. So everyone confirmed what we had didn’t work but they’re still charging us two hundred dollars to disconnect a line that won’t work” I started. Somewhere in that rant I used the “F” word so, seeing I was getting worked up again decided I’d better leave.

I feel like crap about all this and wish I could control this anger but it doesn’t seem to work. After it was over I went over to Steve and Janie’s where I worked on their yard. Cherie was there. I had called her during the Alltel episode so she knew I’d had a bad spell and knew I would need to relax and unwind. We decided to go to the “Moon Garden” restaurant and enjoy a nice peaceful meal. Hey folks, you ought to try them out if your one of our local readers. It’s at the corner of Garfield and loop 250 on the south side of the loop. It’s really good and I love how the waitress’s write our orders in Chinese script. There’s regular English on the ticket where it comes to price and stuff but their notes are in Chinese. How authentic is that!

I guess the slowdowns are back. I don’t know what I did yesterday other than working on Steve and Janie’s yard and being an ass at Alltel. Everything else is pretty much a blank. I had a spell this afternoon where it became hard to walk and I couldn’t remember what I was doing, wandering towards the garage, getting there and wondering what I came for, then realizing I needed something that was in a different area entirely. After an hour of that I came in. The slowdown came with a bad headache as well. These always drain my energy. I don’t remember doing it but I must have fallen asleep cause I just woke up. Probably slept for three hours.

This morning I made a series of calls to find out what is going wrong with our satellite internet. It slowed way down starting two days ago. I called number after number to try and find someone to talk to. First was trying to find the installer. The first numbers I had from the contract didn’t work at all. I found one tucked in a sentence that got me a message but no human. After hanging up the phone rang and it was from that number. They had caller ID so returned my call. Come to find out they don’t have anything to do with problems, just put the systems up. The guy gave me some numbers to call so I called them. I was put on one of those “Your call will be answered in the order it came” holds so waited, and waited, listening intently every time the machine told me “Thank you for waiting. A representative will be with you shortly. Your call will…”. After twenty five minutes the voice apologized and asked me to leave my number so someone could get back to me. I declined.

I dug up the number we had from trying to get the system installed in the first place and called him. That worked and I got answers. Seems that there is a “Fair Access Policy” that limits how many megabytes of information you can use in a twenty four hour period. We had gone over that limit so our bandwidth was “restricted” slowing things down to a snails pace. Bill told me that I can program the computer to do software upgrades at three to six in the morning when they don’t count your usage because it’s not a busy time. The idea of fair access is to keep the system from being overloaded during peak usage hours. For ten more bucks a month we can get a higher speed and more usage but I think I’ll just limit my downloads and uploading things like pictures to the blog.

I’m rested now and the headache is manageable so I’ll head back out to plant pumpkins. Been working on it two days and got nothing done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fun fact for you...Overdraft fees are the #1 non-interest money maker for banks. They wait for a mistake or miscalculation to happen so they can ding you for a ridiculous amount.

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