Friday, June 29, 2012

@ATT Redemption -- NOT!

Post originally written on 6/26

A few weeks ago, I voiced my displeasure with AT&T and their services here. Since this post, I have to admit that they've made me do a 180 degree spin on them...

First, a friend from Twitter, who is employed with AT&T, saw my blog post. He passed the message on to a protege of his in Baton Rouge. She reached out to me via Twitter and gave me a call. I spoke to her and explained what was wrong. She sent someone out (I think it was the same day) to investigate my problem. That guy ran tests and determined that part of my problem was the fact that I was slightly out of range of the premium service that I requested. He called a fourth guy (who happened to be married to a high school classmate of mine) and he shows up and runs tests (that same day).

After everything was done, it was concluded that I wasn't going to be able to get the internet speeds I requested. However, instead of me being disappointed over that being the case, I was actually impressed with the promptness and level of service AT&T put forth in an attempt to fix the problem. A few days later, a manager called and said that although it was unlikely that I would get the 12 mbps speeds that I wanted, that he would exhaust every option before calling it quits. So, he's still working on the problem.

Although I'm still at 6.0 mbps, I'm actually satisfied. Great service goes a long way and when you receive it, you no longer look at yourself as a victim. Things always seem like a scam when you're paying your hard-earned money for something only to be met with "meh" and shoulder shrugs when you have a problem.

So, I want to take my hat off to the people who put forth an effort to fix my problem (Corey, Natasha, Chris, Roy and Scott). I try to be as fair as I possibly can and if I can take the time to bash a company for doing something wrong, then I will definitely take the time to applaud them when they provide a great level of service.

Thank you, AT&T. You now have your redemption.

*** UPDATE: 6/29 *** I guess that I spoke too soon. I spent 40+ minutes on the phone, over the course of two days, to resolve a problem for my father. We were trying to remove call forwarding from a landline voicemail to a cell phone. I went in and made changes in the voicemail menu to turn off forwarding, but that didn't work. I called AT&T and held 7 minutes for an agent on the Wireless side.

He told me that I needed to speak with the landline people to resolve. I said, "fine, but while I have you, I do have a question on this account: can you let me know how many minutes phone # XXX-XXX-XXXX used last month?"

"Sir, I'm unable to see that, but I can send you an additional bill for $5 or you can view it online," he replied. 

That's what he said, but here's what I heard: "I have better things to do than research this account."

Now, I'm not sure exactly what type of applications AT&T's customer service agents use, but I can't say that I believe that someone couldn't tell me how many minutes a phone used the previous month.

So, I get transferred to the landline side and I hold for 14 more minutes (21 total). I finally get someone and of course, they have no information on me despite the transfer. I have to verify who I am again and why I am calling. After explaining it, she tells me that she's going to reset something and the calls will no longer forward to the cell phone some time before midnight.

"Midnight? Is the phone a vampire or something? Why isn't it immediate?" I asked.

"It just isn't, sir."

"So, I'm going to have to wait until midnight to find out that what you did probably didn't work and go through all of this tomorrow?"

"It will work, sir."

After close to 30 minutes of phone time, I realize that I'm powerless in the situation and I say my good-byes. Of course, the next day, the landline is still forwarding calls.  I call in again and this time, I only had to hold for 8 minutes.  This agent tells me that the previous person that I'd spoken to the day before forgot to do something when she reset the phone.  He says that he will take care of it and that i should see the results after midnight.

Well, this time it works after two days and speaking to three people to get it resolved. Luckily for them, I have patience because my father told me to just disconnect everything after the first day. I probably would have if I thought that he wouldn't need his lines of communication.

Foiled by AT&T again. For every great employee there are five bad ones. Just five warm bodies doing just enough to get a paycheck each week and not get fired. Too bad that no one with the ability to do something about it cares.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Can A Mate Veto Your Outfit?

It's Friday night and you've just finished up a long week of work. Your significant other calls you and wants to go out for a night of dining and dancing. You look in the closet and reach towards the back for that special outfit your mate has never seen. You put it on and you feel sexier than Marilyn Monroe at a JFK function.

Your mate arrives at your house and you open the door all the way so that they can take in a good view of your outfit. Your mate smiles in appreciation but then quickly says, "you're not wearing that."

 (record scratch) 

Is it wrong for your mate to say that you're "dressed too sexy" if you look like Pamela Anderson at a rave?  Is it wrong for your mate to say that you're "humiliating them" by wearing the same outfit Burt Reynolds did in "Smokey & The Bandit?"

I have only experienced this dilemma once in my life. I was dating a girl and I thought that she was very attractive. She had a booty that just wouldn't quit. She had more cheeks than a chipmunk with the mumps.

Anyhoo, we were going out to a nightclub (which I didn't like doing with women) and I went to pick her up. She came out of the house in what was basically a cat suit. Of course, I was stunned because she did look amazing in it, however, I thought about how many other people would think she'd look amazing in it as well. I mean, we're talking about a woman whose measurements were 38-26-OMG! So, I'm thinking about how many guys I may possibly have to "defend her honor" against if they try to get too aggressive.

I simply came out and told her that although I wanted to see that outfit later, that I thought it would cause too much of the wrong attention from guys. She understood and went back inside to change. I got lucky. No arguing. No drama. I breathed a sigh of relief because I didn't expect things to go over so smoothly.  Was it my tone?  My approach?  Or did she already have reservations about the outfit and just needed a tie-breaking vote?

Was I right to question what she had on at all? Should I have allowed her, as an adult, to wear what she thought was appropriate / comfortable for her? Or did I do right to speak my mind and express my feelings?  Shouldn't we be representing each other if we're going out as a couple? Regardless if an outfit is too sexy or if it should have been left back in 1975, can you state your case against it?  What would you do (or what have you done) in this position?

Fair or foul: Can a mate veto your outfit?

"So, let's set the world on fi-ya!  We can burn brighter!  Than the suunnnnnnn!"

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Was Sleep Cheating

A guy in Connecticut has a serious problem with sleepwalking. So serious that he's been accused of robbing a woman at knife point... while he was asleep. At least that's what Winston Riley says.

The 27 year old's family claims that he's had issues with sleepwalking since he was a boy. The crime does seem odd being that he robbed the woman in the elevator of the Mohegan Sun Casino. There are more cameras in that place than a Victoria's Secrets runway shoot. Why rob a person in a place full of cameras unless you really didn't know you were doing it?  Stranger things have happened, I guess.  Riley does not have a criminal record, so it would seem like an odd place to start.  After the robbery, Riley said the woman's screaming woke him. The police don't buy the excuse because they say that Riley confessed to the crime when he was apprehended.  I may have to follow the trial of this case to see how things turn out.

Two years ago, a man in Colorado woke up to a loud "bang" only to realize that he'd shot himself in the knee.  People are on record for doing some odd things when they're asleep.  At night, my father used to push the couch in the front of the door because as a child, I'd sleepwalk outside and sit on the back of the car.  That resorted in him waking up some mornings and finding me asleep on that couch since I wasn't strong enough to push it away from the door.

Is a person responsible for creating a criminal act while they're asleep? Is that a valid defense? If so, can you use it on anything? "Aw, baby, don't get upset. I was sleep cheating. You know I wouldn't have slept with her had I been awake."

"Honey, I gained six pounds because I was sleep eating."

 What sleepwalking excuse would you use to get out of a bad situation?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gone to the Dogs

I haven't owned a dog in quite some time now.  I once had a blue heeler/German Shepherd mix named "Shadow."  He looked like a miniature German shepherd.  Funny dog.  He made me laugh.  That was probably around 2000.  He was small enough to fit in my lap, but it's not anything I ever allowed.  Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that dogs remain on the ground. Maybe because I never had a toy dog 

When I was almost four years old, I got a German Shepherd puppy.  I named him "Killer."  Hey, I said I was three, going on four, so cut me some slack on the name.  I used to love to pick him up and carry him around.  My father told me that if I kept doing that, he would get spoiled.  I learned my lesson that very same night.  Killer was in a box in my room and he howled like he was being forced to watch a recent Nicholas Cage movie.  As soon as I got out of my bed and walked over to his box, he'd look at me with those puppy dog eyes (literally) and would get quiet.  It took three nights for him to sleep through the night without screaming for me.  I never picked him up again.  If I wanted to pet him, I would sit down on the floor/ground and do so from there.

People today take their love for dogs to a whole new level.  Something that I absolutely can't stand to see is a person driving with a dog in their lap.  There should be a law against it because it's a driving hazard.  I once saw a lady veering from lane-to-lane on the interstate.  I thought she was drunk, but when I passed her, I saw her dog was trying to lick her in the face while she was driving.  I also saw a lady almost rear-end a guy when her dog acted as if he was jumping out of the window.  She got so nervous that she almost didn't hit the brake in time after getting him under control.

"Girl, did you see what Snooki did last night?"
I know that this country has gone to the dogs and I didn't have a problem with it until I realized that it affects my safety.  Keep your pets in the backseat and out of your lap.  So many people claim to love their pets like children, but you wouldn't let your child ride in your lap on the interstate, would you? The state of Hawaii already has a law in place requiring dogs are restrained in cars and other states are following suit. I can only hope that this becomes a country-wide law and soon. People are already distracted enough by iPods and cell phones. The last thing I need is someone hitting me head-on because FiFi blocked their view.
Good dog!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Flashback to Pros

 At least once a month, I'm going to flashback to previous posts for my new followers who may have missed out. A year ago today, I posted about how some guys just don't realize how good they have it. Some guys can have a great situation at home, but allow their ego to mess it up. Memo to all guys: if you put family first, then your ego won't ever deter you away from the correct decision in anything. This includes the career of your wife. 

You see, some guys can't tolerate not being the breadwinner of the family. A man may even limit the success of his wife simply because he thinks more salary equals more leverage. If a woman has a successful career when you meet her or aspirations of one, then do not deter her. Help her reach her goals or find someone else to marry if it threatens your tiny mind. But, don't ever try to turn a pro(fessional woman) into a housewife. Here's the story I'm referring to from a year ago...

Ladies, would you give up your career for a man? Fellas, would you ask a woman to do so?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scan My Butt

Geekdom meets exploitation! You can't beat it! Companies are now using QR codes to advertise their products and what better product placement than on the butt? QR codes are the bar codes that you scan with your phone in order to access the message and / or website.

So, take technology and mix it with a man wanting any type of excuse to aim his cell phone at a woman's butt and you have a marketing dream!

Beach volleyball, car shows and electronic expos are the breeding grounds for this new form of advertising.  With the recent E3 expo in Vegas, there were plenty of cell phones taking photos scanning QR codes to get information on products. I'm not sure how I'd feel about someone trying to scan my butt.

Fair or foul on this new form of advertising?

Monday, June 11, 2012

@WheresTheCup? Ask @TayStevens!

Below is the adult movie star, Taylor Stevens.

Below is New Jersey Devils coach, Peter DeBoer. He is checking out the scoreboard and trying to manage his team in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Devils have not played well in this series and they appear to be distracted.

Question: What do you think could possibly distract a coach and his team from a championship series?

Answer: Someone buying a busty porn star tickets right behind his bench.

What body part distracts you the most?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Why I Hate @ATT

As a consumer, I love the platform that a blog gives me.  Although I'll never be viewed as much as a Consumer Reports website or maybe a CNET, I still get my share of readers.  I absolutely hate the "service" given at AT&T.  That, to me, is the most incompetent company I've ever dealt with in my life.  Let me share with you an experience so new readers can understand why I hate AT&T...

I had crappy DSL speeds.  Being a former Bellsouth customer, the maximum speeds for DSL was 3.0 mbps.  That's not very fast.  Even some of the shortest YouTube videos would buffer.  After U-Verse arrived in my area, I figured I'd upgrade to a faster speed.  After all, it's only $5 more per month to upgrade to 12.0 mbps.  That's four times the speed that I currently have.  My Hulu+ videos should pop off of my TV with that kind of speed!

So, I order the equipment.  AT&T offers to install everything for you for $150, but I'm a nerd, so I don't need no stinkin' professional installation.  I get an e-mail after placing my order (Wednesday) that states that my equipment will arrive on Monday.  Alright, cool.  Monday arrives and at 10 AM, The Mrs. calls me at work.  "Hey."

"Hi, how are you?"

"I'm fine, but the internet is down."



The idiots at AT&T disconnected my internet service before I even received my new equipment.  How dumb is that?  Why not wait until the equipment arrives and the person calls in to activate it?  Now my Furious Level is at an 8 (it pretty much stays on a 6 year around for AT&T).  The Mrs. calls AT&T to see what's going on and she gets a recording.  "If you're equipment has not arrived, please press 2," says the recording.

She presses 2 and the recording gives her the number to UPS.  LOL!  Really?  You cut off our internet servive and then throw UPS under the bus?  Anyhoo, the equipment arrives around 530 PM and The Mrs. takes everything out of the box.  Keep in mind that AT&T "offered" professional installation for $150.  We plugged in the DSL filter to the phone jack, plugged in the power to the modem, registered online and were up and running in 10-15 minutes.  And they were going to charge $150 for that?  A rip off!  I know there are some non-confident or eldery people not capable of understanding how these things work, but to charge them $10 per minute for something that easy is criminal!  That's easily a $40 job on the high end.  I personally wouldn't charge a customer even that since AT&T had already charged me a $100 "activation fee" just for signing up for their upgrade.

I hate AT&T.  I flat out hate the level of "service" they provide.  Just like the government, they have so many divisions and branches that one doesn't know what the other is doing.  I was told less than two months ago that I didn't have U-Verse in my area by a BellSouth agent.  I went online and chatted with an AT&T rep last week and found out that it's been in my area for almost two years.  This is what happens when you become so large of a company that you don't even know what the left hand is doing because it's too far gone from the right.

I use AT&T not because I want to, but because I have to.  The only other provider in my area is Comcast and from what my co-workers tell me, their service goes down more than a Kardashian at a sporting event.  So, I'm stuck with AT&T. (Sigh)  And to top it all off, my internet download speeds that are supposed to be "up to 12 mbps" have yet to even cross 7.0 mbps.  I'm not even getting 75% of the speeds that they promised!  When I had 3.0 mbps, I consistently got between 2.5 and 2.8.  Now I can't even get 8.0 mbps?

If I didn't still have friends working there who need their jobs, I'd go straight to my local news station with this.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dealing with Death

I know that I've been missing from my blog and social networks for a while.  It just wasn't a focus of mine over the past week or so.  My mom passed away at 130 AM on June 2nd.  She had been battling multiple myeloma for a couple of years now.  She was in and out of the hospital over the past few months, but she checked in, for the last time, the day after Mother's Day.

It was within a week that we learned that it was pretty much a waiting game.  We didn't know when, but we knew that death was inevitable and that the doctors could do no more.  Although it was painful to watch my mom fade with each passing day, things were made a bit easier to know how many people loved her.  She had tons of visitors and got to benefit from the love from so many people whose lives she had touched over the years.

To me, that was the true meaning of a legacy.  A legacy isn't leaving children behind or having some statue built in your honor.  A legacy is leaving people with a part of you that they will keep with them forever.  My mom passed away with family at her side and that's what anyone should want.  Not some phone call saying something unexpected happened, but to be able to actually say "goodbye."

I feel a sense of pride of how wonderful of a lady she was based on all of the people who have come by to visit my dad.  How could one person have touched so many lives in 69 years?  I know that the strength and pride that I feel today will stay with me after the funeral.  The services on tomorrow will be "closed casket" at my mom's request, so yesterday's viewing at the funeral home was my last time seeing her.  The tears I shed on yesterday were not because I was feeling sorry for myself or asking "why?"  They were tears of gratitude of me saying "thank you."  "Thank you" for keeping me in line when I was a child and for never stop being my mother after adulthood.  Even though I'm dealing with death, the memories of the life lessons that you taught will still guide me going forward.

I ask that my readers understand that I don't plan on responding to any comments on this post although I do appreciate them.  I need to get past this feeling I've had.  It's not healthy.  After a few days of feeling lost, I'm slowly returning back to my everyday self.  That's what my mom would have wanted.  For me to be me.  For me to be the strong one and to take care of my grandmother and my father.  To do that, I have to have the strength to move on...

...And Momma didn't raise no punk.

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