What a way to run a business

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  #1  
Old 01-29-10, 08:19 AM
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What a way to run a business

Okay, no names here, but everyone will problably know who it is.

Several months ago the buyout of my cell provider by another company was completed. It was pretty seamless other than the new company's monthly bill is as big as War & Peace.

My buddy who owns another towing company has same provider. Our businesses and financial condition are pretty similar. He has 3 cell lines, I have four; we pay our bills on time; both had been with the original provider for over ten years. So anyway, his wife goes into the local store to replace a dead phone. First she's told she's not authorized, but that's not much of an issue; easy to demonstrate she's authorized. BUT when they get the new phone out and she tells them to put it on the account/bill she's told it can't be done. Now, we've all been doing this for years under the old company and have been paying our bills with the new one for 5 months. Wife calls my buddy who then calls the 800 number for the provider. After two hours either on hold or talking to the rep (mostly on hold while the rep tried to track down the answer) the bottom line was that they could not extend "credit" for the new phone because he had not been with the company for 6 months.

I was sitting across the desk from him for about the last 45 minutes of the call just shaking my head. Awhile later I decided to play devil's advocate so called the "*" number to get customer service and asked about replacing one of my phones and putting it on the account. She said no problem and then I told her the rest of the story. The call rep I talked to said that was entirely wrong and even pulled up my buddy's account and found nothing that would have prevented him from doing it.

Too late, of course; he's already shopping for a new provider.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-29-10, 10:16 AM
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Sadly, that is pretty much what happens when a larger company takes over a smaller one. Customer service drops. My local phone company was bought recently. Before when I had a problem with my service I could go down to the office an get a new modem and fix it within an hour or have a service guy out the next day. Now I have to call tech support, they have to make a ticket, then set up an appointment 3 days later between 12 and 4. The same service guy shows up and changes out the modem and were good to go. You tell me which is better?

I feel your pain.
 
  #3  
Old 01-29-10, 10:54 AM
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Ok...not a cell company but how about this.

A while back our local utility (gas and elec) stopped accepting payments in person at their offices. Not just cash, but checks or MOs as well. They have 2 dropboxes (2! in a rural area of about 35K people), or you can mail it (cost of a stamp) or pay online (not everyone has PCs...plenty of old people and no money types). But..you can't mail or drop off cash....they will mail it back to you. So yer out the check or cost of a MO. (I haven't written a check except for paying a doctor bill in prob a year.

Of course you can also go to Wally World and pay an $.88 fee for the privilege of giving them your cash.


Many people here live way out on ranches and such and come to town every few weeks to shop, pay bills, buy water, etc. Yep...I said buy water, still plenty of water haulers here, 300-500 gal tanks in the back of their trucks. Many do not have mail pickup or delivery as well..they have to maintain PO boxes. And then there are the real poor who work day jobs and such for cash...every penny counts.

Seems pretty odd that a company won't except cash for a debt isn't it? Maybe even illegal?
 
  #4  
Old 01-29-10, 02:20 PM
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" This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private"

What part of that don't they get?
 
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Old 01-29-10, 03:12 PM
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Yeah..I know...but ya have to be able to actually give it to someone....thats the rub.
 
  #6  
Old 01-29-10, 03:58 PM
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My youngest son still has insurance thru an agency I quit dealing with. They no longer accept cash payments! I think it's because of me and my son. He doesn't have a checking account and he brought his car ins bill and homeowner's bill along with the cash and asked me to pay it for him. Since I had to drive right past the agency on my way to a Dr. appointment the next morning, I stopped and paid both bills with his cash and got a receipt.

Well you know that's not the end of the story The following month we found out his car insurance had been canceled for non payment...... so back down there I went with both receipts.They claimed it was only an issue with the car insurance because the HO ins was with a different company. I asked them to make sure and they said there was no need. A few months later we found out the home owners was canceled for non payment.... another wasted hour getting that straightened out

I also had insurance thru the same agency. My jeep broke down and I had it towed to the house and turned in the bill.The check never came so I called the main insurance company and they said it had never been turned in Went back down and they said "oh the tow bill is right here - we didn't know who's it was" My name and address was on the bill The agency wasn't done screwing up. A month later I get a letter from mark jr's insurance company saying they wouldn't pay for towing because there was no towing coverage on his truck policy

and they wonder why I took my business elsewhere
 
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Old 01-29-10, 07:42 PM
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Another tangent, but similar. Probably 8 years ago my wife had an accident on our farm which entailed damage to her face and upper jawbone. We had great coverage by a popular insurance company, but we opted not to have dental coverage, since we had good dental health and the cost superceded our yearly outlay. Insurance covered all the surgeries, etc to correct the damage (pretty as ever, by the way), but every time the Maxofacial surgeon presented us a bill, the insurance company would deny it because we had no "dental" coverage. I would explain it was due to an accident, and they would eventually pay it. After this happened about 9 times, I took the denial to their local office, asked to speak to xxxx who signed the letter, was told she was on the phone. I walked down the hall, found her name on a door, went in and sat on her desk to the shock of the front office people. 100 lb receptionist no match for a 250 lb redneck. Told her if I ever got another denial for this accident coverage, I would be back, and she didn't want me to come back.
Never got another denial.
 
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Old 01-30-10, 05:00 AM
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Another successful graduate of the Tow Guy School of Dealing with Bureaucracies. Beer 4U2
 
  #9  
Old 01-30-10, 06:28 AM
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IMO, the scenarios described here and almost every scenario like it, meaning dealing with huge merged and then mega merged companies to "BIG" to fail, turns out the same.

First indication we where heading in this direction of dealing with GIANT companies whom deal with their customers as numbers and not individuals or valued customers was the automated phone systems.

Call the 800 # and go in continuous and endless loops in an effort to discourage the calling party until they hang up.... in total frustration attempting to talk to a live & breathing customer service rep.... Or get someone on the phone whom hasn't got clue what your problem is nor how to resolve it on the first call or first attempt.....

Now a days, long after and still continuing to merge and mega merge, many companies continue the practice of customer no service or very little service. Problem is where are you to go to another company that isn't the same?????

What happened to local companies where you where known on a first name bases, your business was highly regarded and truly valued.....?????

Answer: (IMO)
Deregulation started it all way back in the 80's under the false pretenses of bigger is better. OH YEAH??? HOW? We now have huge companies that over the years merged (consumed) the smaller companies. The consumer/customers (us) now have LESS competition, lower levels of customer services and in most cases no where else to go but to yet another GIANT/HUGE mega merged company which also is to big to fail.........

Soon in all or many industries there just might be only two or three GIANT companies we have to deal with. Worse yet, unregulated. Free to offer less service, raise rates and monopolize the industry we are left to deal with.

Question is:
How are we the customers to deal with less choices in an industry, fewer companies to choose from, less competition and less services??? While rates rise like those in the credit industry presently..... before the new law took effect????

Summation:
De-regulation, IMO, has been just about the worse thing to happen to the customer and the country. But one of the best for the companies. What deregulation was IMO is the best con job on the American public ever sold to us by those whom we once trusted the most. Our elected leaders....

"the Tow Guy School of Dealing with Bureaucracies"
Did I graduate.......?????.....
 
  #10  
Old 01-30-10, 07:29 AM
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Thumbs down Terms of a Contract (???)

Ever read the FINE print of any contract you already have????

A "CONTRACT" in it's truest meaning is and was at one time prior, a binding agreement between two or more parties, persons and/or customers.

Most commonly in the financial and insurance industries. The terms of the so called "Contract" between you and the "Company" was binding. Now a days it allows the company to change or amend the terms of the contract at will in the best interests of the company.

Problem is, UUUUUUUUUUUUU have NO choice in the matter and NO option to amend any aspect of the "Contract." Any such desired change you want warrants a NEW CONTRACT with NEW terms uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu must accept....

Such exists with almost any insurance policy, financial policy, credit cards, phone services, auto policies and home owners policies. Health insurances too!

The "Company" always reserves the right to amend the contract to their best interests. Often referred to as "Exclusions of coverages" and/or "Exclusions of pre-existing conditions" etc.....

Almost every time my home owners policy comes up for renewal there is an exclusion of some coverage that existed with the old policy. Changes in the terms of coverages etc. can and even happen even during the life of the contract.

Often stated by the company as we no longer cover..xyz. And no longer cover zyx. After a few of these, what's left? Paying a premium for NO coverage to any risk the "Company" might encounter.....

In the strictest definition of a contract and how a contract was once defined, neither party can change any aspect of a binding contract without mutual agreement. Not so anymore dealing with huge companies that have lots of clout with elected officials of either party....

Contracts are now worded into the best interests of the company and not the policy holder. customer/consumer.......

Suggestion:
READ THE FINE PRINT BEFORE SIGNING A "CONTRACT."

Edited In Section:
BTW. U may as well have an "UMBRELLA" insurance policy that supposedly covers everything but offers none at all or has very little coverages on anything. Have a "CLAIM?" Sure. The insurance company will cover the cost, less the deductible. However, the company reserves the RIGHT to "INCREASE" the cost of the policy and/or premiums to "RE-COUP" their losses with your claim until all expenses are recovered. Your penalty for have a "CLAIM."

In others words, the company actually "LOANS" you the $$$$$ you presently don't have, until that debit is paid off. At times with "INTEREST" often called "premium increases", on that "BORROWED" $$$$$. May as well have a SECOND mortgage on the house. At least the interest on a 2nd is still deductable.....LOL! And that too can change without your consent, agreement and/or any prior notice.....YIKES!

Question:
Did I pass the tow_guys schooling???
Just got to "LOVE" it!

BTW #2
Recently, a HUGE cell phone company offered their customers a monthly "DISCOUNT!" $1.50 a month. WOW! Such a deal. The excuse they offered was to save a tree. Yet the statement claimed it was printed on "RECYCLED" paper. (???)

You would expect such a discount was in your "FAVOR." Well NOT exactly so. Read the "FINE" print. To obtain that discount you must agree to not getting a PAPER statement. If you elected to get that monthly PAPER statement, the cost would be $1.50 a month. WOW! YIKES! The truth was the company wanted to save themselves the costs associated with billing. And "POCKET" the savings. More exactly increase their bottom line by passing the costs on to you, which you already incurred by doing business with them in the first place!!!!!!!!

'Ya just gotta LOVE it. A company con artist a work. Well the final outcome was customer outcries. The company has SUSPENDED the offer. At least as they put it, "FOR NOW!" I'm sure they are hard at work revising the wording so it is more deceptive and disguised in terms only a LAWYER would appreciated and understand. NO! Maybe waiting for a back room behind the scenes deal or a mass meeting of all cell phone companies? A meeting to further mage merge and then conspire to monopolize the industry like the OPEC oil producing contries....?????? NAY! We shall see soon enough what deregulation has done to us the customers/consumers, American industries nation wide and will continue to do as unregulated industries.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 01-30-10 at 08:34 AM.
  #11  
Old 01-30-10, 08:01 AM
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Ever got frustrated with your cable company, electric company, gas provider????? They gotcha. Where else will you buy your electrical service? There ain't but one in town. Thus an illegal monopoly IMO. Cable companies have protected areas, so they are technically monopolistic, as well.
I find myself buying locally from mom 'n pop if I can. I never buy shoes or boots from China. How many American manufacturers are there? Probably two. Wolverine and Redwing. But I refuse to give in. We've got to get back to basics, folks.
 
  #12  
Old 01-30-10, 10:38 AM
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I remember a while back having a problem with my phone line. So I went over to my neighbors house to call for a line check. I had to explain to them that I was calling from my neighbors house, after the rep had expressed something like astonishment as to how I was calling them if there was something wrong with my phone line. While I was waiting for the rep to proccess the request, my neighbors wife, who was leaning on a chair across the room, idly mentioned a problem they had had with XX&X. The rep then told me to let her know that XX&x wasn't one of the largest companies by accident and etc etc. I sat there a bit stupified before finally telling her... well before telling her that I thought what she said was out of line.

The whole incident just served to expose the kind of brainwashing pep talk team seminars they must inundate these poor people with.


Originally Posted by chandler View Post
How many American manufacturers are there? Probably two. Wolverine and Redwing. But I refuse to give in. We've got to get back to basics, folks.
Agreed.
Not really the larger scale problem you're talking about.
It's just the irony that struck me...
Right after 9-11 had occured and displaying the flag and likenesses of the flag everywhere conceivable came into vogue, I saw a little bucket of American flags on sale next to the register at a convieniance store. I looked at the stiff fraying gauze material on a round corndog stick with mild disgust before I noticed the little gold oval sticker. Made in Taiwan.!!
 
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Old 01-30-10, 10:46 AM
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Mickblock: But it IS EXACTLY the larger scale problem!! We condone it, we encourage it, we pay for it, we live with it, and let it slide. Better stop while I'm ahead.
 
  #14  
Old 01-31-10, 06:01 AM
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Thumbs down Free Trade Isn't Exactly Free Nor Fair

Exactly!
Couldn't agree more.

We condone it, we encourage it, we pay for it, we live with it, and let it slide.
What is being referred to here is called "Free Trade." IMO a bill of falsehoods sold to the American Workers and Tax Payers that it would be in their best interests and Americas best interests to allow Americas manufacturing industries and companies to move off shore to produce their products......

Such a treaty was introduced to American workers back in the early to mid 80's by our elected leaders and a president whom was once a movie star....... The principle of free trade had been discussed many years prior by another president who grows peanuts.

But the idea (plan) never was introduced to congress nor to the U.S. public. Until the so called great communicator discussed the concept and sold us on the idea of free trade.

What we failed to recognize and where not told, such a bill at the federal level would allow our U.S. industrial and manufacturing industries to move off shore taking our jobs away from us. Pulling the Rug out from under our feet and making us feeling good about it. The great communicator was that convincing to everybody.........

The late Teddy K. was right when he accurately stated, Ronnie R. does LOVE poor people. "He's creating millions of them." Now we know why so many in our country are unemployed. Where have all the jobs gone. Simple. Overseas. America now imports more then it exports! And that's a fact.

Think I've said enough here too....

Beer 4U2
 
  #15  
Old 02-01-10, 01:13 AM
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Regarding Telcos, Lee Iococca said he is the greatest proponent of free enterprise but the break up of AT&T caused the demise of one of the best telephone companies in the world and now everyone suffers.

Regarding off-shore stuff, US and Canada are mature countries in terms of capitalism. Off-shore developing countries can beat us in price etc because of eager, low paid resources. They're supporting our consumerism, not the other way around. But not too far down the road, they will have their legacies to deal with just like us. We will adapt to become the competitors but we have more depth of experience. We may lag for awhile but US and Canada will make a comeback.
 
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Old 02-03-10, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharp Advice View Post
Call the 800 # and go in continuous and endless loops in an effort to discourage the calling party until they hang up.... in total frustration attempting to talk to a live & breathing customer service rep.... Or get someone on the phone whom hasn't got clue what your problem is nor how to resolve it on the first call or first attempt.....
Ever get a live person? But that live person is from an Asiatic country?, and you can't hardly understand them? That can really be frustrating.
 
  #17  
Old 02-03-10, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k View Post
Off-shore developing countries can beat us in price etc because of eager, low paid resources. They're supporting our consumerism, not the other way around.
But when you look into the history of recent trade revisions you do see evidence that it is an attempt to dodge the precedence that labor unions seek to establish. That precedence being that a profitable organization ought to provide fair compensation to it's labor and entry level workers. Consumerism isn't the issue. The issue is now the effect on available employment.

A mature country is a country that is willing (forget able, we're able) to balance it's economy in such a way that will allow all of it's constituents the ability to readily find work and be fairly compensated. To be able to be included and participate, if you will.

Remember capitalism can be more pragmatic than to be modeled in such a way that the only two words that pop into peoples heads when you mention the term are profit and consumerism. Employment should also be closely associated. Otherwise, were's the pride?
 
  #18  
Old 02-04-10, 06:36 AM
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Pride is one part of the equation. Protecting a countries industries, it's industrial base and manufacturing industries, etc is most all the rest.

A mature country that has enough available work to keep all it's citizens that want work employed is a country that has citizens with money. A true balanced economy that benefits everyone and does so equally to everyone.

Including the countries tax base on income earned and sales taxes generated. One of countries present problems in almost every state, county and city governments. No money! No tax base generated from earned income and tax revenues.

The bottom line is "You can't due business with people who do not have money." Applies to every level of business and government. Retail sales, wholesale distributions, and all governments revenues.

Several countries protect their citizens by restricting imports of products and services that they can provide with in their own country. 2 come to mind, Australia and New Zealand.

Unless you're a citizen, to work there you need a "Work Visa" which also has a specific time span. Once that time has expired you're unemployed. And they due follow up on it, on you and all employers must comply.

They also have restrictions obtaining citizenship to provide their citizens protections from outsiders obtaining citizenship simply to get and keep employment.

I personally find nothing wrong with providing protections for our citizens in this country and their abilities and desires to work. And making them work if they are able to. No free loaders....

My Two Cents!....

Beer 4U2
 
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