ROOKED BY THE CABLE COMPANY BUNDLE!

A friend wrote:"I'm being ROOKED BY MY CABLE COMPANY! A poor, frugal pal wrote me "Anita, they are stealing my life savings with their "BUNDLE."  I have my TV CABLE SERVICE and MY  computer SERVER bundled with the cable company.  2 yrs ago I switched my telephone service to them - I got a special deal for that phone service, $29.99 for Unlimited National and local service.  I didn't read the fine print apparently; each year it's gone up - so suddenly I was paying around $40 or $45 a month;  then, when I really started micro managing my bill - and looking at every little charge - I was shocked at what I was being charged every month - a $15.55 charge for "digital voice" - ?????  I asked them about it and I still don't know what the hell that's all about - I don't think their reps really do either; so my bills went to like $170 a month! for these 3 things - TV / computer / phone!

I told them to cancel my HBO channels - that was going to save me $16.00 a month - so, that was a good idea;  however, I'm channel surfing the other day and I started passing the HBO channels  - so I clicked on one and lo and behold - THEY'RE BACK!!  don't know how long they've been back, but the HBO channels are working again and they are not supposed to be - so probably I've been being charged for them but didn't notice - The reason I didn't notice them was A.) because I  didn't turn to that channel thinking it was off, and B) because ON THE BILL, everything gets put under the category of "bundle package"  for the 3 items - and you just see the total due. But my bill is down 16$ so I'm not saying a word.

It's outrageous the bill is all 'where the sun don't shine,' and  they are raking us consumers over the coals - bilking us with shady methods.....I've been calling them to no avail - I get reps who listen to my whole big tale of woe - only to be told they 'can't help me' - then they connect me with a 2nd rep who listens and then tells me the same thing - 2 wks ago I spoke with 4 reps, one right after the other - I have to reserve 1/2 day to be on the phone just with the cable company.

Now here's the rub: I didn't pay my bill 10 days ago - now they shut off my TV and telephone; they left the computer on for me, Second kindness if you count the 16$ as the first.  Naturally I can't phone in, it's dead so no calling them - - I go online and try to talk to a 'live' rep - they tell me to call into the cable company - which I can't do. Then I try emailing - but they don't want me to email - they say it's not their policy to do things via email over the internet; but I do it anyway for the sake of having proof of my requests (demands) on record!

So now I'm incommunicado with the world. I'm no spring chicken. When I was sick about a month ago - I had this coughing/choking/gagging thing going on - it was bad - I was so sick for about 2 wks - in the middle of that I was on the phone with the Cable company - finally after getting a real, genuine person who said she was a supervisor and listened to my plight - she said IF I FAXED HER OVER ALL MY EMAILS that were outlining my issues with them - she would credit me back from Sept. or Oct!

If it is true what I said that 'if you (The Cable company) cannot pare down my bill to where I can afford it every month - then I'd rather you disconnect my telephone - I save about $50 a month that way.   So, this Supervisor said if that is true - and I have it on record (well, I do but not in those exact words).....she would credit me and then disconnect my phone (which is already disconnected anyway).

At the time I told her how sick I was and entering seniordom and all and how I could not get out of the house to run to the library (to print the emails out - my printer is missing in action packed away in the garage) --- she told me until I can fax her those papers she can't help me - so I was sick for another week, no way to talk to the world...then being old and fuzzy, I misplaced her fax #.   Now I'm back to square one. Just for geting this ONE problem on my LIST of problems taken care of - it will cost me so much effort, time and money;  I have to WALK to the library, (cops relieved me of car, no recent tags on it.) And print all docs out - walk seven miles to Kinko's and pay to fax these at about 2.00 a page!  I'm a senior, no car, that means walking a mile to a bus stop. I do have a free bus ride if before 3 pm. But No can do - too old to walk that far in heat. - so I'll have to mail them and wait forever for them to fall into the right hands! BUT HOW TO GET A STAMP? Postman will not sell them. 2 miles to POST OFFICE. WALKING. My bike has flat tire. SUICIDE BIKE, is its name. Once I went over the handlebars, luckily the only bush between me and the market was where I FLEW!. Not a stickle bush either. MAN AM I LUCKY! (Two bags of groceries were swinging off handlebars, that's what did it.)

Like I said I have other pressing issues that I have to tackle - finding rides to market, l0 hungry cats that I cook junk, cheap chicken for daily. Biking with swinging chickens. It's just maddening......and on top of it I am scammed by 2 companies over the internet - my checking/debit card was charged $39.99 for something I did not order. It's a long story but I did not order it - after putting in my information (which I usually know better than to do) - I went to next page on internet and saw the fine print that said after 14 days they will bill me - so I pressed the back button and erased all info - without ever pressing the purchase button - yet the charge came into my bank - not enough $$ in account - so the damn bank PAID IT - on a debit card!!!  not a check!   and I went down to the bank on my bike, this was when it had air in the tire, now it doesn't.  and complained and the guy was very stern and unsympathetic - and looked at me  convinced of my blame  in this;  he acted like IF I WERE LEGITIMATE and not just a WELCHER, it should be no problem to call these 2 companies - cancel whatever they were sending me - and yeah right everybody lives happily ever after - this guy is CLUELESS - he says "we deal with fraud all the time"  - well, you'd never know it - because these internet companies are unscrupulous - I called - because the bank would not deal with trying to get my money back that they paid out without my authorization!   No good! This 'GOOGLE' COMPANY SAID THAT THIS SUPPOSED 'KIT' I ORDERED IS ON BACK ORDER - THAT IS WHY I NEVER RECEIVED SOMETHING THEY SUBMITTED FOR 39.99 AND FOR WHICH THEY WERE PAID - YET THEY RFUSE TO REFUND MY MONEY!   AND THIS IS JUST ONE OF 2 COMPANIES I'M NOW FIGHTING WITH.! So my high blood pressure is just insane these days.

I DON'T EVEN WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT BANK EVER - The guy there was so indifferent to my complaints - he just looked at me like he didn't believe me - like I was an annoying fly that he wished would go away - that is how I felt - humiliated by his lack of understanding or trying to understand.  I tried to get him into a conversation about it but he resisted.....so, I decided to make him sit up and take notice --- I said to him....'I will be getting a small pension shortly - do you have some info on CD's w/your bank - the current rates, etc.?  He perked right up - and became, dare I say - more professional?  and amenable?  What a shit!!   All of a sudden he was attentive and his 'dismissive' attitude had dissipated!   An hour later, I cancelled  that new checking account - don't want to have any dealings with him or the bank he rode in on, ever again.......That's the only he-he-he this month."

I read this poor woman's email depicting sufferings in horror. As a FRUGAL senior, I petitioned my phone company for the SENIOR RATE, or low income rate, so phone is 15$ a month. Ditto Gas, bringing it down to 30$ in winter, (I use it for heat, cooking, hot water,) and 19$ gas bill the rest of the year.

I petitioned the Dept of Water and Power to consider the similar low income petition. All the utilities demanded NOTARIZED STATEMENT  of earnings along with FAXED TAX RECORDS, PROOF of income, a whole stack of papers. I phoned them back. I am disabled, my total earnings are SOCIAL SECURITY 670$ a month, that has to go for rent, food, dental and all utilities. I don't have the 20$ for the notary, I don't have 5$ for food. I  have no children in this city. New York --Yucaipa, San Bernadino & Hawaii is where they live -- I do not drive much less do I  even know where notaries are, nor do I have the money for a notary nor a fax machine that you ask me to USE to fax to your office. I could mail you my tax records if I had stamps.  I have no way to get to post office two miles away --to buy a stamp, so do you want this senior to walk to the P.O., two miles, only I'm a senior with heart problems, which is the reason why I get disability money of 300 and the social security check is 300...my rent is twice that, not talkin' about food, utilities...so what you're asking is a hardship. Also, THERE IS no notary between here and the post office. So aren't you making it too cruelly hard for the disabled seniors you are hired to serve?

Anyway, back and forth a few times on the phone, they realized that they do have this program for people like me. Old, Sick Poor. and they demanded I mail the entire package to them, that was as low as they'd go. I waited a bit and they reduced my rates. Combo of Water/Electricity SEWER and Sanitation is now 100$ a month. My PC SERVER EARTHLINK NET is very high, 40$ but I get l0 free websites with it. with weird, useless URLS like http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/ ( charmmmmingggg!) No way I can leave them, though I hear there are 15$ servers. I may petition them to do a senior price.

ANITA's PERSONAL FREE GREAT TELEVISION STORY. For last ten years, I have had no cable, not even basic. But I got the "DIGITAL CONVERTER BOX COUPON that the Gov offered to buy the arial and digital box at a cost of 30$ and with them, I get better shows than CABLE HAS! Many crawled over from CABLE! My Public television PBS stations, three separate channels in the greater Los Angeles area, each has FOUR STATIONS on each digital, so I have 28.1 and 28.2. and 28.3 and so on... all digital.

I have watched MHZ INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY CHANNEL nightly with shows from Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, England. Finland, That P.I. is a hunk.)  Anno 1790, like Dickens only Stockholm and a much earlier period, right after Revolution in France. It is a STUNNING mystery historical show. Then there are FOUR DIFFERENT ITALIAN COP SHOWS. And another four cops in SWEDISH. All subtitled. And MAIGRET in FRENCH! WOW! Great Fun to learn the language this way! And I 'receive' American prime time crime tv nightly on CBS mostly Little ABC. I used to get a lot of major channel series like LIFE ON MARS, SURFACE, THE JOURNEYMAN,  many of which were too good for USA & got CANCELLED! Now I watch  COLD CASE, LAW AND ORDER re runs, plus the new Mentalist, Person of Interest, (my fave,) Grimm, (very good,) Best of all my viewing was on PBS where we get BORGEN from Denmark, top show! Also M15 called Spooks in UK, Downton Abbey, BLEAK HOUSE, a wonderful DICKENS mini-series and I was mightily  entertained.

I subscribed to a small local newspaper and on the TV page, read the old movies they offer on Cable, Terrible selection. I saw them all back in the sixties! However, this NEWSPAPER raised their rates and billed my bank account automatically so I quit the newspaper and will be getting my TV GUIDES online now, I bookmarked both ZAP2IT AND TITAN TV for fast access, study the channels 2 thru 58, jot 8PM 9PM 10Pm on my piece of paper and fill in my choices..

As for newspapers, I used to believe that manufactaurer coupons on Sunday were useful but they aren't now. My super market stopped doubling so I don't need a newspaper for that. I just buy bible bread and sale chicken and greens, fruit to make jam, butter, coffee and only if on sale so my 'rides' to market (who exchange my astrology services for the ride,) the market they take me to WHERE it's on sale. Post Office sends flyers from every market so I can choose where the POLLO is BARRATO!

I think that the OLIGARCHS who are squeezing us REALIZE that FRUGAL PEOPLE are figuring ways to EXIST, EAT AND BE ENTERTAINED for free! Cable, servers, utilities, water, electricity, food, rents all get jacked up regularly. Anything that life forms require. Wall Street is now buying up all those foreclosed homes to RENT to us. We will be a rental nation , or are now. But thank Gawd someone invented DIGITAL TV and I love it. But watch THOSE DAMNED CONVERTER BOXES THAT DO NOT WORK if you're too far from the station location, which break if you drop them while moving an ariel, yet the boxes/ariels cost you SO MUCH! Them and the ARIALS you must BUY. And there are no more coupons. SEE HOAX TV!!

 
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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Futurist and Astrologer. Catch up with her websites  TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The  FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS,  HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS....* Anita is at astrology@earthlink.net ). Get a 15$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!

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