I was thinking that when I got home from work today I would go ahead and finish off cleaning up the chaos that is the ‘computer room’. Instead, I got a letter in the mail from a collection agency regarding a long distance company that I have not had for several months. I did a quick check of my banking register to find that yes the amount in question was 103.53, and the check for it had been written and mailed forever and a day ago. I don’t keep my bank statements anymore so I had to get online to find the particular check (706 in this case) to make sure that it had been cashed. The company had cashed the check a couple of weeks ago, then turned me over to a collection agency without even sending me one of those demanding ‘final notice’ type letters. So, I called the collection agency to give them the information about the check, the date it was cashed and an offer to get a copy of the check emailed to them. She asked me to hold for a moment, I assume she was calling the referring company at that point, then came back on and said that the processing time for payments can sometimes be longer than expected, but noted that if I call her back in a week we can see if the problem has resolved itself.
I know that companies make this type of error frequently, I do not really hate them for it as it is just a clerical error that is usually quite easy to fix. What can their defense possibly be when you produce a copy of the check that they cashed? The thing that I find irritating is that she would not say that, yes, the company had cashed the check weeks ago and it was an error on their part to turn the bill over to collection. So will my credit report now show that I left the bill unpaid long enough for it to be turned over to a collection agency, while the reality is that the bill had long been paid? If that turns out to be the case I will likely be more than irritated, hostile perhaps. And honestly if they thought that I had not paid them, why not one of those lame courtesy calls that could have cleared it all up when I explained to them that they had cashed the check? I am not entirely sure if companies moving their call centers to foriegn countries is really working out all that well in that respect.
Hopefully this situation will not escalate to the point where I have to get the Attorney General involved. That may seem far fetched, but my wife had to do exactly that to get her cell phone company to finally admit that they had cashed her check. We still don’t know whose account they posted that payment to, but it certainly wasn’t hers and it took government intervention to get the matter cleared up. Now That is customer service.
• I haven’t posted many news items here lately since the only thing there seems to be to post is about prison abuse. Today, however, I found a few things that I am going to comment on, not because they are newsworthy but because they are humorous, except one.
I usually just read the headlines from Yahoo News, and the little story that they have there, if the story interests me I will go to a major news site and search for the subject. This has worked pretty well for me in the past, it seems that I may have been getting a lot of bogus information though.
The first instance can be found Here. It is in regards to drugs being used by participants in the Olympics. But read this quote:
Greene said Monday he stands behind the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency rule that can bar an athlete from competing in the Athens Olympics without a positive drug test. On Sunday, Jones said she would go to court if USADA held her out because of the rule.
I read that paragraph several times to make sure that I was seeing it as it appeared and not omitting any words. You see the thing is that most athletes get banned from the sport because they test positive for drugs. So is that saying that we actually require our Olympians to use drugs? If that is the case then perhaps the athletes in question should just smoke a joint and get re-tested.
This one is pretty good also. It is an article about states that are run by republicans raising taxes. And at quite an alarming rate:
Ohi o. Spending in the Buckeye state has risen 71% during the past decade, when Republicans have controlled both the governor’s office and the legislature. To fund this spending, Republican Gov. Bob Taft, backed by the GOP legislature, has increased the sales tax by 20%, upped the gasoline tax by two cents a gallon and increased numerous small business fees.
Wow. The sales tax here just went up by 2/10ths of a percent (city tax) and I found that a bit irritating. Imagine if someone suddenly upped your sales tax by 20%! That would likely be the start of a revolt. I think that what they mean is that if the tax there was 10% previously it is now 12%, yet since the tax itself is measured in percentage it makes it look like it would have gone from 10% to 30%. Perhaps they could have elaborated on that just a bit to let you know exactly what they were trying to say?
I have said it since day one, I don’t proofread. It may be a fault but it is all mine. I really think that a site as popular as Yahoo News should go ahead and do a bit of proofreading.
• Here is a news item that is just plain depressing. Dubya has decided to start attacking gay marriage again. Could there be a worse time for him to do it? Actually I guess the question should be could there be a better time for him to do it. A quote from the article:
Noting that he had called on Congress some time ago to pass a constitutional amendment banning such marriages, Bush said “the need for that amendment is still urgent, and I renew that call today.”
Hmmm. Makes me wonder why this is suddenly ‘urgent’. Maybe he actually has advisors that read the latest popularity surveys for him and let him know that he doesn’t have much time left in office? Imagine if they do get that legislation pushed through. In they eyes of all but the most hardcore right-wing supporters, the legacy of Dubya will be failing to finish the job that his daddy started and pushing western society back a few decades by making homosexuality illegal. How can anyone have a set of beliefs that are just so idiotic and be in control of the most powerful country on earth?
Well I guess that is about enough for today. Check back tomorrow for more of my cheery, happy writing.