Monday, May 21, 2018

My Troubles With AT&T: Update May 21, 2018

I am so incredibly frustrated with AT&T, mainly with the company's failure to honor promises regarding my bill, but also with its continuing inability to solve the issue. Over and over, I will speak with someone at AT&T who promises to get to the bottom of the issue. And then, invariably, I never hear from that person again.

Briefly, what happened is, after continued problems with my service, I was promised in February that my next bill would be $0. When it arrived, it was the usual amount. At that point, I was again without service (landline and internet). So I used my cell phone (thank you, Verizon) to call AT&T on March 12th. On that day, an employee named Patrick promised me he had taken care of that bill, and promised me that my next bill would also be $0. He didn't. And it wasn't. So now AT&T was demanding money, including a late payment tacked on, for bills I was promised would be $0. Again, that was on March 12th. It is now May 21st. Not only has the problem not been resolved, but no one has followed through even on the various promises to keep me apprised of the situation. You see, all calls to AT&T are recorded. So there is, somewhere, a recording of that March 12th call. I was told they couldn't find it; then I was told they hadn't looked for it; then I was told they never listen to those calls anyway; then I was told again they would find the recording.

Here are links to earlier updates:
- April 12, 2018
- April 12, 2018, Part 2
- April 13, 2018
- April 16, 2018
- April 29, 2018
- May 1, 2018

And now here is the latest:

5-1-18 (continued)
  • A little after 5:30, I tried to get online, but for some reason I was not connected. I then connected, but after a moment was kicked offline. I connected again, and things seemed to be okay. For eight or nine minutes.
  • At 5:42 p.m., I was kicked offline again. My phone, however, was working. And the broadband light was green on my modem. What new problem was this?
  • At 5:44 p.m., I was able to get online again.
  • At 5:45 p.m., I was kicked off again.
  • At 5:47 p.m., it seemed to be working. Nope. At 5:49 p.m., it went out again.
  • At 5:54 p.m., I called the last technician who visited me and left a message explaining my new problem.
  • At 6:01 p.m., I gave up and turned off the computer.
  • At 6:58 p.m., the technician sent me a text message: “Try factory resetting the modem by holding down the red button on the back for 30 seconds and let it reset. When the broadband and service lite go solid green u should be good to go”
  • I replied: “Thank you. Will try now…”
  • I dd as he suggested. I didn’t get back on the computer right away, because I was so frustrated.
  • At 8 p.m., I turned the computer back on. I was not connected to the server, but was able to connect quickly. However, it didn’t last. I was kicked off several times, and had to keep connecting.
  • At 8:07 p.m., I sent another text message to the technician: “Service cuts in and out, but green light on modem remains on. I have to keep connecting to the network.”
  • Problem continued. At 8:14 p.m., I had to connect again.
May 9, 2018
  • At 11:55 a.m., I sent AT&T this message on Facebook: “So now you're ignoring my messages? AT&T is the absolute worst company. Each person says he or she will help, but no one follows through.”
  • Since no one was even reading my messages anymore, I added this one at 12:09 p.m.: “By the way, what is the deal with this payment to Michael Cohen's fake company? You want some insight into Donald Trump? Here is some: He's a whiny, self-obsessed, sociopath who is incapable of caring for anyone but himself. He desperately wants people to love him, and thinks they do. I will accept my consulting fee now.”
  • Then, at 11:35 p.m., I sent this message: “I guess that's it, eh? From now on, you won't be responding to my messages. Nice.”
  • No response. These messages were never even read (you can tell when someone reads a message on Messenger).
  • At noon, I left this comment on AT&T’s Facebook page: “AT&T is terrible. I have been having a problem with the company following through on a promise. This has been going on for two months. Someone will respond, say he or she is going to help, and then never follow through. Now AT&T is ignoring all the messages I've sent through Facebook. And they haven't called me back, though multiple people promised they would. How can AT&T treat its customers like this?”
May 10, 2018
  • At 11:57 a.m., I left this comment on AT&T’s Facebook page: “So, is AT&T just ignoring the messages I've sent now? You say you'll help, but you never follow through. What kind of way is that to treat your customers? Is there is a single competent person in your company who can finally solve the problem I've been having for months? I don't think so.”
May 14, 2018
  • At 12:43 a.m., I sent this message via Facebook: “So, for the record, the last time you responded to - or even read - one of my messages was April 26th. What's the deal? Are you all busy doing damage control because of the insane Michael Cohen deal, and have no time to speak with your customers?”
  • At 12:45 a.m., I also posted that message on AT&T’s Facebook page. 
May 21, 2018
  • I received an automated call from AT&T, but hung up. It was about paying my bill. I do not accept calls from recordings. I demand to hear from an actual person.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Donald Trump And The Search For The Great Golden Fountains

      Donald Trump and his girlfriend Ivanka were playing Donald’s favorite board game, Monopoly. Donald had adapted the rules somewhat, and would begin each game by borrowing heavily from the bank. Often he would keep his game piece at the bank, and instruct other players to make the purchases he wanted. In that way, no one was really playing against him. And that’s how Donald liked it. His best friend, Michael Cohen, was usually his favorite companion in the game. But Michael was busy buying sixteen new phones and destroying secret documents in his tree fort, and Ivanka filled in nicely for him. She and her pet rabbit Jared were willing to play the game however Donald wanted it played. They both understood that rules don’t apply to everyone in the same way. Donald made sure the bank gave them some money and property too, though he didn’t allow any other players to put up hotels on their properties. While Donald was busy putting up his newest gold hotel (he’d had a servant paint the pieces), he received an urgent call from his pal Vladimir.
     Vladimir had helped Donald out of several jams in the past, but now Vladimir needed his help in solving a mystery. Two of Vlad’s best gals had disappeared. At first Donald wasn’t sure why he was being called about this matter, until Vlad told him the names of the missing girls – Cherry and Nikki. Donald knew them well. They had helped him get revenge on one of his major adversaries, Barack, by urinating all over a bed that he once slept in. It was a sweet moment, perhaps the best moment of the last decade, and afterward Donald had made a list of other items Barack had touched, for further revenge. So he was eager to get in touch with these two beautiful women anyway. Great gorgeous golden fountains, he thought of them. And he loved all things golden. But now they were missing, and it was up to Donald to solve the case.
     Vlad told him he could assemble a small team to aid him, that he would cover the costs, so Donald invited his close friend Sean and his human gargoyle, Rudy. Donald explained to them the mission. Both were excited about the trip to Russia. Rudy showed his excitement by catching small rodents in his teeth and leaving them in front of Donald’s bedroom door. Sean exclaimed, at receiving the invitation, “Oh, we can have a pajama party in the hotel, and I can wear my new big boy pajamas.” He added, “It will be even better having you right next to me than talking to you all night on the phone.”
     “True,” Donald agreed. “But remember, we have a job to do. Our focus must be on the golden fountains. Code name: pee-pee girls. We have to find them and give them this list I made of things for them to pee on.”
     “Of course,” Sean said. “But we’ll have the entire plane ride over to cuddle and talk.”
     And that’s exactly what they did, while Rudy slept peacefully in the cage at Donald’s feet. It was a good thing Rudy was well rested, because as soon as they landed, Donald sent him out to catch the scent. “Find anything that’s been peed on,” he told Rudy. Donald gave him a small strip of the bed sheet he had saved from the hotel room he’d shared with the golden fountains. Rudy held the cloth in his mouth and bounded out into the streets. “Go get ‘em, boy,” Donald shouted after him in encouragement.
     Sean then turned to Donald, and said, “Should the two of us get settled into our hotel room?”
     Rudy ran through the city, the soiled sheet dangling from his mouth. It wasn’t long before he picked up the scent. And once he caught it, he couldn’t lose it. These girls had peed on everything! It ended up confusing Rudy, and he leaped from one side of the road to the other, from park bench to parked car, from building to building, clinging to fire escapes and balconies, his nose aflame with the scent. Was there anything these girls hadn’t peed on? But Rudy soon realized these were old trails. He needed to find a more recent sample of their golden delights. He was going to need to do some investigative work. But first he needed to go to the hotel room for a treat.
     When he got to the suite, Donald and Sean were in bed. He bounded over to Donald’s side of the bed, and sat on the carpet, waiting patiently for his master’s attention.
     “Back so soon, boy?” Donald asked when he noticed Rudy several minutes later. “Oh, I know what you want. Sean, hand me my pants. I keep treats for Rudy in one of my pockets.”
     Once Rudy had eaten a couple of treats, he was ready to make his report. “The scent of Cherry and Niki is all over this city,” he told Donald. “But the trails are all old. I need to go to their home, or wherever they were last seen, so I can pick up a fresh trail.”
     “Good thinking, Rudy,” Donald told him. “We’ll all go together.” He turned to Sean. “Sean, you’ll have to change out of your pajamas.”
     Sean pouted, but obeyed, pulling off his one-piece pajamas that had “I’m a big boy” printed on the front.
     Less than an hour later the three of them stood in the girls’ apartment. It was Donald’s first time inside it. On his previous trip he had simply honked his horn, and they had come running out to the street. Their apartment was surprisingly tasteful, rather sparsely decorated, and Donald didn’t care for it. Sean stepped into the closet to look for clues while Rudy began sniffing around on the floor. When Rudy got near the bedroom window he started salivating.
     “Found something, Rudy?” Donald asked.
     “The trail begins at the window,” Rudy replied.
     The window was open, and Rudy immediately leaped out through it onto the walkway
     “Sean, let’s go,” Donald shouted to his friend. “Rudy has picked up the trail.”
     Sean stepped out of the closet, wearing a long, terribly revealing dress which was much too snug for his generous frame. “I thought it might help to have something of theirs,” he explained.
     “Quick, out the window,” Donald told him, and Sean climbed out, as Donald made his way around through the door. By the time Donald made it to the side of the building, Rudy was beside himself with excitement, leaping and shouting. The gargoyle had a lot of energy, a lot of spirit, and was eager to please his master. Perhaps that was to make up for moments when he had disappointed him, saying things he shouldn’t have said. Rudy loved to talk, and he loved being at the center of events, and sometimes that eliminated his underdeveloped sense of discretion. Donald reprimanded him then, taking away his favorite squeaky toy and not letting him drink the blood of any stray dogs for a fortnight. It was an ache and humiliation Rudy did not want to suffer again. He would never let his master down in that way, not if he could help it. And now he felt positively electric, the stench of urine strong in his nose, victory nearly in reach. But he had to wait for his master to give the signal. Donald seemed to enjoy keeping Rudy in this heightened state, waiting several moments to catch his breath after the walk around the building before finally saying, “Okay, let’s get them.”
     Rudy then leaped straight into the air, propelling himself forward by his own foul and fetid wind.
     “That creature is full of surprises,” Sean observed, and he and Donald followed him down the street. Sean, who never really looked into matters very closely, began to ponder the girls’ fates. Clearly, someone had grabbed them. Or scared them. People don’t generally leave their apartments through their windows. He didn’t doubt that they would find the girls, but he wasn’t sure what condition they’d be in when they did. Donald’s extended plans for revenge might not work out. Of course, he kept those thoughts to himself as they followed Rudy through the city.
     Ahead, Rudy stopped in front of a particularly imposing building. He stared up at its dark edifice and grimaced. There was danger here. He felt it in the scales of his skin. But he was also certain that Cherry and Nikki were somewhere inside.
     “In there, Rudy?” Donald asked, when he and Sean caught up to him.
     Rudy nodded his head in reply, not taking his eyes off the structure. It was dark grey in color, and tall. Not as tall as Trump Tower, a fact which gave him some relief. But tall, with an aura that made him uneasy. Dark forces made themselves a temporary home here.
     “Okay,” Donald said. “Let’s go in.”
     Rudy was impressed by his master’s fearless disposition, and he did his best to dispel any lingering feelings of fright in his own warped body, as Sean opened the door for them.
     It was quiet inside. The overhead lighting had been dimmed. And no one was behind the front desk.
     “Weird,” Sean said.
     “Yes,” agreed Donald. “Why is no one here to greet me and tell me how great I am? Is this a dream?”
     Sean peaked behind the desk. There was no sign of anyone. And the security monitors were all turned off.
     “Are you sure this is where the pee-pee girls are?” Donald asked Rudy.
     Again, Rudy nodded, but said nothing. The scent of the women was strong, and it led him over to the stairwell. The women had gone upstairs.
     “Now, wait a minute, Rudy,” Donald said. “No one said anything about stairs.” He glanced at the stairwell. “You know, I could probably find two other girls to pee on Barack’s things.”
     But Rudy was already cautiously making his way up the stairs, and Sean followed. So after a moment Donald began in incredibly slow, arduous ascent, pausing after each step to reevaluate the situation. The situation was less and less to his liking, and things seemed grim. He was just about to give up the entire mission when he suddenly caught up to Rudy and Sean, who had stopped at the second floor landing.
     “They’re close,” Rudy said, sniffing the floor and looking down the long dark corridor. “Very close.”
     “Great,” Donald said. “Go find them, Rudy.”
     Rudy, eager to finish the mission, please his master, and get back to his crypt, happily obeyed. The trail brought him halfway down the hall. He stopped before a closed door. “Here,” he told Donald. But Donald could have figured it out for himself at that point, for there was a puddle of urine in front of the door.
     “I’ll take it from here,” Donald said.
     Something smelled funny to Sean, whose long-dormant power of observation, now having clawed its way to daylight through layers of fog and fat, was making up for all that time it had slept, ignored and unused. Everything told him something was wrong here, but before Sean could tell Donald that, Donald opened the door and stepped inside the room, quickly followed by his gargoyle. Sean loved Donald dearly, but his instinct was to flee.
     He ignored his instinct.
     Sean stepped into the room, shocked by what he saw.
     Cherry and Nikki were tied to metal chairs in the center of the room, their mouths gagged. Upon seeing Donald, they started shaking their heads violently, calling out to him, their words muffled by their gags.
     “Pee-pee girls, what happened?” Donald asked as Rudy removed their gags.
     “Get out, Donald, it’s a trap,” Cherry exclaimed as soon as she was able.
     “Is that my dress?” Nikki shouted.
     Just then, several large men stepped in behind Sean, blocking the door and eliminating any hope of escape. Sean stepped toward Donald instinctively for safety, needing his warm glow in this moment of fear and uncertainty. As he did, another figure stepped out of the shadows on the opposite side of the room, letting out a delighted, twisted laugh as she did. Donald, Rudy and Sean all spun around to see their adversary.
     “You! What are you doing here?” Donald asked, aghast.
     “Thank you for falling into my trap,” Hillary said, enjoying the moment immensely. “It was all too easy, just as the election should have been.”
     “Hillary, what do you want with the pee-pee girls?” Donald asked.
     Hillary shook her head in disbelief.
     “So many things should have taken you down, Donald. So very many things. But now I have you. In Russia with your prostitutes. With witnesses. This is the end of Donald Trump.”
     “Oh, I don’t like the sound of that,” Donald said.
     Sean clung to Donald in fear. “Is it the end of Sean Hannity too?” he asked nervously.
     Hillary turned her attention to him for the first time. “Sean, no one cares one way or the other.”
     “But people do care about me,” Donald said. “They love me.”
     While Hillary focused her attention on Sean and Donald, Rudy was busy slowly making his way closer to the guards. When he was next to them, he opened his mouth impossibly wide, his eyes bulging too, a dark noxious cloud issuing forth from his mouth and filling the doorway.
     “Now, Master!” Rudy yelled from within the dark cloud. He leaped over the bodies of the guards and made his way back down the hall, followed by Sean and by the furious screams of Hillary. Rudy and Sean reached the end of the corridor before looking back to see that Donald was not with them.
     “Master?” the concerned gargoyle called out. For a moment there was no reply. Then from the dark cloud in the doorway a large form emerged. For a moment, Sean worried it was the two guards, having combined their bodies into some kind of super guard, an unstoppable force. But then he recognized his sweetheart’s soft features.
     Donald stepped into the corridor, heroically carrying a girl under each arm. “I couldn’t leave the pee-pee girls behind,” he said as he rejoined his team. “I need them to pee on things for me.”
     Rudy started to head down the stairs, but Donald stopped him.
     “Hang on, let me call Vlad,” Donald said, pulling out his cell phone. “Should I just post a message on Twitter? He’ll probably see it. He always likes my posts.”
     “Maybe you should call him,” Sean suggested. But as Donald placed the call, Sean started to get another of those unfamiliar sensations. He would have called it insight, had he been familiar with the word. Could Vladimir have set them up? After all, it was his call that had led Donald there in the first place.
     “Hey, Vlad, it’s Donald. I found your pee-pee girls. Listen, I want to keep them, take them home with me. Is that okay?”
     Sean and Rudy waited while he made a deal to purchase the two girls. But by the time he hung up, Rudy was getting anxious.
     “We should leave now,” Rudy told the group. “That cloud won’t hold Hillary much longer.”
     “But how come the gas didn’t hurt us?” Sean asked.
     “It’s only deadly to Democrats,” Rudy answered.
     Just as they began to go down the stairs, the cloud dissipated and Hillary stepped into the hallway shouting, “I’ll get you, Donald. Mark my words. I’ll get you! And your little gargoyle too.” But she made no attempt to follow them as Donald and his team made their way down the stairs.
     “You are going to love the United States,” Donald told the golden fountains when they reached the street. “There are so many things you can pee on. And the people love me there. I’m like a king.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Troubles With AT&T: Update May 1, 2018

Friends, I've been having ongoing troubles with AT&T, with both the service, and now mainly with the bill. Because of my crummy service, on March 12th an employee named Patrick (they never give out their last names) promised me that my current bill and next bill would both be $0. He did not follow through on this promise, and others at AT&T have since told me that Patrick didn't document the call, so I would have to pay the bills. I can't stand dishonesty. As I learned later, all calls to AT&T are recorded. So there exists a recording of Patrick making that promise to me. I was told at one point that they couldn't find the recording, but then later was told that no one had yet looked for it. Meanwhile, they've added late fees to my bill. A promise was made to me that they would find the recording. In the meantime I made sure that my services wouldn't be shut off. They extended the time before I'd have to pay a bill to May 3rd, and told me to call back if it weren't resolved by then. Well, that due date is in two days, and so I called today. That call (all 98 minutes of it) is documented in this post (scroll down for that part).

I've posted several updates to this story in the past couple of weeks. Here is the latest.

4-29-18 (continued from previous post)
  • Twitter had locked me out of my main account, but I left a comment on AT&T’s Twitter page using another Twitter account. This was my comment: “My troubles with AT&T have still not been resolved. Incredible! I am documenting everything, because apparently you guys aren't. Here is the latest.” And I included a link to my blog post.
  • At 12:15 p.m., I received this reply: “We'd like to help - please DM us with more info so we can investigate. ^ATTCareTeam”
  • So I sent this message: “Sure thing. I sent messages through my other Twitter account, but I can't access it. I have spoken with dozens of AT&T folks over the past couple of months - on the phone, on Twitter, on Facebook. I'm guessing if you look up my account, there will be plenty of notes. At least, there should be. My account number is (NOTE: I've edited my number out of this post). Let me know what the progress is happening please, if any.”
  • AT&T’s reply: “Thanks for taking the time to provide us with your account number! Before we review your account can you give us a few specifics on your concerns so that we can properly assist you in getting a resolution. We look forward to hearing back!^JayC Social Media Specialist”
  • Not wishing to repeat the entire story once again, I sent them links to three of my blog updates, then added: “I hope you enjoy the reading. I tried to write them with a sense of humor about the whole thing.”
  • This was the response: “We were unable to open the links. Can you tell us the service type and whether this was a billing or service issue? We look forward to your response. ^JReeves”
  • My response: “Weird. I opened them from those links. It was both a service and a billing issue. I was promised - because of multiple and ongoing service problems - that two consecutive bills would be $0. And neither was. I have been promised that they would listen to the recording of the call from March 12th, when the promise was delivered. (Actually, that was the second time I was promised that the first month would be $0, but that is beside the point.) I have been waiting way too long. Just tell me that the problem has been resolved. And I can't see why you are unable to open the links. Did you try copying and pasting them? You could also go to Google, and search for ‘Michael Doherty my troubles with AT&T.’ That works too.”
  • Late at night, I received this reply: “Good morning! We are looking in to your issue and will get back with you. Thanks for reaching out! ^PML”
  • My response: “Wonderful! Thanks.”
Then, nothing.

April 30, 2018
  • At 4:35 p.m., I sent this message to AT&T on Facebook: “No word?”
  • I immediately followed that up with this message: “I find it odd that you haven't replied to any of my last several messages. Actually, no, it isn't odd. Par for the course, it seems, with your company. You reply at first, but then don't follow through.”
  • Having not heard back on Twitter either, I sent AT&T this message late at night: “Any luck? May 3rd was the deadline I was given. But obviously if no progress has been made, then another extension on my services must be implemented. I just don't want my internet and phone suddenly shut off. Can you reply to this specific request?”
No response.

May 1, 2018

Still no response from AT&T, on either Facebook or Twitter. And they haven’t called me either, which is what I was originally told would happen.
  • At 11:48 a.m., I sent this message via Facebook: “Still no reply, eh?”
  • And I sent this message to AT&T via Twitter: “I've sent you messages on Facebook too. And guess what? No response there either. What's going on?”
  • At 12:25 p.m., I left this comment on AT&T's Twitter page: "AT&T says they want to help, but they don't follow through. I have received no responses to messages I've sent via Twitter and Facebook. And I haven't been called back, as I was promised I would be two weeks ago."
  • At 12:34 p.m., I (reluctantly) called AT&T, hoping this wouldn't take a bloody hour. I refused, as always, to talk to an automated voice. Give me a real person! So I just mumbled nonsense into the phone until someone finally picked up.
  • At 12:37 p.m., a person answered. She introduced herself as Hannah Banana (badge # 248611). (And yes, I asked her twice to repeat her name, and indeed that is what she said.) I gave her a quick rundown of the problem.
  • At 12:40 p.m., she said she’d review my account.
  • She kept saying the bill was extended until May 3rd. I kept saying I know that, but May 3rd is in two days, and the problem hasn’t been resolved and the whole point of my call is to extend the extension. And it should be extended indefinitely, until the problem is resolved. 
  • She said she couldn’t help me, that it can’t be extended again until May 3rd, that I will have to call back on the third, which of course doesn’t make any sense. I told her I will be unable to call back on May 3rd, as I am going to be busy that entire day. 
  • Getting annoyed, I asked her to transfer me to someone. She said no one could help me, that it’s because of the system. 
  • Also, she indicated there was no update or notation in my account. So they haven’t found the recording of the conversation from March 12th. Have they even looked? She doesn’t know. Incredible. So nothing has happened in the last couple of weeks. AT&T is apparently just ignoring the problem.
  • I demanded to be transferred to her supervisor. She again told me a supervisor won’t help. I said, “Well, then he can transfer me to his supervisor, and we can work our way up the line to the goddamn head of the company if necessary.” I apologized to her for my tone, but I was getting furious. She must have understood my frustration.
  • At 12:56 p.m., she transferred me. Or at least she said she did. I was placed on hold. No music. Just space.
  • At 12:58 p.m., she came back on to say she was transferring me now. And guess what? I was put on hold. Bloody hell. These calls can never be quick. AT&T sucks.
  • At 1:08 p.m., I was still on hold, and becoming angrier. I do have other things to do today. How much time have I spent dealing with AT&T this year? At this point, I think they should give me another month for free just to make up for wasting so much of my time.
  • At 1:21 p.m., I was still on hold, and sent this message to AT&T on Facebook: “I am getting furious with AT&T. I am on hold at the moment, trying once again to get this problem resolved. Dozens of employees say they are going to help. But so far, not one has followed through.”  
  • At 1:34 p.m., Kelly (in the Detroit, Michigan office) answered. She said she has no badge number, but that there are no other Kellys in the Detroit office. 
  • Kelly told me they can’t even find calls, that searching for calls is something they don’t even do. “Then why do they record calls?” I asked. “That makes no sense. Why record every call if you never go back to listen them?” 
  • She told me she will note in my account not to shut off service, but that she couldn’t guarantee my service wouldn’t be shut off. Basically, she couldn't guarantee that someone would read her note. Insane.
  • At 1:48 p.m. I asked, “Well, what is the solution then?” She replied that she’d check, and she put me on hold.
  • At 1:49 p.m., she came back to say she’d transfer me to the collections department. I was put on hold again. She told me she’d explain the situation to someone in that department so I wouldn’t have to go through the whole story again. This AT&T story is becoming the story of my life. Does life exist outside of this problem? I don’t know.
  • At 1:53 p.m., Kelly came back on, as well as someone from collections, Cheryl.
  • At 2:02 p.m., Cheryl from collections said the bill will be extended until May 31st.
  • At 2:12 p.m., the phone call ended. Kelly assured me that everything would be held until May 31st, including the next bill, which I will actually need to pay. She also told me that she was “escalating” the resolution, and that her manager would have my contact information. So I shouldn’t have to call back. Someone will actually call me. Will that really happen? Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

My Troubles With AT&T: Update April 29, 2018

My troubles with AT&T continue. The last time I spoke with a representative of the company on the phone, which was on April 16th, I was told they were in the process of going through the recordings in search of the call from March 12th, in which I was promised that my current bill and next bill would both be $0. (You can read about that promise here.) I was also told that they were going to put an extension on my account so that service wouldn't be cut off. I was told the date would be May 3rd, and that if the problem hadn't been resolved by then, to call back. Well, that date is approaching, and there has been no solution yet. I am not happy about the prospect of having to call AT&T yet again. Today I sent a message to the Better Business Bureau (which I've included in this post).

Here is what has happened since that call on the afternoon of April 16, 2018.


After I posted links to my update on Facebook and Twitter, AT&T miraculously got in touch with me through Twitter, though it was a different person than earlier contacted me on that site.
  • At 5:54 p.m. I received this message on Twitter: “Hello, Michael! We would be glad to assist you today. Please give us more details on what is going on.” So I responded: “Well, I just spent nearly an hour on the phone (most of it on hold), just to get them to hold off on shutting off my service while the problem is being resolved. Last week I was promised that the recording of the call from March 12th would be listened to. In that call, I was promised that my then-current bill - February - as well as the next bill - March - would be $0. But apparently, Patrick failed to document the call, and I received bills.”
  • I sent a second response: “Not only have I received bills, but also late charges, and today a notice that my service would be shut off on the 19th. The man I spoke with today, Hero (yes, that's his name), told me he added an extension so that service would continue while the managers listen to that phone call's recording.”
  • At 6:01 p.m. I received another message in response: “We can definitely take a look at credit for February and March! Just send us your service type and account number so we may get started!” So I responded with my account number. Of course, then I wondered just how many people were working on this problem. Perhaps none. Perhaps they all were. Either way, I now had two weeks where I wouldn’t have to worry about it, as Hero (in my update from April16, 2018) put an extension on the bill while the managers hunted for the recording of the call.

  • At 8:43 p.m., I came home to no phone or internet service. On the modem, the phone light was red, and the broadband light wasn’t on at all.
  • At 8:50 p.m., after unplugging the modem and plugging it back in, service came back. But how long was it off? How many calls did I miss? And it is infuriating to learn that the problem of my service is still not actually solved. What the hell?

  • Having not heard back from AT&T, I tried a new tactic. I sent the company a message on Facebook. Here is my message, sent at 4:48 p.m.: “I can't believe I am still waiting to hear back on my bill. Seriously, this hasn't been resolved yet? I was promised I would receive a call when they listened to the recording of the conversation from March 12th. Are you guys completely incompetent? This has been going on for far too long.” Then, at 4:52 p.m., I sent a second message: “I've talked with so many people - via phone and Twitter - and still, nothing. My messages on Twitter started to be ignored.” And I sent them a link to the last update I posted on my blog.
  • At 5:18 p.m., I received this response: “We apologize that you have yet to get an issue resolved after a month of talking to numerous people to no avail! We'd be more than delighted to get this turned around for you! Would you mind providing us with your account number, along with a brief elaboration on what you initially experienced? Thanks! -JewelR Social Media Specialist”
  • Encouraged by the response (by getting any response at all, actually), I replied immediately, giving them my account number. “As for what happened, I've told the story so many times. I posted something about it on my blog. The opening paragraph of this post is the short version.” And I included a link to an earlier update on my blog.
  • At 5:30 p.m., I received this response: “We really feel your pain regarding your bill and service. Please provide your contact number so we properly investigate both your internet/home phone service and billing issue. Hope to hear from you soon. ^WaleA.” I immediately responded with my phone number.
And then, nothing.

  • So the next day (Thursday, April 26th), I sent this message on Facebook: “Any word? I was told I'd be called after they listened to the recording. That was ten days ago. How long does it take?”
  • At 11:51 a.m., I got this response: “We appreciate your patience while we gather information and details to take the next steps! To get going in the right direction, can you clarify which services you have with us? We’re awaiting your response. –Denise V. Social Media Specialist” Which services? Really? Don’t they know that by now? 
  • I responded: “Landline and internet. Isn't that in my record?”
  • At 12:02, their response came: “Thank you for clarifying that! We are reviewing your request and working hard towards a speedy and agreeable resolution. We appreciate your patience and know your time is valuable and don't want to waste it, if you need additional assistance please let us know! -MattM Social Media Specialist” Interesting that it is a different name used every time I get a response. Wale, Denise, Matt. 
  • Anyway, at 5:51 p.m., I sent this message: “Thank you. I just want to hear that the last two bills have been reduced to $0, as I'd been promised, and then I can forget all about it, and just pay the next bill.”
No response.


Still no response.
  • At 11:58 a.m., I sent this message: “The last time I called, they put an extension on my account to early May. But if AT&T hasn't found the recording yet, then you need to put a further extension on it. I don't want my service shut off because no one there is able to do his or her job. I want an extension until the issue is resolved, whenever that may be. Perhaps that will get those people to pick up the pace on this problem.”
  • At 3:13 p.m., I sent this message: “Hmm, according to Facebook, you haven't even read my last two messages. Weird.” Yeah, on Facebook, it is indicated when someone has read your message. Apparently, AT&T decided to completely ignore me on Friday, for not only did no one respond to my messages, but no one actually even read them.
As of midnight Friday night, AT&T had yet to bother reading my messages. Incredible.

  • Having still not heard back from AT&T, and with the new deadline approaching, I sent this message to the company via Facebook at 11:45 a.m.: "While I'm waiting for the problem to be resolved, I want to make sure my services aren't shut off. It is almost May, the new deadline. Please let me know that that has been extended again. It needs to be extended until you guys finally abide by the promise that was made to me." 
  • I then sent this message to the Better Business Bureau through Facebook:
    "Hi there. My name is Michael Doherty. I am writing to you because of the poor treatment I'm suffering from AT&T. Because of the terrible service, I was promised on March 12th that my current bill and the next bill would be $0. I confirmed that several times with Patrick, the employee who made the promise before letting him transfer me to the technicians to solve my service issues. But Patrick apparently did not properly document the call or his promise, for a bill came and it included the previous bill's amount, plus late charges. I have spoken to multiple people there - via phone, Twitter and Facebook - and apparently no one bothered to listen to the recording of the March 12th call. I was told all calls were recorded. Now it seems they're simply ignoring my messages. I've written about part of this in my blog (If you're curious, here are the links: and and ). It is stressful having this hanging over my head, and I am furious with them for not honoring a promise that was made to me. A promise that was made, I might add, not out of kindness or anything, but because it was the right thing to do. So it's equally infuriating that no one at AT&T is willing to simply make the same decision that Patrick did and follow through on it. What can I do? - Michael Doherty

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Trump Supporters Are Idiots, Round Ten

Donald Trump is a despicable person who should already be in jail, but likely will be heading there soon. Yet there are those who still like this guy. Supporters of Donald Trump continue to prove themselves to be the absolute worst that humanity has to offer, and utterly incapable of thought. On Facebook, there is a "Donald Trump Fan Club" page, and last night I posted this comment on that page:

"It absolutely amazes and depresses me that anyone would believe a single word uttered by Donald Trump. Trump is a completely dishonest and delusional shithead. If you believe Trump, something is seriously wrong with you. My guess is that you haven't finished junior high school."

Several people responded, and their responses included grammatical errors. One of those who responded and was particularly upset was a man named Fred Rubin. This was his comment:

"Hey mike aka douche bag
Bet You couldn’t finish grade school lol stfu."

Well, I went to Fred's Facebook page, and he had posted how he had been temporarily kicked off of Facebook, but was now back on. Apparently, Fred was completely unaware of security measures for his page, and I was able to comment on his post. That led to the following exchange.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Donald Trump And The Great Witch Hunt

     Ever since Donald Trump was a little boy, he’s been terrified of witches. When he was in his teens, a witch cast a disfiguring spell on him, causing his hands to shrink slightly. Some people claimed they couldn’t see the difference, and told him it was all in his mind, but Donald knew the truth. He had tiny hands, and a witch was to blame. More recently, a witch leveled another curse at him, inviting winds to blow his unusual hair right off his head whenever he was outside and cameras were aimed at him.
     “The witches make me look ridiculous,” Donald said. “That’s something that only a witch can do.” He knew it was incredibly difficult to make him look anything other than great, and so whenever he looked anything other than great, witches were to blame.
     Donald knew a lot about witches. In fact, witchcraft was one of the thousands of subjects that he was an expert on. “Witches are tricky,” Donald liked to tell people. “Sometimes they’ll disguise themselves as beautiful, alluring women with knockout knockers.” So of course in that case Donald couldn’t help but want to get his tiny hands on them. And he would just grab them, kiss them, whatever he wanted to do. He knew that later, if they complained about his groping, they were witches. There were plenty of witches about.
     And yet, for some reason, there were people out to get him, rather than out to get the witches. It made no sense. In fact, recently some people broke into his best friend’s house in order to find evidence that Donald was a witch, and that he got help from other witches from Russia, a coven led by his pal Vladimir. People were so caught up in this false witch hunt, that Donald Trump knew the only thing that could refocus their attention and satisfy them would be a real witch hunt. And Donald, though terrified of witches, was just the person to lead it. “I am the greatest witch hunter ever,” he told his pet lizard Kellyanne and his dog Sanders. “Though sometimes you just have to pay off a witch so she won’t shrink your hands further.” Sanders barked her agreement.
     For this witch hunt, Donald Trump knew he would need a little help, and he decided to turn to an old chum, Sean Hannity. Hannity knew a thing or two about paying off witches. And Hannity was someone Donald could trust. After all, years ago Donald and Sean had experimented with farmyard animals together, and Sean never divulged details of those carefree days, not even to the cross-dressed hookers whose favors he often paid for. When Donald called him, Sean agreed to the plan immediately. He knew that a successful hunt of a real witch would make him a hero among a certain segment of the population, and would perhaps help him out of his own public image troubles.
     And so early one morning, Donald and Sean set off on a great adventure. Donald didn’t want to tip off the witches that they were coming, so he had to sneak out of his big white house. He kept reporters busy by sending Sanders the talking dog to stand in front of them at the podium. Donald, of course, knew that Sanders didn’t really talk. The old girl just barked. But he also knew that the reporters would do their best to interpret those barks, and it would keep them occupied for the rest of the day while he went about bagging a witch. He patted Sanders’ head, and gave her a biscuit. “Good girl, Sanders! Good girl!” With the adults thus occupied, Donald and Sean were able to sneak out easily.
     Sean did the driving because sometimes Donald’s tiny hands had trouble grasping the steering wheel. “Where should we look first?” Sean asked.
     Donald thought about all the women who revealed themselves as witches by complaining about his unwanted advances, and said, “New York.”
    “Okay,” Sean responded. “Buckle up.”
     On the drive up, Sean and Donald kept themselves busy by telling each other how great they were, and the time flew by. They were in New York before they knew it. “Wow, that was fast,” Donald said. “I’m not even done telling you how great I am.” Before they stepped out of the car, Donald said: “They love me in this city, but there are lots of witches here. We have to be careful. Let’s use code names so that people won’t recognize us. I will be Giant Hands. You can be Giant Talent. No one will ever guess our real identities.”
     They gave each other a quick kiss for luck and then stepped out onto the busy sidewalk. People rushed by them without giving them so much as a glance.
     “How are we going to tell which ones are witches?” Sean asked. “They all look like witches to me. I mean, none of them are even white.”
     “Well, Giant Hands, there is one way,” Donald began.
     “No, you’re Giant Hands,” Sean corrected. “I’m Giant Talent. Remember?”
     “Oh. Well, Giant Talent, there is one way, one easy way, to tell if a woman is a witch. But to perform this test, I am going to have to reveal to her my true identity.”
     “Is that safe?”
     “It is a risk we must take. For you see, only a witch will spurn my sexual advances. It is because they’re not real women. They’re monsters who must be destroyed.” Sean quickly agreed, but felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of women on the streets of New York. However, luck was on their side that day, for the very first woman they confronted turned out to be a witch.
     They chose a dark-haired beauty because Donald said, “Anyone who looks like Ivanka is going to be attracted to me and therefore not a witch.” This woman was dressed all in black, but that wasn’t enough to make Donald confident that she was a witch. In fact, for a moment Donald hoped she wasn’t a witch. “This girl is hot,” Donald whispered to Sean. “Not as hot as Ivanka, but still very hot.”
     “Don’t worry, Donald, I will be ready,” Sean told him.
    Donald stepped in front of the woman and said, “Hi, I’m Donald Trump.” He then grabbed her by the pussy. The woman screamed and tried to hit him with her purse, but Sean was on that witch like a shot, forcing a large canvas sack over her head.
     “I’ve got her!” Sean exclaimed.
     “Great!” Donald shouted. “Now let’s get her back to D.C. before Sanders really does start talking.”
     When they arrived at the press briefing room, Sanders was still keeping the reporters busy. “Here, girl,” Trump whispered, and tossed a red rubber ball into the hallway. Sanders bounded after it, and Donald took her place at the podium.
     “Ladies and gentlemen of the press,” he began. “For a long time now I have been the unfair target of a witch hunt. Most of you know this is ridiculous, since only women can be witches. Still, the unfair attack has continued. Until now.” Donald paused for dramatic effect. “For today, with the help of Sean Hannity, I – the greatest witch hunter the world has ever seen – have captured a witch.” He motioned for Sean Hannity to come forward. Sean dragged the large canvas bag over to the podium. “Today I give the American people what they want: a real, live –”
     Sean interrupted Donald, whispering something in his ear.
     “No? Suffocated in the trunk?” Donald said. “Well, it was a long drive. And we did stop for those burgers. And those other burgers.” He then turned back to the cameras. “I give the American people a real witch.” Sean then dumped the witch’s body onto the floor next to the podium. The reporters gasped, and then they all applauded. Donald Trump was once again their hero.