Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hey Let's Steal Your Money, Buy GM, and Steal Some More Money From You!

NEW YORK -- Stock futures pointed to a mixed open Thursday after the government's decision late Wednesday to give an additional $3.8 billion in funding to bolster GMAC's mortgage division.

Futures for the S&P 500 were higher by 2.2 points at 1,124.3 and were 2.23 points above fair value. Futures for the Nasdaq were off by half of a point and were 0.8 points below fair value.

After the close of trading Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury said it would commit $3.8 billion in new capital to automotive lender GMAC, which comes on top of the $12.5 billion GMAC received from the Treasury previously and increases the government's stake in the company to 56% from 35%.

Absolute insanity. Thankfully, they have a bottomless pit of money to dip into.

Cellphone Sodomy

I think my neighbor finally caught on that I was stealing his internet signal. He put a password on a day or two ago. I called him to strike a deal. He called back and said he was changing service providers...and that perhaps we could cut a deal after that...

Which brings me to the rant of the day.

Is anyone getting sick of these SHITTY cellphone providers and their greedy games??

I signed up with AT&T a few years ago after Verizon decided to over charge me month after month for roaming fees even though I had signed up for a nationwide plan. Their greediness meant that every month I had to call and eliminate the 15 or 20 bucks that they tried to screw me out of every month when I received the bill. After 6 or 7 months of that re-occurring madness, I gave up and switched providers.

AT&T became my next battleground. For two years every thing went hunky dory. My bill always resembled my original plan costs. Then I re-signed for one of those two year deals when they dangled that "roll over" minute plan. Sweet. So I got a Blackjack II, over paid for it, got screwed out of the 100 dollar rebate and the games began.

Now cell phone providers have this cutesy business model. It goes like this.

Tout every good point of their plan, totally ignore every downside and deny crappy service, and then bury all those bad points in 2 point font in a service contract. Gouge the living hell out of every customer from there on in.

So in addition to the disappearing rebate, AT&T started gouging me for texting and data-the overages add up fast. So I bought all you can eat texting. Add 20 bucks. Then a few months later, they charged me for excess data retrieval-apparently there was some limit on that. At 30 or 40 bucks a month, I took data off my phone. Then they started calling me, collection calls, when my bill was 9 days late. Ok.

So the coup de gras came this month. I opened my bill which was 4 times normal-about 250 bucks. I had to resist every impulse to kill one of them. I called the service center.

This is what they told me. Your rollover minutes "expired." All 4200 minutes worth. Expired? "What the hell does that mean?" "Well sir, they just came off your balance. But we can enroll you in a new plan that will reduce your bill to just under 90 bucks."

I have a two year plan but my minutes were only good for one year? Who writes this shit and why don't you mention that as you were taking my money? "It's in the contract sir." Of course it is, in two point font somewhere.

I am livid. My blood pressure hovers near the molten lava temperature range. I asked what is the re-occuring bill going to look like now? She wouldn't tell me-she simply focused on how much she was reducing the current bill which still represented another 25 buck increase. Like she was doing me a solid.

So I have a plan that allows me to talk about 7 hours BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 6 AM to 9 PM per month. No data but unlimited texting. All for about 90 bucks which is twice the cost of the plan I originally started out with. The plan with text, data, and unlimited talk time via rollover minutes.

I am not even going to mention the shit service and lost coverage areas that I visit. Thank gawd I don't have an I Phone in San Francisco.

Does anyone enforce contract errors and omissions on these monopolies when their employees sweet talk in our ears? Apparently not. Frankenstein Government gets deaf.

I don't know what I am going to do other than I'm damn sure not going to pay AT&T's new bill. And I am not going to worry about it either. I will call them for one last dissertation after New Years. Maybe drop off some KY jelly with a bow on it at my local office. Can I live without a cellphone? You better believe it.. in fact, I may begin using smoke signals. I'd love to hear any similar stories, both good (if there is such a thing) or bad.

In the meantime, Happy New Year! I hope the skiing back home is great, a virtual hug to all my friends and extended family. That's the good stuff- the stuff that really matters. Cellphone providers...not so much. Isn't sodomy still illegal??