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Friday, February 12, 2010

What's Another Measly 55 Billion?

Hey, it'll create 850 permanent jobs!

Since when did Democrats start building nuclear power plants? I thought "no nukes" was part of their hallowed platform?

More platform erosion. Now Obama wanting warrant less searches of your cellphone. The best part of this story is that our government used cell tower triangulation to catch some Texas bank robbers.

Listen bank robbers. You don't have to run around like Somali pirates in Texas just to get some chump change anymore. All you have to do is make a lot of hideous loans and claim that your failure is cataclysmic, convince your buds in government to bail you out, and then steal 1.5 trillion right out of the treasury. In full view-without firing a shot.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The AT&T Battle Ends

Well, it's finally over.

A lost rebate check, three months of missed payments, one FCC complaint...and today my private battle ended.

It's not about winning or losing. It's about paying a fair price for cellphone service.

AT&T gave me back my 4200 rollover minutes. I have all you can eat texting. I don't have data nor do I want it. The cellphone bill stayed around 65 bucks. Tolerable for 7 hours worth of prime time talk each month. They couldn't find my phone rebate check so they applied that missing 100 bucks to my bill.

I was happy with the outcome today and I paid the remaining 108 bucks on my bill. The standoff is over. I will retain my good deal for about 10 months and then the contract will be over.

Data is where the dough is. The talk and text only cellphone market has been penetrated and saturated. I expect data plans to get very expensive. That's the next growth market.

I am not under any illusion that any of the big carriers are really that much better than the others. I've had three carriers and they've all been about the same. What bothers me most is the extent to which these corporations will go to gouge their customers. It's that all pervasive greed thing which never seems to go away. Instead of calling it greed, we call it business. Like it's a virtue or something. I don't want to have to make a car payment for cellphone service. With individual plans hitting 150 bucks a month- its not too far off.

More Class Warfare

So ya' think we don't have class warfare?

Ok working stiffs- take a gander at this. This is how the elite use government to enrich themselves at your expense. If your blood doesn't boil, well then perhaps that Prozac you are taking is doing it's job.

Please make sure your tax checks arrive early.

This Kind of Greed Makes Me Sick to My Stomach

A couple of years ago when I "retired"... I was forced to buy Cobra health insurance. At 400 bucks a mo. and my health relatively good, that was an outrageous amount to pay. I take one prescription which I get at WalMart. It costs me 4 bucks a month. Four blood tests a year cost me 100 bucks.

Total health costs per year, 148.00. Total cost of insurance per year, 4800.00. Gee, which would you choose?

Now it dawned on me that with 25% of the working stiffs in this country unemployed and exiting employer health plans, that the healthy people would do exactly what I did. Four hundred bucks a month is insane. Healthy people simply can't afford to pay the McDonalds and Marlboro premiums. Only the unhealthy would stay insured. Costs would rise dramatically.

This is happening. Wellpoint Systems announced a 39% increase in premium costs. THIRTY NINE PERCENT!!!

Here's a piece I clipped from the article:

Brian Sassi, the head of WellPoint's consumer business unit, said in his letter to Sebelius that the weak economy is leading individual insurance buyers who don't have access to group plans to drop coverage or buy cheaper plans. That reduces the premium revenue available to cover claims from sicker customers who are keeping their coverage.

The result was a 2009 loss for the Anthem Blue Cross unit that sells individual policies to people who don't get insurance through their employers, he said. Higher rates for this group, which accounts for about 10 percent of Anthem's eight million customers in California, are needed to cover the shortfall expected from the continuation of that trend, according to the letter.

"When the healthy leave and the sick stay, that is going to dramatically drive up costs," Sassi said in an interview. He declined to specify the size of the unit's loss.

Now just in case you are curious, Wellpoint only made 2.7 billion in the last 3 months of fiscal 2009. That 4800 a year that I would have paid? Oh yea, Wellpoint runs Blue Cross of Idaho. Glad I could stiff Wellpoint! Makes you want to fire up a lynch mob. Really. Here's the link to the whole story with Obamacare spin...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AT&T Combat Info Update

Today, I got a call from Tiffany who stated she was attached to the office of the President of AT&T. They wanted to discuss my FCC complaint. Where is the FCC? Aren't they supposed to sit in on my behalf? Maybe that 14 grand I sent in last year wasn't enough to merit a phone call. Maybe Frankenstein used my dough for food stamps, bond interest, student loans, or any number of other programs that government has no business meddling in.

Anyway Tiffany said the call would be recorded. I said great. Let's talk.

They could not find my year and four month lost in space 100 dollar rebate. My bill has escalated from Nov.- 63 bucks to Dec.- 83 bucks, Jan- 109 bucks, then 114 bucks for Feb. Tiffany said I owe them 306 bucks. I say 63 x 3 =189.00. Minus 100 bucks for the missing rebate. Let's see, 89 bucks.

She said, "that amount was in dispute." No shit.

Thank gawd, I don't have data. I'd need a bank loan to pay the bill. AT &T would probably slide in some sneaky language that web data was only available on my phone from 2-3 a.m. Otherwise it would be 10 bucks a minute.

What can I do for you Tiffany asks? I want my plan back, my 4200 rollover minutes back (or compensated), my 100 dollar rebate, and my old bill back. The 63.00 dollar one. The one you made me sign a 2 year contract for.

Those are some pretty unreasonable demands. That's how I roll. Mean. Ford tough.

Tiffany said she'd get back to me in 24 to 48 hours. You'd think an attache' working for the President could settle something as simple as an out of control phone bill right then and there. Just lean across that boardroom table and give the Prez a little wink.

My backup plan? I can live without AT&T. Really.