Don’t Bother With Zoom

On July 4th, I signed up for Zoom, to keep in touch with family and friends. Like ya’ do. We’re all quarantined, and we haven’t seen each other in a young forever. Most everyone I know is in another city. I suggested we all get together on Zoom once a week and everyone thought it was a good idea. We just need to match up schedules.

I looked at their options. They had a Pro service you could pay for, but I didn’t need that. The free service met my needs, so that’s what I signed up for.

The next day, I noticed a charge hit my bank for $159.80, from Zoom. I also received an email from Zoom thanking me for signing up for a Pro account.

WHAT????It was late in the evening, so I called the next day (Monday). Monday was an observed holiday here in the U.S., but globally? I figured not. Someone must be there. But, due to the Covid-19 crisis, they are short staffed in the billing department. I had to leave an urgent message. I waited two days and no one got back with me, via phone, email, or text. So I tried again today. I signed into the account. I tried chat, but all I could get was a useless bot. No live chat, no options on a refund, no help. I tried calling. I spent an hour just trying to navigate their IVR, trying to get a live person.

I finally called the Sales line. I thought, surely, I can get a live person here. I know they want to make money every day. I was right! Within minutes I was speaking to someone. She couldn’t resolve my problem, though. She opened up another urgent ticket to billing, and this time copied me via email so I have a way to trace it for my bank. I told her if I don’t hear something within 24 hours, I’m reporting them for fraudulent charges and will let my bank handle it.

I know a lot of people use Zoom. If you aren’t using them yet, DON’T. I’ve finally figured out how they make their profits.

I’m going back to Droid.

I loved my iPhone, but I’ve had it after this last update. I’m going back to Droid, just as soon as I possibly can.

I have an iPhone 6S Plus. Up until now, I’ve been quite happy with my phone. I was one of those iPhone users who loved the product. In fact, I saw no need to go to the next version when 7 came out (especially since they saw no need to include a headphone jack). I’ve been using an iPhone since about 2011 and I’ve had no complaints … until now.

Apple recently released the 10.0.2 software upgrade. I had no desire to install this update; at least, not immediately. I wanted to read about it, see if there were any bugs … you know, approach it with the usual caution we always take with an update to our hardware. So I kept saying “No”, and postponing the update.

I know for a fact I never accepted the update, nor did I hit the wrong option and tell it to install.

Saturday night I left my phone on the charger. It was also connected to wi-fi, of course. I checked my emails, and, of course, I received the prompt to update my phone (again). I told it no (again). I put the phone down and decided to get some sleep.

The next morning, LO! I had a shiny new version of the iOS on my phone. A version I neither approved nor wanted. A version from an update that was forced on me, just as Windows 10 was forced on users without their approval. Yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother rant, right there…

I’ve installed updates I didn’t like before, and I’ve adapted. I couldn’t work with this one. The features of the phone were not user friendly or intuitive.  Some features were no longer available; some had been moved and were difficult to find. The battery life drastically lowered, overnight. Oh, and let’s not forget – I didn’t choose to install it in the first place.

Of course, Apple doesn’t have a “rollback” feature on their updates. You can backup your phone to iCloud all day, but even when you restore your backups, it’s on the new version of the iOS.

Everything about the new update just made me want to rage scream and smash my phone.


But I knew I was stuck with it. Getting a new phone isn’t in the budget right now and even if it was, I shouldn’t have to do this, goddamnit!! I didn’t ask for the goddamn upgrade!!!

After a lengthy search online, I did find a jailbreak to kinda’ get my phone back to where it was. The problem was, I lost about half my apps, and some of my calendar data. This, of course, wasn’t a supported solution. Apple wasn’t going to help me with this, so I didn’t bother. I did; however, bother to call them and give them an earful about the goddamn upgrade. I actually got sent to someone who does their customer recovery and takes product feedback. I told him the only little silver lining in this mess is that I don’t have the iPhone 7. At least my phone has a headphone jack.

Apple – I never said “Yes”. I never gave my consent. You forced your crappy update on my phone and there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh… but I can.

I can tell everyone who asks me if I’m happy with my iPhone just what I think.



I Am Not Allowed To People Today

It is Sunday; the last day of a major comic/sci-fi festival, and I’ve been working with the public all weekend. My husband sells swords at these conventions. By the time I make it to the last day, I really shouldn’t be allowed to be around people, much less talk to them. Yet they put me over here on the table with the very sharp katanas, the licensed reproduction pieces, and the huge Buster Sword from Final Fantasy 7.

I have sharp, pointy objects right here in front of me. Really, I am not allowed to “People” today, at all.



Things That Make Me Feel Stabby Today

1. Is this sword real?

Please do not ask me this question. Are they not tangible? Can you not reach out and touch them? Do not proceed to be offended by my dripping sarcasm when I have heard this question all weekend and give you one of the following responses:

  • “What swords? I see no swords here.”
  • “No, they are not real. They are chocolate, wrapped in foil, made to look like swords. Please, bite into one.”
  • “Oh good! The drugs are kicking in! How do you feel?”
  • “No, they aren’t. In fact, the table isn’t, either. We tried to ease your transition when you were checked in, but I feel it necessary to tell you that you are, in fact, in a padded cell.”

2. Bad Parenting

Come on, people. If you have kids, teach them a little respect and make sure they know their manners. I have signs all over my shop saying “Do not touch unless you are 18 years old or older.” Don’t let your brood of children go handling the product anyway, especially when you know they’re going to get their fingerprints all over the blades and probably going to cut themselves. Oh, and then you’re going to blame me because I can’t watch all of your kids.

As for respect… teach your children that it is extremely rude to disrespect a vendor’s product, especially when they know nothing about it. To look at a folded steel katana on display, complete with its own “pedigree” that was signed by the maker and comment that $600 is a bit much for “a sword that’s almost real” (when I haven’t even made a sarcastic remark about whether a sword was real or not) will only show how ignorant your child is, and how poor of a job you have done as a parent.

3. Expecting Something for Nothing

Did you see my product at another vendor’s booth? Was this person really selling the same item for half of what I’ve got it marked? And you expect me to meet that price? Or beat it? So you want me to basically sell it to you at cost, or take a loss.

3a. Oh, and don’t lie to me about that vendor…

Yeah, we vendors do travel show to show and we do get to know each other. We develop relationships. We talk to each other. That vendor you told me about? I know that person. I know he’s selling that same item and I know exactly what he’s selling it for. When you leave my booth I’m going to see him to give him a heads up that you’re going between the two of us saying one is undercutting the other. Because I know you’re about to go to him next and tell him the same thing about me.

4. Dont. Touch. The Blade.

I have folded steel katanas in front of me. I have 1040 carbon steel in front of me. I have weapons priced $300 and up on display that you may pick up, look at, and unsheathe for a closer inspection. However, anyone who knows about these weapons will know that you cannot touch the blade. The oils from your fingers will promote rust and damage the blade. I understand you may not know this, and I’m happy to explain it to you. But after I’ve told you, I don’t understand why you insist on touching the blade anyway. See, now I have to get the cleaning cloth and wipe down every blade you’ve touched, getting all your fingerprints off.

Also, every time you touch these weapons you risk cutting yourself. I’m not talking a small cut. We’re talking stitches here. One festival we were at, a customer had to leave to get stitches in his hand where he sliced himself open. Stitches on the inside first, then the outside. Yeah, he did himself up really good. But I will guarantee you it will be a clean cut. Just do me a favor, will you? Don’t sheath the katana or the sword after you’ve blooded yourself. I can easily clean your blood off the blade, but I can’t get your blood out of anything else. Don’t ruin my product, please.

And above all, don’t be an idiot.

5. Are These Dangerous?

Or, “Are these sharp,” or any other variation on this question. I can’t answer this question with a definite yes or no. By Sunday, I won’t answer this question at all. Any weapon in front of me is dangerous, and you are treading on thin ice by breathing in front of me. I’m wearing sunglasses because the lights hurt my eyes. There is not enough coffee and my migraine meds are in my suitcase, in the car. All I want to do is take one of the throwing axes and use you for target practice. You tell me if they’re dangerous.

6. Ignoring the Signs

I have signs posted all over the shop that clearly state, “You must be 18 years old or older to touch the weaponry.” You are old enough to read. I know you can read because you are making comments about the prices. You are twelve. Get your juvenile paws off of my swords.


The day is almost over now. I am still here. I haven’t killed or maimed anyone yet, so that is a plus. I managed to sell the Buster Sword, so I don’t have to deal with those questions anymore. Perhaps this day is looking up.


I’ve been a loyal AT&T customer for a very long time. Probably longer than most other people, I would imagine, although I could be wrong.

I was with AT&T when they were Southwestern Bell Wireless, and that was 18 years ago. I saw them through Cingular Wireless and into AT&T, and I was among the first of the customer base in North Texas to sign up for U-Verse when they rolled out fiber optic. While many have experienced poor customer service through AT&T I’ve always said I’ve been lucky and never had those experiences.

All that has changed. Since early March I’ve had so many problems with these people I feel as though I’m now paying for the 18 years of stellar service I’ve received all at once. I’ve finally hit that point of rage with AT&T. I’ve joined the ranks of dissatisfied customers.



Around the beginning of March, we came home from a trip to Dallas only to find that our neighbor’s tree had fallen in his back yard earlier that day, taking down the phone and power lines. Evidently, we missed one heck of a storm. I had to call AT&T to report the issue. Evidently, no one else had made the call. Unfortunately, they sent an “inside” tech out to fix the problem, when it was clear it was an outside issue at the time. I mean, seriously…. the power lines were down in my back yard. I already had to wait for two days for someone to come out on this problem. I was livid he couldn’t do anything now that he was here. I called support again and was in “customer-from-hell” mode. They managed to send the appropriate tech out within an hour and we got service that day (March 10th). However…

It should be noted that the outside tech they sent out routed us to a different node (or did something…) until the damage could be repaired. Prior to the outage, we were getting the download speeds we were paying for (18mbps, or roughly thereabouts). After his visit the speeds varied anywhere between 6mbps to 14mbps, but more often than not, our signal would drop completely. Sometimes we would go 30 minutes without being able to connect, then we’d get a very slow connection. But if we tried again, it would be fine. It had no pattern; no rhyme or reason, no possible way to troubleshoot.

I’ve had inside techs out here trying to fix the problem. I’ve called AT&T support trying to get help over the phone. The people I get on the phone don’t know what they’re doing. They’re following a script and they take me through steps I’ve already done. They don’t listen to me when I tell them this isn’t machine specific, nor is it related to a computer at all (we experience it on the Roku as well). I’ve had one phone tech ignore my request to speak with her manager. I’ve finally just had it. Every time I think about calling them I just want to throw my phone.

I did find out one very important thing: We have U-verse in my neighborhood but they aren’t running it on fiber optic cable. They’re still using the 30+ year old copper wire. I didn’t think they could install U-Verse in an area that wasn’t fiber optic yet. When U-Verse first launched, I remember hearing it was designed for fiber optic. Oh, and they don’t have an ETA on when my neighborhood is getting fiber optic, either, btw…


I called Comcast yesterday. We have an installation appointment for this Friday. I’m so looking forward to that next call to AT&T.

My Experience This Morning

A little history…

After multiple attempts last week, I successfully created an account on I had to wake up at 5:15am in order to do so. The process still took me two hours, and at the end of those two hours, when I hit “Submit”, I waited and the screen flickered, then I was left on the same page as though nothing happened. I was never taken to a page confirming the process was complete.

I tried about 6 or 7 times. I even tried logging out and logging back in. Finally, I tried their chat support. They have this handy link at the lower right corner of the page that says, “Live Chat”. I figured their phone lines would be swamped, so I went that route. There was no disclaimer on what their chat did or did not support. Usually, when there is a chat link on such a page, it is level one support and they can help you with at least part of your problem. They can, at least, access your account.


The agent informed me they could not access any account information or help with the application process on chat support. Although I just needed to know if my application completed, the agent could not even answer that question. I had to call phone support.

The agent on phone support informed was friendly enough and asked me if I had an account number. I said, “No. I have an application number. I’m in the very last phase of the application process and that’s where things timed out. I clicked submit but I’m not sure if it worked. I just need to know.” I was told that without an account number she could not pull up my in-process application. She could not pull it up with the application number I had, nor could she pull it up with any of my personal information. My only option was to go through the application all over again on the phone (the same application I just spent two-hours completing and had no desire to go through again). If she took me through it by phone it would take 2-6 weeks for a confirmation; whereas, if I completed it online I got an immediate response.

WTF? Why the difference? Why couldn’t she get the same immediate confirmation? But that’s another rant for another day.

I didn’t want to dig up all the information again, so I logged out and logged in again so I could read through the in-process application and give her the responses she needed. Lo and behold! I received a new message! I had some file I had to download, indicating I’d been approved! I read the message to her and she confirmed this meant I’d receive an email shortly with my coverage options.

I never received it.

Fast forward to today…

I tried logging back in this morning. My username and password did not work. I thought, “Perhaps I forgot one or the other.” So I clicked on the link that said “Forgot Username”. I populated my name and my email address associated with my account. I did not receive an email. I checked my spam folder to be sure.

I contacted their chat support again. Surely, they can at least assist in resetting usernames and passwords.


Now, before I go on, here’s a screenshot of the chat window you see while you’re chatting with the agent. Note the misleading phrase at the top, “Chat with someone who can help”.

Chat Helpless Desk

Alas, I had no method of emailing the transcript from the chat window. I had to copy/paste. I wish I had something more … credible. Regardless, here is the text from the chat, because they have no method of sending the transcript:

[06:49:51 am]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[06:49:55 am]:  Please be patient while we’re helping other people.
[06:50:29 am]:  Please be patient while we’re helping other people.
[06:50:59 am]:  Please be patient while we’re helping other people.
[06:51:05 am]: Welcome! You’re now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Ada. To protect your privacy, please don’t provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.

[06:51:44 am]: (me)
Hello Ada. I’m trying to log back into the website but it isn’t accepting my username or password (I’m not sure which is incorrect).

[06:52:23 am]: (me)
I may have forgotten my username. I’ve been waiting for the email but nothing is coming through. I *know* I’m using the correct email address. Is this something you can help me with?

[06:54:25 am]: Ada
  have you attempted to reset your username and password? If you need to reset your username or password, please use the “Forgot your username?” or “Forgot your password” links on the account login page.

[06:54:45 am]: (me)
Did you not read the description of my problem?

[06:55:03 am]: (me)
I tried that. I haven’t received the subsequent email from

[06:55:31 am]: (me)
and I KNOW I’m using the correct email address for you to send me the information.

[06:56:09 am]: Ada
Thanks for your interest in the Health Insurance Marketplace. We have a lot of visitors trying to use our website right now. This is causing some glitches for some people trying to create accounts or log in. Keep trying, and thanks for your patience. You might have better success during off-peak hours, like later at night or early in the morning. We’ll continue working to improve the site so you can get covered!

[06:56:42 am]: (me)
Ok. So basically the chat agents are only good for sending scripted responses and not for actual assistance. Correct?

[06:57:01 am]: (me)
I’ll stop bothering you.

[06:57:16 am]: (me)
You should take this link off of your website.

[06:58:35 am]: (me)
the chat window even says “Chat with someone who can help”

[06:58:46 am]: (me)
You aren’t helping me.

[07:00:28 am]: Ada
I apologize. We are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us toll free at 1-800-318-2596.

[07:00:50 am]: (me)
Yeah… because your chat support is useless.

[07:01:09 am]: (me)
I want this forwarded to a manager for a callback.

[07:01:21 am]: (me)
This is not the first time I’ve contacted chat support for assistance.

[07:02:58 am]: Ada
I apologize for the inconvenience.Is there anything else I can assist you with?

[07:03:22 am]: (me)
I want a manager to call me back regarding the problems I’ve had with chat support, overall.

[07:03:49 am]: (me)
Every time I’ve tried to get help through chat all I get are “scripted responses” followed by “call tech support”.

[07:04:08 am]: (me)
If I wanted to call and wait on hold, I would have done that in the first place.

[07:04:26 am]: (me)
If you have chat support, use it. If you don’t have chat support, don’t put the link up on your website.

[07:05:16 am]: Ada
 You can reach us toll free at 1-800-318-2596.

[07:06:27 am]: (me)
… wow. When I was over an outsourcing call center, making sure their chat support was functioning properly and our customers were satisfied, THIS kind of thing would never happen.

[07:06:47 am]: (me)
Live chat… more like warm bodies in a chair.

[07:07:25 am]: (me)
Can you send me a transcript of this chat so I can forward it to a manager I reach by phone?

[07:09:35 am]: Ada
I apologize, but we do not have that ability.

[07:09:50 am]: (me)
Of course.

[07:10:50 am]: Ada
I apologize, but if there is nothing else I can help you with I am going to have to disconnect from this chat.

[07:11:05 am]: (me)
Unless you can give me a survey link, I think we’re done here.

[07:11:18 am]: Ada
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.  We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

And she ends the chat with the sentence, “We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Just how are they there to help?? As far as I can tell, they’re serving as a bottleneck for phone support. Can you imagine how many calls they’d be getting if the chat link wasn’t on the page?

*(on another note – as I went through the post to remove my name, because I never use real names on my blog, I just noticed.. Ada never used my name on the chat. Just where are they getting these agents? Everyone knows in any form of customer service, you always use the customer’s name; especially if the customer is irate.)

The Saga Continues

I value my privacy. This is why I never used my real name on Flakebook. For a brief while, I actually thought Flakebook finally noticed I wasn’t using my real name and blocked my account; however, I looked around on my friends list and saw too many other users doing the same thing I was doing.

That couldn’t be the problem.

I created a new account under another pseudonym. I didn’t use a name one could possibly mistake for someone’s real name. Flakebook allowed me to create the account.

I started adding friends to this new account. I was up and running, commenting, and preparing to bring the old account to a close sometime next week, when I tried to create a page.

Yes, the same page I tried to create under the other account. The same page that started this whole mess in the first place.

I received the same error once but now I’m completely locked out of my new account.

I am officially done with Flakebook. They can rot.



Ever try to reach anyone at Flakebook to resolve an issue? Oh, I’m sorry, I should probably refer to them by their appropriate name: Facebook. There, I said it. It’s the only time I’ll use it in this post.

Let me just cut to the chase for those who haven’t enjoyed this lovely experience — You can’t reach anyone in support at Flakebook, regardless of your issue.

Sit back, get some popcorn and something to drink. Duch is on a rant tonight.

Yesterday, I tried to create a business page off of my Flakebook account. I received error messages saying the action could not be completed and I would have to try later. After numerous attempts, I decided to report the problem to Flakebook, complete with screenshots. My error message:

It says to try later, so I try later… :: shrugs ::

I tried later, as instructed, and noticed I was now getting authentication prompts when clicking on “Get Started”. Knowing I’d reported this issue earlier (and noting I had yet to receive a response), I went through the motions again to capture screenshots so I could report this new behavior to Flakebook.

After the above error message I got this one:

Login screen after Get Started

Then this one:

Verify your Identity

Much to my dismay, after following the prompts to prove I was really me, I was informed my account was temporarily blocked for 30 days.

Temporarily Blocked

I was eventually able to log back into my account after multiple attempts but now I’m unable to comment or Like any posts, or send messages. I haven’t explored further features to see what else I cannot do. I did explore Flakebook’s Help section and found an Appeals link, but received an error when filling out the form. The error said my account was not disabled so the form did not apply.

Evidently there is no appeals process for this particular issue.

What exactly did I do here? Make multiple, unsuccessful attempts to create a Page, resulting in errors due to possible server issues on Flakebook’s part? Now I’m in “Flakebook Jail” for 30 days?

This hardly seems right.

These are the people who will handle my healthcare.

Our healthcare has been in dire need of reform for years. Ask anyone who’s paid out-of-pocket. Ask any physician who charges “X” and gets a statement back from the insurance company saying they’ll only pay “Y” for that procedure, and no, the patient isn’t responsible for the difference. (Oh, and by the way, if you don’t have insurance, you can’t negotiate the price like that)

When the healthcare legislation was pushed through, many people were quite happy. However, I don’t think it’s the answer. Having our government handle our healthcare? Seriously? Have you ever tried to get anything pushed through the mounds of red tape at any government office?

I have a pre-existing health condition that prohibits me from getting health insurance coverage. As a result, I waited my 6-month period and applied for the Federal PCIP Healthcare Program. I sent in my denial letter and all my paperwork on February 1. After three weeks, I should have received some communication from their office. I started calling on February 25.

I was told my paperwork was still in process and if I was approved my coverage would be effective as of March 1. Any medical expenses I incurred after March 1 I could submit for reimbursement after I received my card and all their paperwork.

March 1 came and went.

On March 5 I called and was told my account had not been updated since February 11. I was forwarded to a manager.

After further investigation, it seems someone flagged me as not being a U.S. Citizen. Although my application clearly stated I was born in the U.S., they had my social security number and had complete access to my identity, someone somewhere didn’t know how to read.

Clarifying this on the phone with me wasn’t good enough. They had one specific person I had to talk to. This person had to call me back. She wasn’t in the office. I was told she had two business days in which to call. I got a call from her the next day, while I was in class. Luckily, I was expecting her call and left my phone on vibrate.

When the lady spoke with me, she said it wasn’t a question of citizenship and apologized for the misunderstanding. They were just missing documentation. (Documentation I sent on February 1). Three things went through my mind at this time:

  • So I get all wound up about this “question of citizenship” for nothing
  • It would appear their right hand doesn’t know what their left hand is doing
  • They’re already losing paperwork and they haven’t even finished processing my app yet. Why didn’t I get some communication back in February saying this was missing???

I got her fax number so I could send her the information, and expressed my disappointment and dissatisfaction. I asked her how long this would delay my application. She said she would expedite the application. I doubt it.

If this is any example of what to expect, I may consider cancelling my coverage and just socking away the money each month. Somehow I think I’d be better off going without.

The Downside of Working in Customer Service

Having worked in a Customer Service/Technical Support/Call Center environment for over 15 years, I developed a certain level of expectation of Quality of Service. You see, when I worked as a service provider, I held myself to a high standard and put my customers needs first. If the customer wasn’t happy, the issue wasn’t resolved. If you have one happy customer, they tell 10 people about their experience with your business. If you have one unhappy customer, they tell 100 people about their experience with your business.

As a customer, I expect service providers hold themselves accountable just as I did. I expect them to keep that bar of Quality of Service just as high, if not higher.  Sadly, I am disappointed more often than not.

Wednesday, Blackmon Mooring was out to clean our air ducts. They showed up on time, told me it would take about an hour. It took about 2 hours. In the process, they removed the air filters and threw them away (they needed replacing anyway). But they didn’t ask me ahead of time if I had replacements. I didn’t. Nor did I wish to purchase any from them. I now had to make a special trip to Home Depot. So I had the guy write down the measurements for me. I wasn’t happy about this, but I let it go. Why clean the air ducts if you’re just going to suck dirty air filter dust back into them, right? :: shrugs :: Oh…. and this put me climbing on a ladder to replace an air filter up in a vaulted ceiling. Yes, I could have waited for my husband to get home, but damnit, I can do it myself. :: grr… ::

Upon leaving, I notice they left one of the moving pads behind (they had spread it over the bed when cleaning the air duct in the bedroom). I figured they’d notice this and come back. These aren’t cheap. Last contractor we hired to work on something at the house left a toolbelt behind. He called within 30 minutes and came back to pick it up. I waited.

My husband came home and noticed two large screws on the bedtable. They looked like the came from one of the vents. We went through the house. We found the vent they came from…. the AC vent in the den…. very high up, with the vaulted ceiling. It appears it was just placed in, no screws at all. So I get to call Blackmon & Mooring the next morning.

The very next day, I call B&M. They don’t pull the file up by address. They pull it up by phone number. Everything is under my husband’s cell phone number. But I need them to call me back, not him. So I leave a detailed message of what happened, what was left behind, and what’s incomplete. I leave my cell phone number. I explain that I have things to do today and ask when I will get a call. I’m told someone will get with me this morning. I wait…. I wait….. I call again at 11:30am. I reach someone else who has record of my call, but not my cell phone number. She spouts off my husband’s cell phone number, and our land line (which I have blocked for incoming calls except for about 20 numbers of people we know…. this is how we avoid telemarketing calls). I am furious! Can’t these people follow the simple instructions I left in my previous message? I told her I’ve been waiting all morning and had things to do. I left a valid phone number, which I’ll be happy to leave again, and please note that all other numbers she has on file are invalid. She offered to transfer me to the person I need to speak with. I asked if that person was there or if I was going to get a voicemail. She didn’t know. I told her not to transfer me. She took my information and said he would call me back. Amazingly enough, after I went into “customer-from-hell” mode, I got a call from their service manager, who apologized, saying he left two voicemails earlier. I told him if his agents gave him the correct phone number, he would have called me and not my husband, and he wouldn’t have received a voicemail. At this time, I’m on my way out the door. I’m tired of waiting. Can you be here at 4:00? Yes, he said. Good, I said.

That’s incompetent contractor #1.

Incompetent contractor #2….

We’re looking at remodeling our guest bath. Someone my husband knows recommended Absolute Paint and Remodel. So I called them on Tuesday morning, told the guy we need a consultation appointment to discuss options and costs. Compare cost of a complete remodel vs. partial; etc… He said he would call me back that day. Two days later, no word from the guy. So I called him back yesterday morning. This is how the conversation went:

Incompetent Contractor: “I was thinking about coming over on Sunday afternoon.” 

Me: “I called you two days ago. I’ve been waiting for a callback to confirm a consultation appointment.”

Incompetent Contractor: “Oh, yeah… I was going to call you this morning.”

Me: (thinking to myself…. it’s already 10:30am…. just when were you going to call me??) “Let me check my schedule on Sunday…. I have some time in the afternoon. Is 1:00 ok?”

Incompetent Contractor: “Well, I need to give you a window.”

Me: “Ok. What window are we looking at?”

Incompetent Contractor: “I need to call you back on Friday morning so I can give you a specific window.”

Me: ” :: sigh :: Ok. Please call me as soon as you can on Friday, so I can plan my day accordingly.” (thinking to myself, this guy isn’t going to call me on Friday at all.)

Incompetent Contractor: “I have a window from 12:00 – 3:00. Will that work?”

Me: “Yes. Thank you.” (thinking to myself, wow…. first you don’t have a window, now you do? WTF?)

I fully expect this guy to no-show on me. Or to be late. Or to call and cancel at the last minute. I’m definitely looking for other contractors.

Oh, and B&M? They’re back again this morning to finish up on the AC vent. Evidently it’s more than just a matter of having a “screw loose”. The vent is no longer flush with the wall. They have someone out to fix it, so it will mount properly and screw into the wall. He was supposed to be here between 9:00 and 10:00. It’s 10:16am. He just got here.

Update: OMFG!!! It just gets better! Now I find out the B&M crew unscrewed the vent but couldn’t get it off, so this one vent never got cleaned! I paid full price and still have one vent that never got touched! :: grrrr ::

Updated Update: The guy that came out today could have just left after seeing what was wrong and determining it was a “pre-existing condition”. He didn’t even go there – never mentioned it. Now that I have another moment, we have another update…

The same guy has expanded the opening so the vent will properly fit. He’s set an appointment for next week so another crew can come out and finish the job. We don’t have to pay anything for the work he just did to make the vent fit. He was embarrassed that the crew never said anything about not cleaning the vent, and he’s been so apologetic about the whole thing. He was more concerned that the original crew never said anything about this vent in the first place and led me to believe everything had been cleaned properly.

Now we get to deal with them one more time, next week, and we’ll be done.

I’m still hesitant to recommend Blackmon Mooring. I’ve only had this one experience with them, and I’ve ended up in “customer recovery”. This one guy here today isn’t so bad. He’s like that one person you deal with that really cares about the customer in an org that doesn’t necessarily give a damn, y’know? I’ll just be glad when this entire ordeal is done.

He did say he’d request they send a different crew next week. At least I won’t have to deal with the original crew who messed up the job in the first place.