Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Dear Susan Rogers,
You've been automatically enrolled in the 2008 Blank Wireless VIP Program at no cost to you. There is nothing you need to do except take advantage of all the exclusive benefits now available to you. It's simply our way of thanking you for your continued business.
Enclosed you'll find information to familiarize yourself with the VIP Program. We've also provided you with a VIP card that lists all the great benefits you can start enjoying immediately.
We hope you enjoy the VIP Program. And thank you again for choosing America's Most Reliable Network. We look forward to serving you for years to come.
Manager, Preferred Customer Team
Your VIP membership includes:
Up to $50 off any new phone or PDA every year
Text alerts to let you know if you're close to exceeding your minutes and may benefit by changing your calling plan.
One time Overage Protection Credit
25% off wireless accessories
Free two day shipping on all purchases
Free phone book transfer to your new phone
Waived activation and upgrade fees
Now where do I even begin. I will start with the actual composition of the letter. Forgive me for saying, but are they too lazy to use full words? I have never seen so many conjunctions in what I would deem a professional letter. Are the words "you have" simply too long to type? What about that sentence that begins with the word "And". Am I wrong or is it not improper to start a sentence with the word "And"?
As for the so called "benefits" that I am now eligible for since I have achieved so called VIP status, what a joke! I ALREADY receive all of those benefits now, and to tell you the truth, big whoop. I have never paid shipping any time I have ordered products and phones. What about the alleged waiver of upgrade fees? I have NEVER had to pay any upgrade or activation fees either.
Let's address the fabulous text alerts that let me know when I am close to using all my minutes. I don't need alerts to check my minutes. I can simply log onto my account online or punch in 646# on my phone and I get a FREE text message letting me know how many minutes I have used.
Do they really think that people are stupid enough to fall for this crap? Do they really think that I think I am now getting some kind of special treatment? How in the world am I getting special treatment when this supposedly wonderful program includes crap that I have been getting ALL ALONG.
The last sentence, "We look forward to serving you for years to come". I will bet they look forward to serving me for years to come seeing as they just scammed me into ordering a phone that was DISCONTINUED!!!!!! A phone that I am stuck with for TWO YEARS until my contract expires again. I will bet they looking forward to the hellacious $176 dollars I spend every month. They look forward to sticking it to me any way they can.
My favorite phrase is, "at no additional cost to you". Do they really think that I am not paying for all this stuff in one way or another.
This would be my response letter to them:
Dear Ridiculous Wireless Company,
I have received your recent letter regarding my new VIP status with your company. First of all, let me say that I am extremely disappointed in your constant use of the words "you've" and "you'll". Do you have no one in your company that proof reads these standardized letters before they are put into circulation? Are you unaware that you should not begin a sentence with the word "and"? Maybe someone in your company should take a refresher English course, if I may be so bold as to suggest it.
As for the alleged "services" that I am now eligible to receive, this is the most bogus load of hogwash that I have ever had the misfortune to read. Your company has been providing me all of these services free of charge for four years. Your attempt to bamboozle and hoodwink me failed this time. I may have been stupid enough to fall for the allure of the discontinued phone that you shoved off on me, but I am not stupid enough to fall for this ridiculous attempt to make me feel special in some way.
It saddens me that you do not give your customers more credit than that. If you truly feel a desire to make me feel like a "VIP", maybe you should take back this discontinued phone and give me a free replacement phone. You do want me to be a satisfied customer don't you? You would like to continue to receive my payments and those of everyone in my entire family would you not?
Please waste no more of my precious time sending me letters to tell me how special I am. If I need a morale boost, I have plenty of people who can provide this for me. I look forward to being your worst nightmare for years to come. I look forward to bombarding your call center with requests to change my calling plan, questions about my bill, requests for recent copies of my bill, adding and taking away services and features constantly, becoming enraged at charges on my bill and swearing that I did not incur said charges and any other annoying thing that I can possibly conceive of.
Hood Winked and Bamboozled
Friday, July 25, 2008
I am very disappointed that I must correspond with you under these circumstances. Up until now, I have been a very satisfied customer. Your dealings with me have always been fair. The customer service I have received has been excellent. I find I must question your loyalty towards me, your customer. I have faithfully paid my astronomical cell phone bill every month. I have sent new customers to your company with high recommendations. I have always spread nothing but joy and cheer regarding your company. I have acted on my own as a saleswoman for your company….with NO commission. Your service was such that I felt just a being a customer was reward enough. Now I find I must question your integrity. A couple of months ago, I became eligible for a free new phone under the condition that I sign another two year contract. I did not view this as a hardship given our very satisfactory dealings together. I found just the phone I wanted. I chose this particular phone based on my
I ordered the phone, feeling very confident that I was receiving a quality, serviceable phone. I received the phone and was very pleased with it. I love the full keyboard, as my children feel the need to communicate with me via text on an almost hourly basis. I love being able to efficiently type text messages without having to deal with the “abc” drama. I am also pleased with your decision to offer unlimited text messaging for a nominal fee every month. This has been a life saver having a teenager on my plan.
I decided that purchasing a cover for my very cool phone would be a wise decision. The phone was getting scratches on it from being in my purse, and I may have dropped it. Once. Yesterday, on my lunch hour, I stopped by one of your convenient locations to purchase the aforementioned cover. I was immensely disappointed to learn that your store did not have any covers for my phone. I was puzzled by this, as I knew the phone had just come out. According to one of your associates, the phone has been out for a year and has been discontinued.
What scam is this that I have been a party to? Pawning off discontinued phones to unsuspecting customers like myself is reprehensible. Before I learned of this misdeed, I ignorantly walked around thinking I had an up-to-date, technologically advanced phone. Now I learn that my phone is just a “has been” in this world of constantly changing technology. Not only is it a “has been”, now I will be unable to find the appropriate accessories. I will be lucky to be able to find a cover at this point. I will most likely be unable to find a car charger that isn’t cheap and doesn’t break within a week. That could be tragic. What if I need to call 911 and I can’t because my cell phone battery dies because I was unable to find a charger? Who will accept responsibility for this travesty of justice?
Is this how my loyalty is repaid? A customer who spends
A Top Paying Customer
P.S. Should you feel any compulsion to appease me in any way, I would accept a replacement phone that has not been “discontinued”.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The first night of our trip, my oldest brother came to our hotel to visit. He stayed until really late. By the time he left and I went to bed, it was pushing 1 am. I was sharing a regular full size bed with both girls. Let me tell you, it's a little difficult to get comfortable when you have about 18 inches worth of bed space. The TV was on. I assumed my sister left it on for a reason. Which is fine, but I usually sleep in total darkness. It took me FOREVER to get to sleep.
I kept waking up throughout the night because I was cold. This is not unusual. I think I have ice water coursing through my veins, I am so cold natured. I didn't want to get up and mess with the AC for fear of making everyone else in the room too hot. I suffered in silence, and without sleep. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, I rolled onto my stomach and tucked both my arms under myself. I was finally able to get to sleep. Right about the time I was working up a good drool, the phone rang. It was 7:30 am. It was our sister, Marlette. Now, when I say it was 7:30, I mean the clock said 7:30 Eastern Standard time. My body is on Central Standard time. Which means it was actually 6:30 am.
Needless to say, Dejah and I were not pleased to be woken up. Everyone including all the kids, had been asleep up until this point. Now, we were all awake. Dejah gave Marlette a very mild tongue lashing. As her and I starting waking up and moving around, I told her how uncomfortable and cold I had been all night. She said she had been cold too, and didn't get up and adjust the AC for fear of waking up the baby or one of the other kids. Which means I suffered needlessly.
Great. Just freakin' great. Oh, and did I mention that Marlette woke us up to let us know she was going shopping. Great. Just freakin' great.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
If it’s not bad enough that I traipse my happy little behind across town, EVERY week to shop at this store, now I must endure bread that won’t even last a full week? Re-diculous I tell you. Some have said that I should break up with W-A-L. Maybe they are right. I have stubbornly kept this relationship alive by justifying the fact that I save SO much money on my grocery bill. Maybe I can’t see the unhealthy aspects of this relationship clearly because of my personal involvement. They always say you can see a relationship more clearly from the outside looking in.
If I list all the transgressions of said store, it appears very clear that I should look for a new store to shop in. First there was the old bat who ran me out of the self check out lane (Not that I hold a grudge or anything). Then she tried a second time on a separate visit to run me off. Next time I was accused of trying to steal her stupid pen. Now I must endure moldy bread?
It is obvious that my loyalty is misplaced in this relationship. Has Wally World put it’s faith in me? Have they trusted me to competently check out my own groceries? No. Have they shown loyalty towards me? No. They accuse me of thievery instead. Have they worked to keep me a happy and satisfied customer? No. Disgruntled and disappointed at.Every.Turn.
Have they shown loyalty and trust towards my family? No. They accuse my brother of trying to steal a pressure washerAAAANNNNDDD I think they even poked him in the shoulder. To which he responded, “If you touch me again, I will be forced to defend myself”.
Frankly, I think I have become entangled with a loser. Sure, they promise you world, but they don’t deliver. Alas I am hanging on to a dead relationship with no equality. I give them my money and they give me moldy bread and poor customer service. I think the time draws near for me to consider taking my grocery business elsewhere. Much as it will pain my pocketbook. Hopefully I won’t choose another loser store. You know, since I will be on the rebound and everything. I may be a little sad during this time of transition, but I will make it through. After all, this is not my first experience with losers.
Note the "sell by" date of July 22nd. Which is TODAY. My bread should not be moldy.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday morning we slept until nine. We got up and started getting the kids ready and loading all of our stuff into the van. It took almost two hours for us to get everyone ready and out the door. We stopped at Cracker Barrell and had breakfast with my brother.
Doesn't everything look normal so far? I even took a decent picture and I didn't even take a shower before we left. But don't tell anyone.
After breakfast we said our goodbyes to my brother and headed to the gas station before we started our trip home. In the time it took us to load the kids in the van and get to the gas station, the baby had a poopy diaper. We got gas and changed the baby and got on the road.
Within the hour, the baby had another poopy diaper, and some of the kids had to pee. We stopped and changed the baby and let the kids use the restroom. Within ANOTHER hour, the kids had to pee again, and the baby was fussy. Melissa was complaining of feeling car sick, so her and I traded seats.
Dejah doesn't like the way I drive, and she is vocal about how she thinks I should be driving the van. We got to Knoxville, and I saw signs noting that there was a COMPLETE INTERSTATE SHUTDOWN AHEAD. Great, just freaking great. And it was raining. We would have to detour and go to Chattanooga and then pick up Interstate 24 to get home.
See? I told you this was a tale of horror. Once we neared the area of the shutdown, traffic came to a complete stop. The kids were arguing, the baby was fussy, and the adults were getting snappy.
We FINALLY got on Interstate 75 heading towards Chattanooga. It took us over an hour to get there. Once we got there, there was ANOTHER FLIPPIN' TRAFFIC JAM. The kids are restless and so is everyone else. There were also moments when it was raining so hard, I could barely see out of the windshield. Joy and happiness were not.In.Our.Van.......at all.
See the traffic? I wanted to make sure our SOUV (Series Of Unfortunate Events) was caught on camera. Evidence you understand. You can't tell a tale like this without evidence. I almost took a picture of the poopy diapers, but common sense prevailed.
The drive through Chattanooga was beautiful, despite all the drama. We stopped in Chattanooga for the kids to use the rest room ONCE AGAIN. I just don't understand where I have gone wrong. The drive down was SO GREAT. The weather was beautiful, the kids were great, everything went so smoothly. Who could have predicted that the ride home would an experiment in the three T's? (Torture, Terror, and Trouble)
The last two hours of the trip were horrible. Horrible because we knew that had the interstate not been shutdown (it was a chemical spill) we would be home already. Poor Dejah was barely able to keep Piglet from screaming his head off. She snapped at me, I snapped at her. The kids were fighting over the most ridiculous things. They were SO tired of being in the van. Logan said, "If I would have known this trip was going to take so long, I just would have stayed with my daddy".
We finally got home and unloaded our stuff. Melissa went straight to her room and shut the door. Keri got the phone and then went over to stay with her best friend. Dejah later told me that Piglet had screamed all the way from my house to hers. We live 8 city miles apart. What are city miles? They are the same thing as country miles, with a lot more stop lights. I imagine the ride home seemed endless to her. Next time I think about it, I need to ask her what she did to get the devil after her.
I left a couple of things in her van and had to drive over to her house and get them. I was not impressed. I was glad to be home. I could NOT BELIEVE how vile the trip home had been. It really was a continuous "Series of Unfortunate Events".
Kids that need to pee every five minutes
Wreck (Which I forgot to mention)
I think we got stuck in traffic AT LEAST three times. Which is three times too many if you ask me. The trip home shattered all my illusions fantastic road trips filled fun and excitement.
A couple of side notes
My brother actually witnessed Keri's "hurts really bad" drama. He recognized it immediately from faithfully reading my blogs. Also, when a family member who lives far away reads your blogs, it cuts down on the number of stories you have to tell when you visit them. On the other hand, it is nice that family can check in on you anytime they want to. Day or night. Blogging works well, especially for people who are not "phone" people. I am so glad my friend K talked me into setting up this blog. If nothing else, someday when I am old and my memory is failing me, there will be some record of the goings on in my ever increasing family.
Dad-it was really good to see you. Sorry I didn't get to say goodbye before you left. I love you!
1. Susie (That would be me)
2. My mom
15. Little Matty
Count them, that's fifteen people. To be more specific that is seven adults and eight children traveling in three vehicles. First off we were running behind schedule. This was mildly irritating but not a big deal. We get on the road and have a fun trip. The children were well behaved. They did not require us to stop every hour to pee. They did not fight amongst themselves. Piglet was well behaved. He did not cry or scream hysterically. We enjoyed caravaning and having the secure feeling that we were all in this together. We were able to proceed with a minimum of stops.
Once we were close to the NC border, we stopped for gas. On a hunch, I bought a lottery ticket. I won 75 bucks. How great is that? I am not a big lottery player. I buy a few tickets here and there. I was very excited. See what a great trip
We decided to stop for a picnic lunch at a very lovely rest area just inside the NC line.
See the beautiful rest area? Isn't it great?
See the beautiful mountains? What a lovely place to stop and eat lunch. We all brought food and we found a lovely shaded picnic table. We ate lunch and continued on our way. Our trip is still fun and exciting. Stopping and giving the kids a chance to run was a brilliant idea. I can't remember if I am the one who thought of it. Since it's my blog, I will assume that I did and take the credit.
The scenery on I40 is beautiful. The mountains are fabulous. I tried to capture the beauty, but I am unfortunately not an expert photographer as you can see.
The rest of the day was very pleasant. Well, mostly pleasant. Within about five miles of reaching our destination, Piglet filled his diaper. The odor was so revolting, I was afraid I was going to gag. We stopped at a gas station very close to our hotel. There was no way we could make it to the hotel and then wait to get checked in to get that diaper off that boy's backside. It was the most foul thing I have ever smelled.
Brittany's mom met us at the gas station to take her home. Brittany is Melissa's friend who had stayed with us for a few weeks. Only Dejah, myself, and our kids were staying at this hotel. The others had made other arrangements. We got to the hotel and checked in, then we immediately took the kids to the pool to let them get out some of their pent up energy. Another wise decision. I don't remember if that was my idea either. I am feeling extremely generous, and I will let Dejah take the credit for that idea.
We called my oldest brother B to let him know we were close by. Apparently, due to poor communication, he didn't realize that THIS was the weekend we were coming down. No one called him. Not me, Dejah, Marlette, Alicia, or Mom. B is a good brother, he took a shower and came right over to our hotel to see us right then.
We hung out and B said that he wouldn't be able to come the next day to our mini reunion. He didn't realize we were coming, and had already obligated himself to take care of some things. We were devastated. No one called my brother J either. He didn't know we were in town either. (Aren't we a well planned bunch?......Aren't you envious of our planning skills?)
Marlette decided that it was a good idea to call and wake us up early, since no one ever sleeps in on vacation. We had stayed up late the night before and Dejah and I were not impressed with her. We got our brother J on phone. It just so happened that he and his wife didn't have anything planned for the day. We changed our plans at the last minute and decided to meet at his house. It was closer to our hotel and closer to B. Maybe we could talk B into coming if the location was closer. We packed up all the kids and headed over to J's house. This worked to be a much better plan. B was able to come also. It is a very rare occurrence that all of us seven kids are together. We were missing my younger brother, but everyone else was there. Six out of seven isn't bad.
You want to know what the strange thing was? My NC dad was there. Him and my mom have been divorced since I was a baby. It was really strange to see them in the same place. I don't know if I have any memories of them being in the same room together. It's very weird I tell ya.
After our mini reunion which included all the above mentioned people and the following peeps:
I wonder if I can use real names? I don't know how my brothers feel about having their real names on my blog. Oh well, too late now.
1. Ben (older brother)
2. Jeff (older brother)
3. My dad
4. Paul (my other younger brother)
5. Becca Lynn (my niece I got to meet for the first time)
6. Gloria (my aunt)
7. April (Jeff's wife)
Those seven added to the original fifteen makes 22. My sister-in-law was sssoooooooo gracious to let us all raid her house on the spur of the moment like that. She was absolutely great. Thanks to April.
After we returned to our hotel and rested, we let the kids get back in the pool.
We let them stay in the pool for four hours. It's very difficult to have five children and two adults cooped up in one hotel room together. The pool kept the kids entertained
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Melissa was filling out a job application for a major electronics store who shall remain nameless. She filled out all the basic information, then moved on to what I am assuming was a personality assessment. The questions were really hilarious. I will list a few that I can remember:
1. It is maddening to you when guilty criminals go unpunished.(I can't sleep for days when an obviously guilty criminal is set free. It riddles me with anxiety)
2. You require a lot breaks when working on a difficult task.( I don't know about you, but I require a lot breaks no matter how easy or difficult a task is)
3. You are easily annoyed by others.( Yes, the mere presence of other human beings occupying the same space as me, is extremely annoying)
4. You enjoy listening to your friends talk about themselves.(Yes, I love to listen to ANYONE go on and on and on about themselves. I can't get enough of it actually)
I mean it was completely ridiculous. Does anyone answer these questions in a manner which is unflattering to themselves? I was cracking up. Not only that, but it took Melissa an HOUR to get through the entire application. Ridiculous I tell you.
The following exerpt is a cell phone conversation I had a couple of days ago:
The setup: My cell rings and I see it is my dad:
DAD: To whom am I speaking?
ME: Thinking my dad is messing around with me, I say in a business like tone: This is Susan
DAD: Susan who?
ME: Realizing that my dad really has NO CLUE who he is talking to, I become exaperated: DAD, IT'S ME!
DAD: Oh! OK! I found this number on a piece of paper and I didn't recognize it. I didn't recognize your voice either.
Gee thanks Pop.
We are off to North Carolina in the morning We will have eight people traveling in a seven passenger van for a minimum of six hours. Please pray for us. Don't worry, I'm bringing my Ipod......and maybe some nerve pills. Does anyone remember hearing the expression, "I need one of my nerve pills"? Well, I think I could be needing some "nerve pills" tomorrow.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
The weather was cloudy and not hot. This made for wonderful cookout weather. Our state sells fireworks. Good fireworks. Dangerous even. I find that I can't resist the allure of setting off fireworks in the backyard. The kids love it. We lived in NC for years, and they don't sell anything more than firecrackers and sparklers. So we ate and listened to music until it got dark.
Last year we had a firework mishap. One of them tipped over and shot out everywhere. I really concerned about it so I made a "stabilizer" so that we would not have a repeat of last year's fiasco. What I didn't count on, was one of the fireworks being lit upside down. My sister did that. I won't say which one, in order to protect her identity. I realized it was upside down as soon as she lit it. Several thoughts ran through my head but the only thing I could scream was, "IT'S UPSIDE DOWN, SHE LIT IT UPSIDE DOWN!!!". No else realized the gravity of the situation. Once sparks started shooting everywhere I think everyone realized how dangerous it was.
Next year I will be checking for firework stability and I will implement a system to verify that the fireworks are being lit in an upright position. I should probably concede that fireworks are dangerous and give up my fireworks display. I won't for a couple of reasons. One is that I don't host a great deal of events at my house and I like the fairly new tradition of our Fun Fourth cookout/fireworks show. I love you people, but all of your admonitions and warnings will more than likely go unheeded. Thanks for trying though.
My sister left out yesterday morning to drive to Ohio to pick up a van she bought from Ebay. Nick and Logan (her sons) stayed with me after the fireworks Friday night. Are any of you aware that 6 and 8 year old boys will wear you out? I didn't know. I have two girls. Saturday morning they let me sleep in. strike
I was so exhausted from our afternoon in the pool, I could barely manage to shop. I had to because I had five children in my house and NO FOOD. Not a good combination AT ALL. By the time I got the groceries home and unloaded, I could barely speak. I had picked up a couple of movies at Wal-Mart. Incidentally, did you know if you browse through the 5 dollar movie bin at Wally World you might actually find a movie you like? I found "A Series Of Unfortunate Events" for the kids and "Thelma and Louise" for us girls.
I spread blankets on the floor for the boys, turned on the movie, and within 20 minutes they were both asleep. Which was my ingenious plan all along....yeah, that's right. I planned it the whole time.
I am paying the price now for my weekend in the sun. My forehead, nose, shoulders, legs, and scalp are sunburned. Yes, I said my scalp. I applied sunscreen, but I think it was too late by then.
This pitiful blog has taken me days to compile, so I am kinda throwing everything in here. This weekend, all of "the sisters" and boyfriend/husband are traveling to our home state to visit relatives. Dejah and I and our respective children will be traveling in the van she bought. We are going to have a total of 8 traveling in the van down there, seven returning. I am curious to how this trip will play out with all of us traveling together.
I will TRY to keep my blog updated. Ben, Jeff, and Dad....hope to see you soon!