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Bruce
kor27
...:::.::. .::...:..
Moon Phase



July 2018
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Bruce [userpic]
Monopolies Must Die!

So far today has run Bruce:0 Large Faceless Monopolies:2. The simple one is trying to deal with a small payment to the California Board of Equalization. This has been going since last April, not that I've put a lot of energy into it.

I paid a quarterly sales tax amount on April 18th last year, using the BOE's online setup. They allow for a direct bank withdrawal.

It never went through. I suspect it's because I'd updated my bank info to the new address, but the same process hadn't completed over in Sacramento, so it just... didn't work. Certainly a later payment processed just fine.

But I didn't hear from them, and they aren't hugely forthcoming with contact info.

So I waited.

In mid-December, I got a lurid notice saying "Pay us NOW NOW NOW" with maybe $4 in fees added on - the kicker being that they must have payment by December 31st, and it must be a money order or cashier's check. Being the flake I am, I didn't mail them that until the 28th, but I got a postal money order, and mailed it at the same post office.

It should have been able to make it by the 31st - it's normally only 2 days to Sac. If not, it would have been there by the 1st at the latest.

I now have an even more lurid notice from January 18th. My bad for forgetting about it for this long, but whatever. No indication that they'd received the money order. They may file a lien (against what?). But I can ignore the notice if I've already paid.

They just don't provide a way to find that out. And I don't trust them too much on the issue. And I can't get a return phone call from the individual I'm supposed to contact on the subject.

Then there's good old AT&T wireless. Which is effectively a monopoly for me, because I'm tied to a GSM phone. The only other GSM carrier of note is T-Mobile, and by their own admission, they have shit for coverage.

I've been paying $12-$18 extra every month, because my media bundle plan only allows for 1000 text messages. And I use a lot of text messages. I was paying my bill yesterday, and decided to check if I could upgrade that. And according to their website, I can, because there's a plan for only $5 more with unlimited messaging as well as unlimited data.

Except the website wouldn't let me add the feature - it told me to call or chat with a representative to find out why.

I didn't have time to do that until today, when I tried the chat. The response was "That add-on isn't compatible with your PDA device. Call a representative to find out what plans are available for you."

First of all, why have chat if it just dumps you into a voice conversation? But the whole "incompatibility" thing made me look more closely at the "data plans" page. There's an unlimited plan for PDAs for a mere $20 more. They want more money if you have a device that can actually use their unlimited data plan.

So for $20 more, I could save an average of $15 a month. Joy.

I suspect their "unlimited" data isn't all that unlimited, anyway. I've had several cases where attempts to read email suddenly wouldn't work - until midnight. Oddly, frequently on days when I wasn't using all that much data...

Current Location: The Duplex
Mood: annoyedannoyed
Comments

I've been paying $12-$18 extra every month, because my media bundle plan only allows for 1000 text messages. And I use a lot of text messages. I was paying my bill yesterday, and decided to check if I could upgrade that. And according to their website, I can, because there's a plan for only $5 more with unlimited messaging as well as unlimited data.

Except the website wouldn't let me add the feature - it told me to call or chat with a representative to find out why.

I didn't have time to do that until today, when I tried the chat. The response was "That add-on isn't compatible with your PDA device. Call a representative to find out what plans are available for you."


Yeah, I had that same problem with AT&T. I had to upgrade to the "unlimited" texting from a whole new plan. If it really isn't available, they shouldn't even advertise the shit.

Word.

If they have enough software to check whether something is "compatible" or not, why can't they just do it up front?

And why can't they tell you why it doesn't work? Are their web designers that stupid?

Beyond that, I suspect that any new plan arrangement would be more expensive. I have pretty much the cheapest voice plan - 450 minutes - and I don't even use a fraction of that. I just don't talk that much. On the phone.

Re: Word.

I have the same thing, minus the MediaNet, but with the unlimited txting. It works, and most of my friends are on AT&T, so I don't use too many minutes...

Re: Word.

Yeah, well, I use a lot of data. Which is what they're afraid of.

When I last revamped my contract, the woman I was dealing with had trouble understanding that I wanted unlimited data - pretty much independent of price - with what was just about the cheapest voice plan they had.

i have the unlimited text/data plan. it works just fine with my phone. compatibility shouldn't be an issue. although i did get my phone/plan before the whole cingular switching back to at&t went through.

Yeah, well, they've restructured a bit, and I think when they say "incompatible," they really mean "We want to charge you more than that."

Yo

What's a GSM Phone?


Miss you, Hippie.

Re: Yo

The two main cellular network protocols in use in the US are GSM and CDMA. At the moment, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, while everyone else uses CDMA.

On the other hand, 82% of the planet uses GSM. If you want to leave the US and have a phone, GSM is your best bet.

Miss you too, redneck.

Re: Yo

YEEE-HAW! Oh's you talking bout one of them telephones without wires! H'yuk.

Re: the Franchise Tax Board and liens, they'll put a lien on any vehicle you have registered with the state, if they get to that point.

I let my state taxes go overdue from 4/15 one year until around January the next (was during the tech bust when I was laid off), and they slapped a lien on my car. I borrowed from a friend and paid off the taxes ASAP--actually, when I got the "pay us now or we're filing the lien" notice--but didn't make it before the lien went through. It showed paid three weeks later, but damage done.

Once the lien's on your credit report, it stays for seven years after getting paid off. It's not a serious ding, if paid, but it's a ding. My various "challenges" to it with the bureaus haven't budged it, and it's a legitimate entry by their public-records standards, so I quit trying.

Didn't think of cars...

Well, I finally got a call back, and they'd received the payment, anyway.

Twits.

I'm still wondering how much a $35 lien would affect my credit report, though...

Couldn't tell you. It came back for a few years in denial reports (derogatory public record) or something like that, but my credit generally sucked, so I don't have a sense of the isolated effect. It was also for around $1K, so significantly more than yours would have been.