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August 17th, 2000

Four More Additions to My S-List

Washington Homes: They’re building the new homes in my community. Monday they began to dig the lot next to mine. In the process of doing so, they dug up our phone line. Of course they didn’t do us the service of letting us know, rather we came home to a dead line. I went to our neighbors to call the phone company and their lines were dead, too (though, at the time, they thought the batteries on their portables had died). So I’ve also tried calling them from work for the last couple days to let them know that they’re idiots, and guess what? Since the crew working on our development is located on my block, there’s no answer when I call; I guess they cut off their own phone service as well. I decided to stop by on Wednesday morning to personally whine to them, and no one was in their little trailer.

Verizon: For God’s sake, give those striking employees what they want (and deserve)! Why? Because when I called Monday night to have someone come out and fix the line, I was told the earliest they could come was Sunday. Sunday. I called this morning to actually talk to a person rather than wade through their convoluted automated system, and the CSR confirmed that they wouldn’t be able to send anyone out before due to the strike. I kept my cool because it wasn’t this individual operator’s fault I’d be without a phone for a week, but I’m a tad annoyed, to say they least. I love this page where they say “During a work stoppage, repairs likely will be delayed.” No kidding, sherlock.

It figures this would happen the very day I get my computer working again.

Update on this issue — as of Wednesday, we have a phone… it mysteriously started working again.

Buy.com: This is unrelated to the previous two, but I’ve had some problems recently with online retailer Buy.com. Back in April I placed an order with about five DVDs. Four months later, one of the DVDs (which I ordered for a friend) has not come yet. Their customer service claims it’s not in stock and they’re still trying to fill the order. The thing is, the DVD is in print and it’s listed as “Usually available in 24-48 hours” on their web site. In addition, I preordered an item that came out on August 1st. That item is now also listed as “Usually available in 24-48 hours” but I have not received it yet. It’s released from a major distributor (Anchor Bay) and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be on its way to me when I pre-ordered it 3 1/2 months early.

Earthlink: I signed up for their “3 months for the price of 1” trial. Unfortunately, I missed cancelling before the end of the third month, and ended up getting charged a full month ($20) for their service even though I cancelled it early in the fourth month. They said their policy was no prorated refunds. This is utter nonsense since even small, local ISPs offer prorated refunds on month-to-month accounts (yearly accounts I can understand this policy, though). I sent two e-mails to Earthlink asking them for a prorated refund for unused access and they never replied to either. Great service, guys. Epinions and the BBB will be hearing from me on this issue. -ram

Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: frank0
DATE: Tuesday August 22, 2000 -- 10:17:46PM
Ryan, my man, you just ruined my aspiration to ascend to the throne of #1 DP Lurker. You just pushed a major hot button for me - Washington Homes. Oh Lord, let me tell you about some Washington Homes now. They're the ones that built this POS townhome I currently live in. Within a year of moving into our home, we had to get a giant microlam beam installed that runs the width of our main level ceiling. After that they brought in one flunky after another to attempt to fix all the crumbling drywall in our top level - you guessed it, the result of the sagging ceiling in the level below. To top it all off they didn't have anybody who could find paint that matched the tone they originally used for our walls before our home became a full-on, lived-in construction zone. To this day, some 4-1/2 years later, a good portion of our walls remain unpainted.

Washington Homes sucks. If you're ever moved to go tip that trailer of theirs, give me a holler.



FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday August 22, 2000 -- 10:26:51PM
Frank -- fortunately, Washington Homes is not who built our house (it was some other company that apparently moved slowly). It's funny, because WH is a HUGE company (I'm still trying to figure out where their headquarters is), but they do seem a tad clueless. Just my opinion, of course.

In other related news, I today submitted my epinion of Earthlink and filed a BBB complaint against them. Yahoooo.



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