Aug 11

Can AT&T really be this broken?

Can a company like AT&T really fail in this many ways for one customer on one product?

When I first moved to Frisco in 2011, I decided to get Internet and Cable TV services, along with home phone service from (then) Time Warner Cable. It served me well until the Charter/Spectrum acquisition, when my rates jumped more than 20%, and calls to “customer care” showed they cared less.

AT&T Store SignAt the same time, I have been a customer with AT&T since 2009, after a disappointing 5 year stint on Sprint for my cell phones. When I signed with AT&T, I was able to get an unlimited data plan, which I was able to keep when they moved to metered plans.

So let’s fire up the way-back machine (yes, I’m referring to the time machine in “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”), and I’ll give you some history of my saga.

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Aug 20

Taking the fight back to Rachel at Cardholder Services

Anyone whom has read this blog for some time knows that I have no love for the Robocalls from “Rachel at Cardholder Services” and similar ilk.

Since I wrote the series on “Rachel” four years ago, some of the sources of calls faced charges by state Attorney Generals, and the resulting judgement against each was in the State’s favor. Those companies and their “owners” are now out of business.

No Phone

But Rachel or one of her “Sisters” continues to make those calls from “Cardholder Services”…

Of course now, the “Free Cruise” calls, along with the “Carpet Cleaning” calls, the fake IRS calls all have joined “Rachel” in the On The Spot Blog Robocaller hall of shame. And this doesn’t take into account the scammers from the fake “Windows Technical Support” groups either (since those are live bodies at the other end, they don’t fall in the robocall group, but are just as bad).

It’s like the “Do Not Call” list is largely ignored. Most of these fraudsters realize that even if you do report them to the Federal Trade Commission for a Do Not Call Violation, they know there will be no investigation or prosecution. The FTC has far too few resources to fully investigate, and the robocallers are using technology to spoof or hide their calling point of origin.

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Jul 17

A ‘Broken’ America…

As I recently reported, I hoped to start writing here more often. In fact, I had a story ready to post last Friday, but after the events involving the sniper attack on Dallas Police on Thursday, I decided to postpone it.

Of course then came the attack in Nice, France. the attempted coup in Turkey, and of course earlier today in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. According to reports today, there have been 26 police officers killed in the line of duty since the start of the year.

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Jul 08

Police lives DO matter

It is troubling to have followed the reports last night of the “ambush” style attack on the Dallas, Texas Police Department and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (“DART”) Police Department.

Dallas Police Badge/Wrapped in Black BandFirst and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to the officers of both agencies and their families.

This senseless actions of these few at what was a “peaceful” Black Lives Matter march in Downtown Dallas leave a stain on our community and our country that will just make healing much harder.

Now is the time to investigate, not blame irrelevant factors – No, Mr. President, this is not the time to bring up Gun Control. You have routinely turned your back on gang violence, and increasing black on black crime, never mind black on white crime, only to single out white on black crime. This is not the way to unite the country.

We must let the country grieve, and the investigators do their work and to tell us what happened. Once the facts are known, we can come up with real solutions on how to prevent this from happening again  (and oh, by the way Mr. President, gun control wouldn’t have addressed the fact that there were also explosives involved in this incident).

Meanwhile, if you would like to help the fallen officers families, a number of charities have established funds to aid them. Please consider donating to one. I support Mercury One, and their fund for the police department can  donated to at: Mercury One Blue Lives Matter Fund (Disclosure: Mercury One operates with a separate operations budget which is funded by an annual fund raiser event, and 100% of the dollars donated – minus credit card processing fees – will go to the intended cause).

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Jul 05

Article V Proposal: Investigations

Today I’m outlining the first of two proposals I have for the Convention of States to Amend the Constitution. Originally, I intended this was supposed to be presented as the second, but in light of the announcement today by the FBI of a recommendation of no charges for the clear violation of the law by Hillary Clinton, I moved this to the first.

Today I want to take on the elephant in the room. That is, the ongoing corruption in our Government and the investigations into that corruption.

It has become clear from many directions that the administration does not want these investigations to happen, and is doing everything they can to deny justice. Therefore I bring forth to you my latest proposal for an Amendment to the Constitution.

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Jul 04

Life happens…

[Author’s note, I started writing this in October 2014, but like everything else, life got in the way. I am posting it now, with revisions, as I really do want to start posting here more often]

Happy Independence Day!

In December 2012, I set out on a plan to start posting here more frequently. But as is typical with life outside of cyberspace, life got in the way.

Phyllis and Wayne Jones

Phyllis and Wayne Jones

Work sent me off to Orlando, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada for a week each in 2013.

My mom, Phyllis Jones, began a steady decline in her health, culminating with her passing in January 2014. I spent many weeks in my hometown in Kansas spending time with her over the year, and was there when she passed at a Kansas City Hospice.

Weeks later I lost a good friend and mentor, my boss of seven years in Houston.

Work assigned me to work on new business, which pushed my days longer, and after spending days writing for work, I really didn’t want to spend my nights writing.

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Jan 07

Could Rachel at Cardholder Services game be over?

It was one year ago today that I first blogged about “Rachel at Cardholder Services.” Little did I know that single post would morph into seven posts including today’s.

As a professional in the telecommunications world, I had become acutely aware of Rachel based on the number of complaints I was getting from my clients. I also was aware of Rachel for the more than seven years I lived and worked in Houston, by having four phones on my desk, and getting calls from Rachel on every one of them (despite only one number being published) as well as my home and cell phones.

Open Casket with Hand holding PhoneThose events led me to start investigating Rachel, between talking to live agents (of course giving them bad information when I couldn’t avoid skirting around their questions) to many hours of Internet research. What resulted from that research is what has already been put on this site.

When the four-part series ran in May/June, I named nine companies that were clearly involved with Rachel. At the time, only one, Castle Rock Capital Management, was charged with violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Continue reading

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Dec 31

Happy 2013!

As the year ends, my long overdue, and planned re-do of this site is now complete. What started out as a 4 month project, stretched into 11 months. Although there were changes made behind-the-scenes earlier in the year, I left the overall appearance the same. With tonight’s year-end activation of our new look, the transformation is complete.Party Horns

I hope over the coming year to start taking more time to write posts here, a promise I make every year, and seem to fail at (I actually did good this year all the way through August, but the stresses of work at my day job once again precluded me from doing more the remaining months).

So eat, drink, and be merry – but please don’t drink and drive – we want you visiting here again in 2013!

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Dec 24

Where celebrating the reason for the season is accepted

Every year I take time away from my work to travel and see family in my hometown of Ottawa, Kansas for Christmas. This year is no exception.

A sign wishing arriving visitors a "Merry Christmas" hangs over Main Street in Ottawa, Kansas

A sign wishing arriving visitors a “Merry Christmas” hangs over Main Street in Ottawa, Kansas


It is here where the downtown business district is all aglow with Christmas Lights, the mayor lights the Christmas Tree and we start every December with a Christmas Parade. Continue reading

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Dec 19

Do unto others…

I want to begin this post by extending condolences to all the families affected by the incidents I am writing about.

In the wake of the incidents in Newtown, Connecticut and the mall in Clackamas, Oregon last week, there are many pundits calling for stronger gun laws. The fact is, the laws already in place were what failed us. More laws would not have stopped either of these incidents from happening, and in fact could have made matters worse.

America has a bigger problem. A problem that has developed for the last century, and is now reaching a predictable conclusion. It is a problem not with weapons, but with society. Continue reading

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