A little thing about consumer ethics and frustration.

Our internet service sucks. It’s been crummy for a long time, and it’s getting worse. We were promised and are paying for a certain rate of speed, and we regularly receive less than 10% of that speed.

Before The Boy went back to college he called our provider’s customer “service” line with very specific data about our poor service. But because his name is not on the account, they would not deal with him (and he’s the guy who knows the most about it – that’s why I had him make the call). My solution was for him to wait half an hour and call back, pretending to be his dad, whose name is on the account. The Husband is never home long enough to deal with this kind of thing. I’ve tried and got nowhere. So The Boy was really our best hope. Our son was shocked: “I can’t do that! It wouldn’t be honest and it might be images3illegal.” Too damned ethical for his own good. So we continue to have rotten service – I swear I can hear the “beep beep boop beep BLAAAAAT” of dial up every time I try to get online or navigate to a new page. So there’s another ethical issue – our company is clearly choosing to reduce our speed just because they can. Google Fiber is supposed to be made available to us later in the year, and I’m counting the days.

Ethical dilemma and frustration number two: Every month I get on the phone to make payments on Middle Sister’s hospital bills from last year. Yes, we are paying about $125 per month for gall bladder surgery that took place a year ago. If anyone else in the family has a medical issue this year, or if a car should suddenly go belly-up, we’ll be destitute in no time. Thank you, American insurance mafia. The online payment system for this hospital is totally unreliable, and phone calls are slightly less time consuming than writing and mailing checks, so I make the calls every month. I learned after the first month of payments that it’s in my best interest to pretend to be my daughter. Because here’s a really sensible thing: Only she is allowed to have access to her account, unless she gets on the phone every single month and allows me access. Yet I, pretending to be her, can use a credit card in my own name to pay the monthly bill. Apparently it’s not okay to allow your parent to pay your bills, yet it is okay to commit possible credit card fraud. So every month I fib for the sake of convenience. I keep our daughter’s SSN and phone number handy so I can “prove” I’m her. All for the sake of paying a medical bill that is, according to many reliable consumer resources, merely some billing and insurance ring’s ridiculously inflated stab in the dark. And again, I’m fighting a system that regularly operates in a seriously unethical, but legally sanctioned manner.

If Robin Hood had a job opening for an extra Merry Man to steal from the rich and give to the poor, I’d apply for that position in a heartbeat.

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2 thoughts on “A little thing about consumer ethics and frustration.

  1. I’m wondering if you have the same cable service we have. When we move to Missouri, we are going to have to go to satellite. My son wished us good luck. *sigh* I don’t really pull out my mean side with people unless they push my buttons for some stupid reason. Our oldest son’s second year of college, he moved into an apartment but the college billed him for housing.I called to complain but they didn’t want to talk to me because I wasn’t my son. That’s when I got my attitude on and the poor woman got a bunch of are you kidding me? Who do you think is paying his bills? I don’t care what you do but fix it and refund the money because he has already completed the necessary documents. The next day the money was refunded.

    I usually let my husband take care of matters where there will be some form of confrontation. He has a very calm, no-nonsene way to receive immediate results without all the foot stomping I do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have Consolidated, but I’m hearing that pretty much every provider is doing the same thing now. My understanding is that this is at least part of what the whole “net neutrality” thing is about. Basically, if you have a lot of money and a lot of power, the world is skewed entirely in your direction, and to hell with the little guy.

      Liked by 1 person

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