Woman’s Paradox

A Woman's Paradox
Source: Great Business Schools

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Protest CISPA

Stop Cispa

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My Experience with Verizon Fraud Department

A few years ago we switched our cell phone plan to a prepaid one and it has been A LOT cheaper.  We use these from T-Mobile.  Almost 2 years ago when Samsung released their tablet to rival the iPad we decided to try it out.  We ordered one with Verizon because they seemed to offer the best plans.  We set up a 3GB plan for $35 dollars a month.

At first it was great but I have to admit I have been looking forward to when our contract ends on  5/5/2013.  As it turns out we use the tablet most at home where we have wifi.  We really don’t need to pay them the $35 a month.  Waiting out our contract would cost less than the early termination fee so that has been our plan.

BUT yesterday we received this text message;

Rather than call the number that was part of the text message, because I wasn’t sure if the text message wasn’t just fishing for information, I called Verizon’s main number from their website.  While I was on hold, I logged in to my online account and I was able to search for the order number.  I couldn’t see any details and it wasn’t connected to my account.

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 9.46.03 PM

I first spoke with Austin and advised him that we haven’t placed any order.  He said he could see the order and that the Fraud department had called about this.  I was transfered to Fraud.  A woman was quick to offer an explanation saying it was probably someone looking over my shoulder while I logged into my account.  I explained how I don’t use public internet terminals and I only log on at home.  No one could have looked over my shoulder.

I asked her questions about the order like if she could tell whether it was placed over the phone or the internet.  I asked if she could tell what was ordered.  I could hear her asking someone else questions in the background.  I suspect she had access to more than she was telling me.

I asked if she was able to determine where the fraud originated.  Like would this be someone who had wrote a program that attached verizon’s servers or there was something that attempted to match the last four numbers of someone’s social security number with phone numbers so they could place orders.  Did someone have my specific SSN and account number and had stolen my identity.  I was trying to determine if someone was pretending to be me or if they had some sort of data breech.  She was not forthcoming at all.  I know no more after having talked to her than before I made the call.  She said I should reply to the text message with a ‘no’ and that will cancel the order.

Since she was unable to help me determine the root cause and what steps I should take to protect myself, I asked how much it would be close out my account.  Since it was essentially a line of credit that someone could use to fraudulently order things and Verizon can’t seem to be able to tell me how it happened.  I explained this was just a 35 dollar a month tablet.  I don’t want to suddenly owe 700 dollars.  I asked if there was a way to make it so nothing more can be charged or added to my account.  She said no.  She then went into some weird explanation of the bad economic situation here in the USA, the unemployment rate in Europe.  It remind me of this situation for Miss America 2007 South Carolina contestant;

So did she really know that it was some hackers accessing the system so how?  Anyway she transfered me because she didn’t have any information on early termination.

Since my account contract ends 5/5/13 I thought the early termination fee would be low.  I was advised it is $140 which makes no sense because paying March, April, and Mays bill would total (35 *3) =105.  The early termination fee is more than the 3 months left on my contract.  The third person I spoke to at Verizon was super nice and had a lovely tone to her voice but she was also not helpful.  When will companies realize that if they don’t solve my root issue, it dosen’t matter that their call center isn’t in India anymore, or that their agent’s are super nice, if they can’t resolve my issue I will just leave.  I won’t just leave, I will actually never come back.

I asked the third rep what I could do to prevent fraudulent charges.  Can I block the account from anything being charged to it.  She said no.  She will put a lovely note on the account.  I asked if that would give pause to someone ordering online or by the phone.  She said no.  She said she could unregister my account from online access.  I said sure go ahead and do that.  I am pretty sure this only makes it so I don’t have access.  I would have to go online and re-register online access.  I only go online to pay my bill.

So I get to wait until May 5th to close out my account.  I feel like I have a vulnerable line of credit just sitting out there.

Seriously businesses if my contact with you consists of the lowest rung on your hierarchy and the least knowledgable person this is how I think of your business.

I first purchased the tablet to try Verizon as we had never had service with them before.  I thought of moving my existing phone lines over and growing lines with my business too.  This will not happen.  I will gladly and happily stay with my prepaid.  No one messes with my prepaid.

Can’t wait to say goodbye to Verizon on May 5th.


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A Long Delay with Airtran

AirTran-LogoMy daughter and I traveled north to visit my parents during the Christmas season.  My poor husband had to work Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after.

After being apart from my husband I was anxious to see him again.  Our return flight was scheduled to leave at 3:55 pm and should land in Ft Lauderdale by 6:30 pm.  I was hoping to be home by 7:30pm or so.  If I had only known how delayed we would end up being, I would have had trouble getting out of bed.

My parents and I started talking about what time they should take us to the airport.  My mom checked the status of the flight and found some confusing info.  Online it said that the estimated time of take off instead of 3:55pm would be 7:30pm.  Due to the snowfall that we awoke to, the majority of flights were 30-60 delayed.  Why was my flight so delayed?

While I wrangled my toddler and got our bags together, my mom called airtran to see if she could find out what was going on.  The airtran phone rep did confirm that the flight did appear to be quite delayed, she was not sure why, but she advised us to be there prepared to board as if our flight would be on time.  This would be an interesting day at the airport with a toddler.

So we all go to the airport.  I arrive with my toddler and checked our bag.  This was about 2:30pm.  My parents said they wouldn’t leave until they were sure I could board.  They said they would stay if I had to stay all afternoon with my adventurous toddler.  The screen with all of the flight info is still showing 3:55pm and only says “gate changed”.  No information about it being delayed makes me wonder.  So I scramble through security and go to the gate with my screaming toddler only to find there is a plane going to Ft Myers at 4:40pm and my flight will go after this one.

I leave the concourse dragging my screaming toddler who just wants to play on the moving walkways.  I meet with my parents and we decide to grab something to eat a Quedoba.  Luckily my parents take turns chasing my active toddler around the main area of the airport while I relax a little before my challenging evening.

With my flight scheduled to take off at 7:30pm my toddler and I say goodbye to my parents around 6:45pm and head through security.  My enthusiastic expressive toddler waves to all the TSA agents and gets a neat TSA sticker.  After all of the random stories about negative experiences with TSA agents we have always had a very positive experience with TSA agents.

We make it to the gate and I ask the gate agent if she can put our seats together.  When I checked in online the day before there were only 3 seats to choose from and none of them were together.  She very kindly put our seats together and came and found me when she was done.  Soon after that we start boarding.  I think yea we are rolling now, we’ll be home soon.

We are on the plane and everyone else is boarding.  Then there comes that moment where everyone is on the flight.  All of the seats are full.  But we are not taxing towards the runway.  The moments tick by.  The captain makes an announcement that there is an issue with something to do with the landing gear and maintenance will be here momentarily.

Maintenance came and went as per what the other side of the plane passengers were saying.  The woman across the aisle from me ended her phone conversation and started to tell me that her friend is an airplane mechanic and she start predicting that they will cancel our flight.  Gulp after having waited for this flight all day I hope they don’t cancel it.  But hey I also want to land at my destination so I understand safety and all.

We were seated in row 11 right near where 1st class ends and coach begins.  There is always a flight attendant in 1st class so people constantly keep coming up and answering the same question.  The flight attendants were so nice they just keep answering that same question over and over.  The gate attendant was also quite nice.  She kept making brief announcements regarding updates to our situation.  The flight attendant was getting along well with the woman sitting across the aisle from me (maybe they knew each other) and she was explaining how the flight attendants also would like to get moving as they don’t start getting paid until they are in the air.  What a bummer I thought.  I really appreciated how polite, nice, approachable and personable everyone at Airtran was.  I think it kept some of the would be obnoxious passengers from becoming obnoxious.  And I am not talking about the toddlers and babies on the flight.

The gate agent gets back on the flight intercom and explains that everyone would be receiving a free round trip ticket to anywhere within the U.S. due to today’s issues.  Wow, I thought and I was in disbelief.  Here I was just hoping they would not have to cancel the flight.

Later it was announced that if we wanted to get off the plane and move about the now empty concourse while we waited we could.  I took 1 bag and left the other.  It was too hard to get to and I thought we would just be back anyway.

My toddler is having the time of her life on the moving walkways.  She discovered she could go the wrong direction and ‘beat’ the moving walkway.

Some time later it was announced in our concourse that we were to come back to the plane.    I though ok here we go finally.  But no it was only to retrieve our bags and go to another gate.   Our original plane would not be making the trip to Ft. Lauderdale tonight.  It was a bit messy at first with the people who had stayed on the plane trying to get off while people who had de-boarded were trying to get on and collect their bags but we get a groove going there and made it out with our bags.

While we were waiting at our new gate my toddler found some other toddlers to play with.

We finally board our new plane.  We get everyone on board.  Everything falls into place and we take off.

My flight that was scheduled to leave at 3:55pm and arrive in Ft. Lauderdale around 6:30 pm putting me walking in my front door by 7:30pm actually took of about 10:00 pm with a 12:30am arrival  and waiting for checked bags until 1am (because Ft. Lauderdale is HUGE) really had me falling into bed at 3:00 am.

It was a LONG experience.  My toddler seemed to LOVE IT.  The woman who sat by the window was really nice and had a lot of fun playing with my toddler and showing her things out of the window.

Would I fly Airtran again?


Weather and maintenance issues can happen to any airplane.  All of the Airtran employees we encountered were nice, polite, approachable and personable.  Did I also mention that while were on the first plan the flight crew kept coming around with drinks, water, and snacks just like they did on the flight.  There is no only 1 bag of pretzels allowed here.

I was happy with how Airtran employees were handling our issue on the spot.  I also appreciated that we all reached our destination.  Our flight was not cancelled.  On top of all that Airtran gave us all free round trip tickets to a USA destination of our choice.

I posted a few pictures on my photoblog:









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Fake FedEx Email Notification

I received this email and at first thought YEA my package has arrived.  One dead giveaway that it was a fake email and not really from FedEx was where is states ‘your parcel has arrived at the post office at December 7′ .  I am sure that if I had clicked on the link for ‘Get Your Postal Receipt’ it would have linked me to some malware or a worm or virus.

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New Car Door Magnet for the Blue Car

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New Car Door Magnet for the Maroon Car

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An Idea for My Sticky Notes

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The Beauty of Compounding Interest

20 years    $2,500 x (1 + 0.10) ^20 = $16,818.75

38 years    $2,500 x (1 + 0.10) ^38 = $93,510.86

Make sure you are using it to your advantage instead of the credit card companies using it to their advantage.

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I Just Voted in South Florida!

I Just Voted Sticker I just voted in South Florida! After multiple ‘attempts’ we completed our voting mission.

In Florida there are a few options for voting; absentee, early, and on election day at the polls.

We don’t have the option to vote on election day due to my husband’s work schedule.  We don’t have the option to go separate as we have a toddler to wrangle.  My husband works on Tuesday from 7am-7pm.  The exact hours the polls are open.  He inquired about going in late or leaving early in order to vote on election day and their response was like ‘what?, no, we don’t do that here, give you time off to vote’.  It would be really awesome to have election day as a national holiday and work during a holiday we currently get off; like Christmas.  Ok just kidding not Christmas but maybe Columbus day or some other day that the majority of people get off work.

We attempted to vote early.  Our closest vote early location was actually right by our house.  Early voting lasted from Saturday, October 27, 2012 through Saturday, November 3, 2012 between 7 am and 7pm.  The first day of early voting I was out running in the morning and ran by a huge line of people lined up around the building.  I couldn’t believe they were all waiting for early voting.  Throughout the week as we did errands, drove by, or walked by there was always a line all the way around the building.  We tried waiting in the line various times but every time something came up and we could not continue waiting.  After talking to several people we estimated that it would have taken 3.5 hours to wait in line to vote.

In Palm Beach County there are REP:248,944 DEM:386,692 Other:234,640 registered voters as of 11/05/2012 and I guess the 14 locations to vote early for a week were not enough for the number of people that wanted to vote.  A friend in Miami posted this link to the Miami Herald where it sounds like were facing even longer lines upto 7 hours.

We abandoned our idea of early voting and looked in to absentee voting.  From the name I always thought absentee voting was for when you were out of the state or county of your polling location.  My mom who travels for work usually votes absentee because she is usually out of town on election day.

But that was what we did, we woke up early and went to the Supervisor of Elections satellite office in Palm Beach Gardens.  We arrived later than we planned and got there at 8:15, the office opened at 8:30 and there was already a line.  Many people just had completed envelopes they only needed to drop off.  So we waited in line.  Eventually it was our turn.  We went up to the counter and presented our driver’s licenses and got our voting envelopes.  There were a few booths where one could go and fill out the forms so that is what we did.  My husband juggled our toddler while I filled our forms.  Luckily I had prepared and filled out the pre ballot after doing a lot of research on who to vote for.  So it was easy to just fill in the ballot.  We each signed our and turned them in.

We were walking out of the building around 9:30am and went out to breakfast.  I was so relieved that it had not all morning.


Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections http://www.pbcelections.org/default.aspx

Miami Herald http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/04/3081614/florida-democratic-party-files.html

TruthDig http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/early_voting_in_florida_becomes_nightmare_20121105/

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