Monthly Archives: June 2017

My Yearly Nightmare With My Cable Company

My current cable provider is Fioptics. It is a Cincinnati Bell division.

Last week I had to go through the yearly ritual of begging for the best price. Cable companies are the only service I know of that does this.

My cell provider (Verizon) never changes your price unless you alter your contract. Even without a contract, your price stays the same unless you make a change. In fact, two out of the three times I did make changes my cell provider managed to offer me more for a cheaper price. None of my utility companies make you negotiate yearly for the best price. Even my web hosting service is still honoring the same price I was paying 6 years ago!

Yet cable will base a lot of your pricing on what they call “promotional” offers that will expire in a year (sometimes 6 months). They call you shortly before the promotional pricing ends to warn you and to try to hook you up with more promotional pricing. They pretend this is a special service to give you the best pricing.

This is a SCAM!

The object is always to raise your prices while convincing you that they did you a special favor by working hard to give you the best price possible.

To do this they start off by telling you that “your price is going up significantly”. Once they do that (and after hearing your shock) they start finding you promotions to lower your price until they leave you happy that you got away with just a small increase instead of a huge one.

When Fioptics called me last week the person on the phone told me that once again, “my promotional pricing was ending and that my bill would be increasing by nearly $60.00”. Of course I told her that “the price was unacceptable” and that “Spectrum (another provider in the area) offered better pricing than that”. She then looked at some small promotions and got it down to a $50.00 increase. I told her “that is still unacceptable”. Her answer was to suggest “I drop some channels”. I explained that “if I wanted to drop something, I would have already done so”. “I typically don’t buy services I don’t want”. She asked me to “hold” while she pretended to talk to her manager. She came back and said that “he would allow her to do some promotional equipment pricing to bring the price down another few dollars” and said “one of my promotions was the free increase from 50 Mbs to 100 Mbs internet service last year” and that If I went back to 50 Mbs she could get my pricing to within $20.00 of what I had been paying” (when they gave me the free upgrade there was NO MENTION of it being promotional). I said “I could live with that” and hung up happy that I was able to keep my cable within 6 dollars of my original budget.

Yes sometimes it takes awhile but slowly the neurons that make up my brain matter start to do their work. I just let them increase my cable by 10% while cutting my internet speed in half! This should make me happy?

These tactics should be illegal. ANY cable company that can hook me up at a reasonable price without having to go through these yearly games, will get my business and my loyalty. Even if the initial cost is a little more.

How you treat your customers is what keeps them loyal. I have been a Verizon Wireless customer for over 16 years and they aren’t even close to the cheapest, but they treat me right.

Let me know what you think,

Paul

The Republican Lie

The Republicans are claiming they will reduce health insurance premium costs.

That is an outright lie.

The cost savings they propose is achieved by removing the restrictions on minimums insurers must provide, and removing consumer protections. In other words they want the insurance companies to be able to profit from selling crap policies. Go back to major illnesses financially ruining people and people being cut off just when the insurance is most needed.

Imagine I say I will lower the cost of automobiles. I then remove safety regulations so that cars can be made without safety features like seat-belts, horns or structural protections.

Of course that will lower the price of those cars but the overall market price reduction that is achieved is an illusion. The good safe cars will still cost the same. You are just introducing lower cost, unsafe crappy cars into the calculation.

There are those who say “I am a safe driver.” “I don’t need all those costly safety features.” Odds are you may be correct, but all is not in our control. It is much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Its is the same with insurance. They are removing the safety features.

No more deductible free exams. No more minimum coverage, No more protections from caps and drops in coverage when you are sick.

They say that “the young don’t need the same insurance as older people.”

Yes, the young and healthy don’t get sick as often, but they do get sick.

Imagine coming down with cancer only to find out your treatments aren’t covered. Or be in the middle of a major health crisis only to find out your insurance dropped you, or that you’ve maxed it out and it will pay no more.

They make the argument that “men shouldn’t have to pay for pregnancies or breast exams, or women shouldn’t have to pay for prostate exams.

That argument only works on idiots. This is precisely how insurance works! We all pay for things we more than likely wont need to make it affordable to insure that which we will likely need. If only people likely to have heart attacks insured against them, the price would skyrocket. You also need people paying who will not likely need it to keep the cost down.

Don’t let them fool you. Demand REAL savings and cost reductions without sacrificing basic protections.

Let me know what you think,

Paul

A Multiverse Revelation

I have always believed in the multiverse rather than the traditional single universe.

Most modern theories either require or become much simpler when multiple (uni)verses are included, from M theory to Relativity to Quantum Mechanics. All suggest multiple verses or realities.

While my belief in a multiverse goes back decades, I had a event in my life about five years back that cemented that belief.

I had a major heart attack.

The type of heart attack I had was called a “Widow Maker” because so few survive it. I had a complete blockage in the LAD. Luckily for me the people around me knew to start CPR. There was a firehouse nearby. The paramedics that had just come on duty were known for their expertise in cardiac events and the trauma team on duty at the hospital included one of the best (THE BEST in my opinion) cardiac specialists in the area.

Once my heart was restarted and a stint was put in to clear the blockage, my body temperature was dramatically lowered for three days to give all my organs a rest and improve my survival odds.

Bare with me, I assure you this will all relate to why I believe in the multiverse.

Trust me when I tell you that a major heart attack that doesn’t kill you WILL FUCK YOU UP!

For the first few days I would break down and cry for no reason at all. For a man in his fifties, this was most humiliating because it happened in front of anyone who visited me. Thankfully that only lasted a few days. Then there is the weakness. Even though I had only been bed ridden for a few days, I had zero muscle strength. Just sitting up was a choir and it took a couple months to return to normal.

While in the hospital I started noticing some strange differences. The first was my hands. My index finger had always been the exact same size as my ring finger on both hands, now it was shorter.

I didn’t know what to think except that maybe my ring fingers grew a little recently without me noticing? I’ve never heard of that happening at my age but I guess it is possible.

The next thing I noticed was a scar I carried since childhood had disappeared. When I was 13 years old a friend and I were playing with a road flare and a piece of the flaming sulfur dripped on my arm and left a nasty scar. That scar was gone. No matter how close I looked I couldn’t even detect a trace. I had just noticed it a few days before my attack as I had a habit of picking at it. It was a pretty prominent scar.

Friends started relating personal stories that I had no memory of (I just figured the heart attack turned my memories into Swiss cheese).

After I returned home there were items I owned that I had no memory of having, and items I had a clear memory of having were gone. I had to reset a lot of my passwords. Once again I contributed this to the heart attack affecting my memory.

Then I started noticing other small changes. I used to have very little problem with mosquitoes. Others would get ate up but I could go through a swarm and only get a bite or two. Now if I even attempt to go outside evening hours during mosquito season I get bitten from head to toe. Also the way cold medicines and such affect me is different. If it said “may cause drowsiness”, for me it was like taking a hit of speed. It had the exact opposite affect. Now they knock me out. There are also many other small changes that I won’t get into here.

The change that threw me for a loop and got me really believing in a multiverse happened a few months after my heart attack. I was out doing some shopping and ran into a childhood friend. For me this was beyond surprising. I clearly remembered attending his funeral years before. In fact I was there when he died. He fell off a ladder while we were painting a house and crushed the back of his head.

Now here he was standing in front of me asking how I have been. I must have turned white because he asked if I was alright. I quickly shook it off and acted as though I just hadn’t seen him in some time but that event shook me to my core.

When I got home I was convinced the heart attack took my sanity. I can understand it causing my to lose memories, but create false ones?

It just didn’t make sense.

Then I got to thinking. What if my heart attack was the cause of these apparent changes but not in the way I was thinking.

What if I was somehow remembering a universe where one of those lucky events that allowed me to survive didn’t happen and I died in another reality? What if when we die in one reality, our conscience slips into another reality in which we lived?

I would theorize that normally when it happens you would adopt the memories of the next reality, that I wasn’t meant to have these inconsistent memories. It could be that mine is a rare case, a fluke that I retained some memories of another reality.

Yes I do realize that this could all be in my head. A heart attack is a major trauma and this might be a lingering affect. Or I might simply be delusional.

For now at least I prefer the multiverse explanation. Even if I am delusional it is causing me nor anyone else harm. I know a lot of people who put faith into crazier things with a lot less evidence.

For those of you not familiar with a multiverse theory the basic premise is that any decision or event that has a possible greater outcome than one will split off a new reality.

For instance if you come to the end of a hallway and have a choice to go left or right, two realities are created. One in which you go left and one in which you go right (actually there are many more possibilities, I just simplified it to two).

As you can imagine all the possibilities that has happened since the beginning of time means the multiverse would have an infinite number of realities.

An infinite numbers of realities leaves us with another plausible theory. That everyone gets to live forever.

Think about it.

With an infinite number of realities, in at least one (actually this would also be a infinite number) we would have figured out immortality.

If when we die, our conscientiousness jumps to the next reality in which we live then eventually we make it to the one in which we are immortal.*

Or maybe I’m just full of shit.

Let me know what you think,

Paul

*I have another post planned that will go deeper into multiverse theory that I will post in the near future.