Today in my mail was a bill from Frontier Communications. I have never done business with Frontier. They did recently take over much of Verizon’s accounts in W.Va. which was a controversial move for reasons which are irrelevant here. At my old apartment I did have Verizon service for my internet connection, but no land line. I called and terminated service before my move. They never gave me instructions  for what to do with the modem. It made the move with me and is safely stored.
          I thought this bill might be related to that issue. When I opened it my eyes widened when I saw it was for $1500. I quickly assumed that when they took over for Verizon, they were entitled to receive the modem, and, since they hadn’t, were billing me this exhorbitant sum. Then I looked more closely and saw a CR after the amount. Could this mean a credit? Reviewing the entire bill gave me no definitive answer. They claim I have an outstanding bill for $113. New charges are CR for $1600, thus the final total of $1500CR.
          Now I’m pretty sure I paid my final Verizon bill, but have not yet checked my records. So there may be something due. But, what should I pay? The notice says payment is due by 9/12, but the payment is a $1500 credit. Does that mean they will be mailing me a check for that amount by that date? Since the total is a credit to me, if I would send payment that would simply result in a larger credit and/or really screw up their bookkeeping even more than  it already is. So I am very tempted to take that very action.
         I suppose I could call the number on the bill and try to get clarification. But that would be no fun. They might come up with a reason why that credit business is wrong and say I OWE $1500. As things stand now they can’t really do anything to enforce this bill since it is a credit. If they take me to court, I simply produce this bill for proof for my counterclaim. And how would reporting a credit mess up my overall credit report? That went in the crapper long ago, and I don’t worry about it. I mean, I’m not looking for a $300,000 mortgage or even to finance a car. What I’ve got will be buried with me.
         I can only conclude that taking no action is best for now. Although if 9/12 passes with no check from them for my credit, I may call to see if it’s “in the mail”.
         I read today about this woman who went to rent a safe deposit box at her bank and was told she couldn’t because she is dead. Here’s a link to the story if you have not already read it.
         Now there’s a lot of talk these days from people worried of the government being in charge of business and messing things up with complications and bureauacracy and the like. These are private businesses screwing up badly. Could the government run them any worse?

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  • Betsy  On September 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Give me a break, Dave. Surely you do not honestly think that the government can do things better than business? Okay, so you have two cases, and there are lots more I am sure that you could quote. However, just about everyone has horror stories about problems with Social Security, the IRS, the State of WV, county governments, etc.

    • umoc193  On September 1, 2010 at 4:15 PM

      That wasn’t my point. I simply cited instances of private enterprise being at least as inefficient and idiotic as many claim anything run by the government is. It was merely coincidental that both of these case came to light for me on the same day when, in the political climate, particularly as we near elections, so many candidates absolutely trash any government operation and claim private business can do the same task better and more efficiently
      Two other examples just from today. In the Dominion Post is a letter about state funding of the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament.

      and this was my response in a letter:

      I just read the letter from Thomas Boggs of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce extolling the virtues of having the state government spending money to aid the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament. He speaks of this as an “investment” in promoting the state and, presumably, enabling the Chamber’s member businesses to have increased business and profits. My question is, how do all the folks running for office on national or state ballots feel about giving tax money to private enterprise, the haves, when so many of them decry government spending on programs which benefit the have-nots? They oppose people welfare. Do they also oppose corporate welfare? And if this financing is truly an “investment”, is that not one of the purposes of private enterprise to invest with the expectation of a good return? Thus we have the obscenely low capital gains taxes for simply spending money to make money, while those who toil nine to five pay higher rates just to be able to live.

      Just before I read your comment, I was instant messaging with a friend waiting to see her doctor, not for an exam, but merely to schedule a colonoscopy. We chatted for almost an hour and a half. If you recall during the health care debate, there were dire warnings that the government takeover of health care would mean long waits to see a doctor. Well it wasn’t a government takeover, but, even so, I have medicare and have never waited to see my doctor more than perhaps 15 minutes past the appointment time, and no more than 1/2 hour or so when i just walked in. My friend has private insurance.

      So my problem is with the rhetoric of “either-or” and “government all bad” with dire consequences. Private business can screw things up for the individual just as bad as government. And left to their own devices. capitalists have no interest in acting fairly and equitably toward the little guy or even other big guys outside their sphere. So there is a role for government to protect the general public. What this exact role is, or any government role at all, is always open to debate, and has to be flexible. But the money men who bemoan welfare certainly are all for it when it benefits them. Look at sports teams’ owners with their stadiums or any relocating businesses that always shop for the best deal in tax and other accommodations from the applicable government.

      Now, look at your comment and citation of Social Security and horror stories. I have my own , so they are real. But in the case of the “dead” woman, Social Security was the only entity living up to its responsibilities.

Please give me your thoughts.

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