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Friday, December 13, 2013

Effecting Change

"You can go to the moon, if you so choose", she said to the girl in the escalation department whom had just said to her, "Sorry, we can't go backward but we can go forward".

This wasn't the first call. It was more like the 20th.  And none of them short.

Sometime back she had thought she could lower her monthly expenses by giving up her long distance and use a calling card instead, or even try to get up to speed on Skype. The options were sorely limited and she was feeling strangled, controlled, manipulated, angered.

What options did she really have? Where was her power? Where was the respect even? "Sorry, we can't go backwards...during the time you were out of your original 5 year guaranteed plan, the rates went up."

"That's the whole point", she went on to say. "I would not have gotten out of my plan had one of your representatives or your forced-upon-us automatic technology prompted me to realize that it would not benefit me to let go of my long distance because of your bundling program."

"Yes, we appreciate your loyalty and we understand your issue, but we can't do that. That plan is no longer available. "

She doesn't always pick her battles wisely. This is a matter of a few dollars, but it could just as easily be hundreds or thousands. The fact that there is no competition, no way to leverage influence is what has her up in arms.

Not to mention the inflammation it causes her to hear "we can't", or "our policy is...".
Policy, schmolicy! 

This is an issue of the culture that exists because we let it.

An issue that is at the core of poverty, because it is a full time job to be poor just trying to make what little there is go as far as it can; so how can the poor escape to find better means (as if they were available) whereby they may not mind paying more, more, more...though very much they should, if hours upon hour must be eaten up searching for ways to keep from being gouged?

And isn't that the conspiracy, to wear us out so we will quit and they will continue to reap the benefits of their failed well-designed systems?

It is an issue because it is these very $5, 6, 7, 10 gouges that are what, (after millions and millions of transfers out of our pockets into their off shore, tax-evading accounts), make them ever and ever more rich and powerful and leave their underpaid employees saying, "I'm sorry, but that's the way it is."
Being a child in the 50's, she remembers not about having to pay exorbitant fees for telephone services. Albeit, long distance was expensive and personal computers didn't exist. Her mother and her mother's sister and family wrote letters back and forth and called only when essential. Or they traveled to visit and it was an awesome treat.  A land line was essential. For quite a period of her youth, they were party lines and you didn't even have privacy from whomever had the party to yours. In their case it was a neighbor they were friendly with and it served as useful from time to time. And if the phone got ripped out of the wall by your drunken father, the phone company came out and reinstalled it, and she doesn't recall her mother fretting about any fees she would be imposed upon to pay. Maybe there were fees, but the service was personal and you didn't get put on hold for eternity to finally speak to someone who would/could help you.

And she doubts that they might have said, "Sorry, but you're stuck with that, because that is our policy schmolicy."

How long are we going to stand for these giant companies financially depleting us of our hard earned resources? What do other countries pay for theirs? She tried to find out, and all she could get for her search engine results were hundreds of links to results for rate comparisons for services in the USA. She remembers seeing something where people of other countries gasped at how the USA is being gouged.

What do other/foreign/countries pay for phone service...

Do we think they have enough control yet?

They can go to the moon, if they so choose. But they can't put her back on her original plan because of a failure in their lacking service.

Were the 50's really that much better, or is that a faulty memory of hers?

It's time for a change, don't you think?
Have you had any trouble with Century Link? Are you tired of being gouged?

Let's have a discussion and occupy the phone system. Let's effect change. It won't be them that changes unless we make them. How do you think we can?