Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, July 25, 2008

WOW...woke up to a message from Roger that I had been selected as this weeks winner in the Creative Photography Contest...Thank you to the judges and to all of the other contestants. PLEASE check out all the great entries by going HERE.

OK, well a number of people have told me there is no way I will be able to not post or read next week...Keep in mind, since I began in March 2006, I have missed only a handful of posts on a week day.

Well...I might throw up a song everyday, just so all my guests have their Tuneage fix...and maybe, I will flit around and read here and there, but I am serious about shutting myself off from distractions and getting some serious writing done...

I printed out the 50-60 pages that are done and they are now hanging on the wall in my bedroom...a sheet is also there with characters and their characteristics and statistics...some of them are already mentioned in what I have written, some I need to discover where they come into the story.

I also have a timeline so that I can keep my times in order. I write scattered...jumping from one scenario to the other as things hit me..then I go back and organize and decide how the chapters will fall. I am not sure they will be in chronological order.

I really do not think it will be difficult to not post something each day. What might be difficult is not visiting all y'all...I love to come by and read you each day. I do get through my FAV SITES list over there on the right just about every day. So, you just might see me.

And of course you can come here each day and leave a comment telling me how dang much you miss me and that your days are incomplete and your life feels meaningless... bwahahahahahahahaha sorry, could not help myself there...

ARGGGGGGGGGGGGG...I am sure 99% of you have had to deal with customer service people from a company you owe money. I am an expert after all that transpired in 2006-2007 being out of work for 20 months.

I am doing well getting them all paid off and that is because they all agreed to programs to allow me to make monthly payments. What I learned is, if you have Citibank in your list of creditors and you can get them to set up a program, everyone else will fall in line.

Serious...but then there is one company that has the worst customer service of any and all I have ever dealt with. Now, I do not mean bad because they are mean and snap and yell, because I do not allow that. I immediately tell the person if they threaten one more time their supervisor will be alerted and more.

This company, well their people are just plain clueless. About a year ago the end of the 9-month 'hardship' program was coming due. I got a call telling me I was behind. How could I be behind...I am on the program and they are debiting my checking account each month??

I am told the balance due before I went on the program is due. No no no...not right I say, why is this coming up now, 2 months before the deadline? I have owed it all along they say. Kooky crazy I say. then the supervisor gets on. And tells me, very forcefully that I have to pay this past due (over a grand BTW) or they will put me into collections.

OK, staying calm I ask for his name (I like getting it in case - for today, lets call him "DOOFUS")...I tell him that I am on the hardship program, they can't put me into collections. So then he says well that ends in 2 months how can you pay then?

Deep breath...Well Sir, I will deal with it then, in the meantime I am making the agreed upon payments according to the terms and maybe we can extend it, as the others have done to help me try and get caught up.

This person tells me that they do not do back to back hardships and I would have to wait a year to reapply. Well I know that they all say that but everyone else understood the situation and extended. HEY! Most people duck the calls and never pay and end up in collections. Here I am actually calling them and doing what I can...go deal with those who don't want to pay their debt. And it would have been easy to file bankruptcy (and many people suggested it), two years ago and gotten out of this, but I made my debt, I will pay it off.

At this point he says for the first and not last time during this call (and I kid you not) "Look Vinny (I never told him he could call be by my first name!?!?!?!), take responsibility for your life. You made this debt, pay it up and stop trying to weasel out of it."

I was dumbfounded. He was asked to call me Mr. Marini, he was not my friend and only my friends called me Vinny. I began to explain the situation (lost job, house sale at a loss, move, divorce etc) and he keeps cutting me off and saying things like "Well Vinny (or Vince..never Mr. Marini) will you make a payment now?"

I finally have had enough and hang up. I call again and ask the rep for their supervisor, but specifically tell them I do not want to speak with "DOOFUS"..she puts me on hold and then GUESS WHO COMES ON THE LINE..and repeats that filth he uttered earlier and I hung up.

So, and some of you know this about me, I break out Google...Find the corporate site...of course the executive's names are listed, but not their emails...AH! there is an email for the PR person...let's see, the format is lastname.firstname(at)XXX(dot)com .. OK..

We compose a calm concise letter explaining the situation, the hardship and the call and rudeness. I then send it to the CEO, the President, the Vice President of Customer Service, the Vice President of the division I had the account under, and the Vice President of their legal department.

Within 2 hours my phone rings and it is the Executive Assistant to the President of the parent company. We talk...she tells me the person that had been rude was being spoken to about the incident.

The next day, phone rings. The same woman...she informs me "DOOFUS" has been terminated based upon reviews of the audio tapes - who knows if she was blowing smoke or not. She then renews me in the hardship program for another 9 months.

Since that time I have had no less than 40 conversations with this creditor. In every case the reps are calling to ask about payments that are automatically made! A couple of months ago I got a call asking why I did not make my payment. Ummm you auto deduct. I was out at a baseball game, so I did not have access to my records. The person tells me that the auto-deduct ran out. So I suppose I was supposed to know it ran out...4 months before the end of the program?!?!?!?

After a most excrutiating conversation I finally convince him that the money was deducted (It was...I checked when I got home!) and that the last auto-deduct would be June. Cool.

I make the July payment on time for the full amount due...

Yesterday I look and see they auto-deducted for July - after receiving my payment! - So, I call and once again I get one of their clueless reps on the line whose favorite thing to say is "We will not deduct once the program is over without your permission"..OK, but the program ended in June...right? This guy then tells me it ended in July!

All my paperwork tells me June Let's count...October, November December, January, February, March, April, May, June (9 months right?)...well clowny on the phone tells me according to HIS records the program began in November...

I finally sighed, said thank you and hung up the phone.

So, if they auto-withdraw next month the Executive Assistant to the President will be hearing from me once again... sigh....

I am tempted to tell you who they are so you can stay away from them at all costs...but I am not sure if I should....Stop by Monday and see if I posted it
(bwahahahahahahah keep my hits up! bwahahahahaahahhaahaahah)

OK...4 today...summertime tunes...those songs from my youth that just mean summer to me...

James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys and The Rascals....

Be back for real on Monday, August 4th... or maybe before... you won't know unless you come by!


39 Of Your Sparks

  1. Dana Says:
  2. I remember when customer service indicated that the employee was actually there to serve the CUSTOMER.

    BTW Mr. Marini, I finally managed to get that vlog up - you better come visit before you shut down for the week *wink*

  3. DrillerAA Says:
  4. Mr. Marini: That is a story worth publishing all by itself! Real characters, real drama, and a real Doofus as a bonus. Have a great week-end sir.

  5. Dianne Says:
  6. Congratulations on your photo win!! It was a great shot - and you dealt with the fact that the lights were on! LOL

    I know exactly what you're talking about re. Doofus and the asshats that employ him. I am having similar conversations since I fall behind when my client's fall behind paying me - the vicious cycle of a bad economy.

    I hope you take the full week and stay away - I think it's important to refresh and renew. And ya know absense makes the heart grow fonder.

    Have fun with the writing!

  7. Bond Says:
  8. DANA: WOOOOOOOOOOOO great job on the Vlog...and wut's custmer bervice?

    DRILLERAA: Thank you Sir...I have held that one for a while obviously...but when I got the call the other day I had to share

    DIANNE: Thank you very much. I can imagine how difficult it is when you are owed and get in trouble for owing...
    ah..ya like me ...ya really really like me! LOL

  9. Jay Says:
  10. About a year ago my students loans were bought by a new company and it has be all-out war ever since. They are constantly calling me saying that I they haven't received my payment and I have to go online and give them the confirmation numbers.

    I actually look forward to them calling me. Each month now. It's gotten kind of funny.

    I'm setting up Fantasy Football this weekend. I'll come by Monday with the link if you still want to play.

  11. Travis Says:
  12. Good luck with your writing next week. I like the approach you've taken, with getting the pages spread out and organizing your characters.

    Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. I've enjoyed what you've written so far.

  13. Tug Says:
  14. Enjoy your 'time off' Mr. Marini ;-)

    Creditors suck the big one - is an awesome site - if they keep giving you problems, check it out.

    Congrats once again on the well deserved award, and have a wonderful weekend!

  15. oh bond that sucks. sarge has the same name as our son, the little addict. we get calls all the time but they are for him. mostly unpaid medical stuff. er visits cause he has no insurance. for years and years we'd just pay them off but no more. still they call and call.

    hugs, bee

  16. Starrlight Says:
  17. Ya know I sometimes feel bad for being such a misanthropic bitch, but then I drive, or go to the store or read things like this and feel ever so much better. Cause 90%of the population really are a waste of good oxygen!

    And it could have been worse, he could have called you Vin-Man ;)

  18. Turnbaby Says:
  19. I hope the writing goes well--I'm always around if you need/want to vent

  20. Charlene Says:
  21. reminds me of when mom and i were trying to settle off ken and mines bills~~one company kept insisting to speak to ken~~he's dead i said~"we have to talk to him" i said okay, but i don't think you will get an answer but i will put the phone in his urn, maybe he will talk to you through his ashes~~~and i put the phone the urn~~she called back with her super all nice and shit~~but i was pretty upset and told them exactly what they could do before mom took the phone away from me~and they settled for a grand less than their original amount~~maybe ken told them something after all

  22. leslie Says:
  23. Congratulations on winning the creative photo this week! It was an amazing shot and certainly my choice for sure! :D

  24. Great photo, congrats on you "W". The people in customer service in collection are indeed the worse. Good luck with your writing. Don't forget to put all of us in your story...

  25. Bond Says:
  26. JAY: I understand it being funny...but ...oh an YES I am in

    TRAVIS: know I appreciate your guidance

    TUG: I will check them out and thanks again

  27. Bond Says:
  28. BEE: That is so unfortunate...have a great weekend

    STARR: LOL oh if he had gone there I reach through the phone....LOL

    TURNBABY: LOL Keep your phone on!

    CHARLENE: Incredible they sometimes are so useless...

    LESLIE: Thank you so much

    BUD: Bud thanks very much and of course you have a role....maybe a gas jockey? LOL

  29. Anndi Says:
  30. Congrats on the award! I do love fireworks.

    Creditors.. big fun.

  31. the teach Says:
  32. All the best to you next week Vinny! I will miss you! And congrats on winning Roger's creative photo contest. You deserve it!

  33. Turnbaby Says:
  34. *giggling @ Angelbaby loving fireworks*

  35. Patti Says:
  36. This is indeed a great story, interesting characters and plot development. Could come in handy with fiction writing, I'd say.

    I don't know what you are writing, but best of luck with it! I like your approach.
    I am so ready to get into a writing project that is not blog or newspaper-related.

    I think the idea is coming to me. I think...

  37. TopChamp Says:
  38. I think I love you! You deal with things in the right way - not necessarily the easy way. Nicely dealt with.

  39. Bond Says:
  40. ANNDI: Thanks so much. Yup aren't they? UGH

    TURNBABY: giggle away

    PATTI: LOL...that made me laugh...Thank you... If you look on the right sidebar, down a bit, you will see the Drive-In Marquee for Monday matinee...Look for THE QUEST..I am developing that into a novel

    TOPCHAMP: Wow...thank you...but I am not always so calm!

  41. Lucy Stern Says:
  42. Sorry you are having trouble with the credit people....some of them can be really mean....Hang in there.

    Good luck with your writing....

  43. Matt-Man Says:
  44. Well good luck with all of that Vinny...I mean, Mr. Marini. Cheers!!

  45. Travis Says:
  46. So I'm here on Monday morning because, well...because I cruise by here on weekday mornings.

    I hope all is going well with the writing.

  47. Very glad to hear that DOOFUS was canned--he deserved it!

    Keep on know I loves me some Bond-Fiction!! :D

  48. RWA Says:
  49. Good luck with the book "sessions." I am sure that will more than fill your time to keep you away from here.

    As for customer service, I have dealt with some bad ones in my time as well, although none to that severity. I hope you will decide to reveal the company's name on Monday.

  50. Starrlight Says:
  51. Awwww come on, Vinny! Toss us a bone and a closed for business sign or something :P

  52. leelee Says:
  53. I thought I would come by and comment:

    "how dang much I miss you and that my days are incomplete and my life feels meaningless..."


  54. Dana Says:
  55. You're awesome...don't forget that!

  56. Dianne Says:
  57. Hope your week is going well. Lots of productive stuff and lots of fun too!

    Just wanted to say hi.

    Hi ;)

  58. Mimi Lenox Says:
  59. Hope the writing is going well.

  60. Mimi Lenox Says:
  61. You've been royally tagged by Mimi Queen of Memes (aka I-hear-the-dungeon-is-really-hot-this-time-of-year)...
    Somebody Get Me Out Of This Corset: The Needs Meme

  62. ahhhhh, I love the colorful clothes she wears.......

  63. Meribah Says:
  64. Debt sucks. Glad I don't have it anymore! Sorry you're having such a hard time of it, but you're doing the right thing. Just keep an eye on 'em and hold onto all your debt-related paperwork. I'm sure things will work out fine. Hugs. :)

  65. Mags Says:
  66. So wow-great job on the not posting for a week!! Although, it kinda stinks for us. ;)

  67. Jeff B Says:
  68. Doing some long overdue catch-up. I see you've been away for a while too. Hope your time is/was productive and look forward to hearing about it next week.

  69. Fred Says:
  70. Even more maddening is when you get a customer service rep. that speaks broken English. That happened to me with HP when I had a computer issue and they could not transfer me back to the U.S. so I could talk with a rep here.

    After a letter to the president, I got a phone call, a dedicated number, and a credit for my issue.

    Moral of the story? Don't go away quietly.

  71. Julie Says:
  72. What a disaster Vinny! I can't stand these people who think they have it all together because they call out past dues! They probably receive these calls too.! I think it should just be abolished! Go back to trade!


  73. Julie Says:
  74. Ooooh great songs! Thanks!!!


Music On The Couch