The Tampa Bay Tribune has a fascinating article about the sales-centric culture at Verizon’s customer service call centers. The CSRs are given large bonuses (sometimes thousands of dollars) for selling services to people who call in looking to correct their bills.
A 70-year old Wal-Mart worker beat a 81-year-old fellow employee with a pricegun inside a Florida Wal-Mart.
Dennis O’Brien and John Esposito began arguing Sunday and O’Brien swung at Esposito with the tool in his right hand. Authorities say Esposito suffered a swollen left eye and cuts on his nose and mouth. Esposito said both he and O’Brien worked at Wal-Mart. He would not discuss the nature of their argument. The report says O’Brien told a sheriff’s deputy he acted in self-defense, but security tape showed O’Brien raising his hand first, striking Esposito in the face and then pushing him to the ground. Officials booked O’Brien into the Palm Beach County Jail on aggravated battery charges.
Since they were both employees it couldn’t have been about a receipt check, so I’m really at a loss as to what they could be arguing over.
A Florida appeals court ruled that state insurance regulators could ban Allstate from writing new insurance policies until the company complies with a subpoena. Regulators believe the insurer is gouging consumers in hurricane-prone areas with exorbitant rates. [AP]
ResortQuest hit William’s wife with over $285 in fees when she canceled less than a day after making her reservation. Over $190 ostensibly went towards taxes, which raised William’s eyebrow and led him to fire off an Executive Email Carpet Bomb demanding an explanation.
“Verizon is not letting us do our jobs, and not letting us take care of the customer,” said Doug Sellers, president of the union that represents Verizon call center and repair workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 824. “Customers are waiting up to 10 days to get their phone lines fixed … If you have something as simple as static on your line, that could be out 10 to 15 days.
Customer complaints have gone up, and union workers says preventative maintenance has been largely forgotten about in some places, an accusation supported by the findings of several state public utilities commissioners. Are you a Verizon landline customer? Have you noticed things getting worse? Let us know in the comments.
Carnival Corp has reached an agreement with the (pesky) Florida attorney general and will refund $40 million in fuel surcharges to passengers who booked trips made before Nov. 7 last year for trips starting Feb. 1 this year.
Despite fierce opposition from the local water management district staff, and concerns that it would deplete an already scarce natural resource from the people who live there, Nestle managed to secure a deal to pump nearly 1.5 million gallons of water a day into their Deer Park bottling plant for the next ten years. Nestle pays no other fees for the water beyond the $230 license—in fact, “Nestle has received two [tax] refunds totaling $196,000 and requested a third tax refund.” To make the matter even more offensive, the plant hasn’t delivered on its commitment to employ 300 workers, and it so far has failed to bring in the estimated $12 million-a-year to the local economy. The St. Petersburg Times has a rich, infuriating history of the Nestle fiasco and how they’ve conned Floridians out of their own water with the help of state politicians.
Reader Eric is pre-approved and ready to buy a house in South Florida. You’d think it would be a piece of cake considering the, uh, climate down there. Apparently not.
The market down here is really bad. I’d say that more than 75% of the houses we’ve seen are short sells or foreclosures. People are really down about the housing situation. You are constantly hearing on the news about how horribly hard it is to sell a house. Houses are selling way under their purported value.
Over 20 passengers watched in horror as their Allegiant Air flight from Huntsville to Fort Lauderdale took off without them. The passengers had lined up at the gate, tickets in hand, when the plane pushed back. Apparently, the single ticketing agent had struggled to handle everyone on time and didn’t tell the plane to wait. Passengers called the airline once they realized they were stranded as kids shouted, “We want to go to Disney World!”
“So, everybody calls Allegiant Air,” Rigas said. “Three people got hung up on.”
AT&T Mobility Agrees To Refund Money To Florida Customers & Pay $2.5 Million To State's CyberFraud Task Force
Florida’s Attorney General scored a victory for consumers last week, when AT&T Mobility agreed to refund fees that third-party vendors snuck onto thousands of accounts under the guise of “free” ringtones, wallpapers, and text content. They also agreed to hand over $2.5 million to help fund the state’s recently-created CyberFraud Task Force, to spend $500,000 for “consumer education on safe Internet use,” and to start policing third-party vendors better and make sure all billed items are clearly described.
Mike, the subject of the post “When Zombie Utility Bills Attack!,” has an update for us:
When I went to pay for the order, I noticed a gratuity already included on the bill. I told the waiter, “this is take out gratuity is not included.”
Little James here loves Elmo. In fact, his entire house is filled with every Elmo toy you could possibly imagine and even a few you can’t. One of these beloved Elmos is a model that you can program with your computer to say your kids name. Recently, James’ mother replaced the batteries in “Elmo Knows Your Name” and is now convinced that the doll is homicidal.
Georgia state inspectors closed two large Cisco gas stations just across the state line from Florida last week in what the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture described as “one of the worst cases of shorting gas customers he’s seen since he took office back in 1969.” (Why Ag? Why not?) An inspector found that a five gallon test pump turned up over a quart short at the Cisco Travel Plaza off Interstate 95′s Exit 6, and a similar test revealed a suspiciously similar shortage at another Cisco Travel Plaza off Exit 1.
A 10-year-old elementary school student found a razor blade in the Pokemon lollipop he was about to hand to his sister. Dollar General, which sold the lollipop for $1, immediately recalled the remaining Pokemon Valentine Cards and Pops from its 8,300 stores, but they are concerned that “most of this candy has already been purchased.”
Stephen Colbert interviewed Susan Pagan, a mother offended by McDonalds’ sponsorship of her daughter’s elementary school report card, for his segment “People Destroying America.”
On November 26th, a 35-year-old woman was shopping at Best Buy in Daytona Beach, Florida when there was some sort of communication breakdown, and a police officer who was at the store tasered her. We wrote about it here, and it turns out there’s a video of the event here. At the time there were few details, but the full story has since been pieced together and resolved, and last week the Florida state attorney said “charges won’t be pursued because there is no evidence that Beeland committed a crime.”
Here’s one for all the Florida lawyers out there who read this blog. (We know you exist!) When reader Matt moved 4 years ago, he transferred the utilities at his college apartment to one of his roommates. Now, 4 years later, the utility company says that the account was never transferred and that Matt owes $696.51 because his deadbeat roommates never paid the bill after he left.