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Vida Express is run by a company called T-Cetra.  They are a go-between for wireless carriers, and deal in activation of SIM cards and facilitating payments for cell phone providers.  I recently had experience with them when my cell phone company, PTel, used them to promote a replacement wireless provider, Ultra Mobile.  Vida Express offered, free of charge or commitment, to handle the transaction getting PTel customers a free SIM card from Ultra Mobile, shipped free to their homes, along with a free month of service.  Here are my complaints about what happened:

I had a TON of trouble with VidaExpress this morning.  I called them, per their email, when my SIM card still hadn’t come by 2/4/16, the day before the final day to port my number from PTel.  I gave them over a week to ship it to me (signed up and ordered on Wednesday, January 27). 
I called first thing in the morning, waited on hold for 30 minutes, talked to a customer service person who used the tracking number to attempt to explain why my SIM card wasn’t there.  But I needed a solution to hold my number after PTel goes out of business.  The rep didn’t offer to do anything about that, just said they would further investigate my problem and call me back within 2-3 hours. 
After 3 hours, I called back myself, waited on hold another 30 minutes.  The new representative, Azar, wanted to go into the shipping information again, but when I pointed out that it wouldn’t do any good, that I needed something done with my number, she decided to activate the SIM that I hadn’t received, in order to port my number, and if it didn’t arrive within a week, I could go to a STORE and BUY a replacement to switch it out.  She gave me the info and I started the activation/porting online at the VidaExpress.com website. 
Then she came back on the phone and told me that wouldn’t work since my SIM had been shipped back, blaming the USPS, and suggested it might have been a bad address even though we’d confirmed the address they have on file for me is correct.  They weren’t going to get my SIM to me, or send another one, or give me a credit or anything.  She suggested I could go to Walmart and buy a SIM card from any old company.  She wasn’t even trying to keep me with the free month of service at Ultra Mobile.  She just said it wasn’t possible. 
But that SIM card is *mine*.  They’re stealing it from me!  When it was clear that the so-called customer service agent was unable and unwilling to serve me, I asked to talk to a supervisor, so she put me on hold for a few minutes, then came back and said there wasn’t a supervisor.  And she repeated the same lines that I could wait for a SIM card that isn’t coming, and that there was nothing they could do, and that they weren’t doing anything wrong. 
Finally she claimed to cancel the port, and since for the few hours after I did still have had PTel service, I assume she actually cancelled the activation.  I am now working on activating service with a completely different provider that has nothing to do with UltraMobile or PTel or VidaExpress.com  (or Vida Express’ parent company, T-Cetra, LLC).
 
Buyer and user beware!
Update: On Monday, three days after most of these interactions, and after I had activated with a different company, I received a SIM card from Vida Express in the mail.
 
To God be all glory, 
Lisa of Longbourn
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I am no fan of government involvement in commerce, even when the industry is health care.  As with most government programs, the three arguments are simple: First, it is quite illogical to think that we can funnel money through a string of middlemen, each of which receives their cut, and come out ahead.  Second, the more the government controls the money, the more they control everything else.  We see this in the recent bailouts of banks, where CEO’s were deprived of their prearranged bonuses by force, and also in the car manufacturing fiasco where the government first handed the money and second forced a government-arranged bankruptcy.  The fear is that when the government is funding health care, the government will tell doctors and patients their options.  Finally, every other experiment the government has made in taking over an industry, however charitable, has been a money-draining disaster with worse results.  For example, consider social security or the public education system. 

Obviously there are other concerns with a socialized, or even a partially socialized health care system.  If things go as they have in Europe and Canada, lines will be long, doctors scarce, and treatments almost rationed (or chosen for their cost efficiency rather than effectiveness).  Private health insurance companies (which insure no such thing) may be put out of business.  Perhaps they ought to be put out of business, but the government is hardly an improvement.  We might worry about fraud, or about people taking advantage of services that cost them nothing. 

 The Problem with Health Insurance

There are two reasons why the people want the government involved in health care:  Many individuals are not insured and cannot afford the high costs of treatment or even of preventative checks.  As an act of charitable compassion, some people argue, the government should take responsibility for these “underprivileged.”  Others, many of whom work in the industry, agree that the present health insurance system is not as good as it ought to be, and think that the government should fix it.  Not surprisingly, these two groups of constituents are looking for very different things from their government.  But they each voted for the same man as president because he at least sounded concerned about the issue. 

 Status Quo

I realize the relatively-free-market health insurance system is not meeting needs, though I believe a free market solution would be better.  Let me describe the problem.  An insurance company takes money monthly to insure you and your family.  They put that money into a pot, part of which goes to pay their employees.  The rest is a bet they make that you will not need the full amount of your premium.  Sometimes they lose the bet, but as long as they don’t lose too often, they can apply the extra money they charged you to the bills for other people.  To keep their costs down, insurance companies tend to be selective and difficult about accepting claims.  They use different ploys, like keeping the most expensive treatments out of formularies; claiming that the treatments are experimental or cosmetic; restricting the doctors you see to those in a pre-approved network; or by prohibitive referral processes.  Insurance companies sign contracts with in-network doctors agreeing to pay a certain amount for specific services – usually an amount less than that which the doctor would usually bill.  This though it actually costs a doctor more to bill an insurance company, due to the amount and hassle of paperwork required.  On top of this, the insurance company usually requires you to pay a copay or percentage of your bill.  Or another old-fashioned, lower-priced option is to have a deductible.  In this system, the patient pays for routine care and emergency expenses up to a certain amount (which they may or may not exceed in a year, and would probably do better not to exceed), at which point the insurance kicks in with a discount or normal coverage.  More on this later. 

To compensate for the arbitrary reductions that insurance companies make to the amount of a doctor’s fee, doctors are almost forced to raise their prices to fool insurance companies into paying them what they need to make a living.  Competitively low prices have been eliminated by an across-the-board amount insurance will pay.  What is to be gained by a doctor charging the insurance less than they have agreed to pay? 

The Corporation Aspect

Insurance companies, except for Medicaid and Medicare, have been private enterprises, required to compete for customers.  To gain a competitive edge, there are several options.  The most obvious is advertising.  Name recognition is important.  Companies can advertise having a large pool of doctors in their networks, easy paperwork, comprehensive coverage, low premiums, small deductibles or copays, perks like inexpensive prescription drugs, or customized get-only-what-you-need plans.  The problem is, insurance companies as a rule have become accustomed to advertising to corporations or businesses, not to individuals. 

Enter Government Interference

I have not studied how the benefits became a normal offering from a corporation to its slaves, but I suspect taxes (translate: government interference and manipulation) have something to do with it.  This is what I know.  Businesses are taxed on the amount of money they pay their employees.  Employees are taxed on their income.  Some things on which people spend their money are tax-exempt (food and medical expenses in most cases).  Perhaps businesses sought to increase the incentive to work for them by offering the untaxed add-on’s? 

(excerpt from an article at http://www.ebri.org/publications/facts/index.cfm?fa=0302fact: “In 1910, Montgomery Ward entered into one of the earliest group insurance contracts. Prior to World War II, few Americans had health insurance, and most policies covered only hospital room, board, and ancillary services. During World War II, the number of persons with employment-based health insurance coverage started to increase for several reasons. When wages were frozen by the National War Labor Board and a shortage of workers occurred, employers sought ways to get around the wage controls in order to attract scarce workers, and offering health insurance was one option. Health insurance was an attractive means to recruit and retain workers during a labor shortage for two reasons: Unions supported employment-based health insurance, and workers’ health benefits were not subject to income tax or Social Security payroll taxes, as were cash wages.

“Under the current tax code, health insurance premiums paid by employers are deductible for employers as a business expense, and are excluded, without limit, from workers’ taxable income.”)

Why is this adverse?  As long as the employees of the company are not complaining – or in worse cases, not threatening strike or resignation – the corporations are under no pressure to do what is best for the patients.  They will buy insurance plans that cost them the least money.  Even if two plans cost the same low price, how is a corporation to know which health insurance provider will offer better service? 

Starbucks and Competition

Let’s compare this to something simple and familiar: Starbucks.  On every corner, there is a Starbucks.  One might be on your way out of your neighborhood when you’re headed to work.  Your grocery store might have one in the corner.  Or there may be that chic spot where you always have coffee with your girlfriends.  Which Starbucks do you patronize?  There might be a friendly Starbucks, a convenient Starbucks, the one with the drive-thru or the excellent customer service.  You might prefer a clean Starbucks or a less busy coffee location.  A few Starbucks offer different selections for their bakery, or later hours.  If you ever have a bad experience at one franchise, you can switch loyalties and frequent the Starbucks across the street. 

Now what if the company you work for, as part of your compensation package, had agreed to fund your Starbucks addiction?  Yet for their convenience they bought a package with a single Starbucks site for all of their employees.  To use your benefits, which your company already paid for, you must go to the Starbucks they chose.  The person who selected the corporate Starbucks didn’t even like coffee, has no idea where you live or whether you like bakery items or drive-thrus.  But now you’re stuck.  To take advantage, you have to drive clear out of your way, get out of your car and walk in, only to find they don’t have the muffins you like and the barrista is grumpy every day.  If you get ambitious, you may complain to your human resources department in hopes that they would change coffee shops for you.  But then someone else is unhappy, because they don’t like the busy, cramped feeling of a drive-thru when they’re reading their novel in the corner, hugging a cardboard-ringed cup of coffee. 

What’s more, as this trend catches on, more and more businesses start choosing a Starbucks for their employee benefits.  Starbucks realizes that they can earn as much by pleasing one corporation as they could by catering to a thousand individual customers.  Once the contract is landed, there’s almost no possibility the business would pull out.  Service wanes, options are reduced, prices inflated, and soon no one who is not part of a corporate plan can afford to buy Starbucks.  Opting for your old favorite Starbucks near your house with the drive-thru and muffins costs you an arm and a leg – and they don’t even have muffins anymore, because that isn’t part of the plan the corporation who chose them wanted.  Your neighbor has to give up his Starbucks addiction because he is self-employed and can’t afford it. 

And the economics get worse, because your wife and kids used to love Starbucks.  The corporate plan includes them (and the trend has made it impossible to afford mocha frappachinos anywhere else), only at that one Starbucks.  To reduce corporate costs, though, they start to restrict the family plan.  Wives and kids under 18 can be included for now for a monthly fee.  After 18, if they enroll in college, the company will still fund their Starbucks life – who knows why the company cares.  Then all of a sudden, at 25, no matter what your family values or circumstances, your kids are no longer covered.  “So get over it,” my reader says, “It’s only coffee.” 

Dire Consequences

But I’m not talking about coffee.  I’m talking about health care, without which you will live with chronic pain or illness.  When you break a bone and can’t afford the X-rays and doctor’s visits, you forever cripple yourself, limiting your employment possibilities.  Or you may die, after exposing your community to sickness.  And remember, the reason an average uninsured person cannot afford basic health care is because the prices are inflated due to insurance policies and corporate-appealing non-competition. 

 Every Man for Himself

In the Starbucks illustration, I even skipped a step, eliminated the middle man.  That middle man not only harms you, the patient, but also the doctor.  And the less lucrative it becomes to be a doctor, the less people want to be doctors.  When there are not enough doctors for immediate care, you wait.  The service gets worse, more and more limited because all these unnecessary people are skimming off their share, and there isn’t enough money to pay for what is needed at the inflated prices.  But everyone is out for themselves, including the patient.  They’re going to get the most they can out of their coverage, too, taking advantage of any free or fully covered procedure, necessary or not.  These procedures have their place, and their price, but are not for everyone.  Someone is paying for them, even if it is not the patient, and no one is benefiting. 

How the Government Makes Things Worse

An astute observer may already have realized that if the government takes over the Starbucks plan system, the problem is only going to get worse.  There will be even less competition; more cost-cutting standardization of inventory; and less incentive for providers leading to less providers and longer waiting and higher costs.  This is not even to mention the regulation that will accompany the government plan, or the government-funded coverage for those who could not afford health insurance under the old system. 

 Creation Rather than Creativity

Nevertheless, the Obama administration presses on towards a government option for health insurance.  A nation already so much in debt that it cannot hope to get out of it, threatened with economic collapse, high unemployment, and runaway inflation is going to invent more money (and possibly also increase your taxes) with which to provide health care to its poor.  The US may be able to create dollars ex nihilo, but it cannot create doctors, and we are going to run low. 

Government Advantage

What’s more, this government plan will have the unmatchable advantage of an endless supply of money for which they will have to give little account, as opposed to the private competitors who have to make do with what they can collect by way of premiums.  Analysts fear that private insurance companies will be shouldered out of business by the government “option.”  Corporations will not choose to carry the expense of health insurance when their employees could get coverage from the government. 

Rationing

Others who risk prophesying anticipate a responsible government (don’t know where they got that idea), which will limit the amount of imaginary money they’re spending, and be forced to ration care.  Even aside from the money, as I said, fewer providers in business may demand rationing, too.  The most fearful consequences of this potentiality are the way decisions will be made.  Would a rationing system choose a younger person for care over an elderly person?  If your condition is the most expensive to treat, would you be left untreated?  Or perhaps your chances of survival are small, so there will be no attempt made to save your life.  An extreme government might choose by party loyalty or by race.  When choices like that have to be made, motives become suspect. 

Forecasting Good Things

Now for the bright side.  Barring a law prohibiting paying for your own care or health insurance, the private half of the system might be improved by this sudden competition.  If under a national health care system you cannot get treatment or if you doubt the quality of the treatment, you may take your savings and pay dearly for health care yourself.  It will be interesting to see if all doctors will be required to accept the government health plan, or if they will have the option of demanding private pay. 

Free Markets Fight Back

When corporations start dropping benefits from their compensation packages, employees worried about the level of health care they might receive under a government-run plan will have the competitive option of buying health care for themselves and their families outside of the corporate insurance model.  I believe the best option for reforming the health care industry is to make just this shift, to competing for the business of the individual rather than the company.  Already I see insurance companies marketing to that class of consumers.  Such policies would be most efficient as catastrophic coverage, for medical expenses exceeding tens of thousands of dollars.  Patients would pay out of pocket for routine medical visits and simple treatments like antibiotics, but in case of surgery, hospital stays, or a disease like cancer, those high costs would be covered.

The Answer for the Poor

In either case the solution requires that you have enough money of your own to pay for health care.  Most people do not.  So in the end we may survive this government takeover only by prevention and caring for each other in community.  Eat healthy.  Wash your hands.  Get enough sleep.  Join a community of people who are going to watch your back – maybe even an insurance community where you all save your money together, agreeing to help each other if any of you incurs a major medical expense. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Obviously there is an economic crisis.  The world is unable to borrow money.  As a result countries have stopped trading money.  People have stopped spending money.  Within weeks businesses will stop paying money to employees.  Unless something changes. 

 

The government of the United States has already acted.  They passed a $700 billion bill that, along with unnecessary tax cuts to special interests, relieves stupid and irresponsible bankers and investment agencies of their risk.  Initially confidence was back up, and the stock market regained some of its points.  I don’t know what else to call it, because there isn’t inherent value in the stock market, or money. 

 

Now the economy has regained its sense.  The people of the United States, those whose money fuels the investments and liquidity, told the government not to pass this imaginary money bill (a huge loan taken out by the US Congress in the name of the US people).  Now they are still not confident, still right that the bailout bill was the wrong thing to do.  The Congress went ahead and stole our free market.  So the stock market crashed more than it ever has before. 

 

The world is in turmoil, because most of the world owns stock in our financial stupidity.  Of course looking out your window no one seems to be in turmoil. 

 

I have been in tears.  Yesterday morning, watching news of voter fraud and financial collapse, an eerie thought crossed my mind.  Much like the compulsion to watch the news all day on September 11, 2001 and remember every event and emotion, I thought I should remember these days and their news, as though recording the last days of an era, an ideology, or a country. 

 

I’m generously predicting complete socialism in America in 3 months.  My dad says it could be sooner.  So, as a matter of fact, does President Bush.  The government has acted and will continue to act, he says with regards to the economy and the failing markets.  Our country may soon be socialist. 

 

That is, if country still means anything. 

Today the G7 world leaders are meeting to compose a unified plan for a unified global solution to the economic crisis affecting people internationally.  “In an interconnected world, no nation will gain by driving down the fortunes of another. We are in this together. We will come through it together,” Bush said. “There have been moments of crisis in the past when powerful nations turned their energies against each other or sought to wall themselves off from the world. This time is different.”

My friends don’t know who to vote for in the presidential election.  They’re discouraged with the options offered by major political parties.  We all know that neither candidate will accomplish much of anything toward fixing the massive problems in our government and economy (financial markets and health care), nor will they actually do much of anything for the social interests of people (education, immigration, abortion, and marriage).  The best answer I have is that it won’t matter what we vote.  Our government is rapidly running away from republican principles, the Constitution, and even its national existence. 

Have a good day. 

(My personal philosophy is that whatever is out of my control is in God’s.  He has the future thoroughly planned, and has revealed the end of the world in His word in several places.  What’s more, my personal welfare and provision is securely in his good hands, not ultimately in the government’s.  Whatever happens, however discouraged I may be by world events, I can trust His sovereignty, goodness, and grace.) 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Do you ever get those moments where you have an idea, and after thinking through it, decide it wouldn’t work?  And then an hour or so later you get the same idea, but have to think through it all over again to realize it won’t work? 

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the thought, “I should just get all my money out of the bank.”  And then the thought inevitably follows, “If the bank crashes, so does the dollar.  What good will it do you to have buckets of cash?” 

 

So you might have guessed I think this is a possibility.  And that the thought has crossed my mind recently that the bank is not the safest place to guard my assets.  Recent events have not improved my confidence. 

 

Earlier this year the Congress approved an economic stimulus package, giving away hundreds of dollars to each individual who filed an Income Tax Form.  This was money they didn’t have.  It was borrowed.  But don’t worry; the government has no intention of paying the debts.  In other words, the money is imaginary.  And as long as you go with the flow, believing in the imaginary system, the system floats.  A crash is coming. 

 

Of course the government announced to everyone that it was flooding the markets with all this extra cash, encouraging people to spent.  Anyone selling something ought to have realized the impact is the same as inflation.  In fact it was inflation: infusing the markets with invented money.  All the prices go up accordingly, and except for consumer confidence, nothing is gained.  Consumer confidence, if not backed by reality, is only setting us up for a harder fall. 

 

Such is the direction of US policy.  We push concepts of money and values higher and higher, borrowing more and more as a government and as individuals. 

 

For example, the mortgage industry bail-out.  A mere few weeks ago, without asking me or even informing me ahead of time, someone in the government (I think it was an unelected entity) approved essentially a take-over of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  I must say that the government’s regulations and requirements for these companies had already constituted a take-over.  To gain popularity, the Democratic Congress and Executive during the 90’s instituted policies requiring foolish loans to be made.  For example, they required welfare payments to be counted as income when qualifying for a mortgage. 

 

Now the mortgage industry is in shambles.  House prices are too high to be afforded by normal people unless they take one of these horrible loans.  The moment times get tight (like gas prices go up by supply and demand, raising the prices of any goods transported from origin to buyers), “homeowners” can’t make payments, and the lenders are stuck losing money.  Their recourse is to foreclose, which isn’t a money-producing venture.  Foreclosure is cutting one’s losses. 

 

Since this is all the result of government interference in the markets, it is hard to not expect the government to fix their mistake.  The problem is that the government can’t fix it.  If they do anything at all (except for backing off their policies demanding imprudent lending practices), they will only make matters worse – economically and politically.  Nevertheless, do something they did. 

 

And do something they are trying to again.  Some people are objecting because the $700,000,000,000 plan introduced this week gives control of the money ultimately to one man which it explicitly makes unaccountable and unreviewable to any body of people.  My objection is more fundamental.  Government, whose purse only comes from taxes and loans (which are taxes), has no business doing anything with $700 billion, let alone something in the markets.  They need to back out. 

 

I don’t even know how to begin to petition our government for a redress of grievances for how they have exceeded the Constitution in the economic sector.  The last thing I want is for them to give me money they don’t have again.  What needs to happen is almost universal reform.  Recall every congressman who exceeds his Constitutional jurisdiction by voting for government interference in or support of financial institutions. 

 

What if the government does what it ought, and stays out of this?  Doesn’t our economy desperately need imaginary money to rescue us?  Our economy will suffer a major correction, hard times, probably increased unemployment.  Ultimately we will be better off.  Our position will be less precarious.  We will be saved from a harder fall or worse political/international outcomes should we try to prop our markets yet again.  Some financial institutions may even fail, if the government bail out does not go through. 

 

Be reasonable, though.  Does anyone want irresponsible financial institutions to continue?  What about these financial maneuvers and loopholes on which entire industries are based?  I’m skeptical of the stock market, let alone the industries whose sole purpose is to lend money.  The Bible is pretty much against debt, especially the kind with interest; it’s probably for a good reason.  Eliminating these industries will make transactions in this country a lot more straightforward, accessible to every man (also giving small legitimate businesses a fair chance of competition and survival).  In this time of mismanagement and corruption, transparency is undeniably something to be desired. 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Since the end of May, four members of my family have been receiving telemarketing calls from a Nevada number, 702-520-14** They inform us that our vehicle warranty is expired, and that this is our second and final notice. I have this claim memorized because we have received dozens of second and final notices. The telemarketers call our Verizon cell phones, using up cell phone minutes or just causing us hassle to ignore their calls. Their automated messages says to press *1* to speak to a warranty specialist, and some other number (maybe 9?) to be removed from their call list.

Every member of my family who has received these calls on our private cell phones – one carried by a minor – has pressed the number to be removed, yet the calls persist: identical calls at alarming frequency. I think my average is four or five calls a week. Since the automated request didn’t work one morning (they called that very afternoon), I pressed one, spoke to a ‘warranty specialist’ named Leah, and requested that she take my number off their call list. She said she did.

The next day I received another call. My life not revolving around telemarketers, the next time I did anything more than check the caller ID was today. In the mean time, my dad discovered the number was in Nevada, and issued by the phone company, Digitcom Services, Inc. We attempted to return the calls at several of the dozens of numbers from which we received the solicitations, but only received a message saying that they are sorry if we reached their number in error; they only purchase business phone numbers; if we would like our number to be removed from their list, press 1. (Every time you press one, a message tells you your request has been successful.) Mom called Verizon to ask what she could do, and they referred her to the Federal No-Call List, which we were formerly unaware included cell phones. The list allots 30 days at least for companies to cease their sales calls to each number. Fortunately it no longer expires.  A friend receiving similar calls reported her apparent success by requesting to speak with the manager and leaving a firm message – though she admitted there was dead air and no introduction to the machine, so she’s not sure if she was talking to anyone or not.

When they called this morning, I answered and spoke to Stephanie, requesting to speak to her manager about these harassing phone calls. I also received dead air, spoke all the same, and concluded that she hung up on me. So I went to work. Google is wonderful.

A lot of people have similar experiences, but most of them are relieved to escape from scam artists and phishers, something of which I was never in danger, since I never had a warranty on my car for it to expire. What I want is the calls to stop. They’re using my time and cell phone minutes, and are not benefiting in the slightest from bothering me.

The most helpful website I found was this blogger: Joe Levi He spent at least 30 minutes on the phone with them, wary enough to not feed them real information about his car and person.  He informed them of some of the relevant federal laws, and asked them if they would be willing to comply.  At first the girl said no, basically, so he offered her a second chance to comply.  She eventually promised that he would be sent a copy of their no-call list policy as per federal law. 

 
He received something else from:
Stacey R. Scales,
Paralegal, Dealer Services
100 Mall Parkway
Wentzville, Missouri 63385
phone: 1-800-649-1856
fax: 1-800-649-1719.
 
Also during my reasearch I ran across someone who mentioned this website: http://oneautowarranty.com/contact.html  as a place where, as opposed to being sent information about the fine print of the policy, one could find out more details. 
 
The addresses listed on that website match the one given above, and elaborate with phone numbers for various departments.  I got ahold of Christina in Customer Service, who informed me that their system, contrary to their message, takes 30-45 days to remove a number from its call list.  (There has also been speculation that my number must be removed one at a time from each number that has contacted me, and there are over a dozen.)  I told her this was unacceptable, and she was unhelpful in offering any other solutions.   
Curious about where this company got my cell phone number and those of my family, I went to the Verizon website, where they continue to say that they do not sell its customer’s phone numbers without their permission.  Also on their website was a piece of news concerning a lawsuit against an unknown auto warranty telemarketing firm, which had illegally falsified caller ID numbers using a computer system.  There have been thousands or millions of complaints. 

The article did not include contact information for similar complaints, and the number from which I am being called was not included in the suit.  It may be the same company modifying their technique.  In some states, and possibly on a federal level, telemarketers are required to identify themselves.  The fact that this automated message does not (and the people on the other end are unwilling to give a company name as well) accounts for the company in the lawsuit being unknown.  Joe the blogger deserves commendation for discovering so much. 

 
I used a random contact for Verizon to send them an account of my experience. 
Verizon,
I noticed on your news page that there has been a lawsuit against a telemarketing company that was harassing Verizon customers – a lawsuit prompted by thousands or millions of complaints from your customers. I have a similar problem, but am uncertain where to complain. The prefix for the number at which the autowarranty telemarketers have been calling my wireless phone is a 702-520-14**, which was not on the list of the lawsuit, though I presume it is the same company. I recognize that the lawsuit’s grounds apply only to when the company was employing randomly generated false numbers for caller ID. Is there anything immediate I can do to end these calls? Minutes cost me money. The company, which I believe is Dealer Services out of Wentzville, MO, is harassing me by calling me everyday under false pretenses, disregarding my auto and verbal requests to be removed from their call lists, and offering me a service in which I have no interest.

Where did they get my cell phone number?

Any answers you have on what I can do, or where else to complain, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Some website told me I could file a complaint with the FCC, so I did.   

This is what I told them, among other required information (such as four representative examples of dates and times at which I received calls):
I selected the automated number to be removed from the list, and received an affirmative message.
When I received the same call for several days following, I finally tried the auto number again. Received another call that afternoon or next day, so pushed one to talk to Leah about removing my number from their list. She said she did. Received calls after that. Today 6/13 spoke to Stephanie via auto message, requested to speak to manager about harassment: she hung up the phone. Returned call to same number, received message saying they are sorry if I reached the number in error; they only purchase business numbers, if I would like my # to be removed, press 1. Pressed and received affirmative message. Called 800 number from website to speak to customer service. She quoted me 30-45 days to remove from their lists, despite info from auto system. My mom and minor brother have received the same call from same # on their wireless phones, too. We counted over a dozen # 702-520-14**
 
Power to the people isn’t just for politics.  If you have the same problem, I recommend you take similar action.  My next step is also to complain to their phone company.  Dad suggested swamping their phone lines, but I suspect that would be unsuccessful and very temporary.  Meanwhile I can, from the testimony of Christina and the FCC, expect these daily calls to cease in about 30 days. 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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