Archive | October 2012

Baroness vs Big Corporations ~ part one

If you know me you know it’s no secret that I am not a fan of how technology works, or in my case lately how it does not work. I want it just to work, no questions asked of me. it’s not a  give and take thing here with me in this relationship.

I am also by nature not a cranky person.

Yesterday both those aspects in my life came crashing together and If you know me you might also know that for many reasons I am a positive person,  I try to shine things on that I have no control over and turn those which try to rule me over to the universe. & God.  I believe goodness can breed even more goodness.  I believe in the law of attractions. It really is not such a BIG SECRET

Today my positive belief system was met up head on with the Mighty Corporation of America. I was met by the greedy deeds of a company that must be grasping at straws to keep the bottom profit line floating. This is the not the first time I have taken on the campaign of making my community aware of the shenanigans trying to pulled over their eyes by Big Corporations.

Years ago in the early 1980’s it was the railroads, Union Pacific & Southern Pacific Railroads that own the rails in my hometown to be exact. I fought these two big corporations alone, and soon even my local city council was turning green behind their gills when they saw my name on the agenda Thursday nights . I was then a Parent Teachers Association Representative for our state with the governor office and thought when I started the campaign I had the backing of all my local PTA member’s  Wrong. Volunteers burn out too easily because of the burn out. factor. Just a fact. Success was mine and glory my towns when we received from these two companies what we had been asking for; cross arms up on an unprotected crossing near my two daughter’s school.   Also to lower the speed of both freight and passenger trains as they approached school grounds. The cross arms it might interest you to know were a mandate to have been put up 12 yrs prior. And still it was another 2 yrs battle which I took on after an elderly couple were l killed at this very crossing when their car stalled on the tracks.  I tell this only to imply how tenacious I can be. when I see a wrong.

Yesterday & today it is the industry of Internet Browsers I am going after. In particular it was my Internet Browser company, AOL that I am taking issue with.

I have had a couple interesting  weeks of service from AOL which up until recently I had used since the beginning of my online career without a problem. ( I will give them that ) Granted though I never did use the Internet like I have been in this last year. Then came the technical problems and I can become quite cranky, my tolerance for ineptness become even less. I don’t ask for much, I just want my computer and internet/browser to work like they should.

Yesterday after being locked out of my 15 yr old email account with AOL I contacted them and their tech support.  Now it has  goes beyond just a technology issue

AOL and their agent are bordering, if not right there, on criminal behavior. And I intend on going after them, where ever they are. I sense that who I spoke with yesterday is not in the USA which will be AOL’s loop-hole. If they are not conducting business HERE in the USA they are not governed by my country’s criminal laws regarding fraud. And fraud is what I am claiming that AOL  and their representative acting as their agent were attempting. I realize how strong my words are, but I am not going to be intimidated by an unscrupulous corporation for any reason.

Yesterday (Oct. 29.2012) I was lied to repeatability. Out right lies by  two representative’s of AOL; one a customer representative and the other tech support. I know it started out at AOL because I contacted them through their tech support online. (this is an important issue in part 2) I was soon phoned allegedly by the same tech.  on my cell phone which I have listed for security purposes.

(Little did I know it was this tech’s own  financial security he was looking for.) My point being that I started contact at what I thought was a reputable site, now I am not sure who phoned me, but it had to come from AOL  Only deduction possible. I took names thankfully.

I was told that my email account had been compromised and there was suspicious activity on my account from another country. I was told I had 6 separate activities that were compromising my entire home computer system . To say that it frightened me is an understatement. Although I do NO  banking from the internet I do make purchases using a bank card.

This is the fear factor that they work on. Instead of paying them the almost $400 they were asking to secure my account for the rest of my life (read $59 x 6 issues) I realized they had side-stepped my password issue in a  pretty slick way. When I tried to go back on this issue the topic always came back to MY ‘Infected” Home Computer system. They even sent me an alleged screen shot of all the error messages and issues on my hard drive.

Discussing this in the mean time with my daughter J* prompted me to put the laptop to in sleep mode with this screen shot minimized and took it straight away over to my techs here in town at DCI Computer Specialists. I am so grateful and thankful I did. I was told in less than one minute after Randy looked at my screen shot that it was a SCAM!  Randy wanted to know immediately if I had paid them anything. NO!  Did I save myself $400?

Yes Indeed I did! (Thanks Randy!)

Because I was worried there could be an issue with AOL anyway on my hard drive and afraid to even email my family & friends  I asked Randy if he’d take a look anyway. I have used these guys always and trust them literally with my life. I left my laptop with him. AOL had also told me I had no security program and I asked Randy how this could be? I have only had this laptop for about 9 months and I put the security program on it, with DCI’s help.  Randy showed me it’s still there, doing its thing.  Yet another lie by AOL.

Today I have been on the phone with AOL and by passing right by any Tech Reps. I went straight to a manager – or who I was told was manager anyway. Its true I am not in a trusting place with these people and I question everything they tell me. As it should be.

It was an eye-opening conversation. One of which was my intent to also put AOL on notice that I  am going public with my experience.  I read in a computer e-zine that only 4% of Internet Browser users rely on AOL for their email and browser.  I also read that the majority of that 4% are elderly. I will never get my AOL account back and feel good about it. This is not my goal.  AOL is not the only rodeo in town.  My goal is to let as many of that 4% know as possible what my journey this last 24 hours has been like. Not to mention the last few weeks.

The positive, because there always is one if you look for it:  Its work to remain in this belief as my friend D says. I am reminded often that it does not come easy, its training. I see the positive from this all being I have I opened my eyes to new things.  Also always learning more about that awful subject technology and trouble shooting despite myself.

And the last thing.. people can always have a positive impact on you even in negative situations, I realized that I am not always as assertive as I think I am. Or really should be.  Sometimes I tend to get a little aggressive with people in business situations. I am grateful to have had my eyes opened to this fact. This is a positive thing to see in myself that now I can work on changing for the better Assertive wins more friends than aggressive and when you are dealing with a big business you hope to make friends first.

More lessons to be learned.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Part Two coming tomorrow.  The Shakedown of an AOL Employee.. or two?

p.s. I would like to you to share with me any like experience you have had with AOL… or frankly any positive or negative experience with any other browser company. I am keeping score now.