Posts tagged “sbc”

Out in the boonies

We’ve lived in this area called The Coastside for two years now, and I’m amazed and appalled at the lack of infrastructure. I’m not talking about roads and plumbing (though I’m sure those are issues; I just don’t know enough to complain about them). We don’t have sidewalks and we don’t have home delivery of mail. That may be seen as charming; but it’s getting a bit old for me.

We have no cell coverage. I can’t imagine that will change at any point.

Our Comcast cable television is terrible: image quality is consistently bad (with over-the-air artifacts like ghosting common on some very low channels) and audio is low volume and filled with hiss on higher channels. Recently, channel 3 went out completely. Comcast told many residents who called that they wouldn’t regard it as a real issue until they had reached a minimum number of service complaints that resulted in a scheduled technician visit. In other words, if you called in and told them about the problem, they would treat it as a local-to-you problem that didn’t require any action on their part until someone came and looked at YOUR house and eliminated that as the specific cause. It takes several days to get someone to come out and so it took a few days for Comcast to even acknowledge that they had a problem and to take any action to fix it. We pay the same as everyone else (if not more) for cable, and we get lousy service (both the product itself and the customer service).

Our power goes out many times each winter. For an hour, or for 7 hours. You never know, of course. It’s dangerous, inconvenient, stressful. We aren’t supposed to use the water when the power is out. There’s obviously some non-redundant connection that is very vulnerable to wind, wet soil, trees, or whatever. But PG&E is not investing in any infrastructure to develop a robust solution, so we’re stuck with frequent outages that leave a big section of Montara without power. Our power bills in Montara are ridiculously higher than other places we’ve lived.

Our telephone service is sub-par. Caller-ID information is often not received. A year or so ago I found that I would get a busy signal when calling the voice mail number – and that my own callers would often not be able to leave voice mail; instead having it ring and ring. It took a great deal of effort to get someone at SBC to acknowledge and fix the problem (they were out of circuits or something arcane). Last week we encountered terrible static when calling to Montara from outside of Montara. Calls to either of our home numbers from a cell phone or land line located elsewhere would be at best scratchy and at worst, unlistenable. I have reported this to SBC as have many other local residents. As with the cable, it’s being treated like a problem local to our own service, despite the fact that it’s not, but of course, we can only report our own problem. I was informed by SBC that they’ve checked and everything is fine. It’s not fine; my phone service is only semi-usable (I have to shout at my callers that I’ll return their call), and SBC has decided not to act. Of course, we pay the same fees to SBC that everyone else does.

Can you tell I’m fed up?


I blogged previously about trouble commenting on BusinessWeek blogs. Turns out that my ISP (which is SBC) has been blacklisted for some nefarious activity. Trying to submit a comment redirects me to a horrible page

DSBL: Listing Data
If you’re not sure why you were referred to this webpage, please read this page first.


State: Listed
Listed in unconfirmed ( yes
Listed in singlehop ( yes
Listed in multihop ( no
Record last changed: 2004/Oct/29 05:03:49 UTC
Reverse DNS identifies server as:


2004/Oct/29 05:03:27 UTC Listed in Unconfirmed (view message)
2004/Oct/29 05:03:27 UTC Listed in Singlehop (view message)
2005/Oct/11 15:05:52 UTC Removal Confirmation Sent EMail address:
Requestor IP:
Message Report: accepted message.
Remote host said: 250 2.0.0 j9BF4f7

and of course, it’s up to someone at the ridiculous monolith at SBC to fix this. Yeah, like that’ll happen.

I guess I won’t be joining in on the BusinessWeek blog dialog anytime soon!

Spurious collect call charges – a new scam?

What a freakin’ scam…this just happened to me. This company called OAN (aka Nationwide Conn.) somehow submits fraudulent bills for collect calls that never happened. They don’t bill you directly, they add it to your local bill (Qwest, Verizon, or in my case, SBC). For me, it was $5.41. It took me noticiing it, doing a websearch, then making a couple of calls and spending time on hold (!) to get this taken care of (assuming that it is indeed taken care of). It’s hardly worth it, and yet this company (and others presumably) continue to “cram” – to knowingly bill falsely through the carriers, knowing that most people won’t notice it or have the comfort to dispute it. Which is just so shockingly immoral…the web page I link to shows a huge number of people who have also been scammed and realized it, many who report it to the government.

How come this is allowed to continue? SBC told me they are legally required to pass these charges along.



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