Saturday, February 27, 2010

Charter Communications Followup

After not hearing from the Charter Communications rep about my initial assigned telephone number being lost out in limbo land, I decided not to wait around for them to find it.
I went ahead and took the new number. I also went ahead and made my way through my long list of businesses to contact and let them know my "new" new telephone number.
Monday I will be heading down to OBX early in the morning.
I need to stop by and pick up our keys and then head over to the place.
I have a vehicle full of stuff to unload and then I need to start putting up curtain rods and curtails. After that I will do some work in the bathrooms...putting up shower curtains and towels.
Hopefully I can get it all done during this one trip.
On Wednesday the moving crew comes to box everything up and then on Thursday they will be here early to pack the truck.
Starting on Wed we won't have any internet nor computers. We won't have any internet until 3/10, at which time Charter will come out to our new place and set us up with telephone, internet and cable service.
This upcoming week with be hectic to say the least be at least we are making progress.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not Again

In past blog entries, I have berated and bemoaned about the service that I have received at times from Verizon.
Now there appears to be a new leader of the pack when it comes to really poor service.
As part of my prep work for our upcoming move, I made contact with Charter Cable.
They are the main people that cover the Kill Devil Hills area for cable, telephone and internet.
Prior to calling them, I had seen a recent ratings report in Consumers Report on many telephone, cable and internet companies.
Unfortunately Charter ranked close to last place in all of the rankings. Going into this, I hoped that somehow the rankings and ratings were wrong.
I placed a call to Charter and set everything up. We got a bundle package for cable, telephone and internet.
The customer service rep was friendly and was even able to give me my new telephone number.
Once I had everything in place with Charter, including an appointment for our free installation, I then proceeded down my lengthy list of places to call, so that I could provide everyone with our new address and telephone number.
After a couple of days, I had made my way through that lengthy list and was able to take a breath before the next wave of things to do was upon me.
This initial contact with Charter occurred about 2 weeks.
About 2 days ago I got an automated call from Charter so that I could set up an installation appointment. That made no sense to me since I already had one set up. The automated caller requested that I use my touch tone dial on the phone and put in 2 numbers for the date and 2 numbers for the month that I would like to have my installation appointment on.
I plugged in the same numbers for the same date of installation that had already been made previously. Unfortunately the computer would not accept the numbers that I plugged in.
I then hung up and called Charters customer service number.
I spoke to a rep there and provided him with my customer number and service order numbers for the installation.
The rep looked everything up and said that we were all set for the date and time that was originally made 2 weeks ago.
I thought everything was all set again and I was able to take another breath of air.
Unfortunately that breath did not last long.
Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Charter stating that I had cancelled my installation and service and that we needed to start from scratch all over again.
Needless to say...I was neither happy nor pleasant.
As it turned out, Charter tried to up the cost on certain items that I had already locked in at a decent price..I say decent price because Charter prices are a lot more expensive than what we have been paying for our equal services through Verizon and Cox cable here.
I got passed onto another rep who started adding up the prices, which kept going up as the discussion continued.
Finally I had had enough and told this rep that this was obviously turning into a "bait and switch" scenario and that I was not happy at all with the way this whole thing was playing out...especially since I did not cancel anything out and that act was done on Charters side of things.
This rep must have heard enough and she hung up on me.
I then proceeded to call Charters customer service number.
I spoke with a very friendly person there that apologized profusely after hearing my long drawn out story that had occurred up to this point in time.
As it turns out, half of what I ordered was not in my original purchase and history file with Charter, so we had to go through everything that I wanted all over again. I also found out that I needed to provide the installation person $90 in cash...$30 for each service I was getting and that this amount would be directly applied to my first bill. Good thing he told me this because it was the first time I had heard of this charge. The installation person would have shown up and I would not have had a dime to give him....thus no installation at that time and another reschedule would have been in order.
After walking me through all of their offerings and deciding on what I had originally wanted, I ended up getting everything for about $5 less than the original total.
There was one minor problem....remember that telephone number that they had assigned to me...that number that I had gone down my lengthy list of places that I needed to contact and provide updated contact info...well that number was no longer found to be assigned to me.
The number was not registered to anyone else nor was it still assigned to me. It was somewhere out in there limbo land.
With the thought of additional work that I would need to do to re-contact everyone on that lengthy list, I begged the rep to attempt to locate that number so I would not have to repeat all that work again....my "to do" list is rather full as it is.
He promised me that he would try to locate that original number. He did actually call me late last night to let me know that the techs were still searching in limbo land to find my original telephone number.
He is supposed to call me back early this afternoon as soon as he gets to work and checks his email box to see if the techs were able to locate that number.
If not, I will need to get started on that list again....Aaaarrrggggg!!!!
I can now see why Charter rated so poorly in Consumer Reports rankings.
A rep from the moving company is supposed to be here shortly to determine what they will need to bring for our full packing, which will be next Wed.
Don't you just love moving?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Latest Update On Our Move

We are edging closer to our move date.
Someone from the moving company should be coming in this week to estimate what they will need to box and pack everything up.
This upcoming Friday, I need to take in our digital HD cable box and get our cable service turned off.
On Monday the 1st, I have a very hectic day in store for me. I currently have the Toyota packed with all kinds of stuff...curtain rods, curtains, bath towels, shower curtains and many other things.
I will be heading down to the OBX early that Monday morning.
First stop with be to pick up our keys from the property management people.
Then I will go directly to our new place and start putting all the curtain rods up along with the curtains and shower curtains. I will also do some other work in the bathrooms.
On Tuesday the 2nd, I need to get some things ready for the movers, who will be coming the next day to pack up our stuff for the actual move. I need to turn off our fridge and clean it our really well.
On Wed the 3rd, the movers will come to pack everything up.
Then on Thursday, the 4th, the movers will return to pack up the truck with all of our belongings. After they leave, Veronica and I finally will be heading down to the OBX for good. We will stay at a local hotel down there and get up early the following morning.
The next day will be another busy one. We will meet the movers at our new place and begin the process of unloading the moving truck and start to unpack everything.
Hopefully all will go smoothly and within a week or two, we should be starting to actually have a chance to enjoy our new place.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who Says Doing The Laundry Can't Be Exciting

This morning Veronica and I decided to do some laundry. We wanted to wash some of the numerous comforters, blankets, mattress pad and bedspreads that we either had on the bed or had been stored away in the attic.
About 2 years ago, where a Shell gas station had closed down, a new laundry center had been built.
This "laundry center" is called Soap-N-Suds.
When we were on our way there, I was ready for the usual laundromat experience.
You know the experience...noisy, high humidity, sensory overload...a mixture of smells some of which include wash soap, dryer sheets of every possible flavor and overly dirty cloths...some of which should have been washed years ago.
Of course every once in a while, you catch the whiff of someone bringing in an old pup tent, that their cat had found all scrunched up in a corner of their garage and decided to make it it's own personal litter box...you know...that unforgettable old stale cat urine smell.
Well let me tell you folks something. Upon entering this "laundry center" as they call it, I found myself blissfully walking into laundromat utopia.
I know...I can hear all of you saying....Rick...have you been noshing on those 'shrooms" again.
Not this time folks. I can honestly say that this place was actually fun to be in and made washing your clothes kind of enjoyable.
This place is called Soaps-N-Suds.
This was one totally automated computerized laundry cleaning center.
To start this exciting washing process, one must go to a automated touch pad screen and purchase a SNS Laundry Center washing card. Your initial card cost $1.00 and then you can add money onto the card either by inserting cash or by swiping a credit/debit card.
Then you have to decide what size washing machine that you want to use. A majority of the washing machines were front loaders. They did have a few top loaders..the ones you usually see in a normal laundromat, but they were few in numbers and kind of shoved to the back of the large laundry center.
Each machine had some type of automated card reader in the front of each machine and each machine, depending on size and how much laundry it holds would dictate the price of washing a load of wash. They had double loaders, triple loaders and then the giant mogumba loader which held 8 loads of clothes.
Because of the size, weight and amount of items that we had to wash, we ended up using a double, a triple and one of those mogumba giant front loaders.
Now at first the cost of a load of wash was enough to make your heart skip several beats but when I thought about it further, a little over $8 was not bad for the huge front loader, especially since it held 8 loads in it and we packed it pretty well with stuff....which came out to $1 a load.
This huge front loader had a drum which must have been about 4 foot in diameter.
Although the price seemed rather steep for the washing aspect, the drying was very reasonable.
Once again they had several sizes of dryers to pick from. Each dryer cost a specific amount per until. A unit equaled 10 minutes.
The largest dryer cost .63 cents per unit where the smaller dryers cost .44 cents per unit.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that 1 unit dried quite a number of items without the need to use further units.
Like I said earlier, each washer and dryer had an automated box in it and all you had to do was to slide your washing card in and out of the box and it read how much money you had on the card and subtracted the washer or dryer amount from the card.
If you needed more money on the card, you went back to the main automated touch pad screen and put additional money on your laundry card.
Not only was this place big, it was extremely clean, had a laundry attendant on premises to help out those who are automated touch pad screen impaired (me) and even had 4 large screen televisions hanging down from the ceiling. They even had an approximately 60 inch Vizeo LCD TV and had Direct TV on all of them.
Veronica and I were so impressed with this laundry center, that when we got done doing our initial loads, we went home and grabbed all of our Winter coats and another comforter, came back and did some more washing.
We got everything done, all of the washing, drying and driving time in 2 1/2 hours...very impressive indeed.
I usually never get excited or have fun doing laundry especially at a laundromat but let me tell you, this was a rather enjoyable experience.
It doesn't take much to keep some people entertained and today, I was one those people.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Official Packing And Moving Date Has Been Set

It looks like all of the dates have been set.
The movers will come box us up on Wed, 3/3, then they will return Thursday, 3/4 to load the truck up and then deliver our belongings to our new place on Friday, 3/5.
I have already made appointments to have some new furniture delivered on 3/12 along with the important stuff...the cable, telephone and internet service will be installed and turned on during the afternoon of 3/10.
I plan on going down to our new place on Monday, 3/1, pick up our keys and head over to our new place where I will empty my overflowing car interior of its contents.
I have enough stuff shoved in the car to open my own Bed Bath and Beyond store.
I will spend the day in our new place putting up curtain rods and curtains along with getting the bathrooms decked out with shower curtains and towels.
After I get those jobs done, I need to "beat feet" back and load the car up the next day with everything that we don't want the movers to take on their truck.
My long list of things to do and phone calls to make has just about all been completed..only a few minor things left to do and then we are good to go.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is That The Finish Line That I See

Been busy wrapping up final preparations for our move.
I have got most of the way through my list. What's left on it are the biggies...stop cable service, telephone service and internet service. Then I need to return whatever equipment I was using from each service.
We will be going to our new place on 3/1 after getting our keys. I want to put up the curtain rods and drapes along with the shower curtains.
Then there is the delivery of a new couch and dining room set. Hopefully we can get all that done one day 1.
On day 2 or maybe the night of day 1, we can do a grocery shopping to stock the place up a bit.
I am hoping that the movers will come pack us up on day 3 and deliver our belongings to our new place shortly thereafter.
Then it is just a matter of unpacking everything and getting the phone, cable and internet service started. Luckily all three of those things come from the same company.
Of course all of my plans are contingent on when the movers come to pack us up. Hopefully I will know that date in the very near future.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting Close Now

Our moving date is rapidly approaching. Although it is not fixed in stone, it should be during the first week of March.
I have about 95% of everything done in preparation for the movers to come in and box everything up.
The last big chore was taking care of our bedroom. I had not cleaned in there for months now...cleaning is not high on my enjoyment list.
I had to break down all of the electronics in there and then came the big job.
I ended up moving all of the furniture out away from the wall and then I had to clean all of the built up dust that had accumulated over the last 8 years.
8 years of built up dust seems to have equaled one good Virginia Beach snow storm. It was so bad that I had to wear a mask.
So I wiped everything down and vacuumed all of the carpet under the furniture, cleaned all of the baseboards and then waxed all of the furniture.
I divided this dirty job over a 2 day time period.
Now with everything off of the walls, I am kind of digging the minimalist look that is our bedroom at this time.
Other than a few small things, I am done prepping for the movers.
The next big thing is that often mentioned list that I need to take care of.
The list is of everyone that I need to contact to either start new service at our new location, stop service at our current location or those I need to notify of our new address and telephone number.
I will start doing that list next week.
Other than that, not much going on.
We are in the midst of another snow storm. It was raining yesterday and last night but changed over to snow this morning.
It was coming done pretty good and with the winds howling, snow was flying everywhere. They are talking about wind gusts up to 50mph.
Veronica had to go to Boston for some training.
She left Monday and I am not sure when she will make it back. As of last nights telephone conversation with her, she was notified that she would not be returning home today as planned.
I guess that Logan had closed down/her flight was cancelled with advanced notice because of the snow storm that has been traveling Northbound.
Hopefully she will be able to come home soon...I miss her.
It really is hard to believe how much snow we have had this winter season.
most years we might see a dusting if that much.
Mother nature is really giving Veronica and I the royal treatment and send off as we prepare to start our next adventure on the Outer Banks.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Moving Update

We just had another big storm pass through here. We got all rain out of it and some high winds but they got clobbered just North of us.
The DC area got quite a bit of snow. Last I heard was around 20" with more coming.
Doing a little here and there as far as the move preparations. Got about 85% ready for the movers. My biggest task is the very long list of people, places and businesses to contact for our change of address.
I will start getting that list done in earnest around mid month.
We should be moved and in our new place around the first week of March.
Then the task of unpacking will begin.
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