Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Worm in My Apple: Part 3

Today marks the end of my ninth month with my Gold Apple iPhone 6+ and to celebrate, I spent another four hours on the phone with Apple Care. To say this journey has been a disappointment is a vast understatement. Calling it a nightmare would be more accurate.

I told Nikthia, the very nice and very helpful rep who helped me tonight (one of FOUR reps I spoke with tonight) that  I could have given birth during the time it is taking me to try to get the issues resolved.

Apparently I got a defective iPhone last December. When Apple convinced me it was my carrier and NOT the phone, and persuaded me to leave T-Mobile and go with the pricier Sprint, they gave me a new Sprint compatible phone and had me restore my old data from a backup. Apparently the bug was passed along with the backup making my 2nd phone also defective, but it has taken months to figure this out. I have been calling Sprint every few weeks asking them to help me reset my phone because I would lose my ability to connect to the internet when I was away from my WiFi. Sprint kept telling me I shouldn't have to call them so often, but I knew Apple was not going to want to hear I had a defective phone again.

However, gradually the bug spread. Not only was I frequently unable to connect to the internet when I wasn't at home, but I stopped being able to back up my phone. Then Siri stopped working.

I run a VIRTUAL BUSINESS from my phone -- it isn't just "inconvenient" not to be able to use it -- I lose money when I can't use it! 

Finally I had to call Apple last month to let them know this phone was also defective, but it has taken a month -- first to get them to take me seriously and then to get the software checked. Sure enough, after another 45-minute drive (one way) to the Genius Bar, they ran a diagnostic and found a problem with the software.

Then I had to try to back up my phone but as I mentioned -- I have had issues backing it up for months, so I was on the phone for hours trying to get it backed up. Finally I got the new phone after another hour and a half round trip to the Genius Bar and a 10-minute appointment that turned into an hour and 25 minutes and caused me to be terribly late for a business meeting.

They sent me home with a new phone with older software, so I had to upgrade, but a problem with the wrong phone number in the system. which just became a problem last May and was supposed to have been corrected last week, had me on the phone again last night with Apple Care.  When we finally got the software updated, we had problems getting the download to start... and when we DID get it started, it said it would take 17 hours to update! So once again I had no use of my iPhone for almost a full day while I waited for the backup.

But the backup didn't go through, so I had none of my data on my new phone all day and it was back to square one tonight -- four hours of square one - four more frustrating hours stolen from me trying to get a phone working which SHOULD have been working last December!

Really, Apple, this is NO WAY to run a business. It is INEXCUSABLE to make a customer jump through so many hoops for so many months and have them pay a higher carrier fee because you convince them to switch carriers and tell them over and over the problem is NOT the phone when the problem really IS the phone. Samsung Galaxy is looking better and better all the time. If I had not been a Mac user for 30 years I would have switched over to Samsung last January.

I have a couple of case workers looking at the situation, and we shall see where it goes from here, but I am pretty much over the iPhone at this point. There has been a worm in my Apple since I first got it, and I am about ready to toss the Apple out.


Michael W. Smith Announces Return of Nationwide Christmas Tour with Amy Grant in Select Markets -- Christian Activities

Two of my life-long favorite artists are combining forces again this year for their popular Christmas Tour.  Michael W. Smith will once again bring holiday cheer to arenas, coliseums and theaters to more than a dozen markets this holiday season through his nationwide Christmas tour. Smith’s long-time friend and fellow GRAMMY® winner Amy Grant will co-bill with him in select cities including Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, St. Louis, Atlanta, Greensboro and Fairfax.

The evening will feature favorites from Smith’s latest Christmas release Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas, which includes an all-star lineup of guests – Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Bono and Michael McDonald.

Article at: Multi-Platinum Selling Singer Michael W. Smith Announces Return of Nationwide Christmas Tour with Amy Grant in Select Markets

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Home Depot Price Checker Can't Be Bothered to Check a Price, Calls Customer "Liar"

Home Depot offers customers the opportunity to write a public review of their recent experience and then after the customer takes the time to write the review, follows up to say they are "not quite ready to display store reviews."

Since Home Depot #0722 won't display my store review from last week, I will do it for them. This experience is another reason I prefer and recommend Lowe's:

Your opinion is very important to us and the Home Depot community. Thank you for taking time to provide feedback about your experience in our #0722 Nashville store. We are not quite ready to display store reviews on homedepot.com, however, we are working to build this functionality which will be ready soon. Once the new functionality is available, we will proudly display your feedback on the #0722 Nashville store page. In the meantime, we will share your review with the Store Operations Team. Thanks again!
Extremely Poor Experience
The store was fine, the cashiers were great, but one woman ruined what had been a pleasant shopping experience. I found a box of cushions marked $9.10 & added 1 to my cart. When I checked out, it rang at $16-something. The cashier got on the phone, had to come back to the cart, got some numbers, returned to the phone & finally came back saying we would have to wait for a price. 
Whoever was on the other end of the phone dropped the ball & never came, so people had to keep leaving our lane to go get in the other cashier's lane. Finally the cashier said we had waited long enough, marked the cushion $9.10 & I checked out, but I paused to talk to another woman for a few minutes. That's when PriceChecker finally showed up -- maybe 10-12 minuted after we called. She started interrogating the cashier, came over to my cart, checked the numbers on the cushion, went back to chewing out the cashier & I left. 
I came back 2 minutes later to get some mulch -- in time to hear PriceChecker telling the cashier I was LYING! I said, "I wasn't lying & I'll show you the box." PriceChecker had not checked the cushions yet, because there was the box, just as I described it. She pulled another cushion out & said, "THIS is the one for $9.10." I said, "Fine, I'll take that one. It looks just the same." The cashier was there & she said, "It IS the same cushion." 
 PriceChecker was very slow to respond to our call for pricing help, and when she finally made an appearance, she was unpleasant to both the cashier and the customer (me), unprofessional, and didn't check the marked pricing before calling me a liar in front of two cashiers! 
So when I went out to pick up my mulch, there was PriceChecker, waiting to check my receipt although there was someone else there to wait on me! She couldn't make it out to check a price for us, but she scuttled down post haste to the mulch section to make sure I didn't rob you blind of mulch in my small car! She made me feel like a criminal over a $9 cushion and a $2 bag of mulch.
Home Depot PriceChecker's attitude
 Why Home Depot allows one power-crazed associate to lord it over other cashiers and customers like she does I will never understand other than she puckers up for management, but she is single-handedly giving your store a black eye, no matter how nice everyone else is. I did not insist the cashier give me the cushion for $9.10 and I didn't berate her for how long it took for someone to do the price check. The cashier was simply trying to provide good customer service and clear her line. How hard would it have been for PriceChecker to check the display before she told the cashier I was LYING? If she wasn't going to check the price, how hard would it have been for her to have said, "Maybe the customer made a mistake" or "Maybe our signage is wrong" or "Thank you, Cashier for providing good customer service and taking care of it." 
But instead of doing HER job and providing the price check, PriceChecker acted like the cashier and I both did something wrong and was so grossly unprofessional as to say I was LYING. Thank goodness there is a Lowe's just down the road.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Worm in My Apple Gets Fatter: Ongoing IPhone Problems

After my ongoing problems with Apple, I finally got an appointment with the Genius Bar set for the past Monday. I had a conflict, so I called and canceled my appointment last Friday and tried to move it to the following Monday. Apple Care said they could not set an appointment more than a week out and arranged a call for me today.

Sure enough, an automated call came in at about 3pm, but when the representative picked up, he had no notes and no idea why I was on the line. In addition, he didn't speak English well and I had to repeat myself more than once. At the end of the long call, he said he was sending me an email with the notes and confirmation. When I got the email, it had no info. The case number didn't pull up anything but an error message that said the case number and email did not match, so I had to call Apple back.

I spoke to Yilka who said she didn't show any call for today, and I said, "Hold on, I have a case number right here," and I gave her the number that had the error message. Sure enough, the number DID pull up some info, but it was incomplete. Why did Yilka not see the previous call or older case number in my case files BEFORE I gave her the number?

Yilka was very nice and got my new Genius Bar appointment set up. Then I asked to be transferred to Customer Service, so she put me on hold and the phone was disconnected! I made my third call to Apple this afternoon a little after 4 and am still on hold with Eddie, a Senior Adviser.

Apple, you badly need to get your act together! I have been a faithful Mac user since 1992, and I saved up to get an iPhone after using a track phone for several years. I want to LIKE Apple iPhones, I really do, but this has been a tremendous hassle for almost a year!

Today I was on the phone for almost an hour on two calls just trying to make a new appointment at the Genius Bar. In the old days, I would have called the Apple Store directly to change an appointment. That call would have taken 5 minutes -- 15 minutes if the store was insanely busy.

Instead I had to call Apple Care on Friday to cancel the appointment, and THEY  had to contact the Genius Bar to cancel. Then we set up a phone call to move it to the following week. Then I had to go through the phone prompts today to get to the iPhone department and then I had to try to explain the entire scenario to a rep who didn't speak English well and sit on hold while he apparently set up the new appointment with the Genius Bar. And after spending 1/2 hour on this call --  absolutely NOTHING was accomplished but getting a case number with no info and NO APPOINTMENT. So it took a 2nd  call and almost as much time to get the appointment moved--almost an hour to do through Apple Care what I could have done myself in 5 minutes.

Now I am still on hold with Eddie, who has listened to the entire story and is supposed to be trying to transfer me to Customer Relations. I figure I have been on the phone about an hour and 45 minutes at this point and we still haven't gotten my phone working.  Today we have just been trying to reschedule my appointment to try to get me to the Genius Bar to see if they can figure out WHY my phone keeps having to be reset.
Hey, Apple, I have an idea. Why don't ***I*** make my OWN appointments with the local Apple Store, and you take your cumbersome and ineffective Apple Care out of the middle?
If I had been able to call the store myself and not had to go through Apple Care, this appointment would have been taken care on on Friday in ONE phone call! This is worse than waiting for Sarah to connect your call on "The Andy Griffith Show." Have we really regressed so far with new technology that the old days of phone operators now look more efficient?

This is my new case number 929659417. Let's see where it gets me. So far 30 minutes of funky hold music is all I have achieved with it.

Also see: A Worm in my Apple! Anyone Else Having Ongoing iPhone Network Problems?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Rescuing an Eastern Box Turtle

There is a depression in the ground I have covered with tarp to keep water out until I can have some rocks and stones put in to fill it. An Eastern Box Turtle found his way into the depression, but he couldn't get out. Instead he scrabbled at the tarp trying to get a foothold but ended up shredding the plastic and getting the strands wrapped around his legs and pulled into his shell. He literally became attached to the tarp at each leg and all around his shell.

A crazy whim drew me to the tarp this week which sits well out of view of my house hidden in some bushes and wild cane. I decided to trim back the tarp and see if the cane might stabilize the depression. As I pulled some of the tarp away, up came the turtle, securely attached to the tarp.

I couldn't lift him off but had to go get scissors to cut a circle around his shell so I could begin the task of trying to get him free. It soon became clear there were too many strands of shredded tarp pulled around his legs and shell. I was able to get his front two legs free but the back legs were tightly wrapped.

I called Walden Puddle, a local wildlife rescue organization, but they were closed for the day, so I quickly began to Google to try to figure out what the little turtle might need after being attached to tarp for who knows how long. I put him in a box in a quiet corner, put some water in a shallow dish and put lettuce, tomato and a little wet dog food in for him to eat. He didn't move -- his legs were bound in the back, but his front legs worked. He just wasn't moving, so I put him in aother shallow container of water for a soak. That revived him!

He still didn't eat, but he began to pull himself around the box and took care of his other bodily functions. The next morning when I checked on him, he had worked one hind leg almost free with loose strands wrapped around it. I carefully cut the shreds away from that leg and put him outside in partial sun to bask if he wanted or hang out in the shade. He became even more active.

Soon it was time to take him to Walden Puddle where they freed the last leg, determined he had no lacerations or injuries, and sent him home with me. I returned him to his habitat in my back yard, and he seemed quite content to be back.

The Eastern box turtle is considered a vulnerable species because they tend to get run over by cars and farm machinery and their habitat is often threatened by development.

Lesson learned: tarp can be a deadly trap for small critters.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Worm in my Apple! Anyone Else Having Ongoing iPhone Network Problems?

Near the end of 2014, I purchased my first iPhone from the Apple Store in Green Hills (Nashville). The man who sold me the phone recommended T-Mobile as having the best-priced service for what I needed, and I left the Apple Store with a T-Mobile-compatible iPhone 6 Plus for a hefty chunk of change.

By the next day I was having issues receiving calls when at home, dropped calls when on the road, and connecting to the internet. For a month or so I felt like a volleyball as T-Mobile would assure me I had a defective phone, and Apple would assure me the problems were with T-Mobile. After going through various trouble shooting and resets, the problem would seem to be fixed for a few days, but soon I would lose the signal at home, or experience increasing dropped calls or not be able to connect to the internet.

After making numerous calls to Apple I got a case agent who would trouble shoot for me, and he finally convinced me the problems were with T-Mobile. I took my phone back to Apple, got a new Sprint-compatible phone, and I went to the nearest Sprint dealership to set up service with them in Dec. 2014. I wish I had saved that rep's name, because he told me if the problems persisted after switching to Sprint, he would upgrade me to a phone with more memory.

The Sprint service was much better than T-Mobile and I have never had trouble receiving or sending calls at home, but frequently when I am away from home, I get network errors. In the suburbs in a 10-mile radius of Nashville, in businesses, on the major roadways, and when off the beaten track, I often cannot send photos or get on the internet or do my virtual business. For nine months I have called Sprint periodically to reset things, and I get my network back for a few weeks.

However, Sprint has been telling me the same things T-Mobile told me: there are no outages or problems on their end and the only reason I have to reset my phone so often is it is a defective iPhone.

When Sprint called Apple last night to connect me, I was told there were no case notes of my previous issues. The supervisor said there was no record of my making numerous calls and no record of my old case manager. Jonathan B, iOS Senior Advisor informed me I could take a screen shot of any network error message and take them to the Apple Store to see if they would replace my phone, but his entire attitude was suspicious and almost hostiles as he reiterated there were no case notes and repeated himself multiple times that it was impossible someone would get two defective iPhones, and that they were getting no complaints like mine from any other customers.

So here's my question:

Are Any Of You Experiencing Similar Connection & Network Problems With Your iPhones?

Am I REALLY the only person out there who has had issues with two iPhones in a row? Let me hear from you, because my Apple Care may be up pretty soon and I need to get this resolved before I have no options. Since I contacted Apple AFTER I had called Sprint and had them reset everything, my phone is working fine now and may not have the same issue for several weeks.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lowe's for Gutter and Gutter Screen Installation: A Review

Following both a landslide and a flood on my property, I have been trying to get my home repaired. I have interviewed a ton of contractors, decided to work with several and been terribly disappointed by most.

Today I have had a couple of men installing gutter screens and adding gutters to my two bay windows that never had them, trying to get rid of more moisture around the house so it finally has a chance to dry out. I am tired of continually having mold and fungus issues following the Nashville flood.
Lowe's: Never Stop Improving!
I was able to go through Lowe's to get these contractors and have now used Lowes for home improvement several times. I must say, all the repairmen Lowes has sent out have done a GREAT job.

These men arrived on time, did the work professionally, cleaned up, and all payments and scheduling went through Lowe's. If I have a problem, Lowe's backs me up. What could be easier?

The only question I have is that both downspots were placed on the same corner of each bay window rather then the more symmetrical opposite corners. I give today's repair a B+ and not an A simply because of the placement of the downspouts.

I wish I could get all my home repairs done through Lowe's. I highly recommend them for single women who cannot get contractors to show up when they say they will, or do the work properly or even return messages. This makes the 4th or 5th time I have gone through Lowe's for a repair or installation, and Lowe's is the BEST.

I use Lowe's Home Improvement on Charlotte Pike
7034 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN
(615) 356-9223

They are certainly more reliable and reputable than the clowns and stalkers Angie's List sent out!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Why I Removed Myself from Angie's List & Requested a Full Refund

How Angie's List failed abysmally to live up to their hype.

A couple of months ago, I signed up for a 3-year subscription to Angie's List in the hopes of finding repairmen and contractors to help me finish repairs to my house, damaged after the Nashville Flood. I was hoping for a long-term relationship, hence the 3-year enrollment, because the Angie's List ads sounded like this would be a great option for an older single woman.

Make Hiring A Breeze With Our Reviews. Home Improvement Made Easy!

I found the contractors on Angie's list no more reliable or professional and certainly no more reasonable than what I had found calling out of the phone book. However, what made me close my account and ask Angie's List to remove all my information was the disturbing experience I had with One Call Home Team and Angie's List's very minimal assistance in the matter.

After being talked over by a pushy woman on the phone who was trying to talk me into a "good faith estimate" which would not work for me and then being told it would cost $125 to get someone to come out and tell me what needed to be done and give me an estimate, I provided a brief, negative review on Angie's List. The woman I spoke with turned out to be Michelle Hall the wife of the owner of One Call Home Team, and instead of using the review to learn what customers want, she stalked me. No, REALLY, she requested friendship on Facebook, and when I accepted, she stalked and harassed me for several days on Facebook, posting photos of my home which she obtained from some unknown source along with long, vitriolic posts on my profile and two of my business pages. She also sent her ugly tirade to two of my email addresses, neither of which I had given her.


After the 2nd harassing post and 2nd email showed up, I contacted Angie's List to get help with a situation which was escalating as Michelle Hall was getting her friends to make comments on her harassing posts on my business pages. I also wondered how she had gotten my contact info since I never provided her with any and wondered if she obtained it from Angie's List.


I sent Angie's List screen shots of Michelle Hall's personal attacks, and my attempts to report her abuse to Facebook, which was when I discovered Angie's List provides contractors with your contact info, even if you don't use the contractor. I was told they had a team whose job was to assist victims of stalking and harassing, and I was told ANGIE'S LIST HAS HAD THAT PROBLEM BEFORE which is why they now have the team. I asked that somebody from that team reach out to me to help me handle the situation. I never received any advice. All Angie's List said they would do was notify Michelle Hall of One Call Home Team that stalking and harassing were illegal and against Angie's List terms of agreement and that if she did it again, One Call Home Team might lose the privilege of posting on Angie's List.


Because I spent a week trying to work though Angie's List, I felt like I had delayed too long to call the police and report the illegal stalking, harassing, and posting of photos of my private residence which Michelle Hall had by then removed, so Michelle Hall and One Call Home Team got off with a slap on the wrist. I didn't even get an apology from the company for Michelle Hall's harassment or the mental anguish and professional embarrassment it caused me.


I was told Angie's List policy is they will remove someone who is convicted of a crime after Michelle Hall took down all the evidence when Angie's List finally contacted her. Because of Angie's List inability to protect me as a consumer from attacks by one of their contractors who responded irrationally to a poor review and obtained my contact info from Angie's List; and because Angie's List never reached out to me with the advice I requested; and because Angie's List took several days and then only only slapped the wrist of a contractor who abused a consumer in such a public and harassing fashion; I terminated the 3-years agreement and asked that all my contact info be removed from the Angie's List records and that my money be refunded. Angie's List said they would comply.

The bottom line is hiring was certainly not a breeze, home improvement was not made easy and I was harassed and stalked for posting a negative review on Angie's List. I would never recommend Angie's List or One Call Home Team to any consumer who values their privacy or their safety.

Angie's List also opposes religious freedom.

Read more at:

One Call Home Harassment -- When Angie's List Goes Horribly Wrong...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

One Call Home Harassment -- When Angie's List Goes Horribly Wrong...

Angie's List is not living up to expectations. On July 8, I called One Call Home Team via Angie's List. I explained my previous contractor disappeared for 3 1/2 weeks and then showed up wanting to be paid for the incomplete work, so I was looking for a company to finish the job and fix the parts that had not done correctly. I didn't mention that I had discovered he had liens out against him and was not insured or licensed as he had claimed, but I digress....

The woman went on and on about their company's do-it-yourself assessment that involved taking photos and measurements of the area to be repaired, filling out a form with a description, dimensions, etc, . When I tried to explain that I am not a contractor, am not sure what needs to be done to finish the project, and am not in a position to do the self-serve estimate for several reasons, she talked over me, asking me why I couldn't do this and that, and couldn't I estimate the square footage, etc. She was very pushy about the email estimate. 

If she had allowed me, I would have told her that option would not work for me, because I am a 61-year-old, partially-disabled woman with a bad back and no grasp of numbers due to dyscalculia, but she just talked over me.

When a business call came in, not being able to get a word in edgewise, I took the call while the One Call Home Team woman kept talking. I called back when I could, apologized for having to take the other call, explained it was a busy day, and asked if we could cut to the chase of what it would take to have an on-site estimate. My other line started blinking about the time she said it would cost $125 to get an estimate everyone else is doing for free. I said "no thanks," hung up, and posted the following brief review:
"I did not hire this company because having them come out to provide an estimate would have cost $125. No thanks."
Because no work had been done on the house, this short review would not have affected the ratings of their actual service. Plus, I am not the only customer to give One Call Home Team an F-rating, but isn't that what Angie's List was built upon -- that fact customers can provide ratings that reflect their good or bad experiences???

That's When the Harassment Started

On July 9, a person named Michelle Hall requested friendship on Facebook. Since we had 14 friends in common, I accepted her request with no idea who she was. I found out who Michelle Hall was when she began invading my privacy by posting photos of MY HOUSE from 2014 on my Facebook profile with a VERY lengthy and fabricated account of our conversation, accusing me of "boasting" about "running off" my former contractor, being rude, not taking care of my house, and making other disparaging comments about me.

 Stalked Via Facebook & Email  

It didn't stop there. Stalker Michelle, who is the "personal assistant" at One Call Home Team, found my Skin, Health & Beauty business page on Facebook and posted the info and photo there. She uncovered two of my email addresses and sent the same vitriolic message to both accounts. She had already posted the same misinformation and personal attacks on Angie's list in response to my review. Angie's List reviews customer posts, but apparently businesses can say anything about the customers. 

I removed the harassing posts on Facebook and blocked Michelle Hall to stop the public harassment, but another one showed up on my Christian Activities business page on July 10 as seen above. She also invited three of her friends to come like and comment on her post trying to escalate her harassment. I wonder who else Michelle Hall has stalked or if am I her first victim?

On July 11 after finding the Christian Activities post, I reported her posting photos of my home with her harassing, character assassination comments to Facebook, but by then, she had already started removing the evidence.

Publicly Mocked for Needing Home Repair

My house needs some work done following the Nashville Flood and all the runoff from the hills behind me. I didn't have flood insurance, so I just finished getting the inside liveable again and have only recently been able to start repairs to the outside. That's why I called One Call Home Team in the first place. To attempt to turn that sad situation around and belittle a customer who called to get a repair estimate and then publicly accuse them of "not taking care of their house" (which Michelle Hall has never seen because I opted not to pay their rip-off estimate price) is completely uncalled for and unprofessional. It should definitely deter others who might consider calling One Call Home Team because they need home repairs to know the company representative might turn around and mock them publicly for needing the repairs.

Abuse of Angie's List Clients

So far Angie's List is not living up to the hype for providing a service that helps people find the best contractors, because some of their contractors abuse Angie's List. Consumers need to be aware some companies like One Call Home Team will publicly conduct a smear campaign by misrepresenting what you tell them, posting photos from Google maps, real estate and/or gov. records, and fabricating the rest to try to embarrass and intimidate you if you leave a bad review. And I have learned Michelle Hall got some of the contact info she used to harass me with from Angie's List, because when you leave a review, Angie's List adds your contact info to it.

Although Michelle Hall's account is predominantly vitriolic fiction, the fact is, a customer should be able to call a contractor Angie's list recommends, hang up multiple times, and even yell, "Your mother wears Army boots!" without having to suffer the type of vindictive harassment and online stalking I endured from One Call Home Team.

As I stated in my updated review on Angie's List today:

"Michelle Hall has single-handedly turned "One Call Home Team" into "One Call Home Harassment." If you are looking for a vindictive, unprofessional company that will air things publicly on social media not based on the facts in an effort to humiliate, disparage, intimidate and harass you, by all means hire this company."

Updated on July 13, 2015 with info about the Christian Activities post, the Facebook photo review and Angie's List providing customer contact info on all reviews.