This month my phone bill was $13 higher than it normally is. This may not seem like much, but I make it a point to review any bill I pay to make sure Im not being charged any BS fees. Qwest has done this to me in the past many times, so I make triple sure to check my phone bill.
Anyways, the $13 fee only had the words Zero Plus Dialing, Inc. next to it. A quick Google search turned up a bunch of other peoples rants about bogus charges from this company. It turns out that it is some 3rd party collect-call fee company that is notorious for scamming people out of money for bogus collect calls from Mexico.
We never received one of these bogus calls, but I did make a collect call home from a pay phone last month when I left my cell phone at home. The phone call was less than 30 seconds as my bus arrived right as my wife accepted the charges. Nowhere on the pay phone did it say that Zero Plus Dialing would be charging me for the collect call, nor did it say how much the collect call would cost. It was an automated voice recognition prompt that put the call through, but it never stated how much the call would cost either.
I feel that I shouldnt have to pay for a service that doesnt notify me of what it is going to charge me. This is absolute BS.
I called Qwest and they couldnt remove the charge. So I called ZPDI. I asked them if they had any proof that a person at my house physically picked up the phone and agreed to accept the charges. They said that their automated system did get a voice verification. I asked if it could have possibly misidentified my answering machine as accepting the call. The rep admitted that this happens all the time. I told her that I wouldnt pay for the charge unless they could prove that somebody accepted it. She agreed to remove the charge as a one time courtesy.
She stated that they would credit the charge back to Qwest in the next two billing cycles. That works for me. I asked for a confirmation number in case I needed to call back. She didnt have one. I asked if she had any way that I could verify that this conversation ever took place and that she agreed to credit me. She didnt have a response, so I asked for her direct number so I could speak with her personally if I dont get credited. She claimed that was impossible. The best I got out of her was her agent number. Total crap since she probably wont work there in two months.
Oh well. Its worth $13 to me.Read More
Ive always been a big fan of both the Ramones and the Misfits. I had 3rd and 4th generation tapes that I got from my older brothers friends when I was in 4th grade. As time went on I still enjoyed listening to their oldies, but most of the newer stuff they were releasing wasnt that great. The Ramones got too polished for my tastes and the Misfits were just different once Danzig left. I didnt mind the new Misfits singer, but I kind of look at it almost like a different band. Now things have gotten way out of control with both of these franchises.
First off, 3/4ths of the original Ramones members (Joey, Johnny and DeeDee) are dead. The only surviving member is Marky Ramone, who was one of several drummers the Ramones had. He was a member for many years, but definitely the least involved in the song writing process. Apparently this hasnt stopped him from touring around with random musicians playing Ramones tunes. Sure, some of the musicians, like the Guitar Wolf are cool, but is it really the Ramones just because the drummer was in the Ramones? I say no.
Also, now that all the original members are dead, somebody decided to launch an allout merchandising blitz upon the world. You can get more Ramones merchandise now that they are disbanded and dead than you could when they were still around. I guess its just common for artists and musicians to become more popular after death.
None of the Misfits members are dead, but they are milkin the punk rock cash cow for sure. Years ago Glen Danzig quit the band. A lawsuit ensued over who got to keep the rights to the Misfits name. Jerry Only and his brother Doyle won years later and formed a new Misfits. In their downtime, they apparently found Jesus and formed the Christian band Kryst The Conqueror. Kind of odd for fellas that were in a band that sang about killing babies and raping mothers, but whatever.
When they reformed, they got a new drummer and vocalist (Michael Graves) and put out a couple albums. If I remember correctly the new guys were kicked out because they were smoking pot or some such bullshit. Then Jerry and Doyle decided to hook up with none-other-than Marky Ramone to continue touring!!!! Jerry Only took over the vocal duties and they forged ahead as a 3-piece, playing classic Misfits and Ramones songs!!
If that wasnt weird enough, this lineup disbanded, Doyle (Jerrys brother) left due to personal reasons. Jerry reformed the Misfits again. This time he used ex-members Dez and Robo from the early days. This just seems too weird to me. Why cant these guys get together and write some new stuff and bill themselves as a new band instead of trying to rehash the old stuff? I wouldnt have a problem with that.
Ill tell you why Marky Ramone and Jerry Only continue to use the Ramones and Misfits names. Because nobody would pay them to play a show or record an album otherwise. Neither of these guys was seen as the creative force behind these bands. My guess is that both of these guys are days away from settling into a Vegas act and sitting back and collecting merchandising profits for the rest of their days.
I guess I would do the same thing if I was them. Damn.Read More