AT&T Simi Valley Phone Repair Nightmare

For an embarassing number of weeks, my phone service has been failing.  We went weeks assuming our phone was broken, only to replace it and find that we still couldn’t receive incoming phone calls. Disconnecting the house from the primary incoming line and still having our phone service fail was an indicator to me that the problem had to be addressed by AT&T.  And so begins my nightmare…

A call to AT&T resulted in a work order that had a technician at my house a couple of days later.  They were terrific! Both technicians I saw that day were attentive and prompt.  My initial feeling was that I would be well taken care of.  One of the technicians took some liberties and tethered our phone box to my neighbors working phone wiring, bringing me back online and explaining that another technician would be out days later to pin point the problem with the wiring. Apparently, the problem was underground and the fix involved a lot of work and digging.  Yikes… but no problem!  So far, AT&T was great.  But not for much longer.

The technician arrived at my home and conducted routine repair procedures, ultimately testing my phone line and determining that it worked!  However, he failed to notice that I was tethered to my neighbor with a MacGuiver style phone line fix.  He considered the matter closed, completed the work order and closed the trouble ticket with the repair department.  He left his phone number for me to call if there were issues.  I called it.  I left a voice mail.  He didn’t call back.

I called AT&T repair service back and the lady on the call told me my matter was closed and fixed.  I expressed concern that I was still tethered to my neighbor.  She dismissed the notion, suggesting that I could disconnect the line from my neighbors house. It’s pretty rare that an AT&T technicial support representative would tell you to disconnect a phone line attached to your house, much less to someone else’s house.  After firmly disagreeing with her, she agreed to open a new trouble ticket, ultimately bringing us right back to square one.

And my wife wants me to switch our television service from Dish Network to AT&T?  I can’t imagine!  With such a fallout in the lines of communication, I’d predict a complete blackout of all of my technology, from phone and internet to television, with weeks of trouble ticket openings and closures with no resolution.

Are there any Simi Valley folks who can share some stories regarding experiences with AT&T, good or bad, regarding phone repair, DSL repair, or AT&T U-verse television service?

Simi Valley PD Contract Negotiations

I read an excellent editorial in the Acorn this morning. I’m a strong believer in the Simi Valley police force, but it’s sincerely unfortunate that the city employees and Police management (non union members) have agreed to small pay cuts while the Police Officers Association refuse to make a sacrifice.  I’m not privileged enough to know the details of what’s holding up the negotiations, but I do know in the past that the police officers’ union has managed to negotiate healthy pay increases for their members.  In these economic times, I can’t see how realistic continued negotiations of that type actually are.

Below is the editorial from The Acorn.

Are the Simi Valley police negotiations turning into a war of words?

The fact that the Simi Valley Police Officers Association (POA) might be hiring a public relations firm in its battle with the city over a new union contract doesn’t bode well for either side in the dispute.

The city and its police force need to maintain a cooperative, healthy working relationship, and the union’s plan to engage in a bit of spin doctoring only figures to create more ill will.

The call for a public relations firm to get involved in the contract negotiations is a signal that the talks, which have been going on since June, are not faring well.

Worse than the fight with city hall, the ongoing debate threatens to cause a rift between the 110 Simi police force members who belong to the union and those at the management level—lieutenants, captains and the chief—who are non-union.

As always, salaries are a key issue.

In an effort to help balance the city’s general fund budget for fiscal year 2009-2010, two employee groups—the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union and a separate management group—agreed to take a 2 percent reduction in compensation.

It’s time for the police men and women, who already enjoy an excellent public employee benefits package, to make sacrifices of their own. Police management earlier agreed to a reduction in benefits, but the union rank and file has not.

The POA is completely within its rights to hire a PR firm; union dues will pay the cost. Even so, the move figures to hamper the negotiations, not help them. And the fear is the battle could turn personal.

It’s time for both sides to turn down the rhetoric and come to terms on a new contract for the brave men and women who keep Simi a safe place to live.

Community Medical vs. Regal Medical

The battle rages on between the two big medical groups in Simi Valley, Community Medical Group versus Regal Medical Group.  For me, Regal is the winner, getting our family to switch over when Dr. Whyte and Dr. Michaels made the switch to Regal.

A friend sent me this run down of her problems with a back injury and her primary care physician at Community.  Effective September 1st, she became a Regal Medical client.  Here is her story:

After my back injury when I slipped down the stairs, I really had a hard time getting my doctor to acknowledge that it could be a serious injury.  After several return trips over the course of many weeks, he finally prescribed Vicodin and physical therapy with no X-rays or thorough examination.  When the pain got worse over time and began resulting in shooting pains down my leg, I knew it was getting serious.  After hours of phone calls, pleading and begging, my doctor’s office staff finally agreed to work with me and got my doctor to submit a referral to a specialist.  An MRI revealed a herniated disc.  Enough is enough.  I need better care.  I’m switching to Regal like you did.

It’s an eye-opening story.  While a single doctor’s choices shouldn’t necessarily represent the quality of service of an entire medical group, certainly one could understand how a patient could take it that way, especially after suffering from chronic pain without relief over time.

My sincere hope is that Community Medical Group will evaluate their business as a whole and realize that a profitable business is one that provides quality service… EVEN in the healthcare industry!  Until that’s understood, they stand to lose more patients to Regal Medical Group.

Glen Becerra Gets a Head Start Online

I don’t pretend to be an objective journalist on this site.  I express my opinions openly.  I’m a huge fan of Glen Becerra. My loyalty towards Simi Valley City Councilmember Becerra was solidified when he took out a full page ad in the Los Angeles Daily News encouraging shoppers to come to Simi Valley after the sales tax increase in LA County.  Regardless of whether or not you believe it was effective, it was funded by Mr. Becerra himself and impossible not to see it as a brilliant political move.

Glen is getting a head start on his campaign by revamping his website and he’s got the most impressive showing I’ve seen yet of any Councilmember.  I firmly believe this solid understanding and acceptance of current technology will give him an advantage over other candidates.  Take a look at these points:

  • Modern Design: Glen’s websites design is modern.  The design is simple and clean, makes use of soft gradients like the current “Web 2.0” standard and is search engine friendly.
  • Content Management: The website appears to make use of an open source content management platform called Drupal. This means that Glen, his staff and volunteers can make changes to the site without having to call in a professional web developer. It’s likely the site will be updated regularly.
  • User registration: The system supports the creation of user accounts for supports. For those who want to be kept in the loop on campaign news, this is a good thing (and smart)!
  • Facebook link: The Facebook audience is huge and demonstrates a measurable understanding of online community.  Glenwisely plans to tap into that social media realm by linking to his public Facebook page.

My hope is that we’re seeing the start of a groundbreaking effort by Glen Becerra to use the internet to reach out in an interactive way with Simi Valley.  I’m excited to see what’s to come over the course of the next year!