Posts from the ‘Ripoff’ Category

UPDATE: ‘Welcome aboard’ Another Carnival cruise ship adrift at sea, no power, 4000 passengers/crew, ‘raw sewage everywhere’

Carnival Cruise ship Triumph is floating off the coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, with no power, and being towed to shore by tug boats since Monday.

Click 4 larger view

The cruise left Galveston, Texas on February 7th and is expected to arrive in Mobile, Alabama on Thursday.

As you can see one of life’s pleasures, charging cell phones was at a premium.

Passengers unplugged ATM machines and gathered extensions to charge their smart phones.

Carnival Triumph guests disembark safely in Alabama – Notice the ‘red restroom bags’

Latest UPDATE: Ship is on its way to Mobile, Alabama and will  arrive sometime tonight around 11-12, with 4200 passengers and crew, it is expected to take about four hours for everyone to disembark.

Passengers have praised the crew for all their help while they are coping with many of the same problems.

Even though power was very limited, it seems the ship had power for the ATM machines.

The ship had a fire in the engine room and lost most power, especially to the elevators and the toilet system.

Many have reported it is difficult to find working toilets, and most have been advised to use ‘red bags’ for their restroom.

Emergency lighting was still working but there is no air conditioning throughout the ship and most passengers are sleeping on the main deck, for a little cooling breeze from the ocean.

Food is very limited and many passengers are eating onion sandwiches, and many are hoarding food, since there is very little.

We can only imagine how terrible it is on the ship with raw sewage streaming throughout the ship, down the corridors and through the showers. It will be interesting to see what pictures surface after the ship returns to shore.

Carnival Cruise Lines have announced today they will refund the cost of the cruise for all passengers. They have also offered a credit for any future cruises and $500 cash?

Wonder how many will take them up on that offer, or will they sue?

What about the health consequences that may occur from the constant exposure and contact with the raw sewage since Monday?

Will anyone ever take a cruise again?

When will they get it?

What has to happen before people realize it is very dangerous and unhealthy.

There was much talk about the employees of the Carnival Triumph cruise and how well they adapted to the situation, and gave the guests that extra service that was above and beyond.

If any employees wish to give their side of the story anonymously, we would be very happy to hear from you how it went for you. If you are in the continental United States we would love to hear from you.

We would also love to hear some stories from the passengers as well, how you coped with the ‘cruise’ and what you have to say about Carnival Cruises.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada,    丹尼尔     دانيال … تورنتو، كندا،
My take on everything
@dandmb50

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Alleged thief David Golson, 29, gets roughed up and stripped down for allegedly stealing a ‘snickers bar’ at 7-Eleven in Brooklyn [VIDEO]

Brooklyn, New York – Not the first and not the last shoplifter in New York but David Golson, 29, didn’t count on store employees to grab him and hold him for police.

Crime of the century, NOT, but this past Wednesday around 11pm Golson was spotted by video allegedly stealing one ‘snickers bar’ and promptly surrounded by 7-11 employees and wrestled to the ground. 7-Eleven policy is not to intervene in any shoplifting offences and such one employee was fired and two others sent to re-training.

He denied stealing anything but was heard (Video) to say, ” I don’t have nothin else, it was just a box.’ said Golson.

If convicted, it’s not the crime he will have to deal with, it will be the embarrassment of the video that everyone has seen.

Don’t ever attempt to steal anything in 7-Elevens high security stores especially at night, especially in New York.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada,    丹尼尔دانيال … تورنتو، كندا،
My take on everything
@dandmb50

Dutch – French – Spanish – Hindi – Chinese

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US Dollar devalued on Toronto Transit (TTC) 10% surcharge on US funds – 90 cents

Toronto, Canada – An extremely small sign at the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) collector booth in downtown Toronto startled me yesterday when I saw this sign (below) that there will now be a 10% surcharge if you are paying in US Funds for your transit ride.

Seems like the TTC jumped the gun big-time, since the US Currency is just a cent or two below Canadian and fluctuates back and forth. The current USD to Canadian rate stands at (1 USD = 0.975585 CAD) and is expected to fall even more.

Americans have enjoyed a 20% premium on their currency for many years but that has changed. Others are reporting it may continue to fall on the world market up to and beyond the Presidential Election in November 2012.

Danny Nicholson a long time spokesperson for the TTC said, “I am not aware of the new signs but would get back to you.”

Brad Ross of TTC Corporate Affairs Communications said “I’m not aware of those signs either.”

No-one from TTC got back to me about why this new procedure is in effect and how it came about, before press time.

They were spotted at the Queen/Yonge subway on Monday.

Other retailers have not made the jump, yet, but with the holiday season approaching, anything is possible.

TTC CHATTER

Reports of some authorized ticket sellers charging an extra fee for tickets and Metropasses, report if you encounter this from an authorized TTC dealer.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada,    丹尼尔     دانيال … تورنتو، كندا،
My take on everything
@dandmb50

Dutch – French – Spanish – Hindi – Chinese

Translate full Blog into any language. Click your flag above, if it’s not there click any flag. It will take you to Google Translate.There will be a drop down menu for languages, find yours and click to the right.

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Bell’s FibeTV/Internet allows 25GB of usage (bandwidth) USA Comcast and others offer 250GB per month?

South of the Border, USA – It was just announced by Comcast in the United States, they are reducing the amount of bandwidth (what is bandwidth) allowed to their customers for uploading/downloading on the internet.

When you sign up for internet, or a TV package you are allowed a certain amount of bandwidth for your internet searches and watching videos, playing games etc.

It seems USA internet/TV carriers offer around 300GB of downloads/uploads per month and we get a measly 25GB per month with FibeTV. It’s not even close, and if they go over the 250GB it’s an extra $10 per 50GB when you go over the limit, with Comcast.

Bell FibeTV offers larger packages, but they cost more, but 25GB (standard) compared to 250GB is a big difference, is Bell just ripping us off, bigtime?

Just to give you an idea, if you were to watch a full movie online, that counts towards your monthly limit in Canada, it would be about 2-3GB per movie.

Bell FibeTV have recently been adding special features to their TV side of the packages, like Facebook, twitter and other apps. They do say you are charged bandwidth, towards your monthly limit,  when you use them, but it seems very sneaky. Do people really pay attention to those warning, do your kids?

This bandwidth thingy is just a cash cow for Bell and the other providers and probably doesn’t cost them anything, it’s just a way for them to generate revenue since hardly anyone has phone service with them anymore.

How is it that carriers in the USA get 300GB per month and we sit back and take getting 25GB per month and say nothing?

Be sure to ask any carrier in Canada, how much bandwidth they allow with your package for internet and TV. Don’t get ripped off, shop around and ask the tough questions.

Do you remember when Verizon in the USA tried to put controls on the talk time on ‘unlimited‘ cell calling, there was a huge uproar from their customers and they changed their minds.

Now carriers for cell service in the USA are calling their packages ‘truly unlimited’  if you can believe it. It’s just plain stupid, it’s like calling a parking space ‘reserved’ and then near the doors they have other spots that say, ‘strictly reserved.’

Unlimited is unlimited, and reserved is reserved.

And if we sit back and take it they will squeeze every nickel they can get out of us unless we stand up and say, we aren’t going to take it anymore.

A Canadian carrier called TekSavvy offers truly unlimited internet but if you have Bell FibeTV you cannot get just the TV connection, you must buy it with their internet as well. Although Bell FibeTV does allow you to cancel the phone in the package.

Well I’m sure the little old lady in rural Northern Ontario still has a phone that’s she is still paying a monthly fee of $6.95 rental on her Bell phone for the past 40 years and no-one told her she can buy one.

Be sure to read my other reports about Bell FibeTV and the problems we incurred from day one, and shop around and ask the tough questions before you sign up.

Many would ask, “If you don’t like it why have you stayed with Bell FibeTV for almost two years,” true, but it is one of the best services I have ever seen, when it is working properly.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada,    丹尼尔     دانيال … تورنتو، كندا،
My take on everything
@dandmb50

   Dutch – French – Spanish – Hindi – Chinese

Translate full Blog into any language. Click your flag above, if it’s not there click any flag. It will take you to Google Translate.There will be a drop down menu for languages, find yours and click to the right.

(English is default language.)

TD Bank closes all bank accounts for Iranian people, due to government sanctions against Iran

TRANSLATION – If you speak Persian CLICK HERE for full translation of BLOG.

Toronto, Canada – I’m not Iranian, I was born in Canada to freedom. and understand things can be very bad in Iran and the feud between USA and Iran has now hit Canadian-Iranians. What kind of message does that send to the world, we are puppets of the USA?

And is it all just propaganda, disseminated by the Americans.

They clearly came to Canada to escape the rule of the government looking for freedoms that we take for granted.

People that should be targeted are clearly the ones that send money to the regime, and just regular families having a bank account should not be targeted, by TD Bank or any other in Canada.

TD Bank is clearly discriminating against Iranian-Canadians and if this ‘rule’ was initiated in 2010, why is it happening now?

From what I know about Iranian-Canadians, they are honest, hard-working, friendly people and left Iran for many different reasons, but mainly to create a new and free life.

They deserve better than this and if I was a TD Bank customer, I would close my accounts immediately.

Anyone that closes an account based on Nationality, may be a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights.

What will happen with other companies dealing with Iran, like Bell Canada, will they stop people from making calls to Iran, because they will be making money and so will Iran? It’ just not fair, and need to be addressed individually.

Don’t let TD Bank get away with this, it may mean more work by the banking industry, but closing bank accounts on the basis of where you are from, is not a valid reason in my opinion.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada,    丹尼尔     دانيال … تورنتو، كندا،
My take on everything
@dandmb50

 

UPDATE – Oops: ‘We don’t have traffic ticket quotas’ not true, according to Toronto Police Service sergeant Wanda DeCoste

Toronto, Canada – ‘To Serve and Protect and ticket’  Oops is right, Sergeant Wanda DeCoste, of  Toronto Police Service just spilled the beans and what we have always believed, police do have ticket quotas, they have just always denied it, and still do.

In a troubling report today in the Toronto Sun Joe Warmington uncovers a memo from DeCoste claiming officers are required to do “a book a day” (25 tickets.)

Everyone always knew it, but it was always denied and never seen in writing until today.

At least we don’t have Baltimore cops like Salvatore Rivieri, and neither does Baltimore, after they fired him over this incident. Toronto cops have a lot more class than this. I think he was just pissed because they put him in that stupid little car, hope he takes anger management.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Sgt. DeCoste after this revealing memo.

Many may not agree, but that is probably the only way the bosses can tell if the officers are working. But to put it in writing, is a whole other surprising move.

It shall be fun watching how this plays out to the residents of  Toronto.

UPDATE: Deputy Chief Peter Sloly commented after the Toronto Sun article this morning, saying the language DeCoste used in the memo was “inappropriate, but there is an expectation.” but stands by what she said.

Let’s just call it what it is, and stop the runaround. They need to give tickets every day to prove they are working. Okay, but that’s not what annoys the public. What annoys us is they wait until the end of their shift and then go to one of those out of the way places, where nobody walks, no traffic, but they can get ‘easy’ tickets.

That’s not right. They sit there for about an hour get their tickets, then end the shift.

But are these ‘locations’ dangerous spots, lots of kids walking around, lot’s of pedestrians? NO. It’s just a spot where they can get ‘easy’ tickets, and that does not help anyone. If they went into a residential area, where everyone is complaining all the time, the public would be reasonable, and accepting.

One day I saw two bicycle cops hiding near a building at Yonge/Queen and thought, they’re catching people turning at the no-turn on Queen. Not at all, they were catching people talking on their cell phones, big crime. One cop even pulled over another car, while he was ticketing the first violator.

Not only are they getting sneaky, they are getting greedy, but then they must fill that book every day.

Call it whatever you want, just be fair and honest. We get it.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50

Discount cell phones, may not be discounts, just for the poor, or the smart. $3 fee to pay CASH

Toronto, Canada – We all love our cell phones and we need them, but are we getting taken for a ride on all the so-called “plans?”

You just can’t trust any of them anymore although the discount providers have made it better, but have they?

The new discount market have allowed everyone to switch providers because they state that there are no contracts, no credit checks, no hidden fees. Be cautious, do your homework, and shop around.

In the Toronto Star today they speak about the contract problem, and if you cancel from the big providers they want a lot of money, since they try to lock you in for 3-5 years.

Several of the so-called “discount” companies are owned by the big guys, Fido/Rogers, Solo/Bell, and Telus have a discount carrier as well, I think it’s Koodo.

“Unlimited texts” red flag, it’s not what they tell you when you buy a ‘plan,’ it’s what they don’t tell you that makes the difference. Parents be aware, totally aware of “ALL CHARGES or potential charges.”

Currently there is a father in B.C. who has a dispute with Rogers about $500 in text charges to his son. After dispute, Rogers rewarded him by cutting off his son’s cell phone. Nice touch.

Talk about these outrageous ‘plans’ this video was made three years ago when there were no discount carriers, and the outraged customer talks about the ‘plan” is exactly the same on Fido, well hello, Fido is owned by Rogers, just a bait and switch.

And 450 MB on a cell phone, that’s like two pictures? These bandwidth and data charges are a complete ripoff, and they know it.

It’s a revenue booster, and costs them nothing. We all better wake up, and start shopping around and get educated on how they are shafting us. Do you buy a new house/car without shopping around?

In the USA most cell carriers have no-limit on bandwidth, or it is higher than anyone could ever use in a month and now with the Fibre-optic TV’s like FibeTV, they squeeze every nickel out of you unless you raise hell.

Are they in this service to make money, yes. But be fair and reasonable and most are not. With the influx of the discount carriers here in Canada, they are all working around their pitch to new subscribers, to keep certain details away from the consumer, by saying “no hidden fees,” but don’t give us all the information, just what we ask for.

I call it “stock answers,” especially Bell Canada, when you ask any particular question about your cell phone or TV service you get the “stock answers,” instead of telling us the whole truth.

Another very sleazy thing all carriers are doing is allowing you to have, send and receive text messages on smart phones. Why not allow customers to choose what they want, as an example, I don’t want to receive text messages, but can I get them to stop sending them? NOT, “sorry our system isn’t set-up to block text messages” and why is that, they don’t want to lose the income they generate, whether it’s from your friends, or from solicitation from unknown people.

They are literally nickel and diming us to death. Just be upfront and honest, people are smarter than THEY think, and the gig is up, we’re shopping around.

Since we contacted Public  Mobile several times without a reply, we found an old YouTube video of CEO Alek Krstajac explaining the new service. He says, “You don’t have to sign your life away, mobile service is a right not  a privilege for everyone.” We target all income levels even those living paycheck to paycheck, it’s like freedom, and we agree we are the low end of the market.” However he does not address the $3 FEE for paying cash on a prepaid unlimited service, or the $25 gouging for re-connection to the network.

We welcome and offer an open invitation to anyone from Public Mobile to address these concerning problems. If they’re  hiding nothing from the subscribers, then address our questions. Do you not have full transparency at Pubic Mobile? If not, why not?

Here’s an example how Public Mobile explain their “no hidden fees” no contract when you ask about renting/buying a phone from them.

I walked in wanted to buy the $15 no contract, no surprises, province wide, unlimited calling.

They said, “It’s now $19 and yes it’s province wide unlimited calling, now which phone would you like.” Well I said, is that everything I need to know?

Oh yes “At the end of the month if you don’t pay, your phone cuts off.” Ok that sounds fair. I said is that it? “yes” I then said what happens if I don’t pay on the final day of the month? “Well your phone is suspended.” Is that it? “yes” Ok, how do I get it going again?

“Oh, you must pay the $19 monthly fee, and if you pay it here at our customer care desk, there is an additional $3 fee to pay in cash.” I’m confused, I get charged EXTRA when I pay cash? “yes” Ok, so that’s it?

Not yet, I then asked about a $25 fee if I re-activate my phone?

“Oh yes, there is a free re-connection the first time we activate it, but if you allow it to expire, there is a $25 fee to put you back on the system.” So let me understand, if I don’t pay on time, and the phone shuts off, I need to pay an additional $25 and then an additional $3 to pay you cash for my re-activation for my phone.

Doesn’t sound like there are “no hidden FEES,” no surprises, that is unless you have half an hour to ask the right questions, and know what to be aware of. It’s really getting sleazy, and they are taking advantage of lower-income people, who must pay cash. An extra $3, because you want to pay CASH?

I did not get a phone from Public Mobile, and I’m glad they have a policy of “No hidden fees” because I may have unjustly not trusted them, unless I asked the tough questions, which most would not know how to do.

PUBLIC MOBILE STEPS UP

UPDATE: April 19/2012 – Public Mobile did respond after the story went up and maintain that the $3 fee for cash payment ‘in store,’ only applies when the subscriber has been two months in arrears.

Lisa Papas, Director of Communications said “If you don’t pay by your due date your service is suspended and then as soon as you pay, your service will resume. If you miss two payments in a row, then the $25 re-activation fee applies.”

The problem is these extra fees, were not disclosed at the store level, and the $3 cash fee only applies when you run two months in arrears and come into the store to pay you monthly charges. Papas went on to say, “It is my understanding that should happen, the clerks should be telling you this. I will certainly talk to the store and try to find out what happened, and I apologize.”

Papas suggested that people should know “They have to pay every month, and if they were concerned about missing a payment, they would have asked, I don’t know, I’ll have to follow up.”

There does appear to be some deception in disclosing these fees, and yet Papas said, “I am not the actual spokesperson, if you would like I can get someone that can comment officially, I have tried to explain to you that Public Mobile, everything we do is about being upfront and no surprises.

Papas indicated that it is on their website (but what if a subscriber doesn’t have a computer) but it is deeply hidden from view and now I have the link for the Warning – this fee is indicated HERE.

Happy smart phone shopping.

Warning on Public Mobile website:

Warning: A $3 fee is applied for monthly payments made at a store. We don’t like it either but it costs us more when customers pay in store. We cover part of that cost but have to pass some of it on to you.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada
My take on everything
@dandmb50

Ahh yes, the deadly rip-off charging for ‘touch tone phone service’ on Bell home phones, it never ends, well maybe it will

Toronto, Canada – Let’s face it, Bell Canada and others, charge these extra fees as a way to generate revenue, if people are shy, and don’t bother to scrutinize their bills they get over charged. They prey on us, with all these small charges, and hope we won’t find out, and trust them. Trust them? I haven’t trusted Bell for 40 years, with all the “stock answers”  I get from them, even in the last few months.
A story in the Toronto Star  today uncovered that the fee for touch tone may be withdrawn.

They said they were going to switch me to online billing, “to save the environment” what a crock, it’s to save them from doing any work and increase their profits. Plain and simple.

I’ve said it many times before, there is ‘little old ladies’ in Northern Ontario still paying for the rental (about $4-5) per month of a phone that may not have touch tone, and yet Bell Canada still charges them rental fees. Sure they could go to Radio Shack and buy a phone, but how would they know? They have probably paid over $2,000 for this Bell Canada equipment and Bell will service it, if there are having any problems. And how many times have there been problems, in 40 years, maybe once or twice, if at all.

In the last ten years or so, Bell Canada has clearly lost their monopoly on home phone service and when Rogers Home Phone came on-line, everyone tought it might be better. But as recent revelations have confirmed, Bell and Rogers are in bead together, well at least in the ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which is being reviewed by the Competition Bureau of Canada.

Others have also jumped onto the VOIP (Voice over internet protocol) system which allows consumers to use a home phone through their internet connection.

Companies such as, Primus, Vonage, Ooma Inc and Comwave, have been around for years and are cutting into Bell’s former monopoly and they (Bell) are just fighting back. A new player on the block is Magic Jack who offer phone service anywhere in North America for $20 a year, I said a YEAR not a month. Sure it’s not reliable always and a little scratchy at times, but for a second long distance line it is great. You will need a fast internet connection for best performance.

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada   丹尼尔     دانيال … تورنتو، كندا،
My take on everything
@dandmb50

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