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Allen W.

4 Level 4 Contributor
  • 24 Reviews
  • 35 Helpful Votes
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Experience: Computers & Technology, Beauty, Health

Member since April 2018

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About Me

See my linkedin profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/allen-k-1713772a

How I Can Help

We bring balance and facts to the news. I report on how good products and services are for the consumer.

Interests

Model Railroading

24 Reviews by Allen

11/4/20
3nd Update (1/19/20)

I'm not sure if this is the nature of the electronic beast that PenAir is implementing as a secure banking system or it's simply harrasment because of my NCUA complaint but here it is. PenAir's earlier banking system allowed you to set various warning flags to cue yourself about withdrawal status, or having a zero balance etc. ONE time only but now they continue day after day and when one logins to address this issue finds instead another bug or the software is undergoing further 'revision': "Oh, you just don't understand it you say..." Really? Who can when it changes nearly every time one logs in to wit: The last time I was in the system (a week ago) I could access support from the main menu after logging in but this time not only did I get another 'Your accounts are temporarily unavailable' message but when I clicked 'Contact' and then chose the email option I got another login Screen with password to access support WHY? THEN when I clicked the Back arrow in the browser to get back to the main online banking section I found that I was LOGGED IN even though I couldn't access any of my financial information. (See the last three bottom photos.)

This is just ONE of the many features the new system offers and you can't get off this insanity ride once you have access which is why I have requested NCUA that all future interest payments and status be by US mail. GOODBYE PenAir!

2nd Update
On Nov. 4,2020 I received a regular email indicating that a response was received telling me they would send an interest check to me if I could CONFIRM my address. What? PenAir never needed confirmation for the other things they mailed me so I ignored it because of the pending NCUA complaint, A second email was sent on Nov. 6th informing me that additional information was added to my complaint which I didn't have time to read because of other obligations. On Nov 7 notification arrived that support ticket 2434 was resolved. However when I entered the PenAir system and moved to the secure email where complaints are handled I was UNABLE to respond because all the messages including my original complain were deleted. When I tried to place a second message the system indicated that the requestor should be a valid email address. While I was initiating a response the system logged me out indicating that I was NOT a legal requestor. See photo. This is the second time the support group has pulled this stunt and further evidence of an abusive communication platform when a requestor is eliminated either before he or she can complain or when attempting to respond to an existing complaint.

1st Update 11/5/2020

This morning I was notified by email that my NCUA complaint was received. See photo below. Unfortunately, I had to go back into the PenAir system because Jennifer Eveland their complaint person responded to my original threat to complain to the agency. When I logged in to PenAir's system I found all of my account information was unavailable. WHY? Despite several refresh attempts I could not access it. But surprisingly their secure mail system of which I had to use to contact the complaint representative WAS available. Here was Jennifer's response;

Mr. Williams,

Thank you for reaching out. I am sorry for the delay in response. I see that amount in your savings and it is available for withdraw, how can I help you withdraw it? Do you want a check? If you can verify the address I can send you a check.
Please let me know how I can help.
Thank you,
Jen
Pen Air FCU
#Jennifer Eveland

My response to PenAir's complaint group:

My account information is now unavailable today (all of it) and this is the second attempt I've made replying to my #2434 complaint getting nothing but error screen responses and all I get from you people are worthless apologies.

In addition all my earlier monthly banking statements are missing from this goofy system so I don't know what my interest tally is for October or any other month among my investments.

The final straw was your automatic banking system sending a series of small deposits to my Kansas account USING MY LOCAL BANK ROUTING NO as my account number and 'savings' for my account. Security bank requires both an account and a routing number to transact and either your people are too stupid to realize this or you are inundated with complaints on this miserable system.

Needless to say there will NOT be any further investment at PenAir as I don't intend to deal further with your monstrosity. L expect all future monthly interest to be sent by US mail including a breakdown of each CD's interest totals for the month and not just the total amount.

I have documented my experiences here in a detailed Site Jabber complaint which you can read as well as the public at https://www.sitejabber.com/users/allenw53 I've uploaded a copy of the Site Jabber complaint (sans pictures) for you in Microsoft Docx format which is what everybody else will be reading. Think of it as free advertising. You will soon reap the publicity you so richly deserve and will come to realize that site jabber is the gift that just keeps on giving.

I've endured about all I can stomach of this credit union's nonsense so any further dealings will have to be with the NCUA as I've filed my complaint this morning in Case Number 00179503.

However, when I tried to send my response to Jennifer Eveland via PenAir's private messaging service I got an error. See photo. Then in maneuvering to get back to where I was I got a second error. See photo. The system had quietly logged me out for inactivity even though the messaging system was accepting what I typed without interruption or warning. BUT when I tried to SEND the message it dumped me and I had to re-login. I wonder who the genius was that coded this gem?

PenAir's idiotic system apparently doesn't detect activity when in the messaging section of their online system even though it is linked to and accessible from the top Keybar menu. Obviously a depositor responding to a complaint doesn't count as activity in the system so it ejected me which infers you can remain in their system only if you are performing meaningful (as they would define it) banking tasks. This is the most vindictive credit union with which I have ever dealt.

Original Post
It is inevitable that problems will occur for anyone involved in online banking. Even if you've gotten a fine bank or credit union, invariably they can't resist an upgrade to the new banking medium software as PenAir recently did. It's not enough these days that you have security questions as well as unique passwords to invoke before you're allowed to access your own account but now one has to confirm his or her identity by independent means.

The banksters have a new system whereby the account holder must seek confirmation of who they claim to be upon logging in by a separate security code sent either by text, email or phone which affirms you are the one logging in and assuming the system functions properly. In addition there is a timeout period associated with the security ode sent and if there is any delay in the system via your ISP connection speed, mail server processing time, etc the code will expire before you can invoke it. Now given that one is planning to transfer interest from one account to another as I am and your local bank features a similar system, it can be near impossible to complete the task. These systems typically provide just 3 attempts to successfully login and then your account is LOCKED and you WILL NOT be notified. It doesn't matter whether or not the system makes the error, either way you are locked out.

The credit unions, banks etc feel NO obligation to alert depositors to the fact that a new system is coming, they simply abuse the account holder without warning as I discovered while trying to retrieve my monthly interest at an out of state credit union. What this often leads to is complete obliteration of your identity, financial transactions as well as being locked out of your own account which has previously happened to me at Andrews. (The situation is documented on this thread).

On Sunday Nov. 1,2020 I attempted to login to my account but the PenAir system refused. I had to wait until the next day. After failing to login once again, I called PenAir support in Pensacola Florida but couldn't get help until late in the afternoon because call volume was high. I finally got in to their support group around 3:00 pm drawing a PenAir representative named Jay.

I demonstrated to Jay that although I was able to reach the verification code entry screen and receive the secure pass code their system would not accept it. You can see a typical example of their system denying its own machine generated security code below. After a number of other attempts, Jay asked me if I was in the system. I indicated that I was not but he told me the system said I was on line. The support people at PenAir were getting a false indication of user access because I definitely was not in their system which should speak volumes as to how good the added security really is. After I tried another browser at Jay's suggestion without success, I asked him if he could do a reset or reboot of the system to start fresh. He did what was called a system refresh and I had to rebuild the account as a new user but it worked and I was finally in the system.

PenAir's old system pop money feature really worked well as one could essentially mail interest money directly into a local bank. Jay walked me through the new method of sending money via email as I created a transfer contact with my name and the amount I wanted to transfer. However the system promptly rejected the $1,179.71 interest transfer because it exceeded the system's transfer limits. See the photo below. How in the hell does transferring your own recorded interest exceed PenAir's limits? The rep said he would have the people responsible raise the limits the next day. What sense does this make? The system knows the transferable interest because it told me so under the account balance so any limit should automatically be set to the recorded savings account total minus the $25.00 dollar minimum account balance. I then was told that the new system also required a login name and password to my local bank account to complete the transfer and I promptly refused.

On Nov 3,2020 I was finally able to login directly to the PenAir system. I quickly discovered that the limit on my interest transfer had not been increased as promised. I then filed a message complaint (#2434 see bottom photo) with PenAir threatening NCUA action if I did not get my interest.

Next I called the support group and once again there was a high call volume and the system indicated there were 11 others ahead of me in the queue. About 6 or so minutes into the elevator noise on the support line a woman named Casey responded. I told her that representative Jay had not followed through on raising my limit on interest transfer and I expressed my frustration with PenAir's service by stating that someone ‘should send a bomb' to their facility intimating that I intended to do just that by the message warning I posted prior to calling support. See photo below. I then went on to say that I didn't want their system to have my local bank login number and password just to transfer interest. Casey indicated that I could transfer my interest much as before with my account number and the local banks routing number. The system would send two small deposits, usually around 99 cents each which may take up to 24 hours to effect. I was then to log back into the PenAir system and record these deposits on the form generated by the issuance of these deposits. After which the connection would be verified and I could transfer my interest because this method had a $2500 dollar limit. This seemed satisfactory so I concluded the call and went to my local account to watch for the small transfers.

As I was awaiting the small deposits to arrive in my account the doorbell rang. When I answered I was surprised to find it was the LOCAL POLICE who wanted to question me about a bomb threat that I had made. This was uncalled for and OUTRAGEOUS!

As of Nov 4th, despite Penair sending an email to the effect that they are waiting for confirmation of these deposits from my local bank to confirm the electronic connection, the email sent is simply a DELAY at best or an expression of overt stupidity. The document states:

External Account Pending Activation

We cannot activate your account because you have not yet verified the micro-deposit amounts we sent to your account.

Account Number: ****0925
Account Type: savings

Please access your external account history to obtain the micro-deposit amounts. Then log in to your PenAirFCU online account to verify the micro-deposit amounts and activate your account.

If you did not initiate this transaction, or have any questions, please contact us.

Thank you.

© Pen Air Federal Credit Union. All rights reserved. You are receiving this email as part of our member account alerts. Please do not reply to this email as it is being sent from an automated service. If you need to contact us, email *******@penair.org or call *******200 ext. 8150. This email was sent to you by Pen Air FCU located at 1495 East Nine MileRoad, Pensacola, FL 32514. Pen Air FCU is federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. NMLS# 413053. Routing Number: 263281695

What kind of bull$#*! is this? My account number doesn't end in ‘0925', that IS the last 4 digits of THE BANK'S ROUTING NUMBER! Also, the last four digits of my bank account number should have been included, not the asinine ‘savings' designation.

Yesterday when Casey the second PenAir representative set this up she never asked for my account number insisting that my bank would automatically identify my account. So not only are these people incapable of recognizing metaphors and being ignorant of their own system's functions, they also make stupid assumptions about other banks of which they have no knowledge.

Obviously, no small series of deposits COULD EVER BE sent by the PenAir system with the boundary conditions they've listed so NO connection to my bank was possible and my $1,179.71 interest funds continue to remain unavailable. I will demand through NCUA that PenAir cut me an immediate check for my interest money while this nonsense is resolved!

The public may expect this type of Bankster lunacy to continue ad infinitum so long as this federal financial institution can't be regulated by the state they do business in (see Watters v. Wachovia Bank) and they are not subject to fines for lack of fiduciary responsibility.

I now leave this mess in the capable hands of the NCUA, maybe they can get these idiots to give me my interest money.

Tip for consumers: My advice is go where they don't have complex identity confirmation systems. This was once a good credit union until they implemented this on line banking software monstrosity.

10/13/20
In 2012, I received an invitation to join the Linked in social media platform from one of the local county commissioners that I became acquainted with in the publication of newpatriotsblog.com. I am not by nature inclined to schmooze or chat on social media platforms; however LinkedIn offered a unique opportunity to publish technical material that challenges the ‘science' of our day. So I viewed the opportunity to present and discuss innovation as paramount to professionals of any discipline.

When I first arrived, the platform was largely a conglomeration of employment offerings, company product information and presentation of various interests specific to professionals in certain fields. The platform was largely devoid of stifling regulations on ‘free' speech or expanded definitions of ‘hate' or racial bigotry so that all could participate on equal footing. All conservative thought and ideas were welcome regardless of ethnicity, color or political persuasion; one was expected to defend his or her assertions with sound arguments and good taste.

However, once conservative ideas began to gain a foothold by challenging the prevailing mantra on social, scientific and political issues, the platform began to quietly ‘restrict' various participants while revising the platform's ‘community policies': https://www.linkedin.com/legal/professional-community-policies. Note that their term ‘restriction' means suspension as I was without NOTICE or WARNING. On Sept 24,2020 I suddenly could no longer login to the platform: (See the suspension notice below)

LinkedIn's appeal process for such circumstances is devoid of DUE PROCESS which ensures that virtually NO ONE is reinstated: I could not login-to review my case which suggests there really wasn't anything substantive to corroborate their case in the first place.

Update 10/19/2020
Social media enjoys greater protection against litigation for its actions under section 230 of the Communications Act than conventional media thereby emboldening platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc to censor viewpoints that do not align with their professional or community standard policies. This practice censors facts or information which conflicts with these standards violating the first amendment. President Trump recently filed a petition regarding 'how social media platforms are being unfairly flagged and censored' to restrict conservative viewpoints. In lieu of LinkedIn's suspension of my account, I found it necessary to file a complaint with the FCC adding my voice to that of others unfairly suspended. (see below) Presently there is no FCC enforcement mechanism to curb social media abuses, it is with fervent hope that the litany of complaints following the president's petition will result in restriction of social media's lawsuit immunity thereby resulting in genuine reform. The intended result being a more open platform to all points of view. My letter to the FCC (full wording - screen shot below):

Dear Chairman Pai and Commissioners:

I am writing today because the FCC has no complaint mechanism in place for social media access restriction to a platform predicated on supposed violations of 'community standards' which often conflict with free speech rights. I've checked your available forms at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us and there is nothing listed that addresses this concern. In my case the restriction occurred on LinkedIn after the FCC 45 day comment period on the Trump Administration's petition on 'how social media platforms are being unfairly flagged and censored', in my case suspending me on Sept 24,2020 without warning.

I feel this is the best way to make the FCC aware of a growing problem wherein social media are determining what information, ideas, topics are 'acceptable' on their platform essentially instituting ex parte Orwellian censorship intended to prevent unwanted ideas from gaining credibility or exposure on the Internet.

LinkedIn claims its site is for professionals where ideas can be exchanged, debated and news germane to the public may be disseminated but the platform has adopted the same type of censorship as Facebook and other restrictive platforms while still permitting certain salacious materials to abound. I was subjected to unwanted solicitations by young women posting improper pictures of themselves on LinkedIn which went on for months of which I have a photocopy of the woman's request to join my group documented in my rebuttal to LinkedIn. Read my experience on Sitejabber here: https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/linkedin.com#429

Social media platforms are emboldened by the lack of section 230 definition (and zero enforcement) of where immunity ends under the communications act resulting in conservative journalists such as Cheryl Chumley, commentator for the Washington Times to be suspended; https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/craig-shirley/linkedin-targets-conservative-journalist-infantile-censorship I have read many of Mss Chumley's reports (and even commented on a few) on Linked in and have never found grounds to suggest she should be restricted.

Allen K. Williams, P. E.
Mich #30236 (Ret)

LinkedIn Auto-Response (09/25/2020 07:41 CST)
Allen K Reference # *******03687 View your case(s) on our Help Center Auto-Response (09/25/2020 07:41 CST) … This is a support email in response to your request submitted on LinkedIn…. LinkedIn Corporation, 1000 West Maude Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94085... LinkedIn and the LinkedIn logo are registered trademarks of LinkedIn...

Thanks for contacting us. Someone from our support team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Regards,

Your LinkedIn Customer Experience Team

My (9/25/2020) Response
This is asinine as you well know I MUST BE LOGGED IN TO VIEW the alleged case link below and my earlier email below documents that it is not possible to review my 'so-called' case. This is either a gross error on your part or you are implementing Silicon Valley's censorship protocols prior to the election.

The statement made by your system that I may continue as a 'guest' after providing my identity confirmation DOESN'T work. I'm still blocked and I wonder what might have precipitated such action on your part so close to the election?

Allen Williams

LinkedIn Response (09/26/2020 03:30 CST)
Reference # *******03687 View your case(s) on our Help Center

Status: Open
Hi Allen,

I'm sorry for not having a quick answer about your issue. I've forwarded your message to another group for additional review and advice. We'll be in contact with you as quickly as possible, but your issue may require additional research, which may extend your wait time.
If you can log into your account, you can always check the status of your case on LinkedIn:
1. Click the Me icon (your profile photo) at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
2. Select Open Quick Help from the dropdown and click Go to Help Homepage.
3. On the Help page, click your profile photo in the top right, and then select View your cases from the drop down to see the status of any cases you've submitted.

Please note that if you aren't able to login for any reason, you won't be able to check the status of your case. We ask that you don't create any additional cases in the meantime. We're working as quickly as possible to resolve your inquiry.

Thanks for your patience.

Regards,
Ellen
Member Safety and Recovery Consultant Member

[I DIDN"T initiate ANY complaint CASES. When it's the platform that initiates the suspension, the accused CAN"T ACCESS ANYTHING in the system. Rather than giving me a response, Ellen sent me to another LinkedIn customer support member to which I responded:]

My (9-26-2020 7:11 pm) response
How about telling me what the issue is? Surely you know enough to do that.

Allen Williams

LinkedIn Response (09/26/2020 03:41 CST)
Reference # *******03687
Status: Waiting For Information View your case(s) on our Help Center
You may reply to this case for up to 14 days
Hi Allen,

We've identified activity that shows you're sending unwanted/inappropriate content via LinkedIn messages. This type of content violates the LinkedIn User Agreement and Professional Community Policies, which states that you agree not to:

• Harass, abuse, or harm another person.
• Send spam or other unwelcomed communications to others.

We ask that you cease this type of communication, and remember that we expect all members to use a professional demeanor when using LinkedIn. For complete details, please see our User Agreement and Professional Community Policies.

We've restricted your account pending your response that you'll adhere to the LinkedIn User Agreement and Professional Community Policies going forward. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards,

Savio
LinkedIn Member Safety and Recovery Consultant

MY (9-26-2020 8:13 pm) RESPONSE: Hold on there friend!

You'll have to be a lot more specific about the 'community policies' that I've supposedly violated than simply claiming that I'm sending unwanted and 'inappropriate' comments via linked in messages'. You need to provide some specific examples as to what I've supposedly done rather than disguise your accusations in nebulous terms before I agree to anything.

First of all, you can begin by defining 'messages' because your system supports 'peer to peer' individual communication as well as general posts to either my network or any linked in viewer. You should be able to tell very quickly from the system's archives that I NEVER initiate a personal message to anyone except a few times to give a 'heads up' on general news articles that I've posted or a professional paper that I recently published. The system should tell you that I only RESPOND to messages that are sent to me. I don't send salacious or sexual material nor do I engage in any form of bullying, sexual harassment or sexual innuendo. Now if you do as complete a job of 'investigating' as you maintain, the archives should verify what I've alleged. That said, I believe you have no evidence of my sending inappropriate content using the standard general dictionary definitions of these terms.

The issue in point seems inclined towards 'viewpoint discrimination' which means that I'm posting articles of general information that the public should be aware of which are neither salacious, vulgar, threatening or intimidating BUT nevertheless are 'offensive' and unwanted per your community standards that are starting to appear very much like Facebook's 'AI' style censorship. I think your system will verify that I've published nothing unsavory unless of course you regard conservative viewpoints and opinions as unsavory. And if so, we will have a problem.

If you suspend me or restrict my access over 'unwanted/inappropriate' material that has been redefined by your community standard policies to mean what I've outlined above, you are in violation of my first Amendment rights and THERE WILL BE consequences.

Allen Williams

Reference # *******03687
Status: Waiting For Information View your case(s) on our Help Center
You may reply to this case for up to 14 days
Response (09/29/2020 03:46 CST)
Hi Allen,

I'm sorry it's taken this long to get back to you and thanks for being so patient.

We've identified that you've posted or comments on the posts/articles of LinkedIn members that appear to be unsolicited and not in compliance with our user agreement.

Posting content that is meant to harass or abuse another person is in violation of LinkedIn's Professional Community Guidelines https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/global/id/34593. We have these policies in order to protect the value of the LinkedIn network for everyone.

Due to privacy reasons, I will be unable to disclose the exact information of the violation.

Further, it is not OK to use LinkedIn's services to threaten violence or property damage, or for hate speech acts, such as attacking people because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious affiliations, or medical or physical condition.

Your LinkedIn account has been suspended, pending your response stating that you'll adhere to LinkedIn policies from this day forward.

Regards,

Savio
LinkedIn Member Safety and Recovery Consultant

LinkedIn Response (09/30/2020 07:58 CST)
Hi Allen,

Thank you for writing back into LinkedIn. I will try to address your query in the best manner possible.

As mentioned in previous communication, your comments or posts on articles were reported and found inappropriate as per the professional community guidelines. These policies apply to all members.

https://www.linkedin.com/legal/professional-community-policies

I also understand that you have been a victim and you have received abusive statements from other LinkedIn members. We kindly request you to report such incidents so that these can be investigated. If you see something you believe may violate our policies, whether in profiles, posts, messages, comments, or anywhere else, please report it to us.

We don't allow bullying or harassment. This includes abusive language, revealing others' personal or sensitive information (aka "doxing"), or inciting or engaging others to do any of the same.

[See the attached picture of Looman, a typical example of a spirited comment from a LinkedIn member directed at me which would be regarded as violating their infantile 'professional' community standards.]

[11-20-2020: Last Picture in the series below is an example of my posting 'unwanted or unsolicited information' in catching Linkedin Editors shorting the number of recorded reads on an article entitled 'Hotel California' which depicted how the homeless were living on the streets of LA and other major cities by some 1100+ individuals. Needless to say there was no response, no apology, no explanation and the post soon disappeared as if it never happened.]

Please know that we respect the right of all members to freely express themselves. We don't monitor, filter, or remove member-generated content from our site unless they are inappropriate as defined in our User Agreement and Professional Community Policies. We understand that differences of opinion happen, however, this doesn't justify flagging content.

After reviewing reported items, we'll take the appropriate actions. It's against the LinkedIn Privacy Policy and Professional Community Policies to share the identity of someone who flags an item. We have limited ability to act on content appearing beyond our site unless it's in direct violation of our brand.

We require all members to engage in a professional manner and this type of content is not allowed. The account will continue to remain restricted until to adhere and comply to LinkedIn user agreement and abide by LinkedIn Professional Community Policies.

Regards,

Savio
LinkedIn Member Safety and Recovery Consultant Member

My (09/29/2020 09:40 CST) Response:
I don't know what you're attempting to do here but the link you provided below: View your case(s) on our Help Center DOES nothing;. It simply lists a series of 'help' sources which have nothing to do with my 'so-called' case. Either you people pay little attention to detail or this is just your version of FACEBOOK censorship. I can't LOGIN because you are NOT just restricting my account, you've already suspended it.

This is amply demonstrated by your unwillingness to state the 'specifics' of your own 'guideline(s)' that I've supposedly violated leaving me with the only option of responding to the vague allegations contained in your emails, for example:. "Posting content that is meant to harass or abuse another person is in violation of LinkedIn's Professional Community Guidelines https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/global/id/34593. We have these policies in order to protect the value of the LinkedIn network for everyone."

Another statement that is NOT true as I've received abusive statements from other Linked in members on occasion and the platform took no action suggesting an innate bias.

These policies exist so that anyone can be restricted or suspended on nothing more than an accusation. The policy states: "We ask every member on LinkedIn to act responsibly. If you see something that you believe may violate our policies, please report it to us. This includes whether it appears in profiles, posts, comments, conversations, or anywhere else. These reports, along with our automated defenses, help us identify and prevent abuse and misbehavior. Please use the reporting tools responsibly and only for their intended purposes. To learn more about how to report inappropriate behavior, visit our LinkedIn Safety Center."

This is subjective reader opinion rather than objective facts based on Libel, Slander, or tangible evidence but rather are predicated on the current level of 'political correctness' which in itself violates the rights of others holding dissenting opinions or beliefs that the American First Amendment was intended to protect. I can see that you expect me to apologize for something I didn't do replying solely to the vague allegations contained in this series of correspondences, to wit: "We've identified that you've posted or comments on the posts/articles of LinkedIn members that appear to be unsolicited and not in compliance with our user agreement." And this statement means.? Why don't you state the specific guideline that I violated as I quoted above? Is it because that guideline is in itself so vague that it wouldn't corroborate your allegation? The obvious take away here is '. Don't comment on anything unless a comment is directed to you specifically by name which is patently absurd. I challenge assertions and ideas in my comments and posts and expect objectors to defend their positions equally as I do. 'Social justice' is an anathema to freedom.

"Further, it is not OK to use LinkedIn's services to threaten violence or property damage, or for hate speech acts, such as attacking people because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious affiliations, or medical or physical condition."

Let's cut the crap, shall we? You have no real evidence that I've violated any of your listed conditions, especially threatening violence. And 'Hate Speech' is now defined as holding beliefs or making statements contrary to the official state narrative. I'm equally not a racist or white supremacist or whatever the latest term is. This isn't a policy or a guideline, it's an emotional opinion based on the erroneous premise that a user's words have 'offended' unnamed parties giving special credence to why the US 6th amendment exists, that is, the right to confront one's accusers. Your guideline definitions connote censorship and you've aptly demonstrated that user 'appeal' is only for appearance because you've already suspended my account. I have watched LinkedIn do that to a number of other members on the platform, most notably Wayne Allyn Root.

This exercise is intended for nothing more than for me to apologize for something I didn't do and agree to conditions that you have failed to elucidate beyond the vagaries of your purported 'professional' community guidelines which are neither 'professional' nor in compliance with the US bill of rights. And the fact that you are a California company that has no respect for our Constitution and its guaranteed liberties is especially offensive to me.

Allen Williams

[ More recently Cheryl Chumley, conservative journalist at the Washington Times, who doesn't respond to comments on her LinkedIn posts was suspended. Why? Most likely for ‘offensive and unwanted' post content, what else? This is unsupportable because she posted the same article at the New York Times: (https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/craig-shirley/linkedin-targets-conservative-journalist-infantile-censorship) which is the very definition of censorship.]

My (10-1-2020 8:33am) response

I find your replies to be quite disingenuous. You either have a problem with nomenclature or you have redefined common terms to suit the purposes of administrative action. If you understood the language, you'd realize that: My account is NOT restricted; it has been suspended but apparently 'words mean whatever you wish them to.'

A brief glimpse into the so-called 'Linked in Professional standards: "These policies apply to all members. Depending on the severity of violation, we may limit the visibility of certain content or remove it entirely."

NO THEY DO NOT! Dependence is a function of ‘who' you are and your political affiliations as evidenced by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman's election shenanigans. The standard fails to mention that the rank-and-file member will be denied access. Or is my supposed incident simply too new for you to have adjusted the standards in time to cover?

The standard continues "We don't monitor, filter, or remove member-generated content from our site unless they are inappropriate as defined in our User Agreement and Professional Community Policies."

Really? Then why didn't you simply remove my supposed offensive material rather than choosing to suspend me while calling it a 'restriction" Or did you already do that but just failed to mention it? As expected, it's quite difficult to comply with standards that are fluid or a moving target, i, e. When changes in standards are predicated on thoughts someone doesn't like (or want) as reflected by its frequent updates. This is the very definition of censorship.

"As mentioned in previous communication, your comments or posts on articles were reported and found inappropriate as per the professional community guidelines."

This nicely explains why you wouldn't list any of my purported 'offensive posts' as 'examples of unprofessional 'ism'. To do so would undermine the vagueness and credibility of your accusations especially since nearly all my posts were excerpts from previously published EXTERNAL articles.

"I also understand that you have been a victim and you have received abusive statements from other LinkedIn members. We kindly request you to report such incidents so that these can be investigated."

Do you even understand the total absurdity of this statement? What is the point of my reporting it when you are already aware of it? Here's a news flash for you: professionals have (or should have) the qualifications to defend their assertions, facts and opinions without any help from 'Big Brother.' The exhortation to report 'offenses' has its roots in social conditioning of others to contain free thought - a benchmark of Orwellian censorship.

"Do not engage in unwanted advances: We don't allow unwanted expressions of attraction, desire, requests for a romantic relationship, marriage proposals, sexual advances or innuendo, or lewd remarks."

Oh please! If you bothered to investigate my messages along with the posts as thoroughly as you stated, you would have found that a number of young women with questionable profiles were doing exactly that to me, how convenient of you to overlook this because it clearly suggests a dual standard for complicity.

Take a look at the photo invitation I included from Helen Stevens to appreciate my remark. I posted a copy of her invitation to the Linked in general population citing its inappropriateness AND NOT A WORD from LInkedIn Editor/Censors!

The fact that one is required to 'complain first' suggests a psychological conditioning of the subject to train the user to monitor the social discourse of his or her peers which again is common practice in authoritative societies.

"We don't allow individuals or groups that engage in or promote violence, property damage, or organized criminal activity. You may not use LinkedIn to express support for such individuals or groups or to otherwise glorify violence."

Judging from your responses, you don't accept articles or comments that simply REPORT such actions without advocacy as I have done on Antifa, BLM and the communist party. The actions you've demonstrated here clearly conveys an active censorship environment where the platform intention is to condition its users to accept 'social justice' in place of 'due process' and 'inclusiveness' of thought so that all viewpoints are equally valid and there is no prevailing ideology or absolute truth. This is also a hallmark of Orwellian censorship.

"Do not share content to interfere with or improperly influence an election or another civic process."

Oh please! Your hypocrisy is overbearing. "Billionaire LinkedIn co-founder and Bilderberg attendee Reid Hoffman, was caught staging a false flag operation with fake Russian bots to influence the Alabama Senate election." http://www.camelotdaily.com/jewish-co-founder-reid-hoffman-implicated-jewish-pedophile-jeffrey-epstein-cover/. This is clearly in violation of "We have limited ability to act on content appearing beyond our site unless it's in direct violation of our brand."

LinkedIn's Bilderberg association doesn't resolve well with the notion of intellectual freedom but rather conveys a sound basis for the latent censorship hidden in your 'professional standards. It should now be evident to the public as to how the LinkedIn standards have been structured with an innate bias. We'll see how long your credibility lasts now, eh?

If you were genuinely interested in 'professional standards' then you would have set appropriate criteria for 'QUALIFYING' as a professional in order to join LinkedIn as is the case for real professional societies such as the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, etc. Here's another news flash for you: A crane operator is NOT a professional by any real world standards I know of which places your 'alternate reality' in question.

I think the real intent here is pretty clear. Rest assured that the abject hypocrisy on display at Linked in won't be lost on my readers.

Allen Williams

Epilog: Lastly the statement: "We've restricted your account pending your response that you'll adhere to the LinkedIn User Agreement and Professional Community Policies going forward."

So my appeal is reduced to carte blanche agreeing that I've done or said something ‘inappropriate' without example, without the ability to read what my accusers have claimed and without an unbiased hearing. Even if I apologized for what I supposedly had said or posted, there's absolutely no guarantee I would be reinstated. My ‘admissions' are intended to protect LinkedIn from ensuing legal liability.

LinkedIn is an abysmal platform for conveying anything meaningful as evidenced by the number of conservatives that have been restricted (suspended) and I've already identified two prominent individuals. There are many more.

The LinkedIn platform gives a false impression of professionalism and is restricted to prevent unwanted ideas from gaining credibility or exposure on the Internet. It isn't worth the effort to join and the resultant social environment is right out of some dystopian novel.
9/13/20
America's Best is a California eye care chain with subsidiaries all over the country. Their 'online' prescription software is not amenable to jettisoning or ignoring the prescription form. You HAVE to complete everything to submit an order. But note that America's Best does NOT address the issues in the 2nd response that I raised but simply replies to things I hadn't objected to. Here's my additional response to 'AB':

Oh please!.

You don't have a user friendly system period. There's no logical selection process. Either one jumps through all the silly hoops or one one gets bum-pus.

I didn't have any funds committed as your website indicates funds aren't charged until the lenses are shipped. At least that part of your order form seems to work. Get this straight: I DIDN'T CHANGE MY PRESCRIPTION that's simply your unwarranted conclusion based on a misconception, as I told you that your computer would NOT let me just check the prescription verification box and submit. What's the point of the 'I don't know what my prescription is statement " box other than to DENOTE that a "CHOICE" can be made. (NOT TRUE) Why is it necessary to fill out the prescription on line and then submit it (later) in written form. Don't tell me, let me guess. I'm the first one who ever complained about it. This is simply incongruous and irrational. Obviously you people have never heard of quality control.

You can forward anything you like to your computer people as I have to site jabber but I serious doubt any body at 'America's Best would do anything about it. My guess is you didn't even structure your own website it's 3rd party trash. However, I'm certain that your optometrists enjoy the nebulous nature of the beast otherwise it wouldn't exist to begin with.

A. Williams

(I wound up buying the lenses at Walmart where I simply placed the order and they found my prescription from the reference I gave. Simple Huh?) Here's 'AB's second response:

Incident Information:
[2nd] 9/26 Message:
Dear Allen Williams,

I am sorry for the confusion. However, the reason the order was cancelled after notifying you was that we were unable to process the order, therefore the order was cancelled so your funds could be released from your card. We also have no control on what the doctor has prescribed you. We always check with the doctor to see if a patient is able to wear another brand then prescribed, however the doctor stated you are not approved and you will need to be presented with a trial pair to try out and make sure they are comfortable before purchasing contacts that may not work correctly for your eyes. This is why patients are not able to be dispensed a different brand then prescribed as we do not want them spending their money on contacts that may not work correctly for them. Contact lenses are considered a medical device and much like any medical prescription it is policy to go by what the doctor prescribes for the sake of your eye and vision health. If you are having trouble with the store and doctor where you had your exam, you may reach out to our Store Customer Relations department so that a representative can work with the store to get what you need for your prescription. We at the online store do not have control over changing prescriptions. They can be reached at *******162 or If you like I can forward this message to the department so they contact you. Thank you for letting us know about your concerns with the web site as we are always looking to improve it for better customer navigation. I have forwarded your message to my supervisor so that he is aware of the problems you have been having with the web site and as well as the issues you've experienced with the prescription verification process. We are currently working on revamping the web site in hopes of better navigation for our consumers. Please feel free to let us know of any other concerns and we will do our best to assist you.

Thank you,
ECommerce Department

Yesterday I finally got a belated response from America's Best although they claimed an earlier one. I have no record of it but I did get two not very cogent voice messages on my phone. Here's their response:

[1st] (9/21) message
Dear Allen Williams,

Thank you for contacting America's Best. I am re sending this email since you stated you did not receive a response from us. Unfortunately, we unable to reinstate a cancelled order. Also, we are unable to process an order for a prescription that is not prescribed by the doctor. The Sofmed Breathables Monthly was not prescribed from the doctor, which is why we could not go forward with the order. Different brands do have different measurements and lens material. The doctor would need to give you a trial pair of the Sofmed Breathables Monthly and would need to make sure they are the correct fit for your eyes. We are unable to fill an order for a different brand then prescribed as we do not want to risk damaging a patients eyes with an incorrect size are material that their eyes could react badly too. We were also unable to edit the order with the correct prescribed brand as we cannot alter an order where Paypal was used and we cannot alter it until a patient has approved for the order to be altered. If you have any other questions or concerns please let me know and I will be happy to address them for you.

Thank you,
Mary

I believe I addressed America's Best concerns adequately but all I received completely ignored the unprecedented action of cancelling my order on THE SAME DAY!. I didn't get an apology either that didn't come until the two voice mails. Here is my rebuttal:

Mary:

Don't give me that nonsense. You have a current prescription for me performed by YOUR own state line road optometrist. I shouldn't have to tell you that MUST take precedence.on any order conflict. Your system WOULDN'T allow me to proceed unless I completed that worthless on-line 'prescription' form. Which brings me to the question as to why it even exists. Without a hard copy to support any 'alleged' prescription change it should have been rejected by the system.

You didn't need to ALTER my order. If you had any common sense, you'd realize that the programming should have included a DEFAULT for America's best prescription of record. I've never heard or experienced anyone canceling an order a few hours later in the same day. I didn't get to my email as I reported on site jabber until TWO days later. Other companies give a day or two to resolve a dispute apparently you weren't concerned (or smart) enough to consider that option. You could have sent me an email as you managed to do at this point citing your concerns that didn't EXPIRE a few hours later.

I mentioned to the optometrist during the exam that I wasn't completely satisfied with Accuvue II because they weren't easy to put in but he never offered a suggestion and considering the office congestion and Covid restrictions leading to assembly line examination, I'm not surprised. I'm also well aware that different brands have different characteristics but contact lenses are virtually all 14 mm in diameter and offer the same diopter powers. The only difference was I couldn't select the correct BC parameter. My eyes wouldn't have been damaged; the different curvature would have just impaired my vision. The point is your system should have let me ignore the online form. It should have been academic because your system clearly states that "Don't know your prescription? No worries.we will collect your doctor's information during checkout..." so checking the box next to this statement alone should have made you ignore anything else but the prescription of record if you weren't using a substandard system.

I doubt you could alter an order even if it didn't involve Paypal given that monstrosity you call an order form. Allowing me a two hour window in which to respond doesn't indicate you were particularly concerned about garnering my approval but rather maintaining assembly line output. There's not much point in having lens manufacturers popup independent of the prescription, only lenses that meet the prescription specifications. Should appear on the screen giving the customer the freedom to try other products. The way your system is configured now is confusing and not very amenable to customer preferences. I don't think that's a coincidence. Obviously you people know nothing about how to present product selection according to manufacturer data to maximize consumer choice.

I don't need or want an optometrist to select a lens manufacturer for me if I know the lens specifications. Doing so suggests you're collecting gratuities for your recommendations. I don't need an auto manufacturer to select a car for me, get the point?

A. Williams

Original review ***

I was down to my last right eye contact lens in August and so scheduled an eye appointment with America's Best at their state line Branch in Kansas City. There was a two week backlog because of Covid-19 so the earliest i could get in was Sept 1st. My right eye experienced some vision changes and I needed to update my prescription before I ordered. The exam went reasonably well despite the asinine Covid-19 procedures which include taking your temperature. I placed my order on the 6th of September and received this response.

Hi allen Williams,

Thank you for your order! Once your order is shipped, we'll email additional details. If you don't have an account, you can create an account now.

Order Information
Your Order - September 06,2020
Order Number: 32438148
Status: processing
Total: $38.99
Shipping: Free
Tax: $0.00"

Then on September 8th, I received an email notice that a hold had been placed on my order that stated the following:

"Hi allen Williams,

Action Required: Contact us to update your prescription ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
We're unable to process your recent order because the item(s) ordered don't match the prescription we have on file. We've placed the correct product that matches your prescription in your cart.

Complete Order Now!

Have an updated prescription? Reply to this email with a copy of your valid prescription, or with a doctor's name and phone number so that we can validate the new prescription. You may also fax it toll-free to *******362."

Sincerely,

America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses eCommerce Customer Care

I didn't actually complete the online prescription, just indicated the power and one other parameter because of their statement "Don't know your prescription? No worries. We will collect your doctor's information during checkout and obtain your prescription for you" stated at the bottom of the online form.

Since they had just performed the eye exam 5 days ago I felt that this was reasonable. So this sudden hold was bizarre because they had the prescription in their system.

Since I'm not in the habit of checking my email every day, I didn't see the two emails from America's Best until two days later on Sept 10th at which time I discovered that my order had been cancelled the same day that I received the hold notice:

Hi allen Williams,

Your order #32438148 has been cancelled.

If there was an authorization hold on your payment method, the release or refund may take up to 3-5 business days for your bank to process.

Still need contacts, eyeglasses or to schedule an eye exam?

That lit me off because of their statement to not worry about the prescription which clearly inferred that it took preference over anything written in their online form. So I sent the following email to their customer service group:

Exactly what the hell are you trying to pull? The first message I got from America's BEST was "We're unable to process your recent order because the item(s) ordered don't match the prescription we have on file. We've placed the correct product that matches your prescription in your cart. "

If you've placed the correct product based on your 'prescription' in my cart. THEN THAT SHOULD TAKE PRECEDENCE AND THE ORDER COMPLETED, anything else is nonsense. What reason exists for completing the online prescription form if not to select lens manufacturers offering the specified options because you don't process orders WITHOUT a written prescription?

Why would your online system ask a user to check a box indicating a copy of the prescription is available and then say the order doesn't match? It's YOUR fault that it doesn't match. The power specified and the lens diameter was correct. The ONLY DIFFERENCE in my online prescription order is that your system didn't offer the option of BC = 8.3 under the lens I selected. I could only select BC = 8.6.
What is the point of specifying a prescription if the system DOESN'T USE IT to select lens manufacturers providing the specified options for display to the customer? If 'Acuvue II' is the only company offering BC=8.3 (which in itself is hard to believe) THEN that is the only choice that should be displayed when the system processes the prescription. Customers shouldn't require an optometrist to tell him which lens manufacturers he may select because the patient is getting one person's opinion. There's a phrase for this it's called graft.

The next message from America's BEST was "Your order #32438148 has been cancelled. If there was an authorization hold on your payment method, the release or refund may take up to 3-5 business days for your bank to process. Still need contacts, eyeglasses or to schedule an eye exam? " I've read some classic moronic responses in my time but this takes the cake.

To date I have not gotten a response or an apology or even a phone call for their online system not behaving in the way their documentation indicated.

I will never order lenses from this company.
Kdor.ks.gov
6/28/20
Update: July 16,2020: I still had not heard from the Kansas Dept of Revenue and so decided to call them the first week in July to contest their refusal of my personal deduction. Despite the Covi-19 staffing crisis, I was surprised to get someone on the phone. I anticipated I might have to discuss my situation with one of the supervisors if I could get one but the fellow I drew was surprising knowledgeable. This meant the department was down to its most competent people so likely that meant only supervisors.

Explaining the problem, I wanted to know if someone had claimed me on their K-40 form. Now here is where it gets a bit bizarre. The response was that no one had claimed me or gotten my identity information so but only that I had not claimed the personal exemption.

It was an incredible statement because I remember clearly claiming the exemption. Kansas no longer provides the K-40 form, you have to download and print the desired form from the KDOR web site at: https://www.ksrevenue.org/forms.html. I remember when I printed the form, the orange category blocks appeared somewhat lighter than the original on file but my markings in those faint boxes were clearly visible and I remember claiming the exemption. My markings were close enough to the orange. Box selected to ascertain what I had claimed.

However it was rejected for any number of reasons: (1) the dept couldn't be sure what box I actually checked (even though I had filed single' status, they could not be certain that one') was the correct number of exemptions). (2) Bureaucratic vindictiveness. Any and all forms are summarily rejected if there is any deviancy from their standards. Your number isn't precisely within the borders of their box or it's a half-space higher or lower than the line containing the choice selection causing confusion'. (3) Punishment. Computer rejection of your tax form (probably because of conditions listed in (2)), creating a situation where the dept must manually process the form. (4) Revenue increase, We can't eliminate my original contention that any and all means will be employed to increase tax revenues regardless of the facts. If the taxpayer accepts KDOR's evaluation and pays the extra revenue, so be it.

The state is behind in their Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) because taxes weren't high enough during past conservative administrations. The state Supreme Court dictates what must be spent on education and the state's lawyers regularly sue the legislature to extort more money for education while also being sued by judges for not sufficiently funding the judiciary. And when you have to defend against a lawsuit wherein the state's lawyers choose the state Supreme Court judges, you can guess the outcome. Corruption in the state is rampant. It's a challenge to keep one's self solvent.
In this age of economic turmoil brought on by Covid-19, states are having to scramble for new sources of income to make ends meet because they will not control spending. This situation is particularly egregious due to the state Supreme court dictating the amount of revenue that must be spent on schools and various lawyer's endlessly suing the state legislature.So every return is considered a possibility for squeezing out extra revenue.

In my discussion with KDOR, it was suggested that I file an amended return which I did making certain that everything (including the orange boxes) were well defined on the form. We'll see if this one is accepted or it comes back for some other reason

Original Post

In late June 2020 I received a notification from the infamous Kansas Department of Revenue that my personal exemption was NOT allowed. Yes, you read that correctly my $2250 standard deduction was not allowed! Why how could that be possible?, you ask. Because that deduction is available to every taxpayer filing a return you state. Yes, but only if you are NOT claimed as a dependent on someones else's return. According to KDOR instructions recorded in Kip19. Pdf for 2019, LINE 5:
LINE 5 (Exemption allowance): Multiply the total number of exemptions claimed on Form K-40 by $2,250. ImportantIf you are claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, enter "0" on line 5.

Of course, I didn't record a zero in line 5 of my K-40 State income tax form ostensibly because I thought I was not subject to reclassification based on another person's filing. See the K-40 'adjustment' schedule from KDOR regarding my tax submittal.

I had just 30 days to respond. (See KDOR letter dated June 24,2020). THIS NOTIFICATION SHOULD SERIOUSLY DISTURB EVERY TAXPAYER IN THE STATE. If this can happen to me it certainly can happen to anyone over 55.

First of all look at line 2 of KDOR's letter regarding, 'RE': their revision reasons. My return status is listed as part of a 'joint filing' submission made by parties unknown. Whoever it is I'm not related because I have no relatives residing in Kansas. But claimants are more likely to be an assisted living, nursing home or convalescent center businesses who handle a lot of clients where relationship is not relative. (Never mind the technicality that I've never been in any such facility.)

I've not signed any kind of guardianship documents naming individual(s) that could affect such a claim and there is no court order adjudicating my dependency. I have no medical conditions that would support a dependency claim and I have given NO consent to anyone to do so. Therefore there is no legal basis for this reclassification, it is PURELY outrageous FRAUD!.

The 'Exemptions and Dependents' category of he K-40 tax form requires each dependent's social security No. And date of birth to be listed along with their relationship so whoever has perpetrated this fraud has acquired my S. S. Number and date of birth otherwise KDOR would have challenged the claimant(s). However, unsurprisingly Kansas has no requirement, as does the IRS -1040 form, for the dependent to certify that he is a dependent on claimant's filing. Typically when you claim a dependent on a state form you have to FIRST claim them on the Federal form but interestingly enough I NEVER heard from the IRS. If KDOR had performed this simple check of my 1040 they would have noticed that I DID NOT check this box and coupled with my years of single filing status should have triggered a warning flag.

But remember the purpose here is to generate extra tax revenue (and ethics really isn't a consideration), so as long as the claim is reasonably accurate no need to do anything more than perpetrate the fraud because this year it costs me $111 and every subsequent year the claimant(s) wish to perpetrate it. KDOR gets the money and the claimant gets an extra $2250 deduction against their income so everyone wins but me. You may remember my 2019 KDOR posting where they had no record of my $18 tax payment (even though I gave them the check No. And date). They attempted to charge me again if I didn't produce a copy of their endorsement seal on my check. This year they're increasing the stakes.

On June 26,2020 I filed a rebuttal to the Kansas Dept of revenue emphatically denying that I am a consensual legal dependent on any persons or business firm's return and copying the Kansas Attorney General along with the Governor. In my correspondence I demanded that KDOR take remedial action against claimants which would infer producing signature evidence of my agreement or a COURT ORDER affirming said status and in the meantime to honor my return as filed.

These people aren't particularly friendly or cooperative as they regard taxpayers as something simply to be milked. So we'll see how this goes as I await their response.
6/1/20
Recently I had to pick up some items for a luncheon gathering on Sunday May 31st. The meal plan called for baked lasagna and Caesar salad with others of us bringing various side dishes and culinary accoutrements.

We each volunteered to bring various items from a prepared list for our luncheon. I chose dessert and offered to bring several kinds. I selected baked goods because I have a bit of experience in selecting tasty examples of the pie variety.

It was Thursday May 28th and I was out running errands anyway so I thought it would be a good time to pick up my choices since I was in the vicinity anyway.

I stopped by Price Choppers at 87th and Antioch to pick up several pies for the occasion, one cherry and one apple.

Arriving at the bakery department there was quite a selection of baked goods but after a bit I selected what I thought were outstanding examples of both pastries. After paying for the items i checked out and went home. I didn't refrigerate the two items because they were left in their respective sealed packages.

Besides I remember my grandmother baking pies and putting them in a pie safe sometimes for well over a month in the summer. Fruit pies and canned jellies are not subject to bacteria spoilage as in the case of raw fruit. As long as they are stored in a dust free environment, they are fine. Dust causes poisonous growths in uncovered jams and jellies.

The pies were loaded into my automobile and I left early Sunday morning (May 31st) for the luncheon arriving at my destination in about two hours. I brought them into our gathering and all seemed well. Somewhere after one we finally got to dessert. I asked to have a piece of the cherry pie I brought. One of the young ladies sliced the pie and I removed a piece. One of the ladies next to me started to get a piece when she asked what was this dark object next to the piece I had just gotten. Examining it a bit closer, it looked to be mold.

We quickly checked the apple pie and it too was showing small spots of green mold. I was both surprised and embarrassed because I had never seen pie that was sealed grow mold.

It occurred to me that Price Chopper's bakery was not handling their product very carefully because mold doesn't grow overnight so these pies were contaminated before they were ever packaged.

When I returned to the Overland Park location where I purchased them and told the bakery what I found, they made no effort to even apologize.The woman behind the counter just blabbed some meaningless nonsense and made no offer to refund my purchase price.

I informed them that I would not purchase any further baked goods at this store in the future.

Update 6/4/20: I was unable to attach photos of the pies because resolution is only '300 x 240'and the system won't accept them. However the pictures of the Price Chopper pies (after just three days) are available here: https://newpatriotsblog.com/overland-park-price-chopper-pies-go-moldy-in-just-3-days
5/25/20
In September of this year I experienced a second lost letter containing my rent check. An earlier rent check for July was lost and I promptly mailed a replacement that did get delivered. The next day the original rent check showed up dated the 1st of July to the astonishment of the rental management people. This was used to cover the month of August. But September's rent check dated the 2nd disappeared and I got a call from the management people. I will have to deliver it personally Monday,

What is strange is the mail sent to the rental management company is sent to a PO Box address at the post office itself so how could you lose or misplace it 2 out of 3 months?

Then I noticed these two news articles one by CNN dated Jan of this year: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/us/postal-worker-hides-mail-storage-unit-trnd/index.html and the second a film by ABC news of a recipient filming a postal worker dumping his load in a ditch: https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/us-postal-carrier-filmed-dumping-bins-mail-ditch-42938843

There are only two possibilities for my mail being lost (1) Retaliation by the Post Office for the bad review (below) for claiming my mail couldn't be delivered because I didn't have a delivery box or (2) The letters never made it to the post office because they were dumped, discarded or otherwise interred.

*Original Post
Recently I ordered a health supplement online from a company in Oklahoma called AmerMed. It's a small company but they have a good inventory of excellent supplements but shipping choices are only USPS.

A number of years ago, before internet tracking became common; I made the mistake of shipping an antique gasoline tank sending unit to a company out east that specializes in rebuilding such devices. It disappeared soon after shipment without a trace and even a postal investigation found nothing. With the advent of internet tracking, anything I don't want lost I pay extra for tracking notification.

On May 18th I placed my order with AmerMed who shipped priority mail with tracking number identifiers and information to follow an article's path from Oklahoma to my door. All went well until the item arrived at the postal facility in Overland Park, KS on May 20th. The delivery estimate had indicated arrival by May 22nd no later than 8:00 pm that evening so I was suspicious that the item arrived on Wednesday the 20th. As I entered the tracking number I expected to see a revised delivery date that day but to my surprise I was greeted with a large ALERT on the screen with a message. No access to delivery location'. (See the attachment below.)

"May 20,2020, 2:11 pm
Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location
OVERLAND PARK, KS 66212 "

Receiving notices like this makes one wonder if postal carriers ever undergo drug screening, periodic mental evaluations or even spot checks for inebriation. I've lived at the same address for more than 10 years and it has a common delivery location a ¼ block up the street.

However nothing in Kansas is anything like the other 49 states. It is truly the land of OZ. The state Supreme Court dictates what must be spent on education, etc. The governor has to appoint judges from a list the state bar builds and maintains. Every few years the state's lawyers sue the worthless state legislature and win. The state dept. of revenue loses ones tax payment forcing victims to produce a cancelled check with the department's endorsement seal or pay again. (See my July 15,2019 Site jabber report "Kansas Dept of Revenue Outsourcing is Self Immolating")

Mail delivery can be anywhere from 2:00 to 8:00 pm if the carrier shows up at all so haphazard service is nothing new or unusual. Mistakes are covered up not corrected in Kansas.

At first, I thought that AmerMed might have used another address since the owner had recently been hospitalized:

AmerMed:

What is going on here? I got an email 'alert' from the post office this morning at 9405 5036 9930 0382 5080 56 saying that they tried to deliver yesterday at 2:00pm but there was no way to do so. (?) When I went to get a copy of the postal alert to send to you, they erased the shipping record! Now I happened to be standing right next to our carrier at my mail box at the same time so that makes me think the package has the wrong address. I've ordered from you several times before and my address has not changed. Did you accidentally ship to another address because of being in the hospital?

AmerMed confirmed the address shipped to was correct so I contacted the Post office via the online form available with USPS.com tracking.

"Dear Allen Williams,

Thank you for contacting the United States Postal Service® and taking the time to share your concerns with us. Your inquiry has been processed and assigned to Service Request # 10062641.
Your inquiry has been forwarded to the appropriate management team for research and response. You can expect initial contact within one-business day. We invite you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page at: https://faq.usps.com/s/ for help with your future mailing and shipping needs."

What sense does this make? How do you research a nonexistent mail location? Either it exists or it doesn't. If you call the Post office over a problem, even if they left a message for you and that contact person is unavailable, whoever answers the phone will either hang up on you or be too incoherent to assist as I experienced.

Fortunately I was able to describe the circumstances of delivery failure online sufficiently to dispel the idiotic claim that I didn't have a means to receive packages, having noted in my complaint that I was standing at the community delivery point 1/4 block up my street, at 2:11pm with the carrier present and I could see the front door of my home from this point.

Postal employees can say and do anything regardless of how stupid or outrageous the responses are because workers can't easily be fired for other than shooting their boss. (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=123223)

On May 21st, I received several messages from a Rhonda at the local Post office asking me what I wanted done with the package, i. E. did I want to come get it or have it delivered. No explanation of what happened to cause the delay or why the bizarre message was posted. They didn't understand it themselves as to how it happened so they said. Likely the carrier came down off his high or sobered up sufficiently to realize he was in the wrong locale. The USPS tracking history for the package was now rebuilt and accessible. Before I had time to respond, the package showed up in my mail location.

"Your item was delivered in or at the mailbox at 4:27 pm on May 21,2020"

Another nonsensical statement, so how do you deliver at the mailbox? Leave it on the ground nearby? Is it any wonder the postal system is losing money while Fed-x and UPS are thriving? If the Post office was half as reliable at delivery of priority and first class mail as they are in delivering junk mail, they wouldn't be losing money.

In 2019 the Post Office lost 2 billion in the second quarter alone finishing the year some 7 billion in the red. (https://reason.com/2019/05/10/post-service-lost-2-billion-in-three-months/)

The answer; Privatize the Post Office..
1/29/20
UPDATE 6/10/20

In April of this year I had to file a National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) complaint because I still did not have access to my account and interest was 8 days late. At this point I wrote the President of Andrews, J. Hays, on their secure messaging system, copying as many support staff as I had email addresses for and informing him of my NCUA complaint and referencing this sitejabber report link: " Mr. Hays: There are unresolved issues with Andrews Federal Credit Union beyond what my NCUA complaint has addressed that require additional consideration. Having previously experienced great difficulties in actually becoming a member through what Andrews euphemistically refers to as online membership plus having to endure nearly a month of being locked out of my own account...
The hell your goofy system has put me through demands additional compensation. " Soon afterwards Andrews rebuilt my account manually because it failed to transfer and I was contacted by Andrews IT specialist, Nikia Hackley, who took an additional two hours to finally get me into their system where I could login and access my account.

Another two months slipped by before I received a letter by postal mail on June 10th of 2020 from Andrea Ashcraft, Director of Sales and Service and apparently part of Andrews supposed 'member advocacy' group (I use that term loosely). Again the Andrews secure messaging system was wiped clean Including all contacts. There was no evidence of my letter to J. Hays summarizing my complaints and indicating the additional compensation I demanded. The $75 additional compensation was posted to my savings account. See the attached photocopy. However, I'm still not out of the woods yet because I have to use their goofy system to transfer money to my home account as I doubt they will honor my preference to pay future interest by check. So that will be another fun experience I'm sure.

UPDATE 4/10/20

At the time I completed my initial review on Andrew's Member application system I optimistically made the statement We'll see how it goes with investment performance. My desire not to repeat the same experience as their application platform was short lived.

I was able to briefly access my account under the old system that supported their moronic online member application form but the new digital system was to be even worse. It's apparent that Andrew's wanted the additional capability that allowed members to do all kinds of interesting things with their phone app like paying bills, managing personal finances, securing loans as well as accessing one's credit union account. But I wouldn't know because It would be nearly a month and a half after i joined before I would gain access. They soon began a transition to the new digital platform

My first indication that there would be problems in this undertaking was when my existing password abruptly got cancelled. This is a periodic nuisance in the banking industry at large where every year financial institutions require you to change your password. However the new credit union system would not allow me to change mine because well. It no longer existed!. So now you can appreciate the level of intelligence of the vendor responsible for implementing this transition. And as you might expect on my third attempt to initiate a new password I was summarily locked out. Now the fun begins!

But you say, Hey you're still on the Andrews secure messaging system so no problem!. True I do have my old password and they didn't cancel it so I could get help. That may be how a secure messaging system works elsewhere but I was told during the application process that not everyone was on it. Now it's still true that their member support group is on it but alerting them to a problem is akin to the notice that your mailman gets when he sees the little flag raised on your mailbox. Ho Hum! Besides when I actually did get a response from support on the secure messaging, I was greeted with the same demeanor as one uses when they have to inform some kid that he needs to zip up his fly. The best response in this category was You can't login because you're using the Opera browser! AND the most revealing response was support stating due to the sensitive nature of my request" I would have to talk to them directly which means they didn't want any evidence of the problem leaking out to the public.

Complicating credit union support was their phone queue where virtually each and every time I called they were experiencing heavy call volume. I now believe that was rigged to both free up support to concentrate on the immediate upgrade problems at the expense of the membership. During this time I actually did get several support people to force the system to generate a special secure pass code required to gain access so you could set your new password but none of these codes ever worked which made me suspicious that the problem was far deeper than Andrews knew. I was involved in other pressing matters during this event so I didn't have the time to pursue this issue consistently.

After several weeks of sporadic contact in which I witnessed cases where the system continued to reject multiple pass code attempts in succession that I realized present entry was impossible. In subsequent phone calls to Andrews I happened upon one honest individual in the support group. Statistically that had to be true because nothing is zero probability. This lady told me there was no record of my being in Andrews system. Suddenly like a load of hay falling on me, It all made sense. I figured if I was ever going to gain access to my account it was going to be from outside pressure. I filed a complaint with the National Credit Union Administration here: https://complaint.mycreditunion.gov/CAC/500t000000TEruP

In a little over a week tone of their IT people called and set up a time to assist me in gaining access. It still took over two hours before I was able to get in the system and no surprise that some of the software features weren't working as I expected that the upgrade debugging process would be ongoing for some time.

I still don't have my interest now 10 days late but I expect this to be resolved fairly quickly because Andrews doesn't want the bad publicity. I think I'll hang on to the NCUA complaint link, I have the feeling I made need to use it again.

Member Application Process

In today's world one is often compelled to do things out of the ordinary because of prevailing market conditions. Investing in a credit union instead of bank or brokerage offering to get decent interest rates is an example because you need to be a member and historically membership was limited to military or government personnel resident in a specific area. However today the requirements have relaxed considerably but the easier standards have provided a platform for abuse. Companies get away with the abuse because the FED has enabled them by artificially suppressing interest rates.

In December of 2019, I applied to Andrews Federal Credit union to take advantage of a particular investment. Although I didn't reside in their geographic location I met alternative requirement criteria.

The first step at Andrews was to complete a comprehensive three page online application. In today's financial world there is a recognizable move towards fascism. Essentially having to demonstrate that one isn't laundering money by giving information that must be confirmed real time is suggestive of what happens when you're arrested. (Just so you know freedom is essentially dead in the finance world.) This has to be done online because people will simply ignore these questions otherwise. Online you are prevented from going further until the machine verifies the response as dictated by its programming protocol.

I had to provide my membership number in the American Consumer Council which the system verified in real time or I couldn't continue.

For some time I could not get beyond the first page of the credit union application although it contained nothing more than my Name, Address and Phone number, etc. Finally I noticed that the machine only accepted street direction notifications with a period' at the end of the street direction, e.g. west 47th street would have to be input as w. 47th street.' It failed to recognize the abbreviated street direction preceding the name without a period. You may be able to input the complete street name but it's just another case that must be tested by trial and error which I didn't care to investigate. Generally there were no instructions on the form except in a few specific instances. This is because the machine checks the address in real time which suggests that no real person ever looks at anything other than the completed form. Now the second page.

The form asks me to upload a photocopy of the back of my driver's license BUT then WOULDN'T UPLOAD IT! (It's either a glitch or the system expected to verify my identity directly with the Dept of Motor vehicles. Somewhere along the way in this process I received notification that I was added to the Andrews secure messaging system, remember that because it will come up later. I had to provide a photo copy of my social security card as issued and write a short note, scan it and transmit it to Andrews before they will process my application. If I didn't want them to process this monstrosity why the hell was I bothering to complete it?!

I had to READ their lists of credit union rules and conditions and check off that I had read each one. The system verifies each Read' and doesn't let one continue until every choice offered has a check mark next to it which puts an extensive labor burden on the applicant I now got to the part which asked for my social security number. This was the only page that offered instructions as to the required input form. The number was to be input without any dashes - I entered it both with spaces and then running all the numbers together to no avail. The popup window gave two choices (1) Confirm social security number or (2) confirm by email. (See Error5)

I called an Andrews Rep drawing Marla Bethell and explained what I experienced and she assured me she would pass it along to their IT group or whoever is responsible (Obviously it was ignored.) The problem persisted and I sent a 2nd screen shot in a subsequent call to another Rep informing them I reported this bug to Marla earlier but the young lady s response was just try it again.

Even though they had a photocopy of my social security number the system would not confirm it so no one is looking at the individual pages. I quit for the day and decided to try the email confirmation option the next day.

So I selected the confirm by email option. But when I tried the system came back with a message telling me that I wasn't on the same computer as yesterday! (Error8) I had to completely exit the Andrews online application and come in fresh before it recognized my IP address and allowed me to proceed. The system sends a security code to the email address you enter. When you receive the email there is a code phrase you are to place in the confirmation box' and thereby allowed to move to the next page.

Again the same two choice confirmation screen appeared so I selected the email option which worked before but as soon as I did, it flipped the screen to ask me to confirm my social security number. (Error4) Why give the user two choices when the system rejects the one chosen? It would not confirm my s. S. number. Some system!

As I indicated to the Andrews rep whom I had to call again the system does nothing when the social security number option is selected. It simply cycles infinitely (Error6) sending you more emails with security codes to enter every time you click this option.

I called the rep again and she must have done something because I got to the next screen when I got back into the online editor. Finally I was confronted with funding my account. I encountered another two tab choices to fund the account (1) Fund from an Andrews member account or (2) Fund from an external source

The choice was obvious as I wasn't a member nor do I have relatives who would or could fund my account. The only way I could fund was to authorize a five dollar ACH transfer in an attempt to complete the application. I exited the system twice before on this point because the ACH option offered incomplete funding information. The system only allows one to fill out the top line on opening amounts under the ACH option but puts whatever amount you place in the first line directly in the LINE BELOW! WTH? The maximum you can input is $10,005 dollars. How useless is this?

It quickly becomes obvious why Andrews earned a Better Business Bureau custom review rating of 1.5. https://www.bbb.org/us/md/suitland/profile/credit-union/andrews-federal-credit-union-*******2626 Be sure and read the BBB report before you borrow money from these people,

So I had to get on the phone once again drawing a young Rep named Laura or (Lauren) for help. Her first suggestion was to print out the form and complete it by hand. That defeats the whole process, huh? Then I asked if I could use the ACH option although there was still no way to input my bank and routing number. She didn't know but suggested I try it and it worked! I wouldn't have had to do that if Andrews's goofy computer system allowed me to fund with a check. But the option worked and I exited this idiot system. Now the fun really began!

After a couple of days I got a message from the credit union with another security code to access the communication:

"Please enter the following security code to check the status of your application(s). 2bb928"

The message was that my application was being processed and they would inform me via email when approved and provide an account number, etc.

In a few more days, I received (you guessed it) another email referring me to the Andrews email system but I could not gain access because it rejected my confirming information. Once more I was on the phone to a Rep whom I asked why didn't Andrews send the message over its secure messaging system where I could login? The response was the membership uses a different system! What sense does this make?

Processing time on the application was now approaching seven days and I was hot. I sent an email suggesting that if the credit union couldn't process my application in less than 7 days they should get a new computer system or get out of the business.

On Jan 4th I received an email on their secure system which asked if I would accept adobe's electronic signing. I declined. That got their attention because shortly thereafter I received a call from one of the executives at Andrews and I stated that I didn't trust their system and explained the difficulties their system was causing and that if they required any signatures, they would have to mail them to my residence.

Finally I received a regular email with their signature forms etc. I copied it, signed it and mailed them back. Shortly afterwards I got a message in their secure email with my account number and thought I was all set. But I WASN'T.

In order to actually open the account I had to click on the link in the secure message system which took me to another security screen (SCN7) which had 3 input fields, (1) account Number, (2) social security number, (3) and email address.

At this point I had had it when I called Andrews Support. The Rep I drew was named Sabrina (how appropriate because you'll need mystic powers to complete this on-line application). I explained all the incidents I've experienced with the Andrews system and then being sent yet another secure message asking for the same information that I've already input and I wasn't going to continue.

Apparently the problems I identified finally made it to the right places. But I was appalled that they would wipe my Andrews email account clear of all documentation of the errors I encountered but I had anticipated that so I made copies of my secure messages.

Sabrina's job primarily involved setting up accounts for new members manually. So why didn't they offer me that option initially? Because it's likely they needed a guinea pig to help develop their convoluted on-line system.

As the Rep talked me through the manual process all I needed to do was enter a dummy ID for the member name and password and I was in. Next change the user name and password to my choice and I was nearly done. Once inside I was able to set up the type of investment instrument desired and the funding method, etc.

I checked my Andrews secure email account again on Jan 28,2020, it was still empty. No messages of any kind Why? Perhaps to prevent this very performance review.

We'll see how it goes with investment performance but this was an experience I NEVER want to repeat.
11/20/19
In today's business world where profit maximization techniques rule and where companies dictate the quantity and appearance of products they offer that has even crept into the hobby industry including JTIM or Just in Time Manufacturing Techniques. So, it was a pleasure to do business with a family owned company with which in general I have had little experience.

I had been looking for an HO interior for my MOPAC Eagle passenger car for some time since IHC had gone out of business a number of years ago when I stumbled upon Hobbylinc. I was surprised to find that they manufactured simple passenger seats as back in the days of real American rail service and for only $5.89 plus shipping which was $6.00 a bit pricey but I got the seats at a 19% discount.

I couldn't believe it because other hobby outlets were gouging, I mean charging far more and offering less quality because typically IHC interiors when still around had to be trimmed to fit older style passenger cars properly. These didn't. So, I thought this was a pretty good deal and ordered a set of blue seats (Blue, green, brown and red are available) on Nov 12th, 2019. I got a prompt email from them informing me that my order was received and to my further surprise it shipped the next day with a USPS tracking number! Delivery was guaranteed by 8:00 PM on Saturday Nov 16th.

I was further surprised to find the order in my mailbox on Friday afternoon Nov. 15th. Opening the package I found 36 blue seats that could be properly aligned with armrests facing towards the center of the car. The seats are pretty good quality and can be further detailed with typical model paints. I have to rate Hobbylinc as a five star service operation.
10/28/19
This past week I attended the 2019 annual Feast of Tabernacles located in the Ozarks. It is an annual eight day celebration depicting world peace and prosperity in the millennial.

The event was held at the Four Season's Lodge, a plush resort featuring championship Golf, a Japanese garden and SPA, ample meeting room accommodations and other amenities. Services were held in the Lodge's Marbella rooms located on the lower level of the main complex lobby with seating for more than 400+ attendees.

The hotel complex was built in 1964 before the Americans with disabilities act' was passed and so has a number of shortcomings although there has been an attempt to make internal improvements such as adding parallel ramps for those who prefer to avoid the stairs where small elevation changes permit. General lighting conditions are deficient in the Marbella room unless you're fortunate enough to be sitting directly under one of the overhead lamps. Lighting is poor in the hotel corridor access to a number of the hotel rooms and outside lighting along the walkways is virtually nonexistent and a sure fall hazard unless you have a cell phone or separate flashlight. There is only one elevator around the bend from the hotel's front lobby desk. I did not see a route to that elevator upon exiting several locations around the lower level Marbella room where we met. Stairs appear to be the only access in or out.

On October 18th about 30 minutes prior to daily services in the Marbella location we were informed that the water would be shut off for the entire complex for TWO HOURS. And when I say the entire complex, I mean ALL of the corresponding hotel rooms as well.

I immediately went to the hotel lobby desk to get confirmation of the shutoff as I was not certain that it hadn't been somewhat exaggerated. When I spoke to the young lady behind the hotel desk, she seemed somewhat shocked and promptly called hotel maintenance who confirmed the two hour shutdown. Why was this action necessary for the entire duration of our service? Why not two hours before or two hours afterwards? This maintenance effort is something you'd expect to be done in the off hours of the night when people are asleep, especially since there was no indication of serious leakage. The Four Seasons management likely wanted to save repair costs at the expense of the hotel guests. A likely consequence from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration titled Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry.' https://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1199&context=chrpubs

Later I checked with several patrons who confirmed water was shut off to their rooms. If someone was ill and needed to use the facilities during the shutdown, they were simply out of luck. In all the years that I've traveled, staying at some of the best hotels, I've never experienced anything like this! No word of apology from the hotel management,, nothing. It's as if this was just another normal occurrence and according to Cornell it's entirely plausible.

Some individuals dared using the restrooms during the shutdown reported that hotel staff inside the restroom offered a bucket of water to patrons to flush the commodes. I can't confirm that as I hurriedly left to use the facilities at my hotel some 3 miles away as Erskine Caldwell's," Tobacco Road" came to mind.
7/15/19
In early July 2019 I received a notification from the Kansas Department of revenue that I had not paid my 2018 taxes amounting to $18.00! Yes, you read that correctly as I owed no federal income taxes thanks to the Trump tax cut but the state of Kansas still manages to squeeze out revenue from its denizens despite zero liability on one's federal return.

I had just 15 days to respond. If I didn't there was a list of options the agency could choose from including but not limited to:

* File a tax warrant resulting in a lien on your assets
* Levy your bank accounts
* Garnish your wages
* Seize your property including motor vehicles, boats and recreational vehicles
* Suspend or revoke any liquor or dealer licenses you may hold
* Refer your account to a private collection agency and a fee will be added to your account

So I phoned the agency to try and clear up the matter and as expected the system is fully automated. I was immediately dumped into the queue with seven people ahead of me. I continued holding until I was No 5 when suddenly a connection was made and I was on the line with someone from the revenue department who identified herself as Martha.

Before I could discuss the tax problem with Martha, I had to jump through a number of hoops to identify myself with name, address, telephone number, date of birth, SS number, etc. It was unacceptable to give the agent my case number of *******941463 as I could be someone impersonating me trying to claim I paid the bill or to make arrangements to pay the delinquency. Yes, these people really are that dense.

Despite my having given this woman my check number, amount and the date that payment was made, Martha wanted a copy of the check with the department's endorsement. All that was really necessary was to do a system search for the check number and within minutes she would have been able to ascertain its disposition. But that assumes these people are willing to assist taxpayers as well as the preexistence of adequate department infrastructure, e.g.: (1) the department is not understaffed (2) Incompetence throughout the department is not a factor (3) a weaponized response via political referral or previous encounter is not a factor.

I went to my bank with the same information I gave to Martha and in about ten minutes they discovered that KS revenue cashed my $18.00 check four days after I mailed my tax return on April 11th but then failed to record it for whatever reason. Obviously, the department of revenue has shorted its ability to monitor payments into the system and may not have had the means to verify my payment. This is irresponsible. But given the dismal oversight in the department, the lack of vision and the stupid political decisions, I expect things to grow progressively worse in the future due to the state's escalating debt.

I should note that the department of revenue would easily have accepted a second check to settle my account but due to its outsourcing tax returns likely would have resulted in the same outcome. The agency has little regard for the people it allegedly serves.

Kansas is a small state with a population of around 2,911,505 persons as of July 2918. The state has a myriad of debt problems between funding public education and the Kansas Public Employees Retirement system (KPERS) and is desperate for money.

'Kansas agency laid off dozens of employees last year. Now it wants them back' https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article230757674.html#storylink=cpy
"KDOR announced in May 2018 that it would eliminate 56 positions as part of a contract with CGI to provide professional services to operate, maintain, enhance and support the Department of Revenue's tax systems He said the state will own certain "deliverables" produced by CGI and reiterated that taxpayers won't experience any disruptions." Really? So what do you call the disruption I received from the Kansas Dept of Revenue. An enhancement? - https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article230757674.html

Despite increased computer technology the Kansas Department of Revenue is a poorly managed state agency. Contracting out services with increased liability for school lawsuits and public employees' retirement obligations is a fool's errand and has worsened the agency's ability to perform.

Kansas is at the center of endless lawsuits over school funding and keeping the state employees retirement fund up to date (https :// business. Ku. Edu/sites/business. Ku. Edu/files/docs/pdfs/centers/bcae/TR%2017-0901--Underfunding%20KPERS%20%28Hall%29. Pdf) such that there is little money for anything else. School funding in Kansas consumes over 51% of the state's budget and taxpayers are on the hook for some 8 billion in unfunded actuarial liability for public employees.

Kansas currently features a per capita debt higher than the US average."Overall, the State had used debt sparingly in prior decades and was previously considered a low debt state. Now we are a moderate debt state with Moody's Net Tax Supported Debt of $1,575 per capita. The US average is $1,473"- (https :// www.kdfa. Org/sites/default/files/uploaded_files/2017%20Debt%20Study%20Rev%200. Pdf) The media buffoons think that when a state's per capita debt is higher than the US average, it's a moderate debt state.

A commission consisting of four lawyers and four non lawyers selects the state's Supreme Court justices who inure the school's right to sue the state legislature. It's a win-win' for special interests like Alan Rupe and associates who have made a career out of suing the state legislature over school funding.

Look for future difficulties in this haphazard agency chiefly due to good old boy politics and the state's failure to get the Kansas Supreme court out of dictating school funding.
4/1/19
I had been looking for a MIG welder for some time to do work on my antique car when I stumbled on a sale at Harbor Freight. Their website listed a Flux 125 welder by Chicago for $89.00 dollars. I thought this welder was a good deal since I had already bought an air compressor and vacuum pump that have provided very satisfactory service at sale prices at their store but never bought from them online since past purchase items found on Harbor's website were always available at one of their stores but when I contacted their rep (there was a 10 minute wait) I was told that this item had to be ordered on line to get the sale price. The best sale price I could get at their store was $114.95 so I decided to order online.

There were two warehouse locations I could choose from California or New York, so I picked California because I'm closer and placed my order on Thursday March 14th During the conversation I was told that I would have to pay California sales tax in addition to the shipping charges even though I'm not a resident. This set off a red flag because the California law based on the Supreme Court's decision South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. wasn't to go into effect until April 1st, 2019. https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog/2018/12/california-will-tax-sales-by-out-of-state-sellers-starting-april-1-2019.htm

I was told that HF had to collect this tax by law which struck me as somewhat odd because sales taxes of this nature have always required the physical presence of the purchaser. However CA law stipulates: "Businesses that were "engaged in business" (i. E., have nexus [over $100,000 in gross sales]) in California prior to April 1,2019, could be held liable for taxes owed on those sales." Socialism costs money. Now by the time you add 7.25% CA sales tax along with shipping to the $89.00 sale item you owe $105.81 but still better than HF's store sale price of $114.99 plus 9.6% KS sales tax.

Order Confirmation

We have started processing your order and will send you an email when your order has been shipped. You can always check the status of your order by viewing the Order Status page in My Account. If calling Customer Service, please reference Invoice 4830507.

Shipping Method: Standard Ground
Billing Address: Shipping address

Allen Williams OVERLAND PARK KS, 66212

Description SKU QTY PRICE Subtotal

Flux 125 Welder 63582 1 114.99 114.99

Shipping & Handling 6.99

Discount -25.00

Sales Tax 8.83

Order Total $105.81

I was told by the Harbor Freight rep. That I would receive a confirmation email 0n my order and another one when the item shipped. The confirmation email arrived promptly on the 15th of March but still no shipping notice by March 19th. Since delivery is promised in 5 to 7 business days from order placement I wanted to be sure it was shipped the following week.

I called the HF representative on Tuesday the nineteenth (another 10 minute wait) to inquire as to why they hadn't sent me a shipment notice. I was told that the item was shipped on Monday the eighteenth and that I would receive it by Friday March 22nd.

The item was coming by FEDEX which has been very reliable in past experience compared to UPS but did not show up on Friday the 22nd as I was told.

I discovered that Harbor Freight didn't charge for the item until the day after the item supposedly shipped which sent up another red flag.

03/19/2019

DBT CRD 2045
03/18/19
00241824 HFT*
HARBOR
26541 AGOURA ROAD
*******000
CA C#5135

(105.81)

On March 26, I went to the website to check on the order. To my surprise, the HF system said that the order was complete when I had not received the welder. I again contacted the HF rep to find out why the system was claiming the order was done.

After another 10 minute wait I was connected to a young lady in the customer assistance group named Aurora. I asked her why I had never gotten an email indicating that the item was shipped when the previous customer Rep. Indicated that it was shipped on 3/18.

At first Aurora told me that my card had not been charged for the item but I was in my bank account at the time telling her that the charge was clearly listed. She put me on hold for a few minutes to do some checking elsewhere finally reporting that the item had not been shipped but was back ordered. So the company is putting items on sale that they don't have but we know that the individual stores carry the item because I could have gone to any number of Harbor Freight locations and bought a welder for $114,99 plus tax.

So this is another company ruse to get people to order sale items at a bargain price and then take 3 to 6 months to fill them on back order.

I told the customer Rep. How unhappy I was with this practice. It was disingenuous to offer an item for sale when you don't have it. So I requested that my order be cancelled and purchase price refunded to my card account. She said this would be done in 24 to 48 hours so by March 29th I would have the refund.

Her explanation as to why my order was not filled was that the company didn't realize that the item was out of stock until March 25th! So either we have some pretty stupid and careless people running the operation, the best example of the Peter Principle I've seen yet or this was a crazy attempt to increase business without inventory.

Aurora offered me a discount coupon giving me the number over the phone and telling me to contact Chad whom she called to confirm the arrangement. The coupon brought the flux welder store sale price down to $99.99 plus 9.6% Kansas sales tax reducing my cost to $109.59, just four dollars more than the original sale price and still a bargain.

On March 28, the money was returned to my account and I picked up the welder locally on a verbal coupon. I expect the welder to be the same high quality equipment that I bought from Harbor Freight in the past.

UPDATE 1/24/2020

In January I finally got around to setting up my MIG welder. Using
The first problem was I couldn't open the top to get at the wire spool. Yje spring catch wold not compress enough to let me lift the lid. After some fooling around and WD-40, I managed to get it open. Consulting the installation operation manual, I loaded the flux wire spool threaded it into the feeder checked it was the 0.03 size and prepared to load it into the hose. The first surprise I got was the manual said pull off the Nozzle, when it simply unscrews. Then the manual says to remove the top so the wird can feed through to that location. But I couldn't unscrew it, so I sent pictures (included) to product support thinking Ithat had gotten an older model nozzle so I sent the following email:

Product Support:

I bought Harbor Freight's 125 volt flux wire welder but I can't get the Contact Tip out. Because the instructions don't match the welding tip. See the attached photographs.

Page 9 of your manual:
11. " Pull the nozzle to remove it' IS not only FALSE but it's a statement NOT an instruction.
12 "Turn the Contact Tip counterclockwise and remove" is FALSE. I can't screw it in either direction nor can I pull it off

The nozzle screws off and I don't know how the Contact Tip comes off because I don't have a pet gorilla to get this off for me. And since it is a brass tip I'm not going to use vice grips on it. If it needs a wrench or special tool THEN INDICATE IT IN THE MANUAL!

On 1/22 I get the following response:

Dear Allen,

Thank you for contacting Harbor Freight Tools. User manual had typo; nozzle should be unscrewed to remove. Contact tip should unscrew counter-clockwise and does not require special tool. No updates to the welder regardless of note in user manual. If you are unable to remove contact tip for some reason, please exchange welder within its warranty.

We greatly appreciate your business.

Regards,

So Not only was there a typo in the manual but the contact tip holder was not shown, The manual picture shows the tip going directly into the rubber hose very shoddy.

I wasn't any closer to getting the issue resolved so I loaded up the unit and went to the local Harbor Freight in my area. Upon arrival I asked for the manager and showed her the problem in the HF welder manual and how I wasn't able to remove the tip.

She and an assistant opened another welder box and immediately unscrewed the tip with ease but she couldn't remove the one I had. She went to get a pliers and finallt got mine losose; it had really been jammed om. The store offered me another welder but I declined since my tip was now functional and was not damaged. Returned home and finished loading the flux wire perfectly.

Harbor freight store personnel work had to take care of their customers and I have always received good service at their facilities, However their Internet sales people and their support group leave something to be desired. It's inexcusable to have major faults in a piece of equipment's installation manual and dumping the responsibility on the stores. HF might be better off dumping both their support and internet sales group since the stores are doing the work anyway.

Overall I now have to downgrade the HF rating from 3.8 stars for the extra effort they made in correcting a serious bungle in website sales and the bungles of an incorrect installation manual to 3 stars. I never had a problem with their in store purchases.

DBT CRD
2045
03/18/19
00241824 HFT*
HARBOR
26541 AGOURA ROAD
*******000
CA
C#5135

(105.81)
12/26/18
I acquired Time-Warner's Everyday Low Price Internet plan about six years ago as I'm not a gamer and I don't stream movies from NetFlix. I just enjoy reading the news and making occasional online purchases. So I didn't feel the need to pay for Hi speed internet. Time Warner was a pretty good plan with decent service.

About 5 years ago Time-Warner was bought out by AT &T who sold off the
Cable service to Charter Communication's Spectrum.

Right from the start I began getting calls from their representatives for me to upgrade my service, add phone, TV and what not which I declined. I have my own broadband phone installation which works fine so I didn't need another. At the same time I was
Receiving saturated mailings from Spectrum informing me of what extra service
Packages I could order. The phrase not interested' has absolutely no meaning to the company.

In December of 2018, I opened my Spectrum bill and found that it had jumped 25 percent, down slightly from the 33 percent increase of 2017. I promptly called them to discover the reason for the latest increase.

The Representative I talked with either wasn't very knowledgeable of Spectrum
Plans or was deliberately misleading me on the various options. It's likely a corollary of the axiom "Tell customer anything to get the job or keep the service."

The Time-Warner Everyday Low Price (ELP) Internet plan is no longer offered on the Spectrum Website and the company will not let customers sign up
For that plan even though my monthly bill continues to show the ELP
Selection. http://concerningconsumers.bangordailynews.com/2017/03/16/home/spectrum-discontinues-time-warners-14-99-everyday-low-price-internet/

After informing me several times that Time-Warner no longer exists and that essentially I didn't have a right to the ELP service at Spectrum, she continued to evade my
Questions on the reason for the price increases. After much persistence on my part she finally told me that Spectrum initiated a company wide price increase.

However, despite the representative's assertions, the pricing increases appear to be some sort of punitive measure to force the consumer on to a plan of the company's
Choosing rather than honoring the user's preference. There's also nothing like subsidizing Spectrum's acquisition costs for Time Warner.

Today's business strategies concentrate on forcing customer's to buy services they don't need or want at outrageous prices in a captive market created by government regulations and other federal enablers. Remember Net Neutrality. A half baked government plan to equalize broadband speeds, no blocking access or throttling traffic,
Etc?

Broadband competition is intentionally muted to force prices upward and holdovers from less expensive plans are targeted for forced upgrades: https://eu.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2017/06/08/spectrum-customers-not-happy-in-time-warner-cable-changeover/376695001/

I'm not alone in experiencing Spectrum's abusive rate hikes; Charter Communications has lost roughly 100,000 subscribers during the switch from Time -Warner Cable to
Spectrum. Here are more customer's thoughts:

"After being a customer for 18 years they are trying to increase prices well above their ongoing advertised prices of TV Service, Internet Service."

"When Spectrum purchased Time Warner I kept getting letters in the mail from Spectrum stating save $10 to switch to Spectrum, reading the fine details, year two would increase by $10, year 3 would be what ever going rate is. I just hit year 2 and price went up $20. I called and spoke to 5 people. All said I am getting the correct rate. If anyone has a copy of the letter to prove me right or wrong would be appreciated" Read
More Spectrum complaints at: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/spectrum/internet/spectrum-spectrum-internet-service-took-over-time-warner-cable-industry-california-1338932

Spectrum offerings differ from locale to locale usually pushing phone, Internet and TV services at three to four times the cost of Internet alone. The cheapest Internet
Offering I saw was a promotional at $44 per month soon to become $65 a month. And Spectrum only offers two speed tiers 60 Mbps and 100 Mbps, "with no data caps, usage-based pricing or additional modem fees," according to a recent company press release.

60 Mbps =
$64.99 ($53.99 for customers who also have Spectrum TV)*100 Mbps =
$104.99 ($93.99 for customers who also have Spectrum TV)*

I asked the Rep if there were any changes to my broadband speed. Spectrum responded that I'm getting 3.5 MB service but clocking the Internet speed with Speedtest shows 2.3Mbps. http://www.speedtest.net/#,
Download at 3.02 Mbps; Upload 0.25 Mbps

Spectrum's own speed test is pretty comparable with a slightly higher Upload speed at 0.5 Mbps but these will vary from day to day based on traffic load, etc. https://www.spectrum.com/internet/speed-test.html

Both tests confirm that I'm getting less than 3.5 Mbps service so either the Rep doesn't
Know what speed is supposed to come with Time-Warner's old ELP service or one
Gets whatever the company feels like providing.

In Oct of this year (2019) I received a notice from Spectrum that they were increasing my monthly fee for ELP service $3.00 which now totals $27.99 per month for an alleged speed increase that I didn't request. So I performed another speed test (same independent source as above) which now shows me getting 4.65 Mbps download speed and 1.93 Mbps upload speed an actual overall increase from what I had before. In reality, there should have been NO COST increase because I demonstrated that I was not getting what I was paying for originally so their speed increase simply brought me in line with what I was supposed to be getting in the first place. Interestingly enough Spectrum would NOT let me check my internet connection speed using their platform as I did earlier. Instead you get two choices from their results screen, Login' and View'. (See the attached screen shots.) I didn't try the login choice because I would either have to create an account or use my existing one, slick method huh?

They must have read my earlier review because now when you click on their second choice 'View" it's nothing more than detailed plan advertising including projected' speeds for different packages. You never get an actual speed result for your connection. While I was there a window popped up asking me how I would rate my site experience. I replied with a zero' and another window immediately popped up asking me to explain why I gave that rating, which I did. It's obvious Spectrum doesn't want to provide evidence that speeds provided aren't up to what they advertise. So the bottom line is that deceptive advertising laws are worth exactly nothing.

I would still rate Spectrum at zero if the Sitejabber system would allow me for Spectrum's deceptive business practices, disingenuous advertising, credit billing irregularities, minimal plan choices and unwillingness to allow people to keep their current plan and an endless solicitation harassment to upgrade services from both mail and phone calls.

Spectrum is a dud, best to avoid it.
11/3/18
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is a huge conglomerate featuring global asset management which "is the asset management division of Royal Bank of Canada" located in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean.

Your investments work hard to build the globalist vision of a new order. "RBC is the 12th largest bank in the world based on market capitalization and the fifth largest in North America." Barron's notes that RBC Wealth Management is looking to Grow having actively recruited a significant number of high profile investment managers over the last 8 years.

But all is not well in the RBC golden world of investment as RBC is charged with Negligence and Elder Abuse: (http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com/2017/09/15/rbc-wealth-management/) If you have a few bucks to invest and you're of retirement age then beware because the wealth management brokerages are going to milk you. What do you mean? Well, older people are prime targets for abuse by investment firms because the money is there and ripe for the taking and seniors tend to be overly trusting. We're already seeing evidence of this in RBC's late December 2017 User Agreement modification. RBC blocks you from viewing your own account unless you agree to their terms.

RBC User Agreement, Section 7C: "IN ADDITION TO AND WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, RBC CM SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY HARM CAUSED BY THE TRANSMISSION, THROUGH THE PROGRAM, OF A COMPUTER VIRUS OR OTHER COMPUTER CODE OR PROGRAMMING DEVICE THAT MIGHT BE USED TO ACCESS, MODIFY, DELETE, DAMAGE, CORRUPT, DEACTIVATE, DISABLE, DISRUPT OR OTHERWISE IMPEDE IN ANY MANNER. THE AVAILABILITY OF THE INFORMATION OR ANY OF YOUR SOFTWARE, HARDWARE, DATA OR PROPERTY."

This statement also removes liability from the transfer of erroneous information from
Typos' and other such glitches which may cost you money.

RBC Capital Markets, LLC60 South 6th Street Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

Attention: Client Support Services, Mail Stop P12Phone: *******946 (Weekdays 8:00am-10:00pm ET and Saturdays 10:00am-6:00pm ET) The White law Group reports:

"According to The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, (http://www.finra.org/) an all-public FINRA arbitration panel has awarded $212,000 to the estate of a former RBC Wealth Management client who had charged the firm with negligence and elder abuse."The attorneys of the client, the late Hazel Kitzman, charged that RBC Wealth Management engaged in the unauthorized sale of shares in the client's account and in the unauthorized transfer of funds from an account at another firm. The attorneys requested compensatory damages of at least $1.5 million, treble punitive damages and reimbursement of all legal costs, all of which the FINRA panel denied."

Remember that unauthorized RBC broker activity' because we'll see that again
Shortly. Think this is just sour grapes or a few disgruntled clients? Well, take a look at a host of other complaints (https://topratedfirms.com/brokers/customer/rbcwealthmanagement-review.aspx) as RBC Wealth Management Reviews compiles complaints summed up nicely by RK' back in January of this year with "Money sucking leeches. No fiduciary responsibility. Will suck you dry with fees." RBC Wealth Management meets that assessment.

Then there's just the run of the mill abuse like a $140 yearly account' fee charged to me for not buying anything. Remember interest rates are barely 3% and inflation is currently at 2.3%. As a big or small investor you pay for not buying the financial investments a brokerage offers, even if you lose return on that investment. The forced purchase of unwanted goods or services from corporations has become a global hallmark. This policy causes older investors with smaller portfolios to purchase less desirable investments to keep their accounts from being pillaged by excessive and ruthless RBC fees.

If you're an elderly or a new retiree investor expect to be milked if you don't know the ropes. And, even if you do, the financial industry is structured such that there are no real penalties for fund mismanagement or cheating a client because the account holder must agree upfront to binding arbitration as a condition of getting an account Outside a court of law the odds swing dramatically in favor of the brokerage, so do not count on FINRA for any real relief. The centralized global banking system is designed to extract wealth from the general populace virtually at will simply by changing the prime rate. Fees for any alleged services are just icing on the cake.

Be sure and read the fine print in the RBC periodic account updates so you're not surprised as I was by the latest excursion into your back pocket. Controlling
The investor market is the key to successful brokerages because interest rates are rock bottom low in the public sector. And, it's risky for individuals to play the stock market or derivatives in today's environment. So offering investments priced slightly above what's available at the trough guarantees a pool of people with above average financial strength.

Managing a brokerage account at RBC will tax your time as much as if you were actually a broker yourself, from watching for mistakes in tabulated interest to your accounts to buying financial instruments that you didn't want just to satisfy an order.

Here's an example of what can happen, even if you watch, from December 2016 as I purchased a financial instrument from BOFI federal through the brokerage: I did not
Authorize a purchase beyond the BOFI investment. But the broker bought $2000 worth of another bank's offering shorting the BOFI investment without consulting me first. The Broker's email response:

Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2016 13:53:06 +0000From: Pellicoro, B <*******@rbc.com>To: *******@NETZERO.NET <*******@NETZERO.NET>

Mr. Williams,

I will call you shortly, but wanted to assure you that I would never take it upon myself to buy something you did not order. I only have human error to blame as I inadvertently bought the wrong bond. But I will make sure that THE ERROR IS CORREC TED TODAY!

B. Pellicoro
First Vice President - Financial Advisor AWM
RBC Wealth Management

111 Rockville Pike
Ste 825
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: *******604
Fax: *******681

How do you buy the wrong bond? The RBC Broker's reason for the investment snafu? Why a typo', what else? But the spelling of the 'bond' he bought wasn't even close to the four letter spelling of BOFI. Note that elderly investors don't have the time to make up losses from bad deals that their brokerage might buy like zero coupon J. P. Morgan chase bond securities that can pay zero interest for months until the consumer price index rises. If you have more than one brokerage account, then you must be prepared to buy something within the specified time frame for each account. If you don't buy regularly in a calendar year then you pay an RBC 'inactivity fee' under the following conditions:

First, investment maturity doesn't count. If you have an existing security and it matures then you get no credit for reinvesting that principal with RBC. Interest from other investments that pay into your brokerage account isn't considered activity either, activity' is only new purchases that lead to the broker making a profit from your account. So, why keep it there? Because it will cost you another fee to close the account anywhere from $90.00 upwards. Pursuant to the RBC user agreement', I bought another financial instrument in January 2018 with an end of the month settlement date to avoid the penalty for not investing'. This is extortion plain and simple.

I received the RBC purchase confirmation in the mail. But at the end of January the capital was still in my investment account so the purchase was in doubt as my agreement with the broker stipulated the money was to be transferred after the 26th of the month. I had to call the broker to discover that they had bought the instrument with their own money. Why?

This is highly irregular. I've never had securities bought on credit before without my knowledge and so this experience was of some concern given the wording of their user agreement: ". Until payment is made by you, securities purchases by you or held by us for your account will be or may be hypothecated comingled with securities for other clients. If payment or delivery is not made by the settlement date, we reserve the right without further notice to charge interest on the amount due shown on the face hereof."

Likely I would have been charged interest for RBC using their money to buy my investment without my knowledge or permission if I hadn't checked up on them. So despite what RBC brokerage may tell you, there is a good chance that an interest charge could still appear on your next statement. Also, guess who will be keeping the interest on the investment until the funds are transferred? If you can buy something on credit without client approval, why not double my order as well and hold me liable?

Even RBC's instrument purchase confirmations are full of additional clauses that work against the account holder. And there's no recourse provision in these clauses for RBC negligence when a buy order isn't executed because the user agreement requires client agreement to binding arbitration instead of a court of law or you don't get the account. So to find out what additional fees may have been dumped on you in a given transaction, you must request an explanation in writing or you get nothing: RBC notes in their client agreement that ". This transaction may have incurred other fees. A complete breakdown of fees associated with the transaction will be provided on your written request."

In December, of this year I transferred my account to another broker using the RBC system. RBC like many large banks earns its money by gouging clients with outrageous fees as the loan industry is no where near as lucrative. And fees aren't subject to the same scrutiny as loan interest. I was charged a $125 fee for transferring my holdings to another financial adviser even though the funds remain at RBC. Then I was charged an additional $45.79 for electronic transfer of my records to the other adviser within the same bank.

As RK aptly noted, they are 'money sucking leaches.'

UPDATE 3/6/2019

I discovered that RBC was holding the proceeds from one of my investments, $200 plus a $125 fee. Immediately I sent off a letter of protest to Warren Bischoff, the RBC Complex Director taking issue with the transfer charge on my investments moving within the same bank to another broker. After several weeks of non-response from RBC, I wrote a letter of complaint in January of 2019 to both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Comptroller of the Currency (as the latter regulates all foreign banks) to protest this outrageous fee. Shortly after getting my letter off to the regulating agencies,

RBC reversed the fee. After I had contacted FINRA, in early March of 2019 $325 dollars was refunded to my new brokerage account. To date I have not heard from Comptroller of the Currency as apparently this case did not fall under their jurisdiction.

If you're looking for a place to invest, look well beyond RBCs client satisfaction hokum.
9/12/18
In October of 2017 I was returning from a trip On US 64 which brought me through Louisville, Kentucky. Just about a half to three quarters of a mile before the Shively 264
Exit, I was bumped in my rented 2017 Chevy Impala by an individual in
Some sort of green sports car. I saw him or her swing in behind me from an
Angle consistent with someone entering the highway from an on ramp.

It looked to be a woman or a guy with long hair from my rear view mirror who fell in behind me after the hit and slowed down. I had expected him or her to pull in behind me after the bump event. I signaled to pull over to the shoulder where we could exchange insurance information. I stopped on the shoulder about 100 yards from
The Shively 264 exit. Instead of pulling directly in behind me, the guy sped away on the 264 exit just as traffic began to back up at the Shively exit. However, I got his license number '840 CAL' before he fled the scene. Looking at the rental vehicle right side damage, the collision was consistent with an onramp entry and appeared
To be more that $500.

Two Louisberg police officers showed up about a minute or so after the individual sped away. I thought they might have witnessed the accident but instead they began clearing debris off the Shively exit to free up traffic. Lacking a working cell phone I
Was unable to contact the police. One female officer at the scene I attempted to talk with said they were 'super busy' and that another patrol car would be coming. At that point, she and an accompanying officer jumped into their cars and left the scene. I waited 30 minutes at the Shively exit for the promised patrol car but it never showed. I hen left and continued my journey home. The next day, I filed a Kentucky Civilian Traffic Collision Report with the state police. (http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/forms.html)

The civilian traffic collision report I filed is a joke. It gets no identifying number after it's filed; nobody appears to do anything with the report. It's likely a convenient archive that allows insurance adjusters to determine your 'risk' factor in premium assignments. Otherwise, it's a worthless document for anyone who has filed it. After I arrived back home I called the Kentucky state police but they wouldn't run the license plate I recorded. They suggested that I talk to Louisville police at
Division 4 of Jefferson County. So I called there and the officer tells me they don't have jurisdiction and they wouldn't run the plate because I'm not a law enforcement officer or an insurance representative. They suggest I call the Jefferson County DA. So I talk to a Jefferson County assistant DA who tells me that I cannot file a
Criminal complaint over the phone and that I would have to return to Kentucky. Neither would they accept my complaint in a notarized letter. Only a local lawyer could file my complaint, I was told. I believe the reader can see where this might be going.

Talking to a number of lawyers in the Loiuisville area that handle auto accidents revealed a host of solutions for the hit and run accident I was involved in but none of them were viable. I should point out that few attorneys called me back the same day as either business was exceptionally good or the amount of damages I experienced wasn't sufficient to peak their interest.

One attorney suggested that I file a civil action to recoup the rental losses. But unfortunately, even if I returned to Kentucky and filed a civil and criminal action, I was told that the accused could simply deny it. (The perpetrator obviously didn't have insurance which was why the person fled to begin with).

Another lawyer said paying the damages myself (or my insurance
Company) would be cheaper than hiring a lawyer to resolve the issue.
What this translates to is unless there's sufficient money in play
Because of an incident we're not interested in pursuing it even if it's a
Felony. Remember that statement because it's nothing more than 'pay to
Play', And even if you win the civil suit; it's doubtful that you'd be awarded attorney's fees. It's characteristic of the endemic corruption in America's legal
System. You'll understand this a bit further down.

My personal favorite was a local lawyer who advertises 'How to Get a Car Accident Report or Police Report in Kentucky'. Nothing gauche about tooting your own horn. The process is actually quite simple, "There is a company that has a website to handle requests for car accident reports for Louisville and all of Kentucky. The website is called www.buycrash.com (www.buycrash.com/Public/Home.aspx).
There is a fee for each accident report that can be paid by credit card
(MasterCard, Visa, Discover, or American Express) or PayPal... Written
Requests need to be addressed to the Kentucky State Police post that
Worked the accident. Written requests should include a self-addressed
Stamped envelope and a $5.00 check or money order payable to Kentucky
State Treasurer... If you believe another person was responsible
For your car accident in Louisville or elsewhere in Kentucky, you may
Want to contact a Kentucky attorney to assist you with filing a
Claim or pursuing a lawsuit. You can contact Brett via email or call
*******700, toll free *******729."

So the lawyer's advertisement suggests that what I experienced outside Louisville is quite common in the area. His site has a number of testimonials from happy satisfied clients So there you have it, if the monetary damages are sufficient to make it worthwhile for the attorney then a claim will be pursued. Apparently the same condition applies to the Jefferson county D. A. Never mind that a particular law
Has been violated, after all we break the country's laws every day where
Immigration is concerned.

One final call to the Jefferson County DA to suggest that their office pursue the criminal charge against the individual who fled the accident scene as it was at least a Class C misdemeanor. (My guess is it wouldn't be a felony unless it was something like $5000 or more in damages) The assistant DA that I talked to said they don't pursue individuals and that I would have better luck with a civil complaint through an attorney. Now the DA had to know that a civil complaint against an individual without auto insurance was futile so his recommendation was more 'pay for play' rhetoric. I retorted with 'I bet if I robbed a bank and someone got my license
You'd run it. That's no different than someone leaving the scene of an accident.' There was complete silence from the assistant D. A. I thought he had hung up. He reiterated that there was nothing he could do and so the call ended.

Travel through Kentucky at your own risk.
8/8/18
Recently, I was in the market for some new R-12 hoses to refurbish an older AC gauge set when I happened on an advertisement from Amazon featuring all three replacement hoses for about $17+ bucks. It seemed like a good deal except for the long delay in shipping the goods but I wasn't in any hurry so I thought I'd sign up.

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that Amazon.com doesn't allow guest purchases' as does EBAY, it's members only' at Amazon and your order is conditional upon membership acceptance. I received the following confirmation memo Jan 16, sent to me at our sites email address.

Order Confirmation

Hello Allen Williams,

Thank you for shopping with us. You ordered "Atoplee 3pcs (2500~500)PSI...". We'll send a confirmation when your item ships.

Details Order #**************812

Arriving:

Monday, February 6 -

Tuesday, February 28

Amazon.com

This was the typical automated response however, the next day I received a follow-up email which I expected to be an actual ship date but instead my account' was frozen!

Subject: Re: Your Amazon.com order cannot be shipped On 1/16/ 12:24 PM, *******@amazon.com wrote: There was a problem processing your order. You will not be able to access your account or place orders with us until we confirm your information.

You can help us resolve this issue by replying to this message with the billing name, address, and phone number registered to your card. Please reply from the email address registered to your Amazon.com account.

If needed, update your information with the card issuer.

For your security, we restrict access to your billing details to a team of account specialists. Our Customer Service team cannot access these details or provide you with more information on this issue. They can only verify that we sent this request.

We ask that you not open new accounts as any order you place may be delayed.

Amazon.com

This makes no sense unless the real purpose of being an Amazon member is to open all of your transactions to government phishers. All the personal 'verification' needed was to PING the card in amount of $1.00 to confirm its validity otherwise the card would be rejected outright. What Amazon is really saying here is that we don't trust you to be who you claim to be without outside confirmation. That's not membership, it's just abuse.

Apparently Amazon no longer limits abuse to its employees but is now including customers as Salon reports: Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon's sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers. (https://www.salon.com/2014/02/23/worse_than_wal_mart_amazons_sick_brutality_and_secret_history_of_ruthlessly_intimidating_workers/) "You might find your Prime membership morally indefensible after reading these stories about worker mistreatment." Don't be overly shocked, this is simply globalism and its New World Order business practices. It's the future of American business. Oh that's just sour grapes. Really? Well how about Amazon used neo-Nazi' guards to control workers in German factory?
(https://www.rt.com/news/amazon-abuse-staff-germany-310/) Oh, too harsh, still? How about the Orwellian work environment at Amazon as in Forbes' assessment, "What Amazon's Work Culture Tells Us About Employee Disengagement (https://www.forbes.com/sites/causeintegration/2015/08/21/what-amazons-work-culture-tells-us-about-employee-disengagement/#6316bac454f0)

But what disturbs me most is the Huff Post Blog reporting a $600 million dollar deal Amazon struck with the CIA for cloud services (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/norman-solomon/why-amazons-collaboration_b_4824854.html) which likely means the CIA has access to all purchases made by Amazon customers. The Blog further reports: ". A signer in Cincinnati wrote: "If Amazon chooses to sell out their customers to the CIA, I will never visit their site again. Betrayal shouldn't be the price of convenience." This certainly goes a long way towards explaining why Amazon would be so interested in confirming' mine and others customer information.

On Jan 17th, I called the company and spoke to a representative who was to look into the problem.' I told them what had happened and the lady I spoke with indicated that I had to respond with the email address that I opened the account with. Well, duh. I DID that and they acknowledged it by responding to the ORIGINAL email address that I opened the account with!. (Actually, I responded with both my email addresses and still received the same mind numbing response.)

Hello,

We encountered an issue with your account, and have removed your access to this account because the card issuer has refused to confirm your name and billing
Address for your Visa ending in 56. You will not be able to access your account or place orders with us until we verify your information.

To resolve this issue, please allow the card issuer to grant our request, or send the information below to our secure fax line:

-- A copy of your statement for the payment card used, including the billing address
-- The last two digits of the payment card
-- Your name, phone number, and email address
You can find our fax number on the Amazon.com Help page: ttps :// www.amazon. Com/help/addressverification

We will convert your fax to a secure electronic image. To protect your information, we restrict access to your billing details to a team of account specialists.

Our Customer Service team can confirm that we sent this email, but they cannot view your fax or share more information about this issue.

You can expect a response from us within 24 hours of sending your fax. If you would like us to confirm your information with the card issuer, reply to this email after you have arranged for them to grant our request.

In the meantime, please do not open new accounts because any new order that you place may be delayed. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Amazon.com

Yes, secure like Yahoo and Facebook which had millions of their 'secure' customer records hacked. And might they also be passing my business information along to the NSA or FBI as BEST Buy technical people are currently doing for the FBI? (https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-08/fbi-has-been-paying-geek-squad-spy-customers-over-decade)

The customer rep never addressed my reply or indicated why my bank had to confirm my identity. A few days later I got another email asking why I discontinued my account. Interesting enough, Amazon's Bezos owns the Washington Post and since I have been a written critic of that intellectual rag, the Amazon episode begins to make a bit more sense.

Trump may be on to something in Donald Trump's war on Jeff Bezos, Amazon and the Washington Post Looks like Amazon.com has been getting a pretty cushy tax break in their rise to economic fame. (http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/13/technology/donald-trump-jeff-bezos-amazon/)

And of course, we all know the journalistic integrity' of WAPO as in After the WaPost's Latest Shot, It's Time to Call Fake News' By Its Real Name Weaponized Journalism' (http://thefreethoughtproject.com/wapost-fake-news-weaponized-journalism/) My observation to the WAPO editor on instructions from Jeff Bezos for their news coverage is that company policy (written or otherwise) dictates news coverage just as it would with any other firm subsidiary. Don't think for a moment that WAPO isn't looking out for the Amazon billionaire's interests.

There is another possibility, the company is advertising the sale of an item they don't have and won't have available unless a sufficient number of people express interest before they order from their China supplier. In that case you might want a verifiable customer base to motivate the Chinese.

If you're an Amazon customer get prepared for more invasive scrutiny of your account information, and if you're not, don't JOIN!.
7/24/18
Observing operation at Walgreens pharmacy located at 78th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas was a wonder to behold. It is a modern drug dispensing facility with computer oversight, featuring a drive through, two service lines, an information window and a huge alphabetical prescription holding rack containing drugs for A to Z recipients, ready to dispense.

The first time I was there to have a prescription filled, the two service lines were six and seven persons deep and the drive through window processed a steady line of prescription orders. (Eat your heart out McDonalds!) From what I could see there were a half dozen or so pharmacy techs of various nationalities scurrying about keeping the drive through window supplied and placing orders in the holding rack. It was by far the most intensive activity in the entire store and undoubtedly responsible for Walgreens 2016 billion dollar profits. It is for all practical purposes a highly successful retail network pharmacy. But what about real healthcare?

Only one pharmacist oversaw this circus of activity that I could detect with who knows how many unseen individuals behind the scene hastily filling little plastic pill bottles with various medicines. It was Obamacares assembly line medicine in full operation, a boon to the fortunate few who hold exclusive distribution status.: The Obama administration decided to make a deal with the PhRMA to get them to support the legislation, he told Morning Consult. PhRMA got a number of favorable provisions in the legislation.

As you might expect, in any quasi chaotic operation born of special interest deals, things were bound to go wrong. In the multicultural - multinational drug market, the mission statement is more important than the reality of care. Walgreens president, Greg Wasson claims: One of the most unifying forces behind Walgreens 113 years of success is our purpose: to help people get, stay and live well.

Really? But shouldn't that process commence by ensuring that patients obtain ALL their prescribed medicines and not someone elses? After arriving at Walgreens about a month ago, I had requested my prescription records be transferred to Walgreens from CVS. You AREN'T ALLOWED to retrieve your own prescription from a pharmacy under Obamacare; it has to be requested by ANOTHER PHARMACY.

On March 27th, I went to get my 2nd prescription filled that clearly indicated there were two remaining refills on the bottle. However, I was told at the counter that they had NO prescription records for that medication. I informed them you should have the records as I had requested them to be transferred from CVS the last time I was at Walgreens. But I had to request the transfer of my 2nd prescription a second time and indicated that I would return on Wednesday of that week to pick it up.

When I arrived at the counter on Wednesday a multicultural tech informed me that my pain killing medication was ready. I didnt have a pain killing medication, I replied. Oh, then your Prednisone prescription is ready, the tech said. I dont have a Prednisone prescription either; I wouldnt take that stuff I replied. Makes you wonder if diabetic customers are getting the correct medication and dosages, hmmm? Nothing quite like being knowledgeable about whom youre serving.

But regarding my 2nd prescription they said: CVS didn't send that prescription to us because you have no refills remaining. But that wasn't true as the prescription vial I handed Walgreens clearly displayed TWO refills and it had not yet reached the 12-month expiration limit.

The pharmacy didn't seem to care about the administrative foul-up and refused to honor my request for a few emergency pills to hold me over until I could get the doctor to write a new prescription because as their pharmacist told me. It wasn't legal. KMART did this regularly. So was it legal to push off narcotic pain killers and prednisone on me because they mistook my identity? It doesn't invoke much confidence on my part in their professional capabilities. Instead they had my third prescription ready (which I didnt need) and tried to get me to take that in lieu of what I requested. The service there feels like 'Give me the money.,. Shutup... get out! Starting to get the picture, yet?

Discussion with the pharmacist led to an agreement for Walgreens to contact my doctor and their automated system would then call me when my 2nd prescription was filled. But, there was no call from Walgreens automated system and I had to call it myself (and my doctor) to find out that my prescription was ready to pick up nearly a week later. It doesn; t matter what you arrange with Walgreens, you will only get what they decide you can have. Is it just me? Well, read some of the 1220 Walgreen complaints and decide for yourself. (https://www.consumeraffairs.com/rx/walgreen.html)

UPDATE 1/24/2020: Recently my doctor put me on a new blood pressure medication starting at 0.1 mg dosage to allow me to increase it gradually as needed. It's common for physicians to allow patients to adjust dosages of their medicines because a given drug doesn't work the same on every individual.

I started the new Clonidine prescription on Jan 11th with just 30 pills continuing on the lowest dosage for about a week. The numbers were moving in the right direction but I decided I needed another small increase and so I went to 0.2 mg. That change got me closer but I still needed a bit more. I increased to 0.3 mg and was finally where I needed to be but had used all but 4 of the original prescription. At this point I had three days left before my next doctor's appointment and since their were 5 refills listed that could be refilled before 1/08/21 so I headed to the pharmacy to get a quick refill to avoid shorting dosages before my doctor appointment.

When I got there I handed the bottle to one of the staff who promptly told me they couldn't fill the prescription before Feb 9h
Because this restriction was on the label. Well, I was a little surprised because this was a brand new prescription and no one new if the original 0.1mg dosage stated on the label would work. So I asked the tech if I could just have a few extra tablets to carry me over the week end. Something I never had a problem with at Kmart; the pharmacists there always accomodated my requests.

The tech excused herself and went back to see the pharmacist. When the woman pharmacist came out, I explained I just needed a few pills because it took a bit more to get my BP under control. The young woman immediately got upset and asked If the doctor approved my taking the extra pills. How could he know how many I needed. It was a brand new lowest dose medication, any of three dosages might have worked, who knew until I took them. Well, she flatly refused to give me a few extra pills to tide me over because the doctor had not approved my taking the extra pills. I had to call the doctor, get a revised prescription which the doctor's staff sent electronically to the pharmacy. When I called to confirm the pharmacy computer wanted me to pick up the prescription the following day. Note that there is no real change here it's just for the same 30 days at the same dosage. How stupid are Walgreens Pharmacy people?

I told the computer I need it today. The computer finally said I could pick up the prescription after 3:15pm.

Well by now I'm getting pretty hot under the collar. I arrive and the tech said It would be ANOTHER 20 minutes before it could be filled. I exploded since I had been told it would be available after 3:15pm and I arrived at 3:20pm.

I told the tech there is no reason why you people should have denied me a few extra pills to tide me over because the medication was not opioids or narcotics. Well the pharmacist heard the commotion and came out, I reiterated what I told the tech and repeated it was a new medication and I didn't know what dosage would work so the doctor expected me to find the level that worked for me. It wasn't rocket science, it was just blood pressure medication.

She then claimed that I didn't say that before. Well I didn't use those exact words because I thought she was smart enough to realize it was a new medication not in their system, it was a very low dosage and I only needed a few pills NOT a whole bottle. It was really a non issue the woman obviously lacks common sense.

Again I told her it was not for opioids or narcotics but she responded it was blood pressure as if I was getting something dangerous like nitroglycerin. I told her it was NOT her responsibility to take care of my blood pressure and to mind her own business. I additionally informed her this would be written up AGAIN on Site jabber. And maybe when there are sufficient reads to impact Walgreens business maybe they'll stop the bull$#*!. This is the worst pharmacy I have ever had to deal with, staffed by minimally qualified people and professional morons.

CVS and Walgreens are battling it out to control the market for prescription drugs so customer care is way down the line. Patient care comes in number four right behind legal liabilities, HHS directives and company policy. Emphasis is on pushing the distribution sales of prescription drugs to the dehumanizing level, everything else is secondary.

I arrived at Walgreens on April 3rd to pick up the 2nd prescription, the pharmacist waited on me directly. I informed him that Walgreens automated system didnt call me and that I had to call it instead. He did the usual security check with my birth date and then asked me to type in the last four digits of my telephone number which the system didnt take. This suggests that I quite possibly could have left Walgreens with narcotics never prescribed for me because of their malfunctioning system. He continued to try to get the system to accept my phone number and I finally had to tell the Pharmacist to ring up my charges as he wasnt responsible for the malfunction. It was the people who installed it. They could play with their computer later; I just wanted to complete my business and leave.

My first hint that Walgreens was more a greed driven enterprise than a healthcare outlet occurred when I was forced into their system from the collapse of KMARTs pharmacy. And mind you, not that KMART provided inferior products or service but it simply wasnt as good as Walgreens in marketing their slice of the Obamacare drug cartel. KMARTs final pharmacy closure sent my prescription records to CVS, the bottom of the birdcage in prescription medicine.

The reader is well advised to seek other drug store providers if at all possible.
7/1/18
I'm one of those individuals who does virtually everything across the Internet. It is in that spirit that I sought and found a set of replacement radiator cooling fan motors on Junkyard dog. For my dad's 1991 Nissan Sentra E (which I now own since his passing). The car has deep sentimental value and I have sought to maintain it as it was when he was alive. Photo: The parts carton delivered by UPS.

Although the company that I ultimately ordered the parts from, Sunrise Nissan- California, didn't show up on the Internet search, they obviously got the information that I filled out in the salvage query because they sent me an e-mail with price and availability. Their shipping cost was the lowest of any of the companies that I had negotiated with for transport. (And now I know why)

I decided to order. The item arrived from Sunrise Nissan delivered by United Parcel Service (UPS) on the evening of June 8th, some 15 days after it was ordered.

I could hear things rattling around inside as the UPS agent handed me the carton. The package was wrapped around multiple times with plastic wrap and quite difficult to get open. The packaging was not at all like the shipping containers that I've received with vintage auto parts in the past; this one had a noticeable dent on one end and it looked more like a cocoon than a box. {No, I didn't mistakenly show the wrong shrimp, I mean shipping carton here. The parts were actually delivered in an old frozen shrimp carton. Frankly, I was surprised not to find any dead shrimp along with the fans when I opened the box.}

At this point, I'm not certain if this particular auto salvage operation also sells or prepares shrimp at their location but it might be wise to scan any shrimp you order from California with a metal detector before serving.

Both fan assemblies were broken. The driver's side was the least damaged with only one mounting tab missing. I found it at the bottom of the box. Fortunately, I was able to repair it satisfactorily

The second fan shroud was extensively damaged. One of the broken frame sections was lying underneath the fan blade as you see top center.

There is a fracture about 3/4" from the right hand side of the missing top piece penetrating through the entire shroud assembly. The lower frame was broken clear through at its bottom as shown in the photo top. It was not found in the shipping carton. Either, the shipper or UPS, placed the broken shroud parts in the bottom of the shrimp carton along with the two fan assemblies.

The supplier was: SUNRISE NISSAN & KIA AUTO DISMANTLING, 3450 SUNRISE BLVD, RANCHO CORDOVA, CA 95742. PHONE *******795 FAX *******849 e-mail: (now protected) STORE HOURS - M-F 8am-5pm SAT 9am-4pm STD PACIFIC All parts guaranteed 6 months

After placing a complaint call, UPS made arrangements the following day to pick up the packaging for 'inspection'. What? They didn't photograph it after picking up such an unusual package from the shipper? I e-mailed both UPS and Sunrise Nissan the evening of June 10th complaining of the damage and including these photographs. UPS sent an e-mail acknowledgement of receipt of the pictures on 6/11/09, stating:

"Thank you for sending us the photos of the damaged package. We will now inspect the package and notify your shipper of the results. We will contact the shipper by the end of the next business day. If you are the receiver, please stay in contact with your shipper for additional information regarding the final disposition of the claim.

Thanks,

Gregory Marshall

UPS Damage Exception Group

*******352 ext. 4511"

Photo: Original Fan Shroud assemblies.

Sunrise Nissan has not responded to date. Lacking the common courtesy to respond to its customers gives one an indication of what their 6-month fan warranty might be worth. Is it a wonder that California is going broke?

So, whose fault is it for the damaged items? Both the Shipper and Carrier will blame each other for the damage; it's the consumer who loses.

I was fortunate, neither fan motor was damaged, both work satisfactorily and replacing the shroud will cost about $52.08.

But why not just use the original fan shroud assemblies already on the vehicle which were in good shape? Well, ordinarily that would have been a viable solution but in this case, the replacement fans mount differently in the shroud assemblies than the originals as shown below.

Photo: The Nissan original and replacement fan shroud.

Although both are '91 fan shrouds, the replacements ordered from Sunrise Nissan utilize a triangular mount that's actually part of the motor and can't be removed.
Swampers or auto dismantlers have no particular incentive to remove parts undamaged. Getting orders filled quickly is what counts.

And, UPS already has quite a reputation for damaged goods and often refuses to pay claims on things it wrecks in transit.

One claimant writes: "I shipped a wall sculpture at THE UPS STORE in Lagrange KY on February 25,2009. The item was undamaged and in good condition when I took it to them for shipment to my home in Virginia. I paid 90.50 for shipping, handling and insurance on my sculpture. When it arrived in Virginia I found my 822.50 sculpture had been totally destroyed. "

Another writes: "I shipped a desktop phone system to a customer by packing it in a heavy box, wrapping each phone 2x in large-cell bubble wrap, and adding styrofoam peanuts for extra protection. The customer contacted me stating the phones arrived looking like they had been smashed by hammers."

It's why consumer advocacy sites like "Angie's List and others have sprung up on the Internet. Angie's List serves some 750,000 consumers with ratings on who's good, who isn't and who's in the 'penalty box'. Suppliers do not pay to get on Angie's List, they must earn their way on in either in providing good or unsatisfactory service.

Today's consumer not only faces the risk of receiving merchandize like this from unscupulous sellers, but also has to deal with callous shippers like UPS who often damage otherwise satisfactory and serviceable goods in transit. Carriers make their money on the sheer volume of merchandize they ship; careful handling is NOT conducive to maximizing company profits. It's better to push the volume to the highest maintainable level and let the smashed articles accumulate as they may. After all, UPS faces no real retribution other than unpopular publicity and if you deny most of the damage claims, you're profit ahead.
Shipping UPS should not be a first choice. It should only be done for items that are inexpensive and easily replaced or simply can't be broken. Remember, your money is never damaged in transit and seldom lost.
6/8/18
On March 30, a small group of about 20 people including myself gathered to celebrate the days of unleavened bread at a special dinner at the Doubletree Hotel Trofi restaurant in Overland Park.

A number of local eateries offer private dining for a fee or on a food and beverage basis.

**Doubletree Hotel **
(by Hilton)

Trofi Restaurant

10100 College Boulevard,

Overland Park, Kansas, 66210-1462, USA

We had negotiated with a young lady there named Adrianne, the hotels evening restaurant manager, for a suitable private dining area some months prior to this event. I and another individual met with this person and looked over the private and semi private areas available.

At the time of our viewing these facilities we were more than 6 months out from our March 30th dinner event. We looked at several locations inside Trofi; one was a semi-private area located on a small mezzanine just above the main dining area and a larger enclosed room away from the dining area that would accommodate up to forty people. After some deliberation, we decided on the larger room expecting that we might add individuals to our 20 person minimum.

We had guaranteed the Hotel a minimum of 20 individuals for the event and asked to be notified of any pending price adjustments in advance. During the meeting we were informed by several restaurant staff that Trofi was looking to renovate their restaurant sometime in 2018 and might be adjusting Menu prices.

It took Adrianne nearly 3 months to get us a copy of the menu for our event with prices. As our event drew closer, I stopped by the Hotel to enquire as to whether Trofis renovation might occur at or near our dinner event. When I arrived, I found that Adrianne was in a meeting so I asked the Hotels front desk if someone else could be available to update me on the Trofi renovation. Gary Rodgers, the Director of Catering and Convention Services for Doubletree met with me and I was told at that time that the restaurant was in the process of hiring a new manager, a Mr. Kevin Gunn and we should consult with him.

However when I called the hotel several days later, I was told that there wasnt any Mr. Gunn. But finally I got hold of Adrianne and after several email requests; she finally sent a firm price Menu.

Everything now seemed in order and we were nearing the event when a series of illness cancellations caused us to drop below the guaranteed 20 person agreement. I expected that we might wind up somewhere between 17 to 19 individuals. Adrianne indicated that number would suffice,

So now fast forward several weeks to the night of the event, we arrive at Trofi shortly before 7:00 pm to discover there is no Adrianne and the Hotel switched our private room to the semi-private mezzanine which was essentially open to the main dining area. Our server and what appeared to be the night manager, a late 40s or early 50s man, began to herd us toward the large table along the length of the mezzanine. At this point, about 17 people were present.

I questioned the night Managers assertion that we had negotiated originally for the mezzanine which wasnt true. During this discussion interval three more people arrived bringing us up to our 20 person minimum.

I told the manager that there appeared to be adequate private space available as the restaurant was nearly empty. He replied that there was a private room adjacent to where we were but that it could only hold 16 people because of Overland Parks fire code However, Doubletrees own website indicates capacity is just 14 people.

I recalled that the room we viewed earlier in our negotiations was one of three banquet rooms located down the connection corridor to the hotel rather than in the restaurant proper. It then occurred to me that this room was misrepresented by Trofi at the time having been quoted at $600 for our event which later gradually morphed into a 20 person minimum; the hidden assumption being a $30.00 food and beverage purchase for each individual which isnt realistic if there are children involved. Its just the old bait and switch marketing scam.

So realizing that we had been duped, we sat down to make the best of the evening but that notion could not be further from the truth. We could not play our pre-recorded opening message because there was background noise from our server as well as a few people seated outside near the mezzanine. It was intended that we would play our message first and then the server would be admitted to take orders but the server was already engaged in bringing tea, water and whatever else as we haggled with the manager.

This is supposedly a 4-star restaurant (3.8) according to Open Table.com but considering the events of the evening, by whose standards? Im finding it hard to believe, its the patrons evaluation. Its interesting to note that Trofis own Doubletree website fails to tout the nearly four star rating from Open Table, as the difference in quality cuisine and service from Hiltons Johnnys Italian Steakhouse in Olathe was far superior.

At 7:30 pm our server began to take our orders, running back and forth with drinks, etc but it was nearly 9:00pm before all orders for our group arrived. I received mine at 8:50 pm but the lady across the table to my right still didnt have hers. Given the lengthy serving times involved, one wonders if this was the chefs first commercial experience.

Now patrons that had received their meals between 8:15 pm and just past 8:30 pm were already eating as there was no point in having them wait for everyone to be served at that point. During my wait I had been talking to the gentleman directly across the table from me as he ate his order of Burnt End Mac and Cheese. Suddenly, I saw him stop and quickly bring his hand to his mouth. Inserting two fingers he pulled out a small sharp curved object about ¾ of an inch long. The object had pricked his gum and he had his wife look to see if any blood was drawn.

The foreign object was unknown to most of us around him but the fellow who had bitten into it thought it might be a piece from a grill brush.

Quick View. Just Grillin' Oversize
https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/3/grill-brushes

Unfortunately, some of the grill brushes depicted on the Bed, Bath and Beyond' site could potentially be used in other tasks that would render them unsuitable for further grill use. The discovery of this metal fragment in a patrons food suggests that there isnt much management scrutiny over the condition of food utensils employed at Doubletree. It also gives one cause to wonder if there has ever been an FDA inspection at this facility.

When my dish arrived, it had a hastily prepared appearance. As I began to eat, I found the rice pilaf quite dry which set me off on a 10 minute coughing fit. By the time my cough subsided, it was past 9:00 pm and I elected to take the rest of my meal home in a takeout container.

Dining at the Doubletree restaurant was a miserable experience and I certainly wouldnt recommend it to anyone much less the hotel guests.
5/18/18
Update 9/22/2020:
In today's world constant vigilance is required to prevent the paid pickpockets of the banking industry from sucking you dry with miscellaneous new fees etc. I originally chose a money market account at this bank which provided a reasonable interest reward for my deposits. It's not uncommon to limit transactions on these types of interest bearing checking accounts; the original limitation being three external check transactions and three local checks per month. If you came to the bank to make withdrawals, there was NO limit imposed. However, with the 4 month shutdown over the supposed Covid-19 pandemic, not to mention formation of the new Security cartel, the banks were hungry to make up lost revenue and depositors are ripe for the pickings.

I've had this account better than 15 years and I've witnessed the evolution of Valley View to the New Security Bank cartel and with that came quiet modifications to existing bank policy without warning. One of the ways they do this is to modify their transaction policies which reside on their website requiring the depositor to check it every few weeks for changes. I don't bother I just report it here.

First I questioned the bank on why I was being charged $3.00 excess withdrawal fees when I had only three withdrawals in September. This is true but banks structure their monthly statements to overlap two consecutive months beginning their checking or savings statement periods from the 8th or the 12th of a previous month and ending at the same point in the second month. So one is less likely to realize he or she is going over the limit because it's a new month and erroneously thinking that the transaction limit is reset.

When I discussed this issue with bank personnel, their first response was that I was limited to 7 transactions. I had to press them to find out that they now limit the account holder to SIX transactions per month eliminating the exception for in person withdrawals. Either the people handling the account DON"T KNOW what the limits are or you are being deliberately misled.

I don't care to be dinged $3.00 bucks every time I make an extra withdrawal from my account but the long range plans are to charge for every deposit and withdrawal made. This is only preconditioning the depositor for that eventuality; however it's not possible with a cash system and that's why financial concerns desperately want electronic currency.

I've also had my debit card canceled because I briefly held a ZERO balance after a series of transactions which only lasted a week. Incredibly, their response was we thought you meant to close the account!

My solution was to switch to a non interest bearing saving and checking accounts, in today's market the 0.1 to 0,25% interest rate isn't worth the bother.

Original Post:

Recently, I had the need to send money to a company overseas to purchase a service. I normally use PayPal because its readily accepted for overseas transfers unless you happen to bank with Security Bank of Kansas City, formerly Valley View Bank.

On April 28,2017, I attempted the transaction but it was blocked. Whats interesting here is that I got an immediate notice from PayPal indicating that the party I was attempting to pay was blocking the transaction. Why would the people I am trying to fund block the transfer? They don't want the business?

I did not find the answer to that question until the morning of May 1st when I received several email notifications and two automated phone calls from Security Bank asking me whether or not I was the originator of the $140 dollar transaction on April 28th and May 1st, 2017 respectively. After I confirmed that I was the originator, the transaction was still blocked. So what's the point of asking? It would be a good thing to verify the originator and then proceed with the transaction if the originator is who he or she claims to be but Security Bank is only concerned if it's an identity problem that they would have to refer the transaction attempt to the FBI. And a bank attempting to verify an overseas transfer of money would be a good thing if the queries had not occurred three days after I attempted the transfer. Why so fast, why not wait until the end of the week? No need to inform the owner of the account immediately- well just block the transfer and see if it goes away on its own.

(9/22) I've had transactions under$10.00 dollars blocked without notifying me which promptly results in your being contacted by irate providers over non-payment. (/)

The experience gives one a feeling for just how much a bank exercises control over your own money being mindful that once deposited its not your money anymore. You are just another creditor. And it gives new impetus to the scriptural text, "No man may buy or sell save he that have the mark...'' It also reaffirms my oft repeated comment that control over money is control over you. Its a major reason why the banks are warring against cash. It gives far greater power to the money barons over who buys what and when. Just wait until these morons have us all on electronic currency, where not only can and will they block transfers they do not like, but will charge you VAT fees as well on both ends of the transfer.

Whats scary is that I could have been attempting to send the $140 bucks to a vacationing family member overseas who unexpectedly ran short. But that does not matter, bank POLICY comes first, everything else be d_____! Ever wonder how the banking cartel and the government can quickly wreck your money portfolio along with your day? Read on!

Note that it doesn't matter that I had set up a pre-arranged transfer annually for this event and that Valley View (now Security) had paid the same company at the same location for three previous years running. I affirmed that request with the same bank just last year but the only valid agreement with Security Bank is what you can make at the moment and even that agreement doesn't necessarily hold and is time limited. (These are the same YOYOs that offer you the opportunity to download your bank statement electronically BUT IT DOES NOT WORK! All you get is an error notification. Once inside their system you are on a 3-minute egg timer clock after you login; instead of counting inactive time and resetting their clock if you change the page or click on something else; they simply dump you out of your account. Ive had to log back in multiple times to complete a single task. And along with that policy they required you to show your drivers license each teller visit with your hat off so they could recognize you. Consider that you may not really be you, you could be someone that looks like you wearing a hat to pretend to be someone else. Never mind that you come in more than once a week for over 10 years, that's irrelevant. Policy is policy. I could go on and on.) Its complete lunacy and its about time the public found out the kind of nonsense they can expect in doing business there.

The Banks President and his security advisor appear to be a couple of flakes bereft of common sense but they are actually getting help Thanks to Government, Banks That Treat You Like Crap and Spy on You (https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/thanks-to-government-banks-treat-you-like-crap-and-spy-on-you/) After all, I could be a terrorist buying a raft for some illegal to float into the country or maybe I was buying a bomb part or stock in a chemical weapons factory.

But I digress. So I called the bank to get some answers as to why my payment was not going through. After giving a young lady in the customer support group my identification information, she answered my questions indicating that Security blocks ALL foreign transactions. The government limits taking money out of the country to $10,000 but these people block all foreign transactions involving your money! The customer rep then promised that the bank would allow me to make the transfer if I performed it before May 2nd but then refused to identify herself. Incredibly, the customer Rep refused to give me her name citing it was not needed! Now you know exactly what those canned statements informing you that calls are recorded for quality assurance are really worth. Further questioning revealed that the transfer would have to be before 12:01 am on May 1st. So, I hung up and tried the transfer again. Now wait for it. THE TRANSFER STIILL was NOT made!

I was a little steamed when I called back the second time because they reneged on the agreement but this time I was able to get a customer rep with a little more savvy to manually process the payment, finally receiving confirmation from PayPal that the company had received the funds.

If you are looking for a bank, I d suggest that Security Bank of Kansas City is not it.

UPDATE 5/5/2017
Today, I received a response from the Bank's vice president:

Id like to take his opportunity to pass along our apologies regarding the difficulties you experienced while trying to conduct a recent debit card transaction. However, I wanted to make you aware that the transaction posted to your account on May 3,2017.

I want to assure you that we make it our top priority to provide reliable payment processing systems to our customers. We understand that customers depend upon debit cards for their everyday needs. We take that responsibility very seriously.

At the same time, I am sure you have heard on the news that debit and credit card fraud is a global epidemic. Criminals use multiple tactics to steal card numbers. Such methods include online and telephone scams; skimming devices placed on retail terminals, ATMs and gas station pumps; etc. International transactions (especially those conducted on the internet) are one of the biggest threats.

I have reviewed this incident. I can see that you needed to make several phone calls to resolve this issue. We apologize for the inconvenience that caused. As fraud issues continue to evolve, all financial institutions are facing similar challenges with balancing security and customer convenience. We are continually monitoring and revisiting our fraud protection procedures, so your feedback is truly appreciated.

Rest assured, we really are attempting to keep your best interests in mind with our efforts to protect your account. It is time-consuming and disconcerting to become a victim of fraud. We want to do our part to help minimize the opportunity for that to happen to you.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be glad to assist.

Best Regards,

Cathy Keeling
Senior Vice President
Security Bank of Kansas City

My response:

Mss Keeling:

What kind of remark is "the transaction posted to my account on May 3rd mean other than being patronizing? That didn't happen because of anything Security bank did. I got one of your support reps to push it through manually. What you're saying is 'well, it went through so get over it.' There's not much point in having your system make several automated calls to confirm my transfer request (not to mention 2 separate emails regarding the same issue) and then when satisfied the request was indeed made by me, simply ignoring it and continue to block my transfer.

And yes, I'm aware of the the scam tactics used to victimize Debit card holders but that's not an excuse to ignore the requests of valid card holders.

I have updated my May 2nd article with this information as its important that our 200,000+ readers be informed. If you continue to block my transfers when you have confirmation that I'm the originator, THERE WILL BE ADDITIONAL PUBLICATIONS about security bank policies and practices.

Consider it free advertising.

Update May 2018

Sometime beginning around March of this year, I began to experience increased difficulty logging into my Security Bank account using Tor. At first, I thought it was just their goofy system as it's always been clunky and now they were upgrading it. When I complained, i was told that Security was having software issues. However my logging in difficulty continued to worsen, sometimes I could only view my account for a minute or so and then suddenly I was logged out. Other times, their system would cycle me around from the login screen to the security questions and then to a different login screen before letting me into the system. I would then get to view one or two entrres in my account before getting dumped out.

Then somewhere towards the end of April, I found that I could no longer get into my account using Tor despite always using the latest software version. I checked the browser list on their site that Security claims to support and Firefox was on it. I then logged into my account using a conventional version of Firefox and got right in without further trouble. At this point I realized that the bank was deliberately sabotaging my use of the Tor browser.

Entering their internal memo communication block I advised the bank on line that if they continued to block access to my own account after I have provided both the correct login information as well as correctly answering their secuity questions that I would be filing a formal complaint with the Kansas Attorney General's Office along with whatever federal agency regulates them, e.g. the office of thrift management or whomever, etc. I obviously got their attention because one of their executives called me a couple minutes later and I reiterated what I had said in the written correspondece plus advised them that both my complaint and an article detailing the events would be published for our quarter million readers.

Keep in mind that banks will promptly take advantage of you if you're unaware of your rights as a depositor. Hopefully, this review will benefit some of you in your own circumstances.

If Security Bank was truly concerned about security and not simply collecting data they wouldn't have been blocking the Tor browser in the first place.

Allen W
5/13/18
[Source Picture from: KCP&L Smart Grid from Missouri Public Service Commission]

Missouri Public Service (MPS) has accepted KCPL's 5-year plan for sustainable smart grid development. The DOE funded MPS version can be accessed here. (http://files.newpatriotsblog.com/200004101-31a7a339b2/KCPLSMARTPresent.pdf) What does this mean to you as a consumer?

There are few benefits for the electric consumer, the majority of infrastructure is aimed at collecting utility customer information and transmitting it via WIFI back to the Great Plains Subsidiary. KCP&L claims increased system reliability and fewer outages to their smart grid: "There will be increased information about customer energy usage and the ability to monitor, manage and ultimately reduce energy consumption and bills."

But how's that different from the histogram of usage that already appears on my monthly bill? The answer is KCP&L can determine exactly what is being operated in the home. The company is marketing the smart grid as advantageous to customers but what are claimed as benefits actually favors KCP&L not the consumer. The KCP&L plan version is available here. (http://files.newpatriotsblog.com/200004106-023b7042f0/KCPLSmartGrid.pdf)

For the system to produce the greatest economic benefit, individual homes must allow KCP&L to remotely control their household thermostat. There is a good possibility that participation will become mandatory at some point just as smart meters have been mandated by the company. Can you refuse? I was told by the KCP&L installation technician that I couldn't opt out. When companies dictate to you what you must do in order to receive their services, you are ruled by fascism. In a similar event in Nevada, the power company took the smart meter and left a hole where the meter was, leaving the woman without electrical power. (http://stopsmartmeters.org/2012/09/12/smart-meter-or-no-power-at-all-power-company-sends-three-armed-men-to-disconnect-power-just-for-opting-out/)

One wonders what payoff the KCC and local politicians are getting to ignore consumer health and security issues and just look the other way.

KCP&L 's plan states that the thermostat is one way communication but MPS indicates that it's bi-directional as it has to be to cycle your AC compressor and provide feedback data to the company. KCP&L has the ability to send a signal providing instructions to the thermostat in to reduce cooling demand... programmable via the Internet " Note that cycling your air conditioning unit benefits KCP&L because you pay for the surge current (inrush) for each 15-minute cycle as well as the added wear and tear on the unit. Inrush current can be as much as 3.5 times as high as the normal load current, so if your unit typically uses around 20 amps during operation that amounts to 70 amps-4 times and hour plus the normal operating current.

KCP&L claims that "Cycling event-cycle compressor off and on for 15-minute increments, for no more than four hours." However, if KCP&L and its affiliates don't like your politics, you could be 'off' a lot longer than 4 hours.

There are some 25 additional disadvantages for the smart meter consumer as documented in a sample utility letter from stopsmarmeters.org (http://stopsmartmeters.org/sample-letter-to-utility/) concerning Pacific Gas and Electric customers who have a similar program. PG&E issues are common to KCP&L's five year plan and it's no surprise that KCP&L omits the disadvantages of their smart grid program. Utilities stand to make enormous profits long term from smart grid technology, so it's understandable that they'd hide any consumer disadvantages. Here is a brief summary of customer concerns:

* [Smart Meters] individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy. Smart Meters" are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate Federal and State wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviors without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.

* Smart meters are not protected from EMP attacks, large EMPs or localized EMPs as simple as a kid with a battery and a coil (Electro Magnetic Pulse)

This second case will be a lot of fun for the consumer trying to prove that he or she hasn't consumed the kilowatts that a compromised meter is now claiming. Note that the KCPL system permits the company to download whatever EER/ECA cost factors are desired directly into your meter and who's to know? Remember, that the social mindset is always to believe the machine because computers, etc... don't make mistakes!

* They {Smart Meters] transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behavior and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.

Once a hacker gains access to your programmable thermostat via any internet connection, he's uniquely positioned to know the best time to burglarize that home and sexual predators could know when young children might be alone. Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants. Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, [NSA] corrupt law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.

Newer appliances with microchips will broadcast their ID so the utility (and others) will know exactly what you're doing in your own home in real time. And, like Microsoft, Google and other collaborators who have given the NSA access to their customer databases, KCP&L will lie to its ratepayers, denying that NSA or anyone else has acquired such information. Even if KCP&L's smart meter employs encrypted WIFI signals, the NSA will be provided with the encryption keys and/or direct access to the consumer's account at KCP&L's data hub despite a particular customer not being a terrorist threat. KCP&L is bringing the public a step closer to the government's Total Information Awareness system.

There are also health and fire hazards associated with smart meter use but simply chalked up to the cost of doing business. "The Saskatchewan government has ordered its power utility SaskPower to remove 105,000 so-called smart meters installed at homes and businesses across the province, following concerns about eight unexplained fires associated with the units." (http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/saskpower-to-remove-105000-smart-meters-following-fires-1)

Then there are reported health problems due to the radiation emitted by the devices. (http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/health-hazards-linked-to-utility-meters/)

There are some 25 stakeholder lobby groups involved in the Great Plains Smart Grid project, ". Including neighborhood groups, Congressman Cleaver, MARC, MEC, KCP&L, MGE, KCMO water, UMKC" but no mention of the KCP&L pledge to cooperate with the radical Sierra Club on legislative and regulatory changes that would reduce the company's overall emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 percent by the year 2020. (http://files.newpatriotsblog.com/200000775-556ca5666d/KCPLtoJumpStartcapmTradePayoffs.htm)

The George Soros driven Sierra Club association tends to explain why KCP&L wants so many EER/ECA type surcharges. The KCC has already approved 99% of KCP&L's surcharge requests. The latest request is for Time of Use (TOU) because smart grid development and operation costs are driven by fringe environmental groups to the detriment of ratepayers but you won't hear that from the utility or local media outlets. Currently, KCP&L profits are more than adequate to enable them to pay some $1.65 per shareholder as listed in the Great Plains Energy Corp 2nd quarter 2014 report. (https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/great-plains-energy-reports-second-211100461.html)

The KCPL smart grid is clearly an Agenda 21 sustainable development program that will impose cap and trade on the American public via subterfuge. The EER/ECA/TOU surcharges are simply a hedge against lawsuit and regulatory threats. Utility rates will continue to increase to the planned benefit of the electric cartel owners, not the consumer. Rest assured, the smart grid concept is planned to be the electric supply standard across North America including all rural areas.

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