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4 Reviews by Charles


I emailed Ms. Fitch months ago, telling her why I wanted her help. She emailed me back -- on a Sunday! -- asking for more details. When I wrote her that I wanted to reduce my taxes as a retiree so as not to have my taxes go to pay for needless wars or donations to Israel, suddenly Ms. Fitch stopped responding. Was there a connection between my reference to Israel and her sudden silence?

When weeks later I contacted her again by email, she told me she was heavily invested in helping her current clients as it was tax season, but invited me to contact her after April 15th. I contacted her again late June or early July -- again by email, and she asked for my telephone number and told me we would set up a telephone interview.

On the day prior to my telephone interview, Ms. Fitch emails me cancelling the appointment I had waited months to have with her, explaining apologetically that one of her clients had suffered a financial catastrophe and needed her help. By email, we made another telephone appointment for the following week. When the day and hour came for our telephone interview, Ms. Fitch was a no-show. She didn't follow-through with her commitment and I received no apology for her irresponsibility.

I no longer think her initial silence or her final silence was coincidental or accidental. It was racial.


I was a customer of Sonic.net from March 2012 until August 2018. I purchased a DSL connection with the standard landline phone service, the bundled structure of which used and uses AT&T's (old) copper lines. The monthly charge in 2012 was $52. By 2019, with no increase in service or quality, the charge was $72. Each time my bill went up, it went up without notice.

At least, back then, I received a bill -- or invoice. Or used to.

But then in 2019, the CEO Dane Jasper made the stupid decision not to send a monthly invoice to customers. Rather, he forced them to log in to a database at Sonic.net to find the bill.

Arguing about the need for a receipt was useless. The staff answering complaints via email was ridiculously insensitive and uncooperative. The best of them would say, "I'll pass your criticism up the chain of command." The worst of them would reply, "I don't like your attitude or your conduct or use of language." Rather than try to problem-solve, the staff strove to escalate a conflict originally created by the CEO.

No sooner did I sign on with Sonic in 2012 and began having trouble with my service -- my Internet connection -- than I received a shock: All that the customer service department told me about repairmen or technicians coming out to check my connection was false -- a lie. Instead of expecting for my monthly charge, a repairman or technician to come out when the copper wires were faulty or when the modem wasn't working properly, the customer service department suddenly announced each request for in-home service would come with a $100 fee -- unless I purchased Sonic's own modem and stopped using my own store-bought one.

Trusting that the customer service department's new story was true, I bought a Sonic-serviced modem, but when I began having troubles with it and my Internet connection again, the Sonic technician team tried in every way to get me to solve my own problems over the phone rather than send one of their precious technicians all way the way from Santa Rosa to San Francisco just to repair a connection or service a modem. Sonic told me that their repairmen were overstretched, overworked, and few in number, and even if my need were an emergency, the soonest anyone from Sonic could arrive was two weeks!

It just so happened that on the day when I lost all landline and Internet connection, city workers were digging up the street outside of my apartment. I contacted the city workers' supervisor in person and told him that I had no phone and no Internet, half-wondering if a city worker hadn't accidentally cut the copper wire connection to my computer, and much to my delight that supervisor contacted Sonic and got Sonic to send out a repairman/technician that very day - within two hours -- circumventing all of Sonic's verbal bureaucratic blockade to a customer!

Issues regarding Sonic's indifference to the customer came to a head for me recently when I pulled no punches via email to the customer service department and began describing the CEO as a "$#*!," while also politically skewering the staff's emails responses about my "attitude" rather than their directly dealing with Sonic's CEO"s decision to avoid providing a customer a billing invoice as it had done for the last seven years -- AND without providing the customer a reason. I soon began receiving angry and very prissy messages about my "hate speech" and my "Jew hating" (apparently because I referred to the ideology of hate speech as having originally been created by Jews) ending up with a man calling himself a Jew, spewing his pretentious view of how "offended" he was at my email remarks -- never once saying anything factual, true or concrete about the problem many Sonic customers were dissatisfied with in not receiving an automatic receipt for their automatic monthly payment for service.

Sonic.net is memorable for its political pleadings to all its customers via email: "Help us! The feds are trying to regulate us! Send a letter to your Congressman!" I always gave Sonic what it asked. I always paid my bill, but Sonic's CEO's doesn't like reciprocation or fairness.

In the end, Sonic notified me - again by email - that it no longer wanted me as a customer. I have to tell you, I'm so sorry to have even to admit I was once associated with "progressive" PC Sonic.

I switched to AT&T -- the owner of Sonic's copper wires service. I have signed up for a regular landline again but wireless Internet connection this time -- and I lowered my bill by almost ten dollars a month.

Sonic offers poor service, poor quality, and poor customer rapport, although its technical staff is marvelously friendly and helpful - more personable and caring than any other commercial company I've ever come across. However, they know who is the CEO -- and by that I don't just mean they know his name: they know his imperious and queenly character -- and are helplessly under his thumb to alter anything.


'm currently with Merrill Lynch in Carmel and have been a client barely a month and am very unhappy with the overall service and advice I have received.

I am retired. My financial advisor had to call an outside CPA to find out the maximum I might withdraw from my IRA per year without incurring any tax liability because Merrill Lynch does not deal with tax liabilities, my financial advisor citing federal regulations as the reason for this limitation. How can an institution give advice to a retiree and oversee his account without being concerned about taxes? He also told me that the $15,000 figure he received from the CPA is only an estimate or guess. He claims he has no better knowledge as to how to answer my concern.

Because my advisor is in Carmel, he doesn't come into the city very often, though he promised me when I signed on with him that he comes into the city at least 2-3 times a week. My financial advisor arranged with my annuity company to surrender an annuity and to receive a check for $24,000, but the check came to my address and not to Merrill Lynch. Instead of being able to turn the check over to my advisor in person, I had to wait three days for my financial advisor to send me a self-addressed envelope and then wait another four days before Merrill Lynch could deposit the check -- this after learning my account had lost more than $3,000 in a single day and right after I had signed on with Merrill Lynch.

Finally, a snafu developed between Merrill Lynch and me when it reproved me for sending my account number to my new advisor (through a screenshot of my portfolio) using my personal email when I questioned him as to why my account had suddenly lost more than $3,000 just moments after my portfolio had officially installed online.

That same email later caused the Administrative Manager at Merrill Lynch to write me a letter saying she was investigating that email and while the investigation was ongoing, please contact her with any questions, which I did - twice -- and was unable to reach this woman at all. Her voicemail indicated she would call me back, but she never did. (And my financial advisor never gave me a complete explanation for my losses. The downturn happened, okay, but why did my account portfolio profile at ML state I lost only $831 when, in fact, it lost thousands? No answer. I think it was to make Merrill Lynch's efforts at monitoring my account look better -- cosmetic. He merely told me my email to him contained "key words," like the NSA monitoring terrorists online and in emails, which triggered an investigation, never stating which words in my brief email were the trigger or "key words.")

Later, I found out this woman, the Administrative Manager, was on vacation and there was no one else I might speak with at Merrill Lynch. In her letter to me, she wrote, "At Merrill Lynch, we strive to create an optimal experience for every client." Really? Why couldn't she have placed on the outgoing voicemail recording news of her absence and/or an alternative number for clients and customers to call as a customer service courtesy since she knew she wouldn't be available to answer the phone while on vacation? Oh, that would require this bureaucratic administrator to be the words she wrote in my letter and behaving other than a hypocrite toward the client. Ain't gonna happen.

These are just some highlights of my discontent with Merrill Lynch.

I only recently learned about fiduciaries and fiduciary duty, which may or may not be helpful to a potential client. At first, I thought it was necessary to have a fiduciary, but fiduciary duty can also be interpreted so loosely... Well, I guess the benefit of last resort is that you legally can sue the individual or company who is a fiduciary if there's a major financial screw-up, but having a fiduciary duty doesn't necessarily mean a client won't lose money, even lots of it.

My financial advisor says Merrill Lynch is a fiduciary, but I lost $3,000 right out of the gate, and my financial advisor's response was, "Well, it was a 5-day downturn in the market; there's nothing that could have been done." And so fiduciary duty can mean that the financial advisor simply monitors your portfolio as it declines in value. Right? What a benefit!

I had talked with my financial advisor for a whole month about my risk tolerance -- or lack of it -- and yet my pension monies were put into a portfolio that contained more risk than I knew existed. Once I confronted him about the situation, he blamed me for not understanding what was the true nature of my portfolio. His response was a testament to how poorly he had been listening to me all along.


This is written from the perspective of a Lead at ND - a former Lead. I was asked to be a Lead for ND last December 12th and I accepted. I'd been on the job for two and a half-months when I was unduluy attacked and cyber-bulied for having mentioned in a comment on a post I didn't create that Agenda 21 was responsible for bike installations suddenly appearing in San Francisco in many different neighborhoods, unasked for and unannounced. Commenters outside my neighborhood attacked me for "conspiracy theory," for being a "racist," for being stupid and ruining NextDoor.com for my single comment. Eight people from different neighborhoods joined in on repeated attacks.

My role as Lead allowed me to delete those comments that went against community guidelines but NextDoor would not allow me to report the individuals responsible for going against the community guidellines because these members were outside my neighborhood, thus giiving ND members outside my neighborhood the license to "bomb" me over and over again, trying to incite conflict, create public shaming and harassment -- with no protecttion offered by ND on this.

In fact, in order to obtain assistance from a specialist at ND, you have to email a specialist who takes up to 48 hours to respond. Based on my experience, the advice these specialists offer amounts to nil. One specialist named Chester actually wrote that all you can do as a Lead is to remind people of the guidelines, but "they usually resent you for reminding them." That's it? No help? Right -- no help!

I deleted my account yesterday when I discovered ND uses Leads as slaves to assist them with the management of the platform, offering, of course, no pay, but no protection as well. Roman slaves had no protection. Early Colonial Period slaves also had no protection. Nothing has changed in the age of technology concerning NextDoor.com.

As for being a regular member and commenter, unless you want to chat mindlessly about your love of dogs and cats, brag about your endless volunteerism for the community, or want to behave like a common thug and attack and bully for your own pleasure, there's very little for the normal human being at NextDoor.com. It should shut itself down, but it's too stupid to know this.

Charles Has Earned 37 Votes

Charles S.'s review of Nextdoor earned 35 Very Helpful votes

Charles S.'s review of Merrill Lynch earned a Very Helpful vote

Charles S.'s review of Nextdoor earned a Fraud Buster vote

Charles Has Received 1 Thank You

Charles C. thanked you for your review of Nextdoor

“Nextdoor.com is a place for people to complain about the long line at the golf course. Seriously, its a total $#*! show and waste of time”

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