A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Leaf Springs, Coil Springs. Fine firearms.



A bit of explanation on leaf springs compared to coil springs utilized in fine firearms.

Is there an advantage or disadvantage to one type over the other?  Not really, as long as good materials are used, proper workmanship is employed, proper maintenance is implemented.  But, you should understand some basic fundamentals as there are differences and there is some misinformation out there.

First, a bit of history.  Leaf spring use in firearms goes back centuries.  In the past, the technology was available to produce leaf springs.  This was not the case with coil springs.  Some people like their fine firearm that may have a historical tie to fine pieces of the past.

Leaf springs were used, and are still used, in some of the finest firearms such as Holland & Holland, Westley Richards, and James Purdey and Sons to single out a few.  The trigger groups above are from another fine firearms maker, Perazzi.

Lets take a moment to look at a few points worth thought.

Some people state that a leaf spring will maintain the same tension until it breaks, this being it's advantage over coil springs.  Simply stated, this is not true.  We can dive into metallurgy to show this is not true but we can also set up a simple example which you can do at home to disprove this yourself.  Take a simple steel paperclip and bend it partially, back and forth, as you sit in front of television. You may find it breaks before the show is over.

Coil springs are utilized in many modern firearm designs.  They are also used in automotive engines and internal combustion engines in general.

Imagine a cheap car, using the cheapest steels, and imagine driving down the road as your tachometer reads 1,500 RPM.  In a four cycle engine, the intake valve(s) are being opened and closed 750 times per minute, in a four cycle gasoline engine.  That is 45,000 times per hour.  The cheapest Yugo using the cheapest steels available will generally run for more than an hour.  Let's imagine that we drive that car for one hour a day for a year.  That would be over 16 million cycles of the coil spring.  How many cars have you seen on the side of the road non-operational due to a broken valve spring?  Fine flintlock and percussion lock guns were not generally fired 45,000 times in their lifetime (remember the Yogo above that drove for one hour).  I believe, but may be incorrect, that Perazzi expects the life of their leaf springs to be about 40,000 rounds.

Drop lock and side lock guns that utilize leaf springs which are expected to break.  This is the primary reason which why the locks in many cases are hand detachable.  The springs can be quickly and easily replaced.

Leaf springs work great.  They feel great as do many coil spring powered hammer actions.  In both cases metal fatigues over time and use but leaf springs concentrate the force into one small stress spot while coil springs do not have a focused stress spot.  This is not good or bad, this is just simple design and metallurgy science.  The belief that leaf springs maintain the same force and lock time over their entire lifespan until they fail is false as well.  You prove this yourself with the paperclip, or you can ask a metallurgist or physicist.

As a side note, some fine gun makers such as Perazzi give you a choice as they offer both leaf and coil spring models.   If you love history and removable locks float your proverbial boat you can go one route.  If you want a more modern and technological approach you have that option as well.

Happy shooting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Fidelity Investments vs TD Ameritrade

Why have I stayed with Fidelity Investments rather than switch to TD Ameritrade even though TD is more flexible on negotiating lower trading commissions?

Fidelity had terrific tax reporting to the customer and great customer service.

TD had been a temptation.  Their technical support was better.  They always gave an answer rather than refer you up their organizational chain where at times you never received a proper answer. Fidelity support was generally quite friendly but over time had fewer immediate answers.  Certain types of trading, such as option trading are available from TD and not offered by Fidelity.

Let's examine my point about customer service, which is actually directed at the tax reporting advantage.

Yesterday, February 6, 2017, I was told my 1099 would not be available until March 4.  The reason I was given is that certain securities that I held were holding up their data to Fidelity as some things might be reclassified over the next weeks and Fidelity would not receive the data until this was done. This turned out to be a flat out lie as I investigated further.

My complaint was handled via social media online via twitter direct messages, phone calls to their support (where the initial complaint was reported and the initial lie was told), and to my own personal representative in my local Fidelity office.  My local representative was no help.  He said he could do nothing other than refer the issue to his boss, the office manager.  The office manager and I then conversed.  She said she could do nothing other than refer the issue to her manager who would not get back to her until tomorrow at best, after repeating the same lie.  I informed her that I had investigated and found other Fidelity clients with the same security holdings that I had, and even more extensive trading portfolios, had received their 1099s already.  Friends at TD Ameritrade had also received their 1099s on time.  This was later confirmed by a Fidelity employee, in writing.



The above two images are what I find on my account on Fidelity.  The "pending" statement has been verified to be untrue.  As I have reported, many other Fidelity clients with the same security holdings have received their 1099s.  Many others, such as myself, have received excuses rather than our 1099s.  This is a matter of Fidelity not running their accounting early enough or having resources to allow these documents to be delivered to their customers on time.


Fidelity said they are filing an extension with the IRS.  Heads up Fidelity, I am your customer, not the IRS. My tax accountant firm is very busy and I made my appointment last year as I always do.  I figured that since you are obligated to have tax forms in the hands of your clients by the end of January 2017 for the 2016 tax year, it is safe to schedule my appointment for mid February.  I do not want an extension.  I want my 1099.

The Fidelity end of year advantage was over. I should have seen this coming as each year my tax forms arrived later each year.  The service advantage was over too.  Last year my representative was promoted within the Fidelity organization.  It was warranted.  He was a great rep for many years.  He always got my issues addressed without me having to repeat the incident time and time again as things are referred to others.  He was gone and a new rep was assigned to me who sent this issue to his manager, and so on.

TD Ameritrade .... now with better tax reporting, more competent customer service, lower commissions, more investment trading options, and better trading software.  If even one of those points hit home with you it seems you now have the same issue facing you that I have .... when do I switch to TD Amertrade?

Update Feb 7, 2017 2:30pm pst
I just learned that Fidelity is not under the same laws as employers.  They are allowed to extend delivery of 1099s until Mid February via an extension.  They can also exercise a second extension until mid March of 2017.  So ... legally, they are within their rights.  But .... they lied to me about why things are late, they do not have the resources to deliver tax documents in a timely manner, they never explained this to me and gave me a false excuse instead, they do not mention this on the tax area of their website.  I intend to keep riding this every day until my 1099 arrives.  I have requested daily updates from my Fidelity representative in my local office. He just assured me that I will hear from him every day with a status update.  I am currently in full ISO9000 documentation mode.

Feb 8, 2017
I have learned that two of my positions I held in 2016 were limited partnerships and receiving documents for them is allowed to be later.  I was also in error regarding a TD Ameritrade customer who had already received their 1099 who shared similar positions.  It seems that they did not hold the actual securities as I did, they had options on those securities.  I then called the Burbank office to try to ask them if they would be supplying the K1 forms necessary for filing as this was not explained.  I was on hold a long time, then my call was sent to some office on the east coast, I told them I wanted to speak to Burbank, the original number I called, they would not transfer me back until I supplied a bunch of information.  So .... the bigger issue remains .... poor service and no single point of contact.

Side note .... this is not the first Fidelity blunder.  This issue was added to my original Fidelity complaints in another blog piece that can be seen at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2013/03/asshat-of-day-award-fidelity-investments.html

Feb 23, 2017
I just received an email from Fidelity which told me that my complete 1099 would not be available until March 10.  This keeps slipping.  I contacted by Fidelity financial representative and instructed him to escalate this issue again and send me daily status updates.  I instructed him to contact the entity that is holding up this process and supply me with specific information which I can use to focus accountability.  I told him that if he runs into any sort of wall in his investigation that he is to escalate with somebody above him and give me their direct contact information.

Legally, Fidelity may be on legal ground but from a customer service aspect, to inform me with a date that my forms will be ready and to have this date slip three times at this point is irresponsible customer service at best and is a very poor reflection on Fidelity Investments.  They may be fine all during the year when it is not near the end of the game but at the end of the game, tax season, they fail miserably and lose the game in a dramatic way.

I was told I'd be contacted today.  To be continued.

0931pst - I just received a call from my Fidelity representative.  He told me he contacted the party who is holding things up and will check and get back to my rep.  I asked my rep to send me the information at the end of today in writing.

Feb. 24, 2017
I talked to my personal Fidelity representative this morning.  He is being quite helpful.  I think we are on a track to resolution.

March 6, 2017

The following was received from Fidelity today:




Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LAX Flyaway - poorly run - discrimination to the handicapped


It all started here with a letter to our mayor.  This was published on the official Mayor website more than once, to the LAX Fly Away official website in the comment / customer contact application, more than once, and on Facebook.

Mayor Garcetti,

Today, November 21, 2016, a group of disabled veterans flew to LAX from Chicago.  They arrived at about 5pm.  They have been trying to get on a LAX Flyaway bus to Van Nuys for hours. They were at Terminal 7.  One bus after another passed by.  Some said they were full.   I was called and was at Van Nuys Flyaway waiting for their arrival.  I tried to talk to the people in the office at the VN facility.  They told me to have the people walk to Terminal 1 or they would never get a bus.  I explained that these were disabled folks.  Are you telling me to tell them to walk?  They said yes.  I asked for a company contact.  They would not supply a company name, address, or provide any information.  They would not give their names or any ID information.

You were pretty big on LA transportation issues during the recent election.  I'd like to know who operates LAX Flyaway?  What permits do they hold?  Who are they owned by?  

Please let me know how your office intends to address this issue.  I am looking forward to a dialogue and a way to hold this company responsible at some level.  #ABC7EYEWITNESS 

On 11/29 I received this:

Mr. Rose,
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is dismayed to hear of the situation described in your post on our Facebook page as well as the Mayor's. LAWA, a Los Angeles City department, oversees the LAX FlyAway Program. The poor customer service you described is not in alignment with our Program requirements. Currently, the LAX FlyAway routes are operated by two contractors, with the Van Nuys route operated by Pacific Coast Sightseeing Tours & Charters. Your post was listed on 11/21. Please confirm the date and time of the incident. Your complaint will be forwarded to the operator for immediate investigation. A formal response with the outcome of the investigation will be sent to you directly by the contractor. In the future, please do not hesitate to send your comments regarding LAX FlyAway services directly to FlyAwayComments@lawa.org. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience caused by the described incident. Thank you very much in advance for your patience.

I replied by sending again, the information I had sent multiple times before on their official website and on their Facebook page as a message and as a comment to one of their other posts. My reply - I also sent this to you folks on your page on the net in your comment area. Once on the 21st and once again on the 28th.

Hi Myles, We're unsure of what day this occurred, was it November 21? We need to know the date this incident occurred please. What time did they arrive at the Terminal 7 LAX FlyAway stop?

This was on 11/21.  

All the details are in what I have sent already.

I don't know when they arrived. After two hours of waiting we used Super Shuttle as we gave up waiting.

If you ask me for details again I will assume this is just a stall tactic to avoid helping.

Perhaps you'd like to call me so I can have a single point of contact for this issue?


Again, date was 11/21. Time was 5pm to 7pm. Location was LAX terminal 7 for pick up from United Airlines from Chicago. Destination was Van Nuys from LAX. Both employees in the office there told me to tell folks to walk to Terminal 1 for pickup even after I told them, both of them, more than once, that this was a group of disabled veterans. Neither employee would give their name or a card or a phone contact of a supervisor or even information on who runs this service. They should both receive a serious reprimand at the least. Fined or fired would be more fitting. This breaks many laws in regard to handicapped access and service. 

Hi Myles, Please provide an email address and phone number so someone can contact you as soon as possible. Thank you. I have provided my email and phone multiple times on your contact form on your website where it is required, but, I will do it again. xxxx@email.com at xxx-yyy-zzzz.


I also filled out a form such as this on Mayor Garcetti's official website.
I also request the name of the dispatcher who was on duty between 5pm and 7pm on November 21 2016. The fact that for over two hours they left passengers behind at the last terminals shows a profound lack of a basic problem solving skills that any elementary school student would possess, the problem solved easily .... alternate the pickup start from terminal 1 to terminal 4. I await your reply. I am keeping track of your progress and timeliness or lack thereof.

Some dialogue between the Mayor's office and myself which took a while to be initially received after my contact with them:

Hello Myles, we’re very sorry that this happened. We’d like to make things right. We’ve been talking with LAX and we would like to reimburse everyone for their cost. Can you please let us know the name, address, and phone number of the person/people who were charged for the service? Thank you for being patient and for alerting us that this happened.

My reply:

Thank you for the offer. I am currently working with the flyaway folks. Reimbursement is not a viable response, holding the two women on duty that night is something that will help many rather than simply appease a few. Let's proceed on this tack.

Received a few minutes ago on 11/30 at about 9:20pst.

Hi Myles, Thank you for the information. Someone will be contacting you for action. Thank you for your patience, we will get to the bottom of this.


The end at the moment ....
December 6, 2016

The following letter was received by me. The apology is is nice but since it did not address any of the points I requested to be addressed I find it somewhat shallow.

December 5, 2016

Mr. Rose- 

Please see attached apology letter addressing your concerns with our service on 11/21/16.  

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions. 

Thank you, 

Kristin Martinez 
General Manager 
Pacific Coast Sightseeing Tours and Charters, Inc., a CoachUSA Company 
Southern California Gray Line 
800-828-6699 
714-507-1116 (direct) 
714-507-1169 (fax) 
kristin.martinez@coachusa.com 

Myles Rose




Dear Mr. Rose,

Thank you for caring enough to share with Los Angeles World Airport your frustrations, issues and concerns as it relates to the FlyAway service on November 21, 2016. Most guests do not take the time to “complain”; and, as we both know, if you are not aware of problems, you can’t fix them.


I humbly apologize for our failure to provide timely service to your group at LAX and the lack of customer service that you received from our ticket agents at the Van Nuys station. Providing professional, outstanding customer service is a top priority at Pacific Coast Sightseeing Tours & Charters, Inc. Our company philosophy is to do everything possible to ensure that each trip is a positive and enjoyable experience. Although problems do occasionally occur, we strive to minimize their effect on our guests. I am extremely disappointed and apologize that was not the case with your group.

I understand from my discussions with Robin Brown, our Compliance Supervisor, that you had two issues on your trip; overloaded buses and unhelpful ticket agents. Allow me to address the overloaded buses first. As the FlyAway service is a “first come first serve” program, we do have a procedure in place to alert the guests on the curb when their expected bus is overloaded. Should a bus overload, the drivers are to contact our Dispatch to alert them of the overload. Then they are to stop at all remaining terminals to alert the waiting passengers of the overload. Dispatch then contacts the next arriving driver and instructs them to begin their service at the overload spot. In your instance, because of the Thanksgiving holiday travel, the 17:30, 18:00 and 18:15 buses were all overloaded. The second issue, as I understand it, was the lack of information and customer service provided by our ticket agents at the Van Nuys station. Although I cannot share the details of our investigation and results, rest assured that we have taken the appropriate disciplinary action necessary with the employees involved.

Again, I sincerely apologize for our failure to provide excellent customer service to you and your group. It is my hope that this incident will not prevent you from traveling with FlyAway in the future. In an effort to gain back your patronage, on behalf of Pacific Coast Sightseeing Tours & Charters, Inc., I would like to provide complimentary roundtrip transportation to your group for a future date. Please contact Robin Brown at robin.brown@coachusa.com or 800-828-6699, ext. 71081.


Kindest Regards,


Kristin Martinez
General Manager

My response to the above letter which I sent:

Thank you for the apology.  It really did not address my points on the employees who told me to have folks to walk to Terminal 1 from Terminal 7.  

The explanation of what you do in high volume situations which you explained on the phone to me and explain a bit here, as a secondary point, did not work and was not followed.

The apology from the two people on staff would have been a bit easier to accept.  The fact that they did not take responsibility makes me feel even less of them as individuals and makes me question your administrative practices including hiring.

I hope this is not the end of this incident or dialogue but would not be surprised if I do not hear from you again in a step to actually answer my concerns.

- the end for the moment - 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Donald Trump - Make America Great?


Seems this fellow thinks he can change things in America on the employment by putting some attention in the area of foreign trade, or taxes, or business practices or .....

Hey Mr. Trump.  Open your eyes.  The biggest problem we have here in America is that some of our largest companies not only send jobs overseas (I talked to ATT customer service people this weekend in India and the Caribbean), but also talked to supervisors in San Antonio Texas.  Many (actually, most, if you read the two pieces where employees are noted by name, ID, time and date) of those they employ are incompetent, not empowered to take action to resolve problems, they pass the customer from one person to another only to have the dialogue repeat, and are technically inept, to start the proverbial list.



Mr. Trump.  As long as the employees of our "flagship" corporations hire people that do not take pride in their work, cannot think outside the box, show little skill in the areas of people skills, make the customer feel that they are of little or no value, the lynch pin of your plans is flawed to say the least as the very foundation of corporate America is in shambles.

You say that you will make changes over time and things will improve?  Look at the two links below to my experiences with ATT / Uverse since 2010.  Thing were awful but then improved.  This cycle was repeated a number of times only to end up in the proverbial toilet once again.

http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2012/07/at-so-wrong-in-every-way-part-ii.html

http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2010/11/at-so-wrong-is-every-way.html

The first link is the most current, latest antics at the end of the piece.  Two parts were necessary as the activity and documentation grew too large to add to the original piece.

1,175,826 reads of these two parts since November 2010.  23,918 reads since yesterday of the latest ATT / Uverse antics since 26 March 2016, less than three days.

As far as who may be your opposition, Hillary Clinton .....  It was under the Obama Administration that the historic profits for ATT and rate increases came and were tolerated if not outright supported.

I am not trying to turn this into a political piece.  I am just stating that you look pretty darn foolish in my eyes when you wear that hat or utter those words based on personal experience and observation.

#trump #att #clinton #uverse #sanders #cruz #economy #obama #democrat #republican #abc7eyewitness

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Democrats and Gun Control




I may be be one of those Democrats which are cited as a Democrat who is in favor of "responsible" gun legislation.  When can "we" expect some?

Can any of you give a single example of how any of the current proposed legislation or current laws would have stopped any of the horrid events we have seen in the past YEARS in the news or reported in the media?

Can any of you give me an answer of how any of your legislation will stop firearms from being acquired by people who do not follow laws?

These questions are for you, David Chiu - Tel: (415) 557-3013, Marc Levine Tel: (415) 479-4920, Tel: (707) 576-2631, and Philip Y. Ting - Tel: (916) 319-2019 (he has no facebook page or email info), and our California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

https://twitter.com/philting
https://twitter.com/MarcLevine
https://twitter.com/DavidChiu
https://twitter.com/KamalaHarris

Well, the Democrats have lost me.

In regard to Assembly Bills 1663 and 1664; People in California already went through a process deemed legal at the time of purchase of these firearms.  They went through a background check, waiting period, registration process, and paid fees as noted in the graphic at the top of this piece.

To require additional fees and registration is not what I feel is "responsible legislation" on many levels, There are additional aspects to the legality, it not just the rationality, of AB 1663/1664.  What about passing property down to heirs when I pass away?  Firearms will be held to a different standard than other legally purchased items?

If I owned a classic car, the car could no longer be produced.  Yet, I could sell the car or pass it down to my children.  The car would retain full value.  This is not the case here.

Our government insists that  they are looking to enact registration and practices which do not take legally purchased property from people.  This is clearly a road which is contraindicated.

If AB 1663/1664 is passed, I hope people will not take any steps to be compliant with this law.  I hope they will be willing to be prosecuted.  I hope the National Rifle Association will have attorneys available to represent us on a case by case basis.  I also hope people bring cases into small claims court against the California Attorney General and the other individuals responsible for this bill for the loss of personal property and the value when the firearm cannot be sold, passed down to their heirs, or has lost it's value.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1663
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1664

Looking at these two bills raises a question.  Is the object of our legislature to write the same bill multiple times with slightly different wording in the thought that one of them will go unnoticed by their constituents?  I am insulted that you feel we are all that stupid and uninformed.  Hopefully many will return the respect and sentiment when they vote.

Yes, I am a Democrat.  I have been a member of the NRA on and off.  My reason for leaving the NRA at times was that I felt that too many members made rash and emotional statements that reflected poorly on the organization.  But, even to me, this reeks of a government wanting to eliminate firearms from being in possession of anybody other than those under direct control of the government in some manner such as law enforcement and our military.

I wonder how many people realize that this could classify pistols such as the M1911 pistol (Colt Government 1911) as an "assault weapon" as well?  I am sure that the government hopes that most people don't realize this.

In the future, I intend to vote against any Democratic candidate for any position.  I always used to vote for Assemblyman Mike Gatto as I felt he was one of the "good folks".  Unfortunately, I will not feel comfortable doing that in the future as I will now see him as somebody that belongs to a bad organization.

I attempted to write each of you from your online contact website but was not allowed to do so as you are not in my district.  Considering that the actions you have taken impact people outside of your district, I find this highly irresponsible.  I tried to call numbers on your websites, including you Kamala Harris, and was received by automated phone systems that give lists of other departments or numbers to call.  In the case of Philip Y. Ting. his numbers did not work, he does not have a Facebook page as other noted in this piece, and for a public official, is anything but accessible.

I have written all of you on Facebook (excepting Ting) with a few questions.  As of this time I have received no response, not even a form letter.  In the case of Ting, I did find a Twitter page where I asked him something.  I have received no response.  I am waiting.

Ting

Chiu

Levine

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

FrogLube - does it just work?


Many folks reading this are aware of the testing I have done on vacuum tubes and the claims of cryogenic testing.  I have published reports on many things, based on scientific testing using scientific equipment based on my decades of QA / QC experience and held to ISO 9000 standards. which means the tests are documented and repeatable.

Click on "read more" to continue

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Is it the law or your perception?

Many think that some of the laws in California and/or the City of Los Angeles are somewhat restrictive.  This is far from true.  It is usually the perspective of the individual that guides them in the wrong direction, which is of course, the hope of the government.

The other night I was in Hollywood where I was talking to two Sheriffs next to where selfie sticks were being sold.  I commented.  "Self protection batons are not legal"? Thankfully the large size, the selfie stick is legal?  They did not disagree and found my commentary amusing.  So .... I continued my train of though over the next few days.

Click on "read more" to continue

Monday, February 23, 2015

Wells Fargo Fails


How many Wells Fargo departments and employees does it take to attempt to rectify a $1000 mistake made by them?   I don't know.  The problem is not yet resolved and I am still counting people, departments, and days since the problem occurred.

On February 12, 2015 I discovered that a lot of money was removed from my account.  

This was not an instance of identity theft.  This was not fraud.  What this turned out to be was that a teller at a Wells branch in Houston Texas typed my account number off a sloppy customer withdrawal slip.  Did the teller check the ID of the person she handed my money over to?  Nope.  Did she look at the person and ask why their address was in Houston when the account was not even in the state of Texas?  Nope.

In the process of trying to get this resolved, which is still not the case, I talked to many people in many departments.  The overall service was about as bad as service can get.  

This morning on February 23 I talked to Wanda.  She assured me somebody would call me back. That has not happened.  I am now working with the folks on Twitter.  My confidence level is pretty low.

On 2/12 I talked to Bradon at 0935pst.  He gave me a reference ID that never did work and when I escalated the problem I was given a new number.  He was somewhat helpful but did not win any awards in my book.

Over the last two weeks I have talked to Alyssa in PA, Kenneth Hudson, Charolette (the worst of any of them), Kat (one of the supervisors), Pricilla, who gave me a claim reference number that finally worked, Patrick, Maribel (the Houston Asst. Branch Manager who did help me in one of the aspects of the problem), and today ( 2/23/15 at 9:35am PST) I spoke to Wanda who told me somebody would call me back.  I have not received a call back as a side note.  The only calls back today have been from Wells Fargo Social Media folks who called me after I complained on Twitter.  By the way, the two folks who have called me via Twitter have been useless at best and ineptly unprofessional for the most part.

Bottom line ...  When a bank can take money out of your account in seconds by mistake I think that it is only fair for them to resolve the issue in moments.  As I said, this was an error on their part and as of this moment it has not been fully resolved.

Shame on you Wells Fargo.  As the say in the world of social media ..... #FAIL 

2/23 1:07pm PST Update:  I was just called by Angela from Wells Fargo.  She had no information on my problem and no information on me.  She wanted my full account number and SSN.  I asked if she was empowered to actually resolve my problem, that is, can she access my account.  She said no, and would pass me along to somebody else.  I explained that her intended action had been done countless times already and she has been nothing more than a call to attempt to appease me from my point of view.  I asked her to pass my issue along to a somebody who could actually perform an action.

At this point it is clear that the Wells Fargo customer service organization is little more than a roadblock between a problem and it's resolution.  Too many people, too many departments, nobody empowered to do anything other than pass a customer on to somebody else, VERY slow claim response, and a lack of communication between departments, people and resources.

I will continue to update this if and when there are changes or additional actions taken.

2/23/15 4:42pm PST

Wells Fargo Social Media called me at 3:40pm PST.  Ivan Cathus left a message for me to call him back.  I called back at 4:30pm PST as I had been driving and do not call talk on the phone while in motion.  Ivan was not there.  My call was picked up by Marisol who informed me that Ivan is not in the office.

Marisol wanted all the same information all over again.  Rather than go through this insane process yet again I asked her straight out .... If you verify my account information do you have the ability, tools, and authorization to make changes to the balance in my account?  She said she did not.  She would need to refer me to somebody else.  I was left thinking .... are these folks clueless, incompetent, totally untrained, liars (I was told by Angela that somebody who could actually help would call me), or just plain stupid?

This blog piece was created on 2/23/15 at 11:03am PST.  At this point in time 2,473 people have read this piece.  As of 7:00pm PST there have been 5,433 reads of this piece.  Thanks to many of you on Twitter for the RT.

Update as of 3/9/2015

Well, I did not put this piece into my distribution mechanism but it still managed to receive 11,609 reads as of today.

This will probably be my last entry as it looks like my balance is finally correct once again as of today with the last account adjustment.  Now, as long as things stay the way they are now, I can put this behind me.  Almost a month for Wells Fargo to resolve this problem.  By the way, those folks that promised to call me?  Never happened.

July 21, 2016

Here we go again.  Horrid customer service.  A problem that will not go away.  Another instance of a financial institution hanging on to your money to inflate their reported daily balance to the government.  Basically, fraud, but this is addressed to their customer service.

On July 17, 2016, I ate at the Hamburger Hamlet restaurant in Van Nuys California.  My credit card was accidentally charged for the meal at another table.  The mistake was caught by our server and she brought me a voided receipt for the charge, a charge which I did not sign.  My proper charge was applied to my credit card.

A few days later my correct charge cleared but the voided charge still remained in what the bank calls "pending transactions".  This is sort of a limbo area where the bank ties up your money.  It is not subtracted from your actual balance but it IS subtracted from your available balance.  You do not have access to your money.

When this did not come off my information I called the bank.  Well, to be more accurate, over the next four days I called the bank, their credit card services, their customer service numbers, talked to folks in the Philippines and all over the place.  Seven different people in all, each no help, each providing different information, each telling me I need to call somebody else.  The manager at Hamburger Hamlet also got involved to help.  They gave him a number to call where he and I needed to call them at that number to resolve the problem.  We called.  I was told to call somebody else.

At one point I was offered the option to "dispute the charge".  I explained there was no charge.  It was a pending transaction.  I asked how long it would take to clear the pending transaction via a dispute. I was told it would take up to sixty days.  I declined to take that option.

So, to you folks at Wells Fargo, it has been an experience being a customer of yours for over three decades.  I will be heading down the road to Logix.  You folks have some of the worst customer service in the business, and that includes additional social media contact experience that are not even added to the count of worthless individuals.

Update 7/22/2016 10:00pst

I have just returned from a face to face meeting with David Petrosyan, Branch Manager / Vice President, of the Burbank San Fernando Blvd Wells Fargo office.

He was no help.  He called other folks, and they too, came up with different stories.  In the end I was told that it would be at least two weeks before the voided charge came off my account.

David blamed Hamburger Hamlet.  David blamed Visa.  David pointed the finger everywhere else.  It was clear from the conversation he had with other Wells Fargo folks that he did not understand the processes at all.

I explained that my issue had nothing to do with the banking industry.  It was an issue with Wells Fargo customer service which included him.  A dozen different stories over less than a week with a dozen different people.  Nothing resolved.

I will be tracking how long this takes to reach resolution.  I guess it's in "the cloud" now, far beyond the reach or explanations of Wells Fargo Customer Service (at any level).

As of 7/22/2016 10:30am pst, the transaction and hold on my account remains.
It's a sad day when the VP / Branch Manager, blames everybody else for bad customer service and does nothing to resolve the issue.  What is that old phrase about promoting people to a level of incompetence?  Great example here.  No people skills, not able to do anything other than blame others and is not empowered to do anything to help.
At 11;14am pst I talked for 14 minutes to Wells Fargo corporate who called me.  Guess what?  She did nothing, was not able to help, and told me to wait at least two weeks for resolution.

August 13, 2016

A new issue.  A different subject.  Well, maybe not different as it directly points out more issues of poor customer service by Wells Fargo related to a different incident.

Earlier this week I was in a Wells Fargo branch office, actually, the same one on the card in the earlier post above.  I was there with some other folks and was waiting as they carried out their business.

I noted signs that stated a 1.5% cash back rewards credit card.  My current Wells card only had 1% cash back.  I asked one of the folks that wander around in suits, the plus and minus of the new offering compared to my current card.  He could not tell me much.  First red flag.

He told me, all I had to do was call the number on the back of my card and I would be sent a new card.  The next day I called the number.  Bottom line .... I was on the phone with many folks, all over the globe, from the island of Luzon to the USA.  Over the course of many calls I was told many different things.  One person told me to keep my current 1% card as it might be advertised as 1% but if I look online in the Wells reward program I could pick specific places such as grocery stores, and add them to my bonus program for rewards from 5% to 40% and even cooler offers.  I looked.  The offers that were more than 1% were not applicable to my credit card use to say the least.  Mail order makeup?  If I am going to shop online for savings it will be from Amazon.  As far as Ralph's Market, my most used market, there were no offers.  Bottom line, there was no advantage with my current card including fees, interest, etc.

So ... sign me up for the new card!  Should be simple.  Right?

After numerous calls where I was bounced from credit card services to credit card rewards program to customer service, I was told that "this cannot be done over the phone, you need to apply in person at a branch office".

I then called Fidelity Investments who had offered me a 2% card, $2000 point bonus, lower interest, and the same no fees.  Better in every way, especially the customer service.

So .... looks like my Wells Fargo credit card my be gathering dust in the future when that new green Fidelity card arrives.

September 14, 2016

In case I needed another reason ....

September 28, 2016

This morning I awoke to find no text alert that my social security benefits had been deposited.  For years this has always been the case.  What was the deal here?

Well, over an hour on the phone with Wells Fargo and many different answers.

It seems the funds arrived at Wells Fargo around midnight as usual.  This was according to Joe P at Wells Corporate in Tempe AZ.  It was the same answer I received from the rep I spoke to prior to Joe P.  The rep prior to them?  Well, when I called the account questions number on the Wells website I was sent to card services, and they had to send me elsewhere.

I posted a complaint on twitter.  This was after Joe P told me that the money was in process at I should see it by the close of business today.  While I was on the phone with Wells, after my twitter complaint, the funds posted at 9:20am.

I was told the reason for the issue was that my "personal banker", or the person who is in charge of my account, had neglected, had dropped the ball, on updating my bank info with Social Security.  My original account had been deleted.  Why two accounts?  Scroll way up there to see why I had to close an account and open a new one.  A Wells teller in Texas gave somebody money out of my account, but I digress.  I was told this would be a seamless changeover, and it had been fine for months.  My car payment had problems last month as a side note due to Wells Fargo changes.

So, I asked, who is my account manager?  I was given a number to call.  The number was in the Westlake CA, branch.  I was then speaking to Asst Branch Manager Oshin Artoonian.  This guy did not have a clue.  He said he had the same tools as everybody else yet could not see when the deposit arrived.  Three other people told me exactly, to the minute, when it arrived.  The fellow could not offer any reason why things were late.  He came up with one excuse after another.  He did not really understand customer service as he kept interrupting me.  I finally had to tell him to just shut up.  He hung up on me.

My personal thinking on the delay is Wells Fargo may do this on purpose now to inflate their daily reported balance to the Fed.  It's getting to be pretty clear that some of their banking practices are suspect (as reported in the news) and their customer service has declined in the past few years to say the least.

My earlier report in this piece in regard to my Wells Fargo credit card?  Well, as they can see, I stopped using my Wells card and now use a card from another financial institution.  Better rewards too and MUCH better alerts.  On my Wells card I would get a text alert 24 hours after a charge was posted, that more than $1 was charged to my card.  With my new card from another institution I get a text alert as to the name of the place, the exact charge, and it comes to my phone as I am leaving the place where the charge was made at the latest, and usually, even before I get up from my seat if it was a restaurant.

October 1, 2016

I received a piece of mail from Wells Fargo that stated, due to possible fraud and in order to increase security my debit card would be replaced with a news one.

So, later in the month a new card arrives.  It has a different account number.  The old number is instantly cancelled upon card activation.  Looks like a bit of changing charge card info on accounts that charge to this card is necessary.  Again.

"Wells Fargo - making a bank experience as difficult as it can be".  Feel free to use that new slogan you asshats.

Wells Fargo, in the words of social media .... #fail .... again.

November 23, 2016

I have been a Wells Fargo customer for decades.  Never an issue..... until, the last year or so.  Now a slew of them.  You folks have really gone down to proverbial toilet.

The latest, this  month ... you updated your website account application and your mobile application.

All alerts that were set up for customers stopped working and needed to be set up from scratch, again.

This would have been a step ahead, the updates, IF ..... you would have ported over existing alerts so they just did not stop with no warning or explanation.  At the least, an email or text explaining that alerts were now inactive and one needs to set them up again.

Banking with you folks is like stepping in one pile after another, always an unpleasant surprise.

January 27, 2017

Continuing to watch as your organization falls farther behind in any level of service.

Your mobile app is the worst in the business.



As you can see from time stamps, the alert came a day after the charge.  My other bank sends me the alert within moments of the charge, the exact amount of the charge, the name of the establishment of the charge.  This information arrives even before I get back to my car when leaving the place of the charge.

You folks are pathetic.

3 FEB 2017

My mistake!  It had less to do with technology than poor customer service.

Basically, I had alerts set up at one time.  They stopped because Wells Fargo changed things, without warning or notice, so everybody had to sign up / activate their alerts again.  Then they worked in a limited fashion.  I complained and reported details.  A bit of time went by, and multiple folks and I talked, with no resolution.  Different story from each contact and little understanding from any of them.

I had a thought.  If they changed something again, perhaps one had to sign up again?  Sure enough, in the mobile app there was a new expanded section that had about a dozen pull down menus.  You set up an alert for text, push notifications, email, card, account, and many other options and selections that were necessary.  A shining example of a pathetic excuse for a user interface.

A little tip to Wells Fargo on apps and software development based on my decades of experience in this area .....   If folks use you for banking services .... checking, savings, credit card, loan, whatever ... try wrapping your head around this concept.  A customer is an individual.  A single person. Perhaps a single box to check which says ..... "send me alerts on any of my account activity".... is all that is necessary.

The issue here was once again .... inept customer service which included bad info from your service people and additionally,  bad implementation from your programmers and software developers.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Needle in a haystack? A good politician.



I use social media a lot.  Most of you know what amp or guitar folks I like, what concerts or artists I am working with, where I am at a given moment in time and what I am eating and who I am with while eating.

I generally don't write much on this page that is of a political nature unless it is a link back to my L.A. Blog where I bitch about political issues, companies that give poor service, the homeless, the latest reports in on my testing in the vacuum tube market, and at times offer some advice on things I like. 430,000 folks read my blog last month in August.  My blog is followed by organizations in both parties and I am followed on Twitter by these folks as well who can be found in my twitter followers.





One piece I wrote received enough attention that John Boener included it in his newsletter.  Guess they only looked at the one piece and thought they had me figured out.  I guess they used it as fodder in reference to the economy.


Click on image for full size display
My piece is "Financial Repression Coming to America". 

My political posts focus on the inept actions of our Government, at all levels.  No state has a monopoly on lack of sense, lack of participation on the part of our representatives, folks we have elected that end up being prosecuted for criminal behavior, or just doing things that we would not expect from a twelve year old.

I am not what some would label as a political person.  I focus my attention on things I enjoy and watching political antics are things that I don't have to seek out.  A few minutes watching the news is enough to disgust anybody.

I apologize my habit of not getting to the point.  I digress, as typical.

Mike Gatto.  California State Assembly. Does the guy just phone it in?  Nope.  Does he miss meetings?  No. Are there photos of him on the internet playing solitaire during session or dozing off?  No.  Does he go along for the ride and do little or nothing?  Nope.

I guess I could list all the things he does not do.  I will also say that I might not agree or disagree with everything he has done or is doing.  But .... yes, the proverbial "but", if you look at his 2014 legislation (heck, go back to 2010 if you wish),  you will find he is very active and has done a lot of really great things for the people that put him in office.  Look at his record at http://asmdc.org/members/a43/legislation/2014-legislation.  Stuff that actually makes sense, well to me anyway.

Many of you reading this in California are not in District 43 so why should you care?  Two reasons.  

1 - Here are some facts that give us hope that not all folks in politics are crooks, lazy, liars, lack leadership, stall the government like a six year old when things don't go their way, folks incapable of working with others, or just plain criminals like Senator Yee right here in California.  There is that needle in the haystack.

2 - If Mike Gatto can be convinced by others to run for Governor of California then many of you can vote for the man and would be making a good call. 

Check the man out.  He is the real deal.    


Friday, August 8, 2014

Mike Gatto - Firearms Friend or Foe?


I have written a number of pieces on politics and some of the leaders that run this country.  I have been following Mike Gatto, my assemblyman.  I have been happy with many of the things he has done. ... most of them.

I am now watching him closely in regard to a particular bill in process, SB53.  You can read the full context of SB 53 here if you want to take a crack at figuring out what is actually happening in this mess at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB53


In any event, the Principal coauthor, Yee has been found to be a criminal as a side note.

Recently I wrote Mike Gatto.  I am waiting for a response.  What I wrote and the rest of the story can be seen if you click on "read more" below.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Toyota Financial Services - Inept


One more group found filled with inept people who are ineffective and whose customer service department is a roadblock to problem resolution rather than a solution to the problem.

As of today there have been over a half a dozen calls placed to not only TFS (Toyota Financial Services) and to Toyota Corporate on three occasions, the first call to my dealer, Keyes Toyota in Van Nuys.  At this point in time the problem remains.

To read the entire story click on "read more"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Moments of time captured as I venture through life

If you have an hour or two to waste, time you will never get back, and want to get laid off or fired from work for messing around at work just watch the slide show at the bottom of this piece.  Heck, leave it running on your computer and work when you leave your desk and people will never again look at you in the same way.

There are over 3,000 random snapshots in my Coffee Table Book collections.  I am creating this blog post to bring my sanity into question based on my lifestyle as depicted in these shots as I live my life.  I am posting this in honor of one of my favorite amp techs in Los Angeles who has commented more than once about some of my antics.

On a side note, his name is Mike Franceschini and if you need your amp worked on, fixed, modded or restored you can find him at http://www.yelp.com/biz/classic-amp-repair-north-hollywood  The photo below is Mike at work.