Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Are You Kidding? The Jack and now the Phone?

Sunday February 21-Monday February 22, 2016                                     Most Recent Posts:
Koreshan State Historic Site                                                                  Ups and Downs: Windows and Jacks
Estero, Florida                                                                                        Plans Go Awry


This post is dedicated to Jim and Gail who have recently been unlucky enough
to have had a similar experience.
Wish I had transcripts, although they would just make me more irritated.




This morning starts out fine.  We walk over to the Koreshan Farmer’s market and buy some fresh produce and  four crab  cakes from the seafood couple.  Yum!











David stays for their wood fired stove cooking demonstration at the Cast Iron Cafe and samples their buckwheat pancakes but doesn’t stay long enough to wait for the sourdough bread, the peach crisp or the bread pudding they are also preparing.  This surprises me.




Love the wood smoke coming out the chimney.






The peach crisp and the bread pudding are in the oven of the cast iron stove oven.  The bread is being baked in a dutch oven with coals on top.




Silver Dollar pancakes go much further.  They have real maple syrup and local honey as toppings.



While David waits for the food to be ready, I carry the groceries back to the rig on the wonderful long walk between the campground and  the settlement.






And that’s where the fun ends.  The rest of my day is totally wasted as you probably guessed from the title of this post.  And I do mean wasted, all day long.  I make 10 telephone calls and in the end have a promise that someone from Samsung Technical Support in India will call me back tomorrow.

To make a long story shorter, I got a Samsung Galaxy 5 for my birthday to replace my aging HTC ReZound.   That was less than 3 months ago and this morning, for no reason at all, my screen went black and no amount of taking out the old battery and pushing the power button with the up volume button with the home button and multiple combinations of that would bring the screen back.  Neither would getting a brand new battery from Batteries Plus for $40.   FORTY DOLLARS for a battery?  I bought my Rezound ones two for $15. 

So my 3 months old phone is useless.   I can feel it vibrate, I can see a blue light on the upper left above the screen and white lights on the left and right under the screen but the screen is as black as the sky above the swamp last night.


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I start with the first of the phone calls.  I spend the rest of the day making phone calls.  I make a total of TEN phone calls.  They cannot get the thing about not having a permanent address.  They simply keep repeating their request for my address so they can fill out their form.  It’s like a broken record.  What part of I’m not giving you an address until you tell me when you’ll be returning it do they not understand.

They want me to send them my phone, they will take who knows how long to fix it and send it back to me at my current address.  Yeah Sure.  I’ll be 190 miles away from here by then.

That’s the end of Samsung anything for me.  This experience has increased the probability that I will buy my next phone directly from Verizon so I can deal with customer support in this country.  It also pretty much assures that when my Dell Laptop dies I will replace it with another Dell so I can deal with Customer Support in this country.

At the least from now on I am certainly going to call the technical support for any company from whom I may buy any electronics to see if they are in India and forget about it if they are.   I haven’t had an experience this frustrating in a LONG time. 

I spend my most of my morning trying to fix this thing myself and the rest of the day talking with people from India and demanding to speak to their supervisors.

Call number 10, the final supervisor of a supervisor that I talk with is Jonathan and he promises to look into expedited repairs and how to make sure the company calls me before returning the phone to whatever address I give them which so far I have refused to do.  So my day is gone and there is no resolution.  He’ll call me before 1:00 tomorrow.  Really?

Beautiful day outside here if I could just have enjoyed it.  Between the phone and the jack problems this seems over the top in terms of Murphy visits.




This morning while I am waiting for my call from India I find out that with all the rain in Florida this year a serious environmental mess is happening.  To curb flooding officials “back pumped” 10 BILLION gallons of water from South Florida’s agricultural district into Lake Okeechobee.  Think about what that means?  All the agricultural pollutants that are fertilizers and pesticides that you eat as they are taken in through the roots into your food, are now in the lake poisoning the fish.   And it gets better,  now the overflowing lake water has been sent by the Corps of Engineers into the Caloosahatchee River and down to the Gulf and into the St. Lucie River and out to the Atlantic.   The polluted water kills sea grasses which feed the manatee,  it kills oyster beds and can contribute to harmful algae blooms and the red tide.  This is bad news for the beaches and tourism on both coasts and everyone is up in arms.  No one wants to swim in dark goop.



So much good news.  My phone obviously isn’t working so I have to carry David’s around with me all day waiting for “the call”. 

By 3:00 and no phone call I call them.  Of course I am talking to another fast speaking person from India who informs me that “No, there is no way she can connect me to Jonathan who promised to call me back today”.  But she can help me.  So I start all over with the problems and we go through the whole thing about no I don’t have an address and let me speak to your supervisor and repeat and let me speak to your supervisor.  90 minutes later the latest fast talking “service” supervisor from India tells me politely that I can decline to send my phone in for service if I like.  Yes of course I can and keep a phone that doesn’t work for which I paid a ridiculous amount of money,  very passive aggressive.  So again I ask her what will they do if the phone comes here and I’m 190 miles away.  She again tells me it won’t. 

What choice do I have?   I agree to send them the damn phone with the Koreshan address IF they will send me an over night shipping label to get it to them, guarantee me expedited service and send it back overnight.   I’m told by this 3rd level person that expedited repair means 72 hours to 3 days.  I laugh out loud.  72 hours is 3 days.   BUT she informs me, if they can’t fix it in 3 days then it will take longer and they will call me.  Of course they will.  And I have her word for all of this including her promise that Samsung respects my right not to send in my broken phone.


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They will call me just like Jonathan did today.  I can see the end of this irritation is no where in sight but I remove the battery, the back cover of the phone and the sim card and with just minutes to spare before they close, I rush it over to UPS in a box where they graciously give me bubble wrap and seal it up and put it in an envelope with the overnight shipping label that was sent to me via email.

Whether or not I will ever see my phone again without more hours of hassle is anybody’s guess given that the return address on the label was only a part of the address I gave them and did not have the name Koreshan State Historic Site in it.  It took an additional 20 minutes for her to print out multiple labels where the last two lines either didn’t have the park name or didn’t have the park address. 

What it did have on the line where either of those should be is my phone number or rather David’s since of course my phone doesn’t work.


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In my numerous phone calls about this yesterday I talked with Amazon Customer support who, although they could not help me, did do everything they could in a language I could understand.   I also talked with Verizon, my carrier, who also was as helpful as they could be and the customer support was in the United States.  As I said earlier, that is going to be more of a criteria for me than price from now on.  Before I buy something, I am going to call the company’s customer support and if they are not in this country providing jobs for Americans, they will not get my business.  The biggest vote I have is actually where and how I spend my money since money is the bottom line of everything in this country.

Sorry for the huge rant but as you can see, I am furious. This has been the polar opposite experience of how to treat the customer from my experience at Darren Thomas Glass recently.  I’ve had no time to do anything else in these two beautiful days. 

BUT in the evening, after the Samsung fiasco was put on hold by sending the phone off to Texas, I called Verizon.  The service person there was very polite and efficient about activating my former phone which I wisely bought directly from them and did not recycle when I stopped using it.  That phone is old and works poorly but at this stage it actually works and has never in 3 or 4 years given me a black screen or had to go in for repair.  I do have to switch batteries about every 3 hours since it won’t charge when plugged in.  But at this point, I have a phone and who knows how long it will be before my new broken one will be back.

A phone that has to be sent in for repair in barely three months is crap and so is the compnay who made it.

Now tell me your horror stories of cheap junk products that you pay serious money for and then get customer NO-service.  We can all commiserate.


  1. Sourdough bread, peach crisp, and bread pudding would be worth waiting for.

    Sorry about the Samsung fiasco. You've got the right to be annoyed with them.

  2. Sorry Sherry, but that sounds like our fiasco with Verizon;-(( We learned to ALWAYS go to a REAL Verizon Store, not an authorized retailer when you need assistance and we will not use telephone customer service. That just doesn't exist. Hope you get this resolved, but in the mean time...get out an enjoy yourself!!

  3. I agree with Bill and Nancy above - back when I used Verizon products I always went in to the Verizon store. Your story makes me so glad I have never succumbed to the glamour surrounding any kind of smart phone. I have often thought I should just go with the flow, get with the program, and walk around staring at my phone like everyone else. I know now that I will just stay with my crazy Jitterbug old person's cell phone that is only a cell phone, although I think even Jitterbug has a big phone now that features a bunch of "apps". What a dumb word, apps, and I will never use one. Am I an old fogey or what. I wish you luck on satisfactory service from India, and maybe a miracle will happen!

  4. Boy can I sympathize with your experience with Verizon! I bought their support for $100 yr. since the iPhone was my first experience. Took it back to Verizon after it failed within a week. Same story I had to take it to Apple! so what was my $99 support for??? At least Apple has me operational again. A mobile lifestyle requires some technology and that is frustrating!

  5. What terrible service. Your anger is justified. I hope it get resolved soon. It is hard to do without cellphones these days. We bought our iPhones from an Apple store here in Seattle. We bought a 3 year plan for repairs. Bob had a problem charging his phone. We took the phone to their store and they gave us a new one and helped us copy over all our data! Our telephone service is T-Mobile.... All of this within a couple hours in the store.

  6. Looks like a nice market, and the yummies coming from the wood burning ovens sound divine. I'm so sorry about the phone - I had to chuckle a few times reading though because I've been there too many times though fortunately not recently, usually with computer stuff and many/most times got India but once got Ireland which was almost pleasant. Hope all is resolved in good time!

  7. Interesting. I have had an iPhone since 2009 with no problems except driving off to town with it on the hood of the truck. Never did find it. Other than that, this is my 3rd iPhone, I think it is a 5, certainly not the newest. I have been succumbing to the glamour of thinking about a Samsung Galaxy. First Daughter Melody reminded me that apple products like a Mac don't get hacked and neither do iPhones get hacked the way androids do. Then this. Think my upgrade will be a new iPhone 6 when the time comes. Your rant is perfectly justified and I was glad to hear it. It is just so infuriating to have such poor customer service from these companies. I am also a Dell person since 1994 and have had GREAT customer service from them always. So. yeah. iPhone and Dell. good stuff for me at least. and hopefully for you in the future.

  8. Frustrating. Good idea to search out customer service in the U.S. I usually have stuff shipped to my daughter, figure she can forward it to me.

  9. I'd have hung at the Cast Iron Cafe all day for those samples. Did David have a fever or something? ;)

    Phones, computers, technology, so wonderful when it works. But all made cheap and not to last. Although three months is ridiculous. And then the frustration of no-service. Sorry, sure hope your phone returns quickly and unbroken. This kind of shit always pisses me off.

  10. Ten years ago, i lost my job because it was outsourced to India :( I was very unhappy after working for the company 16 years only to be told later, they are giving my job to somebody cheaper abroad.
    I sense your frustration, but I sure hope it gets resolve soon.
    We don't have smart phones and hearing your experience might just be another excuse for us not to have one. I think Customer Service is already out the window :(

  11. Met old friends in Winter Garden today. They both still love their S6 phones and took a great pic of us and emailed it. They were shocked to see we both still have sport dumb phones. I explained I was too dumb to have a smart phone. I noticed many strange looks I got when the txt came in that we could go eat. It was like I was from Mars. Kathy can have one if she wants, but I am keeping my Samsung Sport LTE phone. Both phones are on Alaska plan for $60 a month, but work in Canada and Lower 48 states with free roaming, T mobile in Florida. Lucky for now, have not bought any defective electronics. I would replace before dealing with customer service you got.

  12. So sorry about your experience with Samsung. Hubby & I each are on our 3rd Samsung phone & have been extremely happy with them. We usually buy all our phones through Best Buy & have had great customer service. Best of luck, hope you get better customer service as this continues. Becki

  13. Ouch!! So sorry to hear about your Samsung phone problems. Keep the faith!! It's just a small bump in an otherwise great adventure!

  14. I went through this with my DirecTV service just a couple of weeks ago when it got turned off with no explanation. I called customer service and got it turned on, but they didn't turn on my RV Distant Network Service (DNS) which gives me the major networks out of NY.

    Three days and six reps before finally getting one who actually provided help and got my DNS service turned back on. I must have gotten the one in a million service rep that actually took his job seriously.

    The downside is I still can't get the lousy music out of my head that they played when I was on hold for hours...

  15. :( We both have Samsung phones, me S6Edge, George Note 5. No issues, but we buy from Verizon stores. I HATE talking to India. Why can't US corporations use US people to be customer service agents?? All about the money. Hope this gets resolved, and soon!

  16. I'm on my second Samsung - I have the S5 too. Very happy with both and no problems meaning I haven't had to deal with customer service. Hope yours is a good ending.

  17. My blood pressure would have been through the roof.

  18. So outrageously frustrating. The worst part is losing two beautiful days being given the run-around by "customer service." We each have iPhones and always deal directly with authorized Verizon stores. The phones (including the past two upgrades) are "free" with our Verizon contract. Any problems have always been swiftly and competently handled (and we've had very few problems in five years). Good luck -- so sorry you're having to deal with this.
    On a happier note, the farmers' market looks wonderful!

  19. I went with Consumer Cellular (AT&T towers) because they have US based customer service. I was in Honduras at the time and needed Mom to be able to call in if she had an issue and she needed to be able to understand them. So far it has worked.

  20. Similar challenges with the MIL new laptop, although resolved in 24 hours over the phone to India. Frustrating!! We are both on our fifth IPhone over 12 years and have never had a single bit of trouble with them. Probably not helpful :-( Sure hope you can enjoy the beauty around you moving forward. See the phone arriving, fully repaired, to where you are (with a big smiley face on the screen) :-))))))

  21. We can certainly sympathize! I thought Jim was going to lose his mind over our recent Microsoft issue. Hope you have a good outcome.
    We had issues with our Dell computer, and although customer service is offshore, they even sent a tech to our campsite to work on it. We were impressed.

  22. Sorry to hear, is it possible you dropped your phone? I dropped mine every so slightly and it apparently hit just the right spot to blow out the screen. It was not chipped or cracked, just black like you are explaining. We have insurance on our samsung s4 phones and I could have had my phone replaced (I took it directly to verizon) but we were leaving to go on a cruise the following day and I did not want to wait for a replacement. I took it to one of those kiosk's in the mall and for a hefty $150 fee I had a brand new phone face. but I had my phone. The damage was in the screen which effects the ability to navigate the system. It might be worth it then getting a brand new phone. Good luck!!! I have since dropped it again and although it still works I have several cracks across my screen! I will never win!

  23. Good grief. It's always something. I hope you get resolution on this, and that you see your new phone again - someday.

  24. Poor you. I am getting ready to purchase a new phone, so I read your post and all of the replies with even more interest than usual. My customer service complaints are always with Comcast. They are horrible. I hope that you do get your phone back soon. Hang in!

  25. Sure was smart of you to keep that ReZound phone handy with all its batteries as a backup for a problem you wished you never had, and shouldn't have. I'll keep my old flip phone. It seems more reliable, even after spending 15 minutes under water in the Everglades!

  26. I would have just had it sent to my daughter. She can forward it to me wherever we are. I don't know of any tech customer support that isn't in India. I hate all the waiting on hold. Ugh!

  27. And they call them "Smart Phones"...enough said

  28. Sorry to hear about your troubles with your Galaxy 5. Sounds like a lemon. We have the Galaxy 5 phone and love it. We've never had a problem...knock on wood. Hope you are able to get things resolved.

  29. I certainly feel your frustration. Had an outrageously frustrating experience with Geek Squad not long ago. After years of excellent and competent service, they have apparently taken a nose dive and don't really care that they have. We had Verizon service for a short while when living in MN years ago. Swore I'd never go back to them. Soon as we moved back to Texas, I hooked up with AT&T again and have been a happy camper ever since, but I always get phones at an actual store. Ah well. Sure hope it's resolved soon and that you see your fully functional phone again!

  30. Sorry to hear about the problems with your phone. I had previously considered getting that same phone, but have had good luck with My Droid RAZR and was told the Galaxy was so different, I might have trouble adjusting to it. Glad I took that advice. I've never had to call customer service, so I don't know if I would get India or not. Probably would be India. I sure hope it gets back to you.

  31. I have the same phone and we had problems hooking up to WIFI, which of course made it useless to us as we were on the road. We went through several towns before we found one that had a corporate store. They had a tech person that figured out the problem and had it fixed in a short time. I so agree with your strategies for future purchases. Our only real power is in the choices we make for purchases. Afterwards we are at their mercy (or lack of). I still have important things shipped to family or a friend if I can't predict location....I would rather pay double shipping and KNOW its timeline and destination will work. I hope it works out this time....

  32. Great looking market! Terrible experience spending so many hours talking to so many people :( Yuck! Sooo annoying. Ive been lucky with virgin mobile so far, but, my phone isn't as "smart". I do hope it comes back to you working...great post on it-I enjoyed the cartoons.

  33. Yikes! I was just at Verizon the other day as I am considering upgrading and trying to choose between Samsung and Apple. Perhaps Apple for no other reason that US based jobs?

  34. Smart phone........dumb ass phone! There is nothing worse than spending hours talking to people named Sam who are clearly from India. You may as well be speaking to a block since you get no where fast or at all. I had the same kind of experience with Snapfish when I had 30 some calendars made for Day Camp and they were discounted. Great right? WRONG. The shipping for said calendars (which by the way took me untold hours of time to make) was going to be $130.00 I could've paid someone to walk carrying them to my house for that amount of money. No talking to anyone changed that. It didn't matter how emphatically I told each person that i this was ridiculous. "I am very sorry Ma'am but the shipping will be $130." I am normally a very nice person. I threatened to not get them at all but since I had promised to do them and then spent 6 million hours of my life making them, I didn't like that option either. I feel your pain. On to pleasant...the Farmers Market looks like a lot of fun. What is that thing that David is holding that looks like something a cobra would sleep in? XXXOOO

  35. Oh good grief! Gone are the good ol' days when companies placed just as much importance (if not more) on their customer service as they did on the sale itself. It's all about the money. We've had more than our share of customer no service stories, and it just shouldn't be that way. Hope yours finally has a happy ending.


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