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See: 2001 Formal Complaint filed with the CPUC;
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Note: The phone number noted in the above photograph is my phone number (925-462-5093) and it is the smoking gun that can be linked to virtually every recurring phone problem, and every recurring violation to public utility law since 1996. Any reasonable person can see the above phone number has the last five digits of "25093." To avoid paying millions of dollars in fines to the California State General Fund, the phone company told the State of California the phone number has the last five digits of "85093." To understand more about the phone number, see: The Fictional Phone Number and a blatant act of Perjury. The CPUC refused to acknowledge the existence of the above document. It is my hope that Governor Schwarzennegger will look at this webpage, acknowledge the phone number is mine, and order the State to investigate problems at the CPUC.
Since I put up this web site, I have had a number of people suggest that I complain to the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). I already have! And I have to say that I am beginning to wonder just what the PUC's function is!
I have posted here a few of my letters and a few of the PUC's replies. However, I don't actually have many PUC documents, because it has not responded to very many of my letters. And it has responded to none of my complaints or questions in any material way. The person assigned as my rep is not easy to reach. It appears that most of my letters are being ignored.
Most of the replies I have received are so general as to seem to be form letters. For all the help they are, they might as well be anyhow. When not taking the side of the Phone Company, the PUC can only tell me that it cannot help me, has no jurisdiction. I am told the PUC can't resolve the dispute because the parties have conflicting points of view. Hello? Isn't that what constitutes a dispute? If we didn't have conflicting views there wouldn't be a dispute now, would there? The PUC keeps saying I must file a formal complaint, before they have even acknowledged or tried to answer my questions informally.
The first time I complained to the PUC, Pacific Bell responded with its sudden allegation that I had threatened people, within five days of the PUC's response telling me it was investigating the matter. When I pointed this out to my "rep" at the PUC, he said, as if he were completely unconcerned, that they had been getting a lot of that lately! (By the way, have you ever been accused by Pacific Bell of threatening their employees with bodily harm after you complained about their service? If so, I would love to hear your story.)
It has only been since I put up this web site that I have begun to receive any attempt at answers to any of my questions.
AT&T, too, told me I should complain to the PUC. This must be a standard ploy to make dissatisfied customers feel like they have some alternative. Since it doesn't seem to have any effect, I am beginning to think it is there just to take the pressure off the public utility, not to help the consumer. I have written a whole series of letters to the PUC this year, asking them for help in finding answers regarding the phone cable and directory service problems that have now been plaguing me for years. I have included a couple of those letters below. I am still waiting for the PUC to address any of my concerns or questions. So far, I am not having any better luck with this attempt than I did with the Pacific Bell complaint.
Some of the Letters I Have Sent the PUC and the Responses I Have Received
I have only included a few of my letters here. I have written many, detailing my phone problems and asking for some answers. Mostly, my letters have been ignored. It is only since September 1999, and since the CPUC being aware of my web site, that I have begun to hear from them.
The extent of the PUC's inquiries into my complaints, for the most part, has been to ask the phone companies about them and to accept whatever the phone companies say, no matter what evidence or arguments I am able to present.
This first response to my original March 1997 complaint told me what I wanted to hear; that the PUC would be looking into the matter and taking appropriate action. What an overstatement this this proved to be! March 28, 1997
My complaint regarding Pac Bell's untrue accusation of me. I also explain again what happened and give the supporting reasons for my claims April 6 , 1997
The PUC explains to me that it is "unable to resolve this dispute informally because the parties have conflicting positions." I am told my recourse is to file a formal complaint, but also that the PUC has authority neither to decide claims of lost income, damages, or distress; nor to award any compensation. It has no authority to determine "the existence of alleged negligence or liability for asserted damages" and my only recourse is a civil court. So what would the "formal complaint" be for? Wall decoration maybe? May 14 , 1997
The PUC says Pac Bell admits there was a cable failure in my area on July 26, 1997, but just just accepts Pac Bell's lies and misrepresentations regarding the problems on my line then and the time it took to for them to repair it, without any reference to or investigation of my evidence September 22, 1997
I wrote this to point out, yet again, the number of times I lost service on my phone lines due to cable failure, and to point out that both Pacific Bell and AT&T denied cable failure was the cause. I wanted repair records. Like the others, this letter was ignored by the CPUC. January 17, 1998
Following the seventh time my numbers were made unlisted or incorrect in the directory, I wrote this letter to the PUC to ask them to help me find out why. I also wanted answers on why an AT&T corporate security officer had been asked to call me. July 8, 1999
The eighth time that my phone number listings were
missing or incorrect, I again ask why this is happening and ask for all
available documentation regarding my phone listings. I point out that
my phone numnbers have become unlisted or incorrect three more
times since my June 6, 1999 letter to the PUC concerning problems with
listing and overcharges. July
This CPUC "response" appears to be nothing but a paraphrase of the letter I got from AT&T's Nancy Rodriquez on 8-9-99. When I asked the PUC rep who sent it what he meant by certain statements, he said he didn't know! September 9, 1999
This was just to let me know all the CPUC can do is to look at my bills and decide they look all right, despite all my evidence that I was charged for services I did not receive. The problem was not just about 800 numbers and why I couldn't use them... September 14 , 1999
I include this mainly to show how very difficult it has been for me to get a response from the CPUC. I had been told by a CPUC rep that my letters were a waste of time and they would not follow ask AT&T why security called me nor put anything in writing. I asked them to tell me that in writing, and, again, directed them to my web site. I believe this is what precipitated the responses of 10-5-99 amd 10-28-99 September 30 , 1999
This is a milestone letter! Although they still say my complaints cannot be resolved informally, CPUC has acknowledged my question regarding AT&T Security, and given me a response from AT&T! This is the first time anyone has done that. Up until now, there has not even been any dialogue on the issues October 5 , 1999
Heavens! CPUC has actually asked Pacific Bell and AT&T for answers to four more of my longstanding questions, and has relayed their answers to me! October 28 , 1999
Here is my response to CPUC's 10-28-99 letter and the four answers they had relayed to me. If the CPUC has any role as an informal mediator (before insisting on going to a formal adjudicatory process), then perhaps this is the start of something. I hope so. It has taken me years, literally, and a large invesment in my web site, to get even this small dialogue going November 1 , 1999
This is a letter from the CPUC passing along the responses they had finally received from AT&T concerning some of my questions. It shows that my chronic service problems have not been resolved and they have continued into 2001 (see AT&T correspondence list, January 2001 and on). There have and it also sidesteps any real answers to my questions, as usual. I have asked these questions because the information is relevant to my complaints, but AT&T continues to avoid making a simple or straightforward answers, acting as if my chronic phone problems have been resolved, when they have not. April 27, 2001
I have been collecting information from others in my neighborhood who have also lost service. To date, I find 7 of the 13 houses in my court had phone problems in 1998, including loss of service (no dial tone), static, cross talk, busy signals when no one was on the line, and clicking noises. According to technical repair people, all these problems are cable-related. They are the same type of problems I reported on my lines.
One neighbor who asked about her phone problems was told, "I am not allowed to discuss service problems on this street." Another neighbor inquired about installing a DAML and was warned by a Pacific Bell technician that 99 percent of DAMLs in this neighborhood have problems. She decided not to have a DAML or another line installed, but still has frequent problems with her modem and her fax.
A neighbor on a nearby street has a DAML and has lost phone service 5 times in the past couple of years four times on the DAML line, two of those in May 1999. He was told by the repair technician the street would have to be dug up for the problem to be fixed.
Have you had similar experiences with Pacific Bell? Did they deny failures of their cable or equipment? If you had to complain repeatedly about your service or you asked for compensation, did they accuse you of threatening their staff? Please contact me with any stories you may have.
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