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What about the PUC? See: 2001 Formal Complaint filed with the CPUC.

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Note: The phone number noted in the above photograph is the smoking gun that can be linked to virtually every recurring phone problem, and every recurring violation to public utility law since 1996 that has continued each and every day 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

 

Some people wonder why I don't just change to Pacific Bell, since my service under AT&T is so bad. If only I had such a choice, but that's where this all started! Members of Pac Bell's management had lied to me about my service, as well as about me and about their own technical staff. The chronic service outages spurred me to move to AT&T local service (which resells Pac Bell services), in hopes the switch would help to solve my service problems. (Little did I know...)

The third time I lost my business telephone service, PacBell told me it would take three days to get a repair person to check the lines. Business lines are supposed to get priority service, and I couldn't afford to be out of business for three days. I began to take careful notes. I wrote down names and employee numbers of repair technicians and others who came to the house or talked with me on the phone. I collected their business cards too, when possible. I made note of all telephone call in regards to my service, including date, time, and content. Eventually, I began to record the calls. This is why I can be sure of the sequence of events and what I was told during this period.

My service outages were due to Pacific Bell's own equipment: cable failures, exacerbated by the DAML* they had installed for my business lines, a switching or cable problem that caused my customers to get a busy signal for hours at a time or to have the phone ring and then disconnect. I also experienced static on the lines often, to the point that my modem could not function correctly and faxes could not get through. When service was out due to cable failures, I later found out that some customers thought I had gone out of business! Pacific Bell technicians told me that old cables in combination with the DAML unit caused me problems, that a DAML needs a perfect line to function properly, and these lines are far from perfect! Despite explicit information I received from technicians on the job, management consistently denied problems with Pacific Bell equipment and kept changing the story about the reasons I lost service. (*DAML: Digital Added Main Line. A multiplexing box the function of which is to run two separate phone lines off a single cable pair. Usually, each phone line gets its own cable pair.)

If I had known how bad the cables in my area were, I would not have moved here. My business relies on the telephone lines, for both voice and faxed orders. Previously, I lived and conducted my business in another neighborhood, on Stoneridge Drive, where I had the same telephone numbers, the same listings. I never experienced a single problem with the phone lines while I lived there! I expected the same kind of service where I now live. However, it is apparent that Pacific Bell was willing to charge me for expensive business lines and priority service even though they could not deliver it due to the poor condition of the cables in this neighborhood. It is all the more frustrating that I phoned ahead to make all the arrangements for my phone lines, so the transfer of my business would go smoothly. Having paid for installation of a third line in my old home, I asked if any installations had to be made or trenches dug to install a third line at the new home, and I was willing to take care of it. I was told, "No, we will install a magic box that will take care of it." They were referring to the DAML!

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... See details below.

Pacific Bell refused to provide me with a copy of my repair history, but I eventually obtained one from AT&T in my early days with them. It details further cable failures during the period covered in 1997–1998. Even then, Pac Bell management continues to deny any problems with their cables (e.g., Letter, 9-24-98). I believe they fully expected to get away with their cover-up. They did not foresee that AT&T would dabble in local phone service, giving me the opportunity to switch and giving AT&T access to records such as trouble and outage reports. Although my AT&T local service (which is actually the reselling of Pac Bell service) did not prove any more reliable, a brief window of opportunity was created for me, during which I was able to find out more than Pac Bell bargained for.

So, what about the PUC?

 

If nothing else, I am sure you will find these documents entertaining. The record speaks for itself! If I can't get material compensation, at least I can get some satisfaction out of sharing my strange tale... by the way, have you had any similar experiences with Pacific Bell? If so, please tell me about them! (...choose date, to see document)


Assorted Letters and Other Documents, and Transcripts of Recorded Telephone Conversations

Some of these pages are long and may take awhile to load.

I finally get to talk to the cable maintenance supervisor, but only by accident, as it were... — September 16, 1996 The problem is definitely the cables, but, "we don't dig up cables. We don't dig up and place stretches for people." I guess it's true. Reliable phone service is just based on the luck of the draw.... (Note that he had already talked to his boss about this— see Panel 4, 3rd paragraph of transcript. Who is his boss?)

Claim Release Request Form. Why do I have to sign a release form to get my phone line fixed? Shouldn't they fix the problem and talk about compensation separately? October 17, 1996

Pacific Bell East Bay Service Operations Regional Manager starts trying to cover his tracks, and he refuses to give me my repair history. I bet he isn't used to having people take notes of what he says November 14, 1996

Pacific Bell clearly knew what my phone service outages and the dispute concerning them were costing me, not only financially but physically — November 15, 1996

How can they state no trouble was found, and yet confirm having carried out repairs on the same dates? Also, how come I am supposed to pay for them to dig a trench to repair their own equipment? And, Resnick says, .."never at any time were Pacific Bell's cables determined to be faulty." Is that so? "Curiouser and curiouser," said Alice... — Resnick does offer me compensation of $2000 in this letter. Although it was not enough to cover my losses, I still find it interesting that the offer was rescinded without another word by the time they tried a different approach: accusing me of threatening employees. November 22, 1996

Pacific Bell continues to tangle its own web. — February 26, 1997

How can a bit of phone line be working properly and yet having intermittent difficulties at the same time? Enquiring minds want to know! March 4, 1997

The web tangles further. Just WHAT is really faulty? — March 5, 1997

A last phone call from Mr. Resnick — March 17, 1997 As far as Pacific Bell and their legal department are concerned, apparently, the only way I can get reliable service on my lines is to accept their settlement offer or take them to court first. At this point I switched to AT&T, in the forlorn hope that things would get better.

Pacific Bell legal department makes some pretty astonishing statements and allegatios— April 3, 1997

I found this tag on my door, regarding some other work Pac Bell was going to do in front of my house. The notice tells me, "To maintain our facilities in top-notch condition and provide our customers with the most up-to-date- communications services..." they will will be working in my street. They say I'm not to worry if they dig up my lawn or driveway, as they will put everything back. Hmmm... doesn't say a thing about billing me for digging on my private property. April 21, 1997

AT&T Test Record. An AT&T technician finds there is no problem with the 2-pair buried drop, which was still in place following installation of the 5-pair line. This shows that Resnick lied when he changed his story to place the blame for my service outages on the 2-pair buried drop. March 7, 1998

Does anyone know what a "copper termination job" is? So far I haven't found anyone (including technicians) who knows. What does it have to do with cable failure? Why won't Pacific Bell management admit the chronic nature of their cable failures? March 24, 1998

Mr. Phason of Pacific Bell replies regarding my queries on who changed my Pac Bell 411 listings and how they could keep changing. Pac Bell says it cannot change anything without orders from AT&T, cannot investigate anything without AT&T purchase order numbers. This letter also includes an example of an order by AT&T that provided my address with an error in it! September 3 , 1999

Mr. Phason reiterates that Pac Bell cannot initiate changes to services they provide to AT&T (and therefore to me, as AT&T's customer), without authorization from AT&T, my local service provider. He says I must contact AT&T for information on the continual changes in my Pac Bell directory listing. September 13 , 1999

Note—I have added a chronolgy of my chronic phone listing problems to this web site.

In desperation, I finally tried complaining to the PUC, for all the good it did me. They just accept Pac Bell's lies and misrepresentations (See CPUC documents)

 

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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