Ken Calvert’s Town Hall, he phoned it in…

I tried to participate in Ken Calvert’s telephone town hall tonight, even recorded some of it.  Unfortunately, they never took my question or even my promised recorded voicemail.

Many of my comments were addressed by others and most were deflected by Representative Calvert.  I am certainly no expert on this stuff, but here are the points i would have brought up.

  • CRA bill – Representative Calvert seems to have missed the distinction between internet service providers that offer services like Google, Facebook, or Snapchat and telecommunications providers that provide the very lines on witch those services depend.   This is a critical distinction.  Unlike service providers, it is not so easy to just find a telecommunications provider who’s policy you agree with.  In most of America, they are practically monopolies.
  • Russians!! – Lifting sanctions preventing Russian intelligence agency from purchasing surveillance technology?  Why now?  Representative Calvert talked about apposing foreign manipulation of our elections, but what about foreign money buying influence?  Citizens united says money is speech, but what about foreign money?
  • Obamacare Vs Trumpcare – Preexisting conditions? Failing program? It is certainly not perfect (don’t get me started), but my family would be destitute if it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act.  The current offering as a replacement looks terrible and doesn’t include amendments for preexisting conditions.  What will next year bring?

Apparently the bots have the only real authority at eBay!

pee on ebay

I have been an eBay hater for years.  Mostly to do with the way eBay and it’s sidekick Paypal treat sellers- with contempt.  As an occasional seller, I have run into some glaring faults in eBay’s consumer protection.  One case where a buyer refused delivery on the package and falsely claimed it was never delivered.  Despite the tracking clearly stating that the package was refused, eBay sided with the buyer and refunded the money.  I was now out my item and I had to pay shipping to get it back.  Fought and won, but a pain in my ass.  Mostly, I was selling my old iPhones.  The last i sold an iPhone It only sold after it was listed for the fifth time.  When the buyer actually paid for the item, before that, the buyer just blew me off.  Of course eBay now wants 5x completed auction fee.  More fighting with eBay.  It’s just not worth it.

Despite all this, I come back to my abuser to sell some routers.  I want to quickly list some items late afternoon Friday.  I got them listed, which took me some doing.  Apparently policy changes lead me needing to reword some of my boiler plate auction templates.  Money orders no longer accepted, certain search terms no longer in auction title, etc.  Even my auction software needed to be reauthorized.  All these steps completed without incident.  Finally my sonicwalls were listed.  I’m done.  I’ll list the rest later.

20 minutes later, i get an email from eBay that fraud was detected on my account and my auctions were canceled and and my account suspended pending password reset.  I was able to reset the password, so that is not a problem.  However, after nearly an hour on the phone with them (there is no chat or email support that i could find) no one could tell me (1) what triggered the fraud alert.  More surprisingly, (2) no one could re-list the items.  I got transferred from department to department and finally hung up and started drinking.

At this time should say that I have actually have the same IP as when i regularly sold on eBay.  As a buyer, i have never stopped for long (including Lupin III DVDs just last month).  I was using a relatively deduct selling software platform, but it still works, and I have been using with eBay for about a decade.

What would I like to see from eBay?  An explanation. If there was an error, I would like to see an effort to correct the problem and prevent other users from experiencing this frustration.  In general, I would like to see a greater effort to engage with both buyers and sellers to resolve issues. For example, why can’t I send a support email?  Why can a bot do something that actual customer service people cannot undo?

SSL problem, it wasn’t me!

broken keyI just assumed that the problem was related to my recent SSL renewal.  Turns out, Google security recently published Distrusting WoSign and StartCom Certificates and removed them from chrome.  How did I miss this?  It turns out that the SSL on my site has been broken on Chrome for some time.  It must be that I have been using Brave recently as my daily browser.  I moved this site to letsencrypt.org and it’s working fine for everyone now.  I don’t even know how much time I waisted on this one.  wow.

Waisting my time at the Apple Store

I’m at the Apple Store resolving an issue with my iPhone camera.  The same camera Jitter that is already an extended replacement with Apple for the iPhone 6 Plus.  No warranty left and no love for my 6s Plus. They wanted to charge me $80.  After begrudgingly agreeing and waiting an hour for the repair.  i returned to a phone with a completely non-functioning camera.  whoops.

Final iPhone Backup Before Apple Replacement

I hurriedly backed up my phone in preparation for Apple replacing it.  I have now been here for 3 hours.  I spent most of my time waiting for someone.  Now waiting for activation of the new phone.   Then waiting for restore.  In all, my customer service experience was much worse then expected.  After very helpful and accommodating internet support, I received absolutely terrible support from the Apple Store itself.  When i asked to complain to a manager, the “Leader” they brought out was condescending and robotic in his rhetoric.  The 2nd guy, was a lot more understanding, but Apple needs to take a hard look at their customer service.