Saturday, September 17, 2011

Collection Agencies Harassment SOS

Good Saturday morning readers and interested parties. May I first say that these phone calls I am about to report as harassment, are not FOR me. The variety of bill collection agencies who have called me repeatedly, are calling for OTHER people who happen to have their first names begin with the letter "J" like mine.

Since I was granted a final divorce in November 2010, I had to establish myself in a new residence with new telephone service. That is when the calls started coming! You see, I opted to do as guided and that was to list my phone number with just an initial. Perhaps that was to try and protect my identity? Or perhaps to protect the fact that I was a female? Well, I don't think that has really worked as aren't people smart enough these days to consider that somebody with an initial for a first name is most likely a female? I'd say in the majority of cases, YES.

During the last week I realized that the calls had turned the corner to a level of harassment and that the collection agencies are OUT OF CONTROL for sure. To illustrate SOME of the phone calls I have been receiving, I went back through my telephone log and recorded the most recent phone calls. Take a look; tell me what you think; have any of these people called you too?

972-217-8329 – West Asset Management – 8/22/11 3:22pm; 8/20/11 10:42am; 8/19/11 6:54pm; 8/19/11 3:52pm; 8/19/11 9:36am
917-793-5694 – The Debt School – 8/26/11 9:29am
703-656-9956 – NCO Financial 8/29/11 4:53pm; 8/29/11 11:05am
813-283-3864 – Unipoint Services – 8/29/11 5:53pm
800-373-1577 – Enhanced Recovery Collections – 9/6/11 10:39am
412-282-1421 – Portfolio Recovery Services – 9/10/11 8:36am
312-625-1467 – Portfolio Recovery Services OR Prize Distribution Headquarters, Chicago, IL – 9/11/11 9:14am
914-513-0163 – Portfolio Recovery Services – 9/11/11 2:29pm
443-313-1381 – Portfolio Recovery Services OR Sunrocket – 9/12/11 8:30am
303-317-8523 – Integral Recovery – 9/15/11 4:13pm; 8/26/11 12:31pm
866-315-4996 – PFG Medical – 9/16/11 8:38pm; 9/15/11 12:55pm; 9/13/11 11:38am; 9/9/11 2:58pm; 9/8/11 11:31am; 9/1/11 2:44pm; 8/27/11 11:38am
800-860-0644 – Portfolio Recovery Services – 9/17/11 8:33am

I have taken time to actually call back the people from the numbers who have called me the most. I think it was West Asset Management who actually read off a list of people ... "Are you Janine, Jill, Jim, James, Joe, Joseph??" etc. "Do you know Janine, Jill, Jim, James, Joe, Joseph??" etc. "No, I am not Janine, Jill, Jim, James, Joe, Joseph and for that matter, I don't know any Janine, Jill, Jim, James, Joe, Joseph."  Looking at the series of phone calls after that, I do believe West Asset Management has finally stopped calling me.

NCO Financial had been as aggressive as West Asset Management with their phone calls. Before I had my telephone number changed to the current one, NCO called me 3 times on a Sunday ... I believe it was for a Janine. I called them back and asked that they stop calling me.

Hey, now I see Portfolio Recovery Services is the leading contender for the harassment award. I've called them twice in the last week! They're still calling for a Jill. Hey, that's not me!  Also, they are apparently rather sly with their telephone methods, changing phone numbers and actually trying to pose as somebody else with the caller name that shows on the ID.

I'm wondering about the series of phone calls from ITT Tech Ins. They are calling for a Joseph ... not sure that they are trying to collect money or to sell education services.

Do you owe money? Oh, never mind, that's too personal of a question. I don't seriously owe anybody at this point in my life; and should not be getting any bill collection agency phone calls. But, my ex DOES owe me and I am seriously waiting for him to cough it up.  It surely seems that being newly divorced and establishing myself all over again, that I am going to have to contend with harassment.

Good Grief! The divorce was stressful enough ... what I've learned with this bologna? I should NOT have kept the ex's last name ... you wouldn't believe just how many people with his last name SEEM to owe money! I will say a little prayer for the people with my last name who are seriously trying to recover and pay their bills. Oh, I will not be including the bill dodgers.

P.S. Judging from the phone calls coming my way, less than 1 in 12 is for me. Perhaps it's time to cancel home telephone service? I got to think about that.  And, something else!!  I am on the Do Not Call Registry and have been taking time to submit complaints along the way.  It surely seems it doesn't help to deter Collection Agencies Harassment; you know?  Got similar issues?  Tell me about it!

UPDATE: It is September 2014 and I am back to add a quick update. I started getting those bill collection agency calls again for that same gal with the initials C.S. What the heck is going on? Did the collection agencies sell their records to another agency and not bother to correct the wrong phone number for Miss C.S. ????

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Holy Smokes > The Cost of Anesthesia

Did you know that I recently had foot surgery; i.e. a sort of bunionectomy on my left foot on July 22, 2011 which was preceded by another bunionectomy on my right foot on April 1, 2011. Oh, and that poor right foot also had Morton's Neuroma surgery on December 17, 2007. Suffice to say that I hopefully now have two good feet to stand on.

Have you taken time to actually read my two previous blog posts about this recent surgery's administration of anesthesia? Hey, before you continue here, you need to read: Are You Versed in Versed aka Midazolam, Dormicum, and Hypnovel and What a Surprise > It Was the Propofol.

I am still pretty much amazed at the PAIN of my "twilight sleep" anesthesia. The burning sensation was huge and uncomfortable and went on for probably 6 "Oh My Gods!"

So, imagine my surprise when I just opened the bill from the Anesthesia Consultants! Holy Smokes > The Cost of Anesthesia! You see, I don't recall ever seeing the cost of anesthesia with any of my previous foot surgeries ... so this is a first for me and it is quite an adjustment, considering that I surely didn't enjoy the induction of anesthesia for this last foot surgery at Center One in Jacksonville, Florida.

What does it cost for "twilight sleep" anesthesia for a one-hour foot surgery? Well, I can only go by this one bill since I have nothing to compare it to:

Anesthesia req'd by Dr. - FBS - 15019A = $920.00
Other Peripheral Nerve or Branch - FBS - 15019A = $460.00
Est. Due From Insurance = $1,380.00

As I am on my third different health insurance policy for this year, I am still meeting large out-of-pocket deductibles; not to mention that this policy is only 70%/30% coverage. I am guessing that my insurance company will NOT pay all of that $1,380.00 and that I might be coughing up a hefty payment ... hopefully not $100 for each of those 6 or so "Oh My Gods!"

That makes me stop for a moment to think about something. Remember Michael Jackson and his reputed use of Propofol? You do know that Michael Jackson also had issues with the burn of Propofol; that it is reported that other drugs were used, like Versed, to help in the administration of anesthesia. I don't claim to know all the details of the Michael Jackson case, but I do know that he was in a better position financially to afford the cost of anesthesia [for surgeries and twilight sleep] > I wonder if it cost $1,380.00 each time he wanted to sleep? Or, could it have actually cost more? Oh ... it did!

Bottomline, that seems expensive to me. You see, you've heard me talk about the burning pain of propofol ... but I haven't yet written about the first week following that surgery and how the nerve block didn't seem to last into the next day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What a Surprise > It Was the Propofol

If you have read my previous blog post, Are You Versed in Versed aka Midazolam, Dormicum, and Hypnovel, you'd know that I experienced a severe burning sensation when an agent was introduced into my IV.  The anesthesiologist told me that she was injecting Versed and that I might have some burning sensation.  However, the most important thing she neglected to mention?  Oh, that she would be following up the Versed with Propofol.

In all my online research this past weekend, I could not find a significant amount of information on a so-called Versed burn ... I kept reading about the notorious Propofol burn. But, I didn't have Propofol ... or did I?

Yes said the nurse, from Center One, this morning who called to check up on me, after Friday's bunionectomy surgery. "Yes, that burning sensation was the Propofol."  But, my anesthesiologist didn't tell me she was injecting Propofol ... and I am wondering why she didn't tell me.

At lunch today, I did a fair amount of research on Propofol and learned a good amount about how to administer it to avoid that burn. I read about pH. On I also read a couple of patient experiences which sounded just like mine.
When the anethesiologist started the Propofol into my IV, I immediately felt a horrible sensation in my IV arm. I remember saying outloud 3 times to the staff in the OR-OW!OW!OW! My arm-something is wrong. --55 year old female
EXTREME pain (not just a sting) when it went in. I screamed and fussed at them and told them they could have warned me and the pain in my arm was absolutely the worst I've EVER felt-no exaggerating. --43 year old female
Diprivan [Propofol] helped me sleep when I needed it, but it ruined my career as a prominent pop star when it killed me before a major tour. --50 year old male

Ha! Not so funny on that last comment, eh?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Are You Versed in Versed aka Midazolam, Dormicum, and Hypnovel

Are you versed; i.e., do you know a lot about the benzodiazepine class drug Versed which is commonly used as the first drug for inducing a state of sedation and a definite state of amnesia? I didn't know anything about Versed. Yesterday, for the first time, I was Googling "Versa" because I thought that was the name of the drug. I am not the only person who thought it was "Versa" because I found questions about that drug spelled that way.

Yesterday afternoon, when I came back from a short rest with my left foot up on several pillows with an ice bag on my leg, I finally hooked into information on Versed, courtesy of my favorite: Google. Why the interest in Versed? Friday morning, July 22nd, I had left foot surgery at Center One in Jacksonville, FL. This wasn't my first foot surgery you know! On April 1st, I had right foot surgery -- sort of the same type of procedure, but the facility was Southpoint Outpatient Surgery.

See my right foot? That picture is from April Fools Day, April 1st -- I'll share my left foot as soon as I get pictures!  Oh, on April 1st, I had a Hallux Rigidus/Hallux Valgus Correction procedure. My foot doctor had me all prepared to receive a joint implant, but I didn't need one.  At Southpoint, I was enjoying the lovely pre-op area with the custom printed drapery with scenes direct from the tulip fields of Holland.  I got to talk with the anesthesiologist and then saw him again when I was wheeled into the operating room.  That was nice too.

HOWEVER, I never got to appreciate the operating room at Center One. Oh, yes I had surgery, but when my anesthesiologist was talking to me in the pre-op, she said they needed to give me some shots in my left foot to prepare me for surgery. AND, she was going to now inject Versed into my IV which would help me to be sedated and would create a sense of amnesia.

FOLKS! That was an understatement. The second that Versed hit my IV and started to creep up my right arm, I couldn't shut-up. "Oh My God!" that's what I had to say. And, I know I said it several times ... probably the last word after that was "in my elbow!!!" Then, from what I remember, I was quiet. I can honestly say in all the pre-op rooms I have visited in my long life, I NEVER had the type of burning sensation that I had with the Versed. I am now obviously wondering: why?

I lost about 2 hours of my visit to Center One. The next thing I recalled was waking up in the recovery room and seeing my doctor. I said HI to him, but he didn't say anything that I remember ... so I'm thinking that I must have been talkative or moaning or expressive in the OR since the Versed, but I don't remember a thing. I do remember my anesthesiologist telling me I would have a Twilight sleep although I got the breathing tube at Southpoint for the same procedure. I'm wondering why the variance from one outpatient center to another.

Gosh, I hope my writing is making some sense today. I think I'm still affected by the Versed, but I'm not sure. At first, I thought this was surely the first time I ever received Versed ... but then I got to thinking. I'll bet I have had Versed in the past, like when I had Morton's Neuroma surgery on my right foot at the outpatient surgery center on Emerson Road, near Dr. Paul Shirley's old office.  Come to think of it, I don't remember what that operating room looked like either!  And, I lost a bit of my memory there.  However, that Versed did not burn like holy heaven when it was introduced into my IV.

So ... today's question ... are you versed in Versed?  Have you ever experienced a burning in the hole that felt like it wouldn't stop?  Did you experience amnesia ... I'm sure you did.  I sure would have liked to check out that operating room as the pre-op and recovery rooms were spectacular.  I was quite impressed with the outside spectacular appearance of the Center One building.  The staff was great.  Myrna was a real gem too.  Heck, I even ran into my OLD neighbor from across the street in Deercreek, Dean [hope Chris will be calling soon.]  Maybe because I am divorced I feel more burning sensations than normal?

I am thinking this morning, that if I have to have a special pre-op appointment with my surgeon to discuss the procedure and things that I need to do ... that I surely would have liked to have a pre-op appointment or brief meeting or phone call with the anesthesiologist.  I'm not keen on drugs you know?  When my foot doctor asked me about a prescription for pain meds, I said I didn't want the typical, in demand, pain stuff.  As of today, the only pain meds that I personally have administered to myself is OTC Ibuprofen.  With that in mind, I sure would have liked the option ahead of time to say YAY or NAY to any drugs which would be administered to me for my surgery.

Have you had Versed?  Did it burn like crazy?  Did you get to see your operating room?  I've got lots of questions for my foot doctor.  I see him Monday evening.  "Hey doc, what was I like in the operating room?  Was I totally out?"  How about that Versed?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The discrimination by credit agencies of a DIVORCED woman

I am sitting here in my "boldy humble" apartment in Jacksonville, Florida, seriously inhaling somebody's cigarette smoke! Because I wanted to enjoy a little fresh air this morning, before the heat of the day, I opened my patio door. The cigarette smoke didn't overtake me immediately as it was rather early for smokers to be up. But, now that it is after 7am EST, somebody is seriously smoking and I am smelling it.  WHEW!

So, the subject of today's blog post is perhaps a bit of righteous indignation on my part. You see, yesterday was the first time in a NUMBER of years that I actually looked at my credit report CLOSELY! On first glance, it surely does appear to me that there is serious discrimination by credit agencies, across the board, when you are NEWLY DIVORCED! I'm thinking that I need to write a tips page for people anticipating that they will be getting a divorce ... what to do in the 13 months prior to achieving that divorce. Perhaps.  You know?  So that you make sure you have an installment loan in your name, plus get yourself off any "joint" accounts -- especially those that aren't really "joint" in concept.

The first big HIT on my credit history isn't even MINE, technically! On October 15th, I handed back to my soon to be ex-hubby the credit card that was linked to his account. The credit card, that I treasured throughout the disintegrating marriage, was used strictly for grocery store purchases -- I purchased the food and was the chief cook and bottle washer. I'm thinking the grocery purchases might have totalled $400-$650 per month. The last time I used that credit card for any such purchase was over 6 months ago.

So, gag, when I see that my ex-hubby's charges are on my credit report with a hefty, nearly $5,000 balance!!! Gosh, the ex-hubby has had a new "squeeze" seriously since November and just took her on a celebration cruise with a number of former friends of the marriage.  So, he charged stuff for himself AND the squeeze on that credit card which is now, and has been, appearing on my credit report??????  Oh, my goodness, but seriously?

I have never had that type of balance on any of my credit cards as I am of the conservative Venus planetary makeup. That would be the first slightly non-positive, adversarial hit on my credit score for it says "proportion of balances to credit limits too high on revolving accounts!"  And, they aren't even technically mine.  Why would my ex-hubby's charges ever be on my credit report -- even during the marriage.  No, wait!  Isn't that a part of the marriage -- for better or for worse?  Hey monkeybrain, that's not fair and equitable, you know?

Time-out!!!  Gag -- the cigarette smoke smell has intensified!

Well, the "for better" or "for worse" surely has taken on new meaning for me!  I'm hoping the "for worse" will be ending soon.  The discrimination by credit agencies of a DIVORCED woman ... is further evident in the fact that I HAVE to start myself a new, reclaimed life.  And, unfortunately for me, renting an apartment, getting cable and internet, and taking back my cellphone has all meant, hey, let's pull your credit report = "too many inquiries in the last 12 months!"  I am seriously feeling discriminated against, really!

Can I get a second opinion about all that?  It even appears that my ex-hubby's dealings with a collection agency because his adult son didn't pay his apartment rent is on my credit report!!  More than once, throughout the marriage, the ex-hubby, said "why do you CARE about your credit?"  What are you going to be buying???  Hmmmm!

Why is there not a place on the credit report(s) for the public record information that a person has been seriously impacted by DIVORCE?  I think I need a few consideration points for surviving that divorce.  It still smarts, you know?

Something I did prior to the marriage ... I had my credit report and scores run.  I didn't anticipate this day ... that I would be pulling that record to demonstrate the fact that the marriage did not have a positive effect on my credit ... but, you know, my credit is NOT as good as it was when I had total control of it!  During the marriage, voicing objection to financial dealings of the hubby meant NOTHING.  I had to suck it in and take the hit on MY credit report!!!  My scores today are some 90% of what they were when I was a single woman; immediately prior to the marriage.

So, folks!  Those of you still with me ... I thank you for listening to what you might think is ME venting!  But, listen up.  If YOU are in a marriage and think you are doing good with your credit, take a close look at everything on that credit report.  You MIGHT be surprised.  Any of you newly divorced, like me?  Ah, come on ... fess up!  How is YOUR credit?  Have you felt any discrimination by credit agencies of a DIVORCED person ... Y-O-U?  It's not just me, you know?  Hey, give me a holler.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Would you believe that it is difficult to FIND a certain tire?

As I sit here thinking I really need to jump in the shower and get ready for my foot surgery today, I am penning this blog post!  It is thanks to a fellow Squidoo lensmaster Tony in the UK that I think about my pet peeves more often ... these days!  I am really more than a little peeved about Tire Kingdom and my Goodyear Eagle Z-rated tires!  One in particular ... a 245/40R17.  That is the type of tire that goes on the rear rim of my 1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK-230.  I've got two 225/45R17s on my front.  vroom vroom!

Last Saturday, Tire Kingdom installed a loaner Sumitomo 245-sized tire on the rear, which had the WRONG 215 since July 30, 2010.  The store manager promised me that day, he would get the tire in and installed before April Fools Day - the day of my foot surgery.  It is on my right foot ... driving will be an adventure from that day forward, until the foot heals.  Be careful if you see me in my yellow roadster!  beep beep!

I called Goodyear Corporate Customer Relations and spoke with Kathy.  She told me, that tire IS hard to find.  No location in the South reported it in inventory.  Kathy said that 2500 of that tire was on BACKORDER.  Good grief!

When I googled that tire this morning, it was sort of an April Fools as Tire Kingdom was advertising the low price guarantee ... but they seriously do NOT have my tire.  Darn!

I am contemplating the thought, "Would you believe that it is difficult to FIND a certain tire?"  I can't believe it!  The tires are supposedly performance tires, you know?  I just wish they were performing for me!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It was a rough ride i.e. size matters especially in tires

It can be quite compelling how life can have its share of rough rides, you know?  If you take notice of my last blog post here on "Jaguar Julie Blog On and On ..." you might notice that my very last blog post was penned on July 26, 2010.  Perhaps you might think I was off on sabbatical or taking some sort of long-winded vacation?  Hmmm?  Nope!  That was really not the case.

On July 9th, my last unobserved birthday, my attorney served divorce papers on my ex-hubby!  Yeah, I was channeling the thought that Seth Godin infused in us Squidoo lensmasters ... we will celebrate NO more birthdays!  Make that "birthday" of yours a memorable occasion ... and don't be blowing out any birthday cake/cupcake candles.  Well, I didn't!  July 9th was just one of the first days of many included in my rough ride through the remainder of 2010 and into 2011.

You see, seriously ... my attorney was prepared to go to trial with the divorce.  I wasn't sure about that!  But, he did put a "gag order" on me.  So, I interpreted that to mean ... no more blog posts about my feelings, life, and other stuff ... possibly very random in nature.

So!  July 26th was my last blog post.  July 30th my attorney said, "go ahead and get those tires!"  And I did.  I went to Tire Kingdom on Philips Highway in beautiful Jacksonville, Florida.  I had an appointment too!  So, when I ended up waiting OVER 2 hours for two new back tires, I was a little rattled.  THEN, the guys come in to the waiting room to tell me something is wrong with my car!  You see, it wouldn't start!  Long story short, twenty minutes later, we figured out that the red button on my remote had been pushed by one of the guys working on my car.  So, we were all locked out from starting the car.  That was the beginning of my rough ride!

I drove out of Tire Kingdom that night, headed back home to finish the divorce discovery which was becoming hugely B-R-U-T-A-L ... 5 years of banking and personal financial records to be produced!  As I headed West on Philips and North on Southside, I thought, "MAN, this is one rough ride."  How about those NEW tires?  Never did I question the fact that there were two 245 Goodyear Eagle tires on the back of my car.

The bill for those two tires came to $400.  That was better than the 2 front Goodyear Eagle tires ... previously supplied by Tire Kingdom on Philips, but costing me some $550.  I've always paid just under $1000 for the 4 tires on my Mercedes-Benz 1999 SLK-230 roadster.  It's a classic, you know?

This past week, my classic M-B was at Brumos on Atlantic for 3 full days ... lots of preventative service which tabulated to nearly $2,100 in charges!  It was Brumos who told me, "Julie, you must seriously go back to your tire guy!"  It seems that on the driver back, the tire was NOT a 245, but a 215!

As of this writing, I had contacted Tire Kingdom, several different times, to resolve this issue.  My first appointment was cancelled since Brumos still had my car.  The next day I stopped by Tire Kingdom on time, only to be told that the tire had NOT been ordered ... you see, the guy had to validate that I indeed had a 215 wrong tire on my car!!!  Next, when I asked, can you then schedule me an appointment for after work and install the correct tire that I paid for in July 2010?  NOPE, he said ... I'd have to wait until the tire came in and he checked it out ... then he would set up the appointment.  Friday came and went ... NO tire.

Saturday morning I was waiting for a phone call ... "your tire should be here within one hour."  That one hour came and went; no phone call.  So, I drove to Tire Kingdom and learned the tire had just been delivered from Orlando, but it was warped.  Oh my!  The store manager was the FIRST Tire Kingdom employee who took ownership of this problem!!!  He ordered a "loaner" tire from a local store ... I waited for one of the employees to go pick it up.  I am now driving around Jacksonville, Florida, looking for a house to buy, with a 245 Sumitomo tire on my driver back.

Beep beep!  If you see me on the road today, honk please!