Monday, October 31, 2016

What is Music? Above and Beyond?

A lot of people don't understand the way music has always been - they complain about Hip Hop, and Electronic Artists copying others - Let's be very clear - Mozart, Beethoven, and the rest ALL performed mostly music written by others in their own way, along with a few special jams of their own - (And any proper artist, and even scientist will admit they stand on the shoulders of giants they hope to become)

In this day and age, while many DJs do the same thing, few and far between are a group of musicians like Above & Beyond - I often hear a song on the radio and am surprised - oh - "this is the original" I think - wow! how cool!

A lot of artists remix other people's music, and some even remix their own - but WOW - realize what A&B does - They play all the instruments, sing, compose and are truly amazing! I had the pleasure to see these guys live, in an acoustic format and quickly realized - these guys are special -

"The production process for electronic music is often someone sitting at a computer with a mouse - it's a very inorganic, and impersonal process really - "

"We don't tend to just stick a bit of vocal over a track - we start with a song"

If you have a chance to see or listen to these guys, highly recommended - their weekly podcast is a marvel of dance music, and you can't hear much of a mix from a well known DJ without hearing an A&B original -

From my perspective I have never heard a song successfully "de-mixed" - the closest maybe is hearing something like metallica de-hardened with a symphony orchestra, but if you want to see the many face of music (Note that Oceanlab is a name for A&B With a particular vocal artist - Justine Suisse):

OceanLab - Miracle - Club Mix (They always do a club mix of their music....they are DJs!) - - WOW! Seriously up!

Wow!

If you want to experience end to end, and amazing journey check out this recording of their original Acoustic performance!

It's awesome and has commentary that really helps you understand these guys - I was blessed to seem them with a few close friends this year in the bay area and it was AMAZING!



Cheers, and much love to my group therapy family!

-Tom

Friday, December 26, 2014

Why I will liquidiate and/or transfer all funds from E-trade January 1st

I have often extolled the virtues of E-Trade to people. Today things have changed. I LOVED that I could have checking, savings, ForEx, IRA, and RothIRA in one place. The only limitation was I could not have a self directed IRA, but that was minor. VERY few IRA's offer this feature, so no trouble here. I have, however here found, that I can cite in pure form 4+ examples of E-trade representatives LYING TO ME IN WRITING!

I actually watched in the late 90's when E-trade, like many folks tried to diversify into banking. I understood why - Bank Deposits are cheap relative to the rest. They give margin loans, and nothing could be cheaper then bank deposits where they pay very little. Note, today they pay roughly 0.02% but charge 8.4% under $50K of margin debit (and have done so on my first disputed credit card transaction in 10 years).

It's been at least 10 years. I don't know quite how long, but I've had an account with them FOREVER (in my mind). I had a debit card stolen, and they took care of me once when my account was hacked (not my fault - they called me) - both within days. I was happy.

I was a bit frustrated when time after time they denied charges while I was abroad - this was a common occurrence, but when I called they lifted it right away. They did leave messages saying "your card is being used abroad," which I always got upon a return to the US, but a pain in the butt. Still letting it go.

But I need to share recent behavior with them, and why you should NEVER trust them:

1) Hotels will pillage your money - this is common practice everywhere, but still a pain in the butt. When I slide my card they take the money RIGHT AWAY!. When you check out of a hotel, they will HOLD THE MONEY FOR AS LONG AS 2 WEEKS! Now in their defense, this is a common problem across all issuers of debit cards so I even let them go on this one. It sucks. I don't like, nor have a credit card any more, but this was NEVER a problem back them.

2) Here we go....FIRST TIME IN 10+ YEARS I CONTEST A CHARGE. I reserved a room at the Omni in Austin for SXSW. When I realized I wasn't going, I cancelled my flight on Southwest....no problem. I also cancelled my hotel reservation with the Omni. Across various stays, I and my co-travelers have spent easily $20K at Omni hotels in the last 10 years. I still got a charge for $450 on my card.

I of course first called the Omni and let them know. I called several times. They kept saying they were "looking into it" but never responded to me once. Bummer - Luckily I used a credit card so I am safe right? I spent 3 weeks working with the hotel, to no avail. I will now share with you a transcript (with comments) of my last 3 months. And this is why I saw STAY AWAY FROM ETRADE!


10-20: I give up on working with Omni and call E-Trade. I send them a secure message saying:
This transaction:
OMNI AUSTIN DOWNTO,AUSTIN TX REFID:464275682054572;
Is not valid. I made a reservation with them months ago, but cancelled it several weeks before the stay, well within the bounds of the terms. I contacted them numerous times to remove the charge, and they have not been helpful.
While I've had nothing but good service/results from Omni til now, I need to contest this charge. Please let me know what I need to do. If I need to fill out paper forms please send to thomasgal@gmail.com or fax to:
XXX-XXX-XXXX
-Tom


11-14: I send another note
Sent: 11/14/2014 12:25 PM
Reference Number: 3514379

Customer Message: 

I have been laboriously trying to fix an unauthorized charge on my card.

I cancelled a hotel reservation months ago now, got the unauthorized charge a month ago, called the hotel to fix it and didn't get a response, just 'we'll get back to you.' I sent in my dispute form a week ago and it looks like you received it Tuesday. 

Can I get an update here? I have not done this before, but the agent told me I would receive a crpedit rapidly. Perhaps the bank holiday caused some delays, but can you please just advise on the process? Thanks for your help

I get a response and the full transaction is included:

Sent: 11/15/2014 10:36 PM
Reference Number: 3514379

Customer Service Message:


Dear THOMAS GAL,

Our records indicate that you have been contacted via phone and/or Secure Message regarding message # 3514379 submitted to E*TRADE FINANCIAL on 11/14/2014 12:25 PM.

If you feel that your message was not properly addressed or you need further assistance, please reply to this message or contact customer service at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) from 7 a.m. to midnight ET.

Sincerely,

E*TRADE Customer Service
Sent: 11/15/2014 01:51 PM
Reference Number: 3514379

Customer Message: 

Thank you!


Apparently at this point their computer messed up and forgot about me so I emailed them back. Here was the response.

Sent: 11/15/2014 11:40 AM
Reference Number: 3514379

Customer Service Message:


Dear Thomas Gal,

Thank you for your message regarding the process of receiving a reimbursement for an unauthorized charge.

I have connected the document you sent in to the pending case number that is open regarding this matter. Normally, this happens automatically but for some reason it did not immediately continue the open case. I will follow up with this matter on Monday to ensure that everything is processing correctly. At this point, the processing of the document you submitted should be processed within 2-3 business days at which point you should receive a temporary credit while this matter is investigated. If there is a change to this process or time frame I will contact you by secure message. I apologize for the delay in processing experienced in this matter and any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

I hope this information is helpful. I want you to know that I value and appreciate your business. Should you have additional questions regarding this matter or any other, please feel free to respond to this message or contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-387-2331 (International +1 678-624-6210). Our representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sincerely,

Bryce Sagers
Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm MST
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Elite Sr. Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WRITTEN LIE 1. 2-3 DAYS
WRITTEN LIE 2. TRY YOUR MERCHANT FIRST!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sent: 11/17/2014 05:15 PM
Reference Number: 3517064

Customer Message: 

Thanks. I tried to resolve with them first, and didn't get any responses.

I'll be patient. I just have not gone through this before so I wasn't aware of the process.

Sent: 11/17/2014 02:27 PM
Reference Number: 3517064

Customer Service Message:


Dear Thomas Gal,

This message is regarding your transaction/merchant dispute claim.

I am writing to follow up with some more information I have regarding this matter. Your dispute form is in process but a provisional credit is not available in this type of claim. Provisional credits are provided for fraudulent charge claims but not for merchant disputes. The best course of action in these cases, if you have not already done so, is to try and resolve the matter with the vendor that charged your card. Usually, this results in the quickest possible reimbursement of funds. Either way, what our claims department will do is contact the merchant/vendor and try to resolve the issue based on the information you have provided and request that they reverse the charge. If this request is successful, you should see a credit in your account in 7-10 business days. Please allow 3-5 days for this request to be completed. I will follow up with you by the end of this week regarding the status of this matter via secure message.

I hope this information is helpful. I want you to know that I value and appreciate your business. Should you have additional questions regarding this matter or any other, please feel free to respond to this message or contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-387-2331 (International +1 678-624-6210). Our representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sincerely,

Bryce Sagers
Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm MST
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Elite Sr. Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WRITTEN LIE 3 7-10 DAYS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Your Research: ATM request for account XXXX-6485 has been completed.

To inquire about this service request please send us a secure message and reference Case Number 2291623521096.

Your Research: ATM Request
Status:
Completed
Request Date:
11/18/14
Account Number:
XXXX-6485
Case Number:
2291623521096
Date of Error:
10/06/2014
Amount:
447.35

Sent: 11/20/2014 01:17 PM
Reference Number: 3526230

Customer Service Message:


Dear Thomas Gal,

This message is regarding your debit card unauthorized transaction claim.

I am writing to make you aware that I have received confirmation that merchant dispute department did receive your original form and the matter has been under investigation since 11/12/2014. That being said, it appears as if this type of investigation may take longer than I previously mentioned. I will continue to monitor this matter for you and send another update next week unless a resolution comes earlier.

I want you to know that I value and appreciate your business. Should you have additional questions regarding this matter or any other, please feel free to respond to this message or contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-387-2331 (International +1 678-624-6210). Our representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sincerely,

Bryce Sagers
Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm MST
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Elite Sr. Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WRITTEN LIE 4. 14-21 days (approx)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sent: 11/25/2014 11:42 AM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Service Message:


Dear Thomas Gal,

This message is regarding your atm charge merchant dispute claim.

I am writing to make you aware that this situation is still under review. I have received notification that the timeframe form merchant dispute resolutions can take up to 45 days after receiving the necessary paperwork has been received. You sent in the paperwork on 11/11/2014 which means that the resolution of this matter may not be reached until 45 days after that point. Unfortunately, I will not be able to continue monitoring this situation as I am being transferred to another department. Please keep an eye on any account notices you may receive between now and the end of December and feel free to contact us at the phone number below or by secure message if you have any additional questions or need any clarification of the process.

I hope this information is helpful. I want you to know that I value and appreciate your business. Should you have additional questions regarding this matter or any other, please feel free to respond to this message or contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-387-2331 (International +1 678-624-6210). Our representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sincerely,

Bryce Sagers
Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm MST
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Elite Sr. Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WRITTEN LIE 5 45 days!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


Sent: 11/25/2014 05:48 PM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Message:

While this process may take a long time for you, I have reported an unauthorized charge originally 10/21 with you including the exact description of the charge and charge reference number (message ID 3470104), and much earlier with the vendor. I have been very diligent, and Federal law says I am not liable for unlawful charges on my card. It's been well over 45 days since I was subjected to this, and it's fine if you don't want to count the time I spent with the vendor, but then you shouldn't ask me to do that first.

I am at the point of reporting this to an authority because while you have been very polite, I have gotten zero out of this process in actual results, and I'm due a credit long ago.
Sent: 11/26/2014 04:30 PM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Service Message:


Dear Mr. THOMAS S GAL,

Thank you for your message regarding your account ending in 6485.

Your merchant dispute 2291623521096 is currently under investigation and it may take up to 45 days. Since is a non Reg-E merchant dispute, unfortunately you will not receive provisional credit during the investigation.

Should you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us via secure message or phone. We are available 7 days a week 24 hours a day at 1-800-387-2331 or internationally at +1-678-624-6210.

Sincerely,

Carmichael Kimoto
Mon-Fri 9AM - 5:30PM ET
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THE LIES KEEP ON COMING! NEVER TRUST ETRADE!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE WE KEEP GOING!


So Phase 3 comes...

Sent: 12/06/2014 08:23 PM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Message: 

Pleas advise. We're past 45 days since my initial report, and I haven't heard anything in 2 weeks. 

You have made a clear case for not trying to resolve anything with the merchant if they don't fix things on the first day. The time I spent contacting them was all a waste. I've been out $500 for 2 months :(
Sent: 12/07/2014 12:30 AM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Service Message:


Dear Thomas Gal,

Thank you for your message regarding account update.

Unfortunately I will not be able to provide you with any update about the dispute but you will get the dispute outcome by an official letter sent to you once the investigation process is complete. I understand it is a long process and it may look like taking forever. Please feel free to contact us if you do have any more questions. E*TRADE appreciate your business.

Sincerely,

Dennis Otieno
Mon 09:00-800EST, Thr & Fri-2:00-1:00am, Sat 1:30p
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC

Sent: 12/19/2014 01:37 AM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Message: 

We're now pushing well up to 60 days. What is going on here?
Sent: 12/07/2014 12:30 AM
Reference Number: 3533389


Sent: 12/20/2014 10:18 AM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Service Message:


Dear Mr. Gal,

Thank you for your message regarding transaction issue.

I've checked into your request and the status is still pending. I understand your frustration at the moment and continuing patience; the investigation is still ongoing.

Should you have any further questions, or if you require additional assistance or clarification, we are available 24/7. Please feel free to send us a secure message, or contact us by phone, at 1-800-387-2331.

Sincerely,

Jason Akpolo
Mon -- Fri 8:30 AM ET -- 5:00 PM ET
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Senior Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC
Sent: 12/20/2014 07:40 PM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Message: 

How can you understand my frustration? That transaction happened almost 3 months ago. I reported it to you on 10/21, and you guys keep telling me it takes 45 days, and we're way passed that. You guys keep LYING to me, and brushing off. This is NOT customer service - It's BS.... I'm filing a complaint with the CFPB. If I find an unauthorized charge on my account, I'm not required to pay it, but you guys have happily collected my money and left me hanging. You need to issue me a credit back. I've had an account with you for a decade, and charged $100s of thousands of dollars and never contested a charge once. This is not the behavior of an institution that has my back, but one taking advantage.
Sent: 12/20/2014 10:18 AM
Reference Number: 3533389

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LET THE RUN AROUND CONTINUE!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sent: 12/22/2014 02:45 PM
Reference Number: 3569892

Customer Message: 

What does this mean?

Mon Dec 22 01:36:51 2014 Electronic Transaction Request Cancelled

We have cancelled your request for the following Electronic Funds Transfer Dispute: 

Account: INDIVIDUAL - 6485
Case number: 2291214729096

No information provided.....
Sent: 12/22/2014 11:00 PM
Reference Number: 3569892

Customer Service Message:


Dear Mr. Gal,

Thank you for your message regarding the status of your ATM dispute request for your E*TRADE Brokerage account xxxx-6485.

I do apologize for the concern that this has caused you. An inquiry has been submitted to our Debit Card department to check why 2291214729096 was cancelled, and to check the status of your dispute request. Once I receive the results of the inquiry, I will send you a secure message with the information.

Please feel free to contact us by sending a secure message or by calling 1800-3872331 for any question or concern regarding your account. Customer Service is open 24 hours.

Sincerely,

Rose Marie B. Quiambao
Mon - Fri, 4:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. ET
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Financial Services Representative II
E*TRADE Securities, LLC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Can you guys smell the same BULLSHIT I CAN?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sent: 12/23/2014 10:11 PM
Reference Number: 3569892

Customer Service Message:


Dear THOMAS GAL,

Our records indicate that you have been contacted via phone and/or Secure Message regarding message # 3569892 submitted to E*TRADE FINANCIAL on 12/22/2014 02:45 PM.

If you feel that your message was not properly addressed or you need further assistance, please reply to this message or contact customer service at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) from 7 a.m. to midnight ET.

Sincerely,

E*TRADE Customer Service

Sent: 12/24/2014 12:03 AM
Reference Number: 3572423

Customer Service Message:


Dear Mr. Gal,

This message is regarding your ATM Dispute inquiry for your E*TRADE Brokerage account xxxx-6485.

I have received the results of the inquiry from our Debit Card department. The research request 2291214729096 was automatically cancelled after 60 days. Please note that this cancellation did not affect the ongoing investigation. The case is still currently under investigation as the dispute forms were received on 11/11/2014. The investigation will be completed after 45 days. Once this is completed, you will receive the final credit in your E*TRADE account.

Please feel free to contact us by sending a secure message or by calling 1800-3872331 for any question or concern regarding your account. Customer Service is open 24 hours.

Sincerely,

Rose Marie B. Quiambao
Mon - Fri, 4:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. ET
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Financial Services Representative II
E*TRADE Securities, LLC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``
SO JUST TO BE CLEAR:

1st contact = 3-5 days
2nd thru 10th (guess) contact = 45 days
Contact at 45 days = 90 days

Is there anything here but dishonesty, and shadiness? I think not. 


Sent: 12/24/2014 02:12 PM
Reference Number: 3533389

Customer Service Message:


Dear Mr. Gal,

Thank you for your message regarding the merchant dispute in your account XXXX-6485.

I attempted to call you, but unfortunately there was no answer. I am writing with an update for the merchant dispute.

I have followed up with our department that handles the disputes, and I want to apologize for the miscommunication over the last 60 days. To clarify the dispute process may take up to 90 days from the time we receive your dispute paperwork. That being said we have 45 days to verify your claim, and then the merchant has 45 days to validate the charge. This is a total of 90 days. I have confirmed that the process is scheduled for closure on 01/19/2015. 

If the merchant does not provide substantiating information to support their claim your account will be credited those funds back on that date. However if there is additional information brought forth to substantiate their claim, there will not be a credit given. 

Should you have any further questions, or if you require additional assistance or clarification, we are available 24/7. Please feel free to send us a secure message, or contact us by phone, at 1-800-387-2331.

Sincerely,

Daniel Ethington
7:00 AM - 3:30 PM MST Monday - Friday
1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331)
Financial Services Representative
E*TRADE Securities LLC


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WRITTEN LIE 6 (really much more but let's start there) - IT HAS NOW BECOME 90 days. E-trade has a business of lying. Stay away. I have been lied to repeatedly by their staff over 90 days. 

They shut my card off when I travel, they lie to me repeatedly, and I'll be honest:
1) I can't blame an individual
2) It's the institution
3) These are all copy-pastes other than my comments in bold.

Stay away. Go somewhere else. The staff have been amazing, friendly, and patient. They all have, alas, been trained to lie by their corporation. There is no slander or libel here. This is all 100% copied from my transactions with them. 

I will simply wait for Jan 1. Selling now means a lot of taxes now, and transferring money out of my tax free accounts means heavy taxes and penalties April 15. I can delay this 1 year, but will not trust E-trade for a day past!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A small personal message. EVERY time I talked to the folks at E-trade who answer the phone they were polite, instructive, and patient. If you know me I am anything BUT that. This is a CORPORATE problem, not a problem with those folks. They were real, and just doing what they were told. I would hire them ANYWHERE if you have a quality business, as they will support you. BUT E-trade....your time is done. I'm sorry. Come Jan 1 I will liquidate all my accounts and transfer them elsewhere.

Goodbye!