Blog Archives

Not sure I can do the Podcast this morning…

BlogTalkRadio appears to be down at present. If it isn’t up by 10 AM, I won’t get to the Under The LobsterScope podcast today… stay tuned for more info.

– Bill


I’m not thrilled with the quality of this morning’s podcast…

… due to a lousy set of connections from AT&T (both cellphone and network). However, in replaying it (if you ignore the first minute where there seems to be no connection… stay on, however…please!), it still covers most of what I wanted to… so give a listen if you didn’t heatr it live.

Go to it HERE at BlogTalk Radio

And please come back to hear it online next Tuesday at 10 AM.   You can call in during the half hour that it’s on at 1 (661) 554-9186. I’ll be glad to discuss just about anything with you.

And tune in live next Tuesday at 10 AM by going HERE.

I’m getting really pissed off with AT&T…

We’ve been setting up our new iPhones connected to the AT&T network that we’ver been on for a couple of years now. I though it might help our calling get better, but it turns out that the problem is god damned AT&T.

Now it used to be worse… we had Verizon, whose coverage here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia is even worse than AT&T’s.

At certain times of day (two in the morning, for instance) I have little or no problem dialing up from cellphone using the AT&T network. However, at the height of the day, our connection dribbles off and on and has me walking all over the house to see if any of those little bars pop back up at the top of the screen.

Aside from complaining to AT&T constantly (they have done nothing to improve the situation in the last couple of years), I’m not sure what can be done. I want my iPhone. I don’t want Verizon. I want AT&T to wise up and improve the situation. If a little company like Vonage can do it, why can’t AT&T?

Supreme Court Scores a Big One for Corporations against Little Folks…

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the SCOTUS today embraced a strict reading of a federal arbitration law, making it more difficult for individuals with small claims to join together in a class action against large companies accused of fraud or other wrongdoing.

See what it says over the statue of Justice?

This reversed a previous Federal Court ruling in California that allowed purchasers to sue AT&T for violating a sales agreement, even though there was a signed arbitration agreement.

With the new  finding in the 5 to 4 Supreme Court vote, individual purchasers not only cannot change an arbitration agreement, even if the corporation violates its contract, but they also can’t join with other consumers in a class action suit in the same challenge.

“Today’s decision reduces corporate accountability by making it impractical, if not impossible, for consumers to hold corporations accountable for their wrongdoing. [The decision] continues a disturbing trend favoring large public companies at the expense of individuals.”

Class action attorney Mark Rifkin of the New York law firm Wolf Haderstein Adler Freeman & Herz.

Want to hear a good one? AT&T said the Court’s decision was actually a “victory for consumers.” Heh heh.

According to consumer fraud attorney Gibson Vance:

“This is a death blow to Americans’ chances for justice when faced with forced arbitration clauses. This devastating decision has the potential to result in virtually no consumer or employee cases involving small claims being heard anywhere.

Corporations will now be allowed to get away with sweeping wrongdoing, particularly where the damages would be too small to justify pursuing individual claims.”

So be careful what you sign when you buy a telephone, or a Cable TV setup, or a car… check that arbitration clause and ask yourself if you can live with it.

From the LA Times This Morning: The Supreme Court May Take Us One Step Further into a Corporate Dominated America…

What if the little guy couldn’t participate in a class action suit to protect his kind from big corporations? It could be the newest thing the business-oriented Supreme Court majority inflicts on us. 

Here’s part of the article by David Lazarus… go in and read the whole thing at the LA Times:

clipped from
It hasn’t gotten a lot of press, but a case involving AT&T that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week has sweeping ramifications for potentially millions of consumers.
If a majority of the nine justices vote the telecom giant’s way, any business that issues a contract to customers — such as for credit cards, cellphones or cable TV — would be able to prevent them from joining class-action lawsuits.
This would take away in such cases arguably the most powerful legal tool available to the little guy, particularly in cases involving relatively small amounts of money. Class-action suits allow plaintiffs to band together in seeking compensation or redress, thus giving substantially more heft to their claims.
The ability to ban class actions would potentially also apply to employment agreements such as union contracts.

High courts in California and elsewhere have ruled that class-action bans are unconscionable and contrary to public policy.
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