Last night, Count My Vote, SB54, and the Buckshot Caucus won – and the Republican process lost.

A “former” Democrat didn’t care about your elected neighborhood representative – your Delegate – and instead of going through the Convention process, paid his way onto the Primary Ballot. Well, “he” didn’t pay, out-of-state special interest groups paid to get him on the ballot.

Count My Vote and SB54

During the Count My Vote petition and SB54 time frame, many people came forward reporting that Democrats in Utah had been telling their members to register as “Unaffiliated” rather than as “Democrat” – and that by so doing they could vote in Republican Primaries. Thankfully, that part of SB54 (allowing non-Republicans to vote in Republican Primaries) was stricken down as illegal by the courts. The “Unaffiliated” strategy could have been to:

  1. Get the most liberal Republican elected, and/or
  2. Get a Democrat to run as a Republican so the Democrats could have a chance in the traditionally Red Utah.

Utah’s Caucus & Convention System

There was a problem with the latter point of the “Unaffiliated” strategy: Utah has had a Caucus and Convention System that made this type of coup very difficult to pull off. In this system, we elected representatives for our neighborhoods (Delegates) who would then research those wishing to win the Republican Endorsement – this effectively weeded out those who were “masquerading” as Republicans in an attempt to get elected.

If there was a clear sentiment of who the best representative of Republican values was, that person was promoted to the General Ballot. If the sentiment was split, all but the two highest vote getter were eliminated, and those would be promoted to a Republican Primary Ballot.

The Republican Primary Ballot was an opportunity for the Republicans in those neighborhoods to select which of the two remaining candidates would make it on to the General Ballot.

SB54 Mutes Your Voice

Thanks to SB54, your elected neighborhood representative can no longer do his or her job. Today, candidates can (and have) bought their way onto the ballot – this is called the “Signature Path”.

The Signature Path lets candidates go around gathering signatures (often times fraudulently). The candidates themselves don’t do all the work – instead they pay people to do it, and often they pay per each signature gathered. They literally buy their way onto the ballot instead of getting the approval of your elected neighborhood representative.

If the “pay to get on the ballot” “Signature Path” wasn’t bad enough, since candidates can (and have) bypassed the Convention completely, after they’ve been elected, they no longer have any reason to listen to your elected neighborhood representative. SB54 and “Signature Path” candidates have successfully muted your voice.

Because of SB54, your opinions are only are heard at the ballot box every several years instead of throughout their elected term of office through your elected neighborhood representative.

“Unaffiliated” Problems

To add insult to injury, most of Utah uses “Vote By Mail” rather than “Vote In Person”. On the surface, that sounds like a good idea, but it eliminates the personal verification of poll-workers and limits it to people looking at signatures.

In Utah’s CD3 special election this year, Republican ballots were sent out to “Unaffiliated” voters. Yes, County Clerks “messed up” and sent out ballots inline with the (illegal) wording of SB54. They said it was a “mistake”. However, if “Unaffiliated” voters want to cast their Republican Primary ballots, they could register as Republicans and have their votes counted.

That was the argument of Count My Vote: your vote wasn’t being counted. Except that was a lie.

Republicans should pick their own candidate to appear on the Primary Ballot. Democrats should pick their own candidate to appear on the Primary Ballot. Libertarians, Constitution Party, or any other party should pick their own candidate to appear on the Primary Ballot. THAT is where your vote gets counted.

Count My Vote wanted non-Republicans to be able to “help select” the Republican candidate. Why should Democrats, Libertarians, or members of any other party get to select the candidate of another party?! It’s absurd. But that’s what they wanted – because their candidates weren’t getting elected. Read that again. Their candidates weren’t getting enough votes to get elected, so their solution was to rig the way candidates are put on the ballot in an attempt to get them elected.

In this election, “Unaffiliated” voters (those who are by their own choice NOT members of the Republican Party) very likely selected the candidate who will appear on the General Ballot as a Republican. 

A New Kind of Voice: Pay to Play

Thankfully, most candidates aren’t self-funded, they rely on campaign contributions – the majority of which come from PICs and PACs and Special Interest Groups. So, if you want your opinions to be heard now, instead of walking down the street to chat with your elected neighborhood representative, you have to find a PIC, PAC, or Special Interest Group which represents your views, donate a large sum of money to them, and get that Committee or Group to relay your message to your elected official. You have to “pay to play”.

That doesn’t sound like a Republic any more.

Congratulations, Count My Vote, you’ve won this round. Unfortunately, it’s our Republic which lost.

My wife (Natalie, KG7EEZ) and I (Joe, KF7NWA) attended the Eclipse Event Planning Meeting held at ISU by the Pocatello ARC last night. Here are the notes and observations I took.

Eclipse Event Impacts

  • The City is estimating a “realistic” 68,000 influx of people to the Pocatello area. Other organizations have estimated 3-5 million, but the City’s estimate is probably more accurate.
  • The City is assuming that there will be 200% – 300% increase in cellular usage, which will “swamp” the networks and render cellular communications “unusable”. PARC reported that over the last two years, during the fireworks display in Idaho Falls, the cellular network was down.
  • PARC observed that “this might be the first time in this century where HAMs will live up to their reputation” for providing emergency communications.

PARC Plan

  • Pocatello area repeaters will remain “open to the public” during the timeframe around the event. Idaho Falls is reportedly planning on closing their repeaters to the public during the event for dedicated Net Control traffic.
  • Pocatello area repeaters will operate without the PL tone to make the repeaters easier to access for HAMs not familiar with the area.
  • Formal Net Control to begin operation “around 9am on the 20th” and run around the clock until “around noon on the 22nd”.
  • Formal Net Control will operate out of John’s house on the hill. It’s expected that travel to his location will be significantly impacted due to the I-15 off ramp at Center Street, which is expected to be jammed.
  • Primary repeater will be 147.360+ (again, traditionally with PL 100, but operating without PL during the Net)
  • Secondary repeater is 147.060+ (which is solar powered and battery-limited, so try not to use it because it may go offline with heavy use) and 147.520 is their simplex frequency for the area
  • Formal Net Control has been issued a 700MHz “walkie” to speak directly into the EOC (rather than having HAMs at the EOC).

PARC Recommendations

  • If your station is an HT (or mobile which is battery powered), keep your transmissions short and concise to conserve battery life
  • Have extra batteries
  • Have a way to charge your HT/Mobile, or run it on line power when possible
  • “We are not the police, we don’t need to be out looking for things”

Other Notes

  • Be prepared! Full gas tank (if the cellular networks are down you probably won’t be able buy gas – or anything else – unless you have cash, and may not be able to do so even if you do), plenty of water, food, batteries, shade, etc.
  • The hospital and local news station are coordinating their own communications plans, some involve HAMs
  • Rumors about IDOT turning “I-15 into all NB traffic before the event and all SB traffic after the event” are false – traffic will operate just as it does now
  • I-15 NB/SB south of Pocatello is under construction and limited to one-lane in each direction
  • I-15 NB/SB from Tremonton through Brigham City is under construction and limited to one-lane in each direction
  • Travel from Idaho Falls to SLC is estimated to be >8 hours on the day of the event
  • Texting may work when cellular calling does not, HOWEVER, many of today’s “texting” methods do not use SMS (“traditional” text messaging) and instead use the data networks for MMS, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Google Voice, and other “text-based messaging”) – it’s anticipated the data networks won’t be functional either.
  • Cellular data on the I-15 corridor from Tremonton to Pocatello isn’t great. I observed that my connections dropped to EDGE on both AT&T and T-Mobile. Cricket, Metro PCS, Boost, and others are “MVNOs” which operate on these two networks, so plan on the same with those services as well. (I did not test Verizon or Sprint.)

Possible Scenarios where HAMs could be useful

  1. Lost person (child/member of party): nothing panics a parent than losing a child in a crowd. HAMs can be a source of communication to report a lost person to centralized Net Control and aid in reunion.
  2. Minor Vehicle Accident: lots of people on the road looking for parking means there’s a higher chance of people bumping into others. Though we are not “the police”, HAMs can be used to report these incidents to Net Control, who can report to the EOC and receive instructions to relay to the motorists (take pictures, exchange insurance, move along; pull vehicles off the road and await a Peace Officer, etc.). Again, we are not the police, but can serve to free up those valuable resources by relaying their instructions.
  3. Major Vehicle Accident: report of time, location, injuries, etc. so appropriate help can be prioritized and dispatched.
  4. Fire: with cars possibly pulling off on the side of the road, hot engines and catalytic convertors could spark fires. A small fire and get out of hand quickly and needs to be reported to the Net (for relay to EOC) as quickly as possible.
  5. Other Medical Emergency
  6. “Mundane Communications”: a non-HAM might want to tell a family member they won’t make it home as scheduled and will stay over another night or two. As HAMs we can use WinLink or even APRS to send emails and text messages through the internet and cellular systems (outside the impacted area). Most of the public doesn’t know this. Many HAMs don’t know this.

Potential “Holes” in the Plan

  • If cellular is indeed “down” or otherwise unusable (whether that’s a total or just significantly impacted), there is nothing currently in place for a non-HAM to know about how to find/contact/use the HAM community to request emergency communications
  • No data communications services were discussed. No Packet, no Broadband Ham Net (HSSM-Mesh), and APRS wasn’t mentioned at the meeting. HOWEVER, PARC is requesting that if you’re in the area, that you “have your APRS on”
  • No formal secondary repeater was defined, nor the plan to switch traffic between the two/three repeaters. This may not be needed, and if needed may be handled at the time when the need arises.
  • No formal secondary location for Net Control was defined in case there is an issue at the primary location.

My Recommendations

After having a night to “sleep on it”, here are my thoughts and recommendations for a similar event in the future:

  1. In order for people (non-HAMs) to know that we are here and available to be used for emergency communications, they have to know where to find us.
  2. If the cellular networks are down, their “smartphones” can’t be relied on for mapping/navigating.
  3. Where would people “go for help”?
    1. Police/Fire/Hospital (Public Services) are obvious locations: Do we have HAMs there to serve as the first-line of communication, or do we rely on the Public Services to provide this first line? If so, do we have sufficient interplay with them to adequately “communicate”?
    2. City offices/buildings (town hall, etc.): If someplace looks official, whether it’s a historic building or not, people will probably seek it out.
    3. Antenna clusters: if a non-HAM can’t communicate, will they look up and see antennas, and naively go there to “try to get a better signal”? They are easy to see from a distance.
    4. Church Houses: churches of all denomination typical help people in need, will people seek them out in this type of emergency?
    5. Areas where people gather (parks, malls, stadiums, city centers): the logic here is that if there are a lot of people there, “there must be ~someone~ who can help!”)

In that type of scenario:

  • Do we have signage (“COMMUNICATIONS”, “HAM RADIO”, etc.) which can communicate to the (perhaps panicked) public that one of our stations is the place to go to get this type of help?
  • Can that signage be seen above a crowd and understood by people in that crowd?
  • Do we have enough personnel at those stations to be effective on the radio AND effective communicating with individuals requesting our help?
  • Do we know where those stations should be located (1) so the public can instinctively find us, and (2) so we can effectively communicate via voice (Net Control), digital (WinLink, APRS)? Do we (should we?) have other digital systems (Packet, Broadband Hamnet) in place to reduce the “chatter” on voice frequencies?

If you have questions for PARC, or would like to volunteer or participate, their next net is Sunday at 8am on 147.360+ (if you’re in the area or can hit it) and their website is www.pocatelloarc.org.

The Utah Public Service Commission is scheduled to hold a Public Witness Hearing (Net Metering 14-035-114) today, 09 August 2017 to discuss Investigation of the Costs and Benefits of PacifiCorp’s Net Metering Program (Docket No. 14-035-114).

The following is an open-letter and submission of public witness comment to the Utah Public Service Commission. Please feel free to use parts of this in your letter to the Commission.


TO: psc@utah.gov

CC: revans@utsolar.org

SUBJECT: Reject Solar “Penalties”, Help Keep Solar Affordable in Utah


Dear Utah Public Service Commission,

Introduction

I apologize that I cannot attend today’s Public Witness Hearing in person. I, like the majority of those with Solar Panels, have a job which requires my presence. Please keep this in mind when evaluating the response to this issue – the lion’s share of us are at work.

I have 45 solar panels installed on my home. I heat and cool with geothermal. I drive a plug-in electric car. Some might call me the “poster-boy” for green energy.

In the winter, heating with geothermal is relatively expensive. Unlike most Utahns, my power bill is higher in the winter than it is in the summer.

To accommodate for this, I calculated how much electricity I use over the course of an average year, then sized my solar installation to produce an equivalent amount of energy over the year. The challenge for me is that – just like the farmers around me – I have to collect the sun during the summer, then “store” it for use in the winter. I obviously cannot have enough batteries to do this.

Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal de-incentivizes me from using clean solar power, and pushes those like me to use “dirty” energy sources like wood burning stoves and propane for heating.

Is this really the outcome the Utah Public Service Commission wants?

Concerns

That’s just the over-simplification of this particular scenario. Let’s look at RMPs arguments.

I know how wholesale and retail work. I recognize that RMP “buys” power at “wholesale”, marks it up, and sells it to customers at “retail”. I realize that it’s that markup which pays for all the overhead required to deliver their product – power lines, transformers, linesmen, billing clerks, computer systems, executive golfing trips, etc.

On the surface, RMPs argument makes sense – but RMP isn’t telling the whole story, nor are they representing the actual costs. Their recent costs study illustrates this point. Let’s look at a few concerns with RMPs arguments:

  • First, transmission costs: the cost of delivering power from coal-fired power plants to neighborhoods up and down the Wasatch Front isn’t cheap. The cost of delivering power which I produce from my solar panels to my neighbors is virtually zero. RMP pockets those savings with no compensation to me.
  • Second, it’s not a fair comparison: to get a true cost comparison, RMP needs to evaluate equivalent products. Electricity produced by burning coal is not the same as electricity produced by rooftop solar panels. Yes, the perceived end-product is the same, which is how they’re trying to confuse the issue.
  • Third, under the current system, RMP gets to STEAL solar power: under the current plan, when a customer produces more solar power than they use in a year, RMP gets to keep it without compensation. The “banked power” account is “zeroed out” every year – with RMP keeping the solar power their customers produced with absolutely NO COMPENSATION.

Simple Solution

If you don’t have solar power, but want to help the Government Mandated “green” initiative, RMP offers to sell you blocks of energy from their “Blue Sky” program. You’ll pay a premium for power created from there, but many customers choose to do so to help the program expand. This program is divided into power generated from solar farms and power generated from wind farms.

What is the wholesale cost of power RMP pays for power from the solar farm component of the Blue Skies program? I’ve asked this for years and have never gotten an answer. Every time I’ve had a discussion with an RMP representative and have asked this question, they immediately change the subject and avoid the question.

Do you, as members of the Public Service Commission, know this answer? Why not? Why doesn’t RMP want to answer this very simple question?

  • Once we know that, the answer is simple:
  • Since RMP “buys” solar power (at wholesale) for X-dollars per KWH from their Blue Skies solar farms,
  • Customer “sells” solar power (at wholesale) to RMP at the same rate
  • Customer “buys” coal power (at retail) from RMP at the already approved rates (unless Customer opts-in to buying power at the Blue Skies rate)
  • RMP pays customer (actual cash, not electric “credits”, or “banked” power) every month or every year.

This is not only fair to all parties, it:

  1. reduces RMP’s need to expand its Blue Skies locations by leveraging roof-tops across the state, thereby reducing their out-of-pocket expenses, are reducing the delivery costs to get that power to customers,
  2. eliminates the disincentive of RMP’s current “take the annual excess” practice,
  3. removes the disincentive for customers to only make less solar power than they use in a given year, and
  4. removes RMP’s argument that it’s “not fair” because of their (currently inaccurate) wholesale/retail argument.

Don’t punish homeowners and businesses who have decided to or want to “go solar”, especially not based on a misleading study, incomplete information, and an unequal comparison of coal vs. solar power.

(signed)

Most of you probably don’t know this: back in the day, I was in the Advanced A Cappella Choir at Layton High School. I love percussion and songs with strong vocals. LINKIN PARK’s “Waiting for the End” is one such song – it has very strong percussion, clean vocals, and a monotone bassline that speaks to my way of singing. I also love songs written in (or translated into) a minor key.

That’s where Chase Holfelder comes in.

I was first introduced to Chase when I saw his “major to minor” version of the National Anthem. Wow. Now he and Linney have created an amazing cover of LINKIN PARK’s song. Take a listen, I think you’ll enjoy it!

Additional Resources

I was minding my own business, driving SB I-15 near Willard, Utah a when strips of vinyl siding from a tiny house flew off and collided with my brand new 2017 Chevy Volt Premier! And I caught the whole thing on video!

Video

Stuff I put to good use

Synopsis

My wife and I try to go out on “date night” every week. We don’t always hit that goal, but we try. Such was the case this bright and sunny Friday evening.

We had arranged to meet with my wife’s Sorority Sister and her husband in Ogden (about 60 miles from our home). We opted to drive my brand new 2017 Chevy Volt Premier – a plug-in electric vehicle with gasoline range-extender which is so far netting me about 70mpg!

As we crossed the overpass at Willard Bay (Exit 357), my wife and I both saw sudden breaking from the cars ahead of us and large white strips on the road which turned out to be strips of vinyl house siding – a few of which became airborne.

A quick situational assessment revealed that swerving to avoid was unsafe due to traffic conditions. One of the strips impacted the car.

House siding flying toward me at 75MPH.

I drive with Waze for Android Auto and after a few taps on the screen, I had reported “Object on road”, in the meantime, my wife dialed 9-1-1 to report the hazard to Utah Highway Patrol.

As soon as it was safe to pull over, I did so. As luck would have it, that was behind a pickup truck hauling a Tiny Home. I turned on my hazard lights and approached the individuals standing behind the Tiny House.

Picture showing the siding from the passenger side of the tiny house missing; additional siding from the front was also missing (not pictured).

“Is everyone okay?” I asked. After getting answers in the affirmative I asked, “So, who’s driving the house?”

A man said “That would be me. You got any damage?”

“Yeah, some,” I replied. I looked and saw a large section of siding missing on the “passenger” side of the tiny house and another section missing from its front. I returned and inspected the damage to my car. A chunk of the bumper was missing, and there were scratches and vinyl transfer on the bumper, hood, roof, and both the front and rear doors on the driver’s side. The windshield (apparently) only had vinyl smudges on it – no chips or cracks that I’ve been able to identify at this time. I took pictures to document the incident and was very glad to have a dash cam with footage to review later.

Damage to front bumper, grill, and hood on the passenger side of the license plate.

My wife and one of the individuals driving the hose exchanged phone numbers and insurance. Another car pulled in behind us. I approached it and (noting that the license plate was askew) asked the driver if she had received any damage. She said she had not, she was in the party transporting the tiny house.

After several minutes, the driver of the tiny house said, well, let’s get back on the road. Everyone loaded up and headed out. I was surprised since I had expected them to wait for Troopers to arrive. We called UHP back and advised that the tiny home was leaving the scene. Since there weren’t any apparent injuries and insurance had been exchanged, they told us we could leave, too. My wife followed up that they still needed to get someone out there to clear the siding from traffic.

Damage to the front bumper, grill, hood, and windshield.

Once we were back on the road we called our insurance company to report the incident. Here’s essentially how the call went:

“Hi, I’d like to report a new claim. I was driving on the freeway when I got hit by a house.”

“You ran into a house?”

“No. I was driving on the interstate when a house hit me – well, parts of a house.”

From there comments were exchanged about Ruby Slippers, whether or not their auto insurance or homeowner insurance would cover the damage, and the parting advice to keep an eye out for any flying monkeys.

Pictures

Record of Events

DateEventDurationMilesLocationDescription
07/29/2017Incident0.29 hrI-15 SB, ~Exit 357; Willard, UtahSiding from a tiny home being towed on an Oversize Load trailer detached and became airborn, striking my vehicle. 9-1-1 was called, checks for injuries and damages were made, pictures were taken, and insurance information exchanged. Vehicle towing tiny house left the scene before UHP responded; we relayed this information to dispatch who advised we could also leave.
07/29/2017Call0.39 hrReported incident to my auto insurance.
07/31/2017Call0.25 hrOur insurance company called asking for details about the incident; Requested we email the other party’s insurance card and provide them with the dash cam video of the incident.
07/31/2017Email0.25 hrSent email with other party’s insurance card attached; provided information about dash cam video.
08/01/2017Calls1.0 hrTelephone correspondence between with my Insurance Representative.
08/01/2017Emails1.0 hrEmail correspondence between with my Insurance Representative.
08/01/2017Estimate0.75 hr3.6 miPerk’sRequested/obtained written estimate.
08/01/2017Geico Website0.50 hrGeico had the wrong phone number, DOB, and vehicle information on file. Sent two messages through portal providing the corrected information and requsting the incorrect information be changed. Waiting on Geico rep to contact me to schedule a time to inspect damage.
08/02/2017Calls & Inspection1.0Insurance company sent an inspector to document the damages to my Volt. He took pictures of the chunk taken out of the bumper, the scratches and transfer on the bumper, hood, roof, pillar, and rear driver-side door; he spent extra time looking at and documenting the dents in the roof.
08/02/2017Calls0.25Geico rep called trying to get me to go to their location for a repair inspection. I let them know what had been previously agreed to about having a “Field Inspector”
come to my location (my home or place of employment), had to argue the point, but eventually arranged for him to “try” to come to my place of employment Friday (08/04/2017).
08/03/2017Calls0.50Geico called and left a voice mail. I returned the call and left a voice message. Got a call back and arranged (again) for their inspection my place of employment Friday (08/04/2017).
08/04/2017Calls, Inspection0.75Received call from Geico that inspector/adjustor had arrived at my place of employment. Met with him while he documented the damage,
prepared a quote, talked about options, and advised on next steps. I will coordinate with my insurance agent on how they would prefer that I proceeed.
Totals:6.93+ hr3.6+ mi(claim not yet resolved; totals are not yet final)

I’ve been with T-Mobile for a long time. How long? I had a VoiceStream-branded Nokia – that’s how long. Over the years, I put up with VoiceStream’s limited network – I didn’t need much because I was within their coverage 90% of the time.

Since then I got married (and got a service line for my wife), moved three times, and had five kids (three of which have T-Mobile lines). My Mom and Mother-in-Law both have T-Mobile lines. When I moved away from the suburbs and out to the country, I told my family we’d just have to put up with spotty, slow coverage because the value/benefit of T-Mobile compared to anyone else was too good to even consider changing.

Sure, over those many years, we’ve had our challenges and disagreements – but we’ve always been able to resolve them. That’s what I thought would happen today – and then the unthinkable happened.

A simple request to change a number

My 13-year-old son was getting spam and harassing calls to his T-Mobile number. While that’s not cool, it’s not surprising. He inherited the phone number that my wife and I got back when we were first married. We eventually ported that number over to T-Mobile’s VoIP box, and then converted it into his cellular line.

What does one do in that situation? Well, as much as we didn’t want to abandon the number that has been with us for over 20 years, we decided it was time to ask T-Mobile to change it.

That’s when the wheels came off

My wife made the to 611. The number for his line was changed, and all was good. Or so we thought.

Apparently, T-Mobile decided to change my phone number, not my son’s. You know, the number I have on my business cards, on all my social media sites, on business literature, and in the address books of contacts across the globe. Gone. To add insult to injury, T-Mobile didn’t even change his number, so those harassing calls – yeah, they’ll still come through.

I called T-Mobile. I explained the problem. The rep argued that they’d done what we’d asked them to do. (It’s always good to imply that the customer is lying because obviously, we don’t know our account as well as a complete stranger.)

I asked for a supervisor: the rep told me they didn’t have them anymore.

I asked for the Retention/Cancellation Department: the rep told me they don’t have that anymore either.

The rep promised to get things fixed for me and assured that they’d be able to do it – but it would take 24 – 48 hours. Minutes later she dropped the dreaded “if” bomb. Despite having promised me to get the numbers back the way they were supposed to be (albeit slowly, and after I’ll have left on vacation), now, in no uncertain terms, she said my number may be lost – as in gone – and if it is, I won’t know until I’m out of state, on my vacation. Fantastic! #facepalm

What are you going to do to make this right?

Fine, I have no choice at this point but to trust that T-Mobile will make things right. I’ve just lost billable time trying to fix their screw up, and who knows how much business I’ll lose in the next 48 hours (or more “if” they can’t get it back).

The T-Mobile rep said there’s nothing that can be done for my account to compensate me for my hassles. Awesome. #facepalm

Eventually, I was asked to hold while the first rep got a supervisor. Interesting, that same rep had told me there were no more supervisors. I reiterated the details to the “supervisor” who apologized for the whole fiasco and promised to make it right and call me back.

During the process, I’d tweeted a few teasers about what was going on. A T-Mobile “Social Media Specialist” and an “Executive Social Media Specialist” took an interest:

Via Direct Message, I recapped the issue to this “Executive Social Media Specialist”, but was met with a somewhat ironic reply…

Dan didn’t reply.

I reached out to the media relations email folks. They asked for a brief explanation of what happened, and an idea of the story I planned on writing. I replied but, as I went to press, I have not gotten their response.

Points I asked T-Mobile Media Relations to confirm/deny & explain

During this call (and points I’d like you to confirm for the story) I was told that now that T-Mobile has regional service centers:

  • Accounts will always be serviced by the center they’re assigned (mine is apparently in Boise, Idaho)
  • There are no more supervisors – the rep a customer gets when they call in is an “account expert” (I don’t recall the exact term)
  • T-Mobile no longer has a Cancellation/Member Retention Department
  • No account credits can be given when problems like this arise – regardless of who is at fault

Eventually (after three phone calls), I was finally able to make the changes we had originally requested, I was able to get my phone number back, my son was re-assigned the number which had wrongfully be given to me, and I’d only lost an hour or so of my time.

Besides an apology (which had to be extracted by demanding to speak with a supervisor), and despite asking, I didn’t get any compensation for my time or for my frustration. In the past, T-Mobile has offered $10 or $20 as a bill credit (as a token of apology and an attempt to compensate for lost time) but not this time, and if the T-Mobile rep in Boise is to be believed, that won’t happen in the future, either. Then again, the same rep said T-Mobile doesn’t have supervisors either.

Editors Note: We reached out to T-Mobile’s Media Relations and @JohnLegere before going to press. No additional comments other than those quoted above were provided.

Update

I was contacted by a representative from the Executive Response team. She assured me that yes, T-Mobile still has supervisors, there is still a Cancellation/Member Retention Department, and there has been no change to the ability to apply account credits when situations like this arise.

Ultimately, my number was restored, my son’s line was assigned a new number, and the other account changes we requested were applied.

It has been an honor and privilege to travel the state and meet so many passionate and courageous members of the Utah Republican Party.

From the beginning, I felt the Divine hand of Providence urging me to share the message I gave in counties all over the state and today at the Convention.

Our system of government is a Republic, if we can keep it. Our Caucus system is how we keep it. I will continue to fight for our Utah Caucus System which keeps the voices of the people in our Neighborhoods heard even after the votes have been counted.

Thank you to my “running mates” for Vice Chair. You all were the example of how campaigns should run: friendly, cooperative, and non-confrontational. Well done.
Congratulations to Joni L. Hilliard-Crane, our new Vice Chair, and to Secretary Lisa Shepherd and Treasurer Abram Young on their re-elections.

Long live the Republic!