Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Little Rant

I like my house, but it's small. Five people and two dogs in less than 1200 feet. (It's also located two doors away from The Jerry Springer Show, but never mind that today.) The real estate prices jumped substantially after Hurricane Katrina, but prices seem to be leveling off. Dear Hubby and I have been pre-approved for a loan, but truthfully there's not a lot in our price range in our area. We did find one that we liked a lot, but despite the fact that it's only two blocks away, it's in a different flood zone than our current home, which makes insurance significantly higher.

This past week our insurance company, Allstate, has announced that effective later this month, they will not write wind/hail policies on any new homes purchased by Allstate customers. (If you aren't already an Allstate customer, they won't write any type of homeowners' policies in our state.) This is a change from the way it was when we started our search a couple of months ago. At that time, if you were an existing Allstate customer, you'd be able to get wind/hail coverage on a new home. However, now even if we DO find a house we like, the only way we'll be able to insure it against wind/hail is to go with a state-sponsored insurance plan (read: costs a whole lot of money for very limited coverage). So much for the house hunting, it seems.

So, it looks like we're staying put. That being the case, I've been trying to set up cable TV service for the past two weeks. We bought the house new five years ago and never bothered to sign up for cable. I called the cable company's toll-free number which connects me with a call center located in another state. One person I spoke with was in Spokane, another in Minneapolis, and so forth. They 'opened a ticket,' which is apparently the first step in establishing service.

After not hearing back from them for a few days (they were supposed to contact me within 24 hours), I call the toll-free number again. This time I'm told that the cable company doesn't service my area. Uh yeah, it does, I explain. My neighbor to the immediate right has cable TV. My neighbor across the street had cable until switching a year ago to satellite. The house three doors to the left of mine has cable TV. They tell me I'll have to go to my local office to see if they can straighten it out. The 'local' office is 35 miles away and the call center can't seem to find a local phone number for me to call. Neither can directory assistance, or

I told the alleged customer service rep that I find it hard to believe that there's this one little "pocket" on my one-block dead end street that is not serviceable - and I'm it. Today I spoke to yet another person - this one in Tennessee - and she contacted her manager to see if she can't email my local office for help. The manager is supposed to call me back by the end of the week. I'm not holding my breath. I'm starting to think satellite TV might be the way to go.

Of course I deal with stress by eating and there's this whole box of Halloween candy sitting on the kitchen counter. Not pretty.

End of rant.

On a positive note, the essay that Son #1 wrote for the school's PTA-sponsored contest was one of 8 from his school chosen to go on to the district level. Woo Hoo!


Sue said...

Hooray for son #1's essay!

Is there any way you could add on to your house? That way you could have more space, keep the insurance coverage in place and maybe, eventually, when the real estate and insurance market decide to start behaving more rationally, sell and move then??

Elle*Bee said...

I've thought about that, sue, but I'm afraid we might 'over-improve' the house and not be able to recoup much of the exansion cost. Also, I'm not a creative thinker so I'm not sure how we could add on. I'm sure a contractor would be able to give us ideas. It's something we're tucking away in the back of our mind. Truth is, other than the space issue (and the Jerry Springer folks), I really like our neighborhood.

Lala's world said...

that is hard! we lived in 1100 sq feet with 4 kids and a dog so I totally understand what you are saying! I would just go with satellite...up here in Canada anyways it is the same price as cable and you get like almost 200 channels! it sounds like the beginning to a very frustrating relationship with a cable company and who needs that?