February 2, 2014

how to LOWER your DISH NETWORK bill

When I first signed up for Dish Network I was eligible for a promotional rate for one year.  My monthly bill during that year was roughly $38.00.  After a year, the charges went up significantly to $68.00.  

After awhile, I decided to see what I could do about lowering my bill.  I talked to a nice representative who told me she could change my monthly bill to $41.99 for one year.  I was very happy about the new price, and confirmed with her numerous times that the price she quoted me was what I could expect to see on my bills for the next  year.  She assured me that the final price would be $41.99.

Well, the next month, my bill was higher than the price I was quoted, but I figured that had to do with amounts being pro-rated since my promotion had changed mid-month.  So, I just let it go.

The following month, the amount was even higher, so I decided to chat with a representative online to find out what was going on.  After awhile, it became clear that the girl I originally spoke to had given me wrong information, and while I was chatting with the Dish representative about her mistake, I more or less just wanted an apology and an admission that a mistake had been made.

An apology was never extended, and, in fact, things like these were said instead:

"I don't know what happened.  I was apart of the conversation."

"How about you get rid of the protection plan?  That would lower your monthly bill."

I eventually ended the chat conversation and told the representative I would most likely close my account since I couldn't trust what my bill would be.

A day or two later, I tried again.  I chatted with another representative and explained my situation.  Again, I was looking for an apology or some sort of acknowledgement that yes, a mistake had been made on the part of Dish Network.  


So, I said I wanted to close my account and the rep quickly gave me the contact information I needed.

The next day, I called Dish Network and spoke to a nice representative.  I explained my situation and said I wanted to close my account.  He told me I would be penalized for closing my account early, and when I told him I was outside my two-year agreement, he started with the specials he'd extend to me if I kept my service.

Specials like HBO or sports channels free for 3 months.  I told him I didn't watch channels like that and that I still wanted to cancel.

He then went over all the details of how to return my receiver, remotes, etc. and how I would be penalized if I didn't do things correctly.  Apparently Dish is allowed to make mistakes without any consequences, but not their customers.

After I told him I understood what I needed to do, he asked me if I was sure I wanted to close my account.  I told him confidently that I did.

And then he put me on hold.

And then he came back on the line and went over a few other items of business with me.  And asked me again if I still wanted to proceed.  I said yes, again.

And then he put me on hold, again.

And, then, suddenly he came back on the line and said he'd knock of $30 from my bill if I kept my account open.  I went over the numbers with him and decided to take him up on his offer, assuming, of course, the quotes he gave me actually turned out to be correct.

In the end, I gave Dish Network another chance.  After all, my new bill was apparently going to be lower than my original starting price.

And then the bills came.  And the numbers didn't seem right.  They seemed a little too low.  As in, my bill was less than $20 a month.  I was confused and eventually chatted with a supervisor about it.  Apparently, my original promotion {the one that supposedly took my bill down to $41.99} was still in effect, plus the additional $30 discount I was given for threatening to close my account.  

To be honest, I don't know exactly how all the math adds up.  All I know is that my bill is somewhere between $15 - $17 a month for one year.  I just have to laugh because I was more than thrilled with paying $41.99.  I thought I had scored a pretty sweet deal.  And, all the talk about closing my account all stemmed from a measly $7.00 discrepancy.  Sure, not a lot of money, but the bottom line is I wanted what I was quoted.

My experience is just another example of how messed up Corporate America really is.  I know I'm just one customer and I matter not to Dish Network in the grand scheme of things.  But, it really is pathetic that I managed to score such an awesome deal all because this company refused to acknowledge a mistake.

And, honestly, in the end, that's all I wanted - a simple apology.

November 19, 2013


Not long ago, I spoke to a woman over the phone at work.  She was placing an order for her grandson, who had made an unfortunate decision and was now serving time in prison.   Before I could complete her order, I had to put her on hold.  When I came back on the line, this sweet woman was crying.  She apologized for being so emotional and I did my best to comfort her.  As I listened to her cry, my heart ached for her and her family.  I wondered if this young man realized the pain he had caused.  I wondered why people have to suffer so due to no fault of their own.

Our phone call lasted only a few minutes, but it taught me a valuable lesson. For the first time, I think I grasped the reality of how much we matter.

What we do matters.  

The decisions we make matter.

Be it good or bad, we are not alone when dealing with the consequences of our actions.

What we do matters.

We matter.

And I can't help but imagine what this world would be like if we really understood this simple truth.

You matter.

Act like it.

November 7, 2013

THANKFUL thursday: my JOB

A few months ago, I started a new, part-time job, and I absolutely love it.  It is probably the best job I've ever had.  The work, the environment, the people are great.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have a job that I not only enjoy, but that works well around my busy schedule of being a mom.

Even though I'm not actually alone, this job gives me what I consider alone time.  Or even me time.  I guess any time away from my children feels like alone time.  And because I get a few hours a week away from the craziness of motherhood, I feel like I am a better mother overall.

And anything that helps me be a better mom {which is, after all, my real job} is something I will always be grateful for.

What things are you grateful for?

November 6, 2013


Every once in awhile, Dustin will write me love notes.  He'll fold it like a genius, {which in theory is super cute, but usually only reminds me of the horrible experiences I had doing origami in school} and usually the note is simple and sweet.

It's the little things in life that matter most, and the-fear-of-origami-love-notes certainly can brighten my day.


November 5, 2013

the END of an ERA

Shortly after Isabelle was born, I decided to quit my job.  It was around that time that I realized how much of my self-identity was wrapped up in my work.  It took me awhile to get used to the idea of not having an answer to the always fun question, "What do you do?" or having to put a checkmark next to the "Homemaker" {#gag} option on mortgage applications.  Over the years, I've learned how to deal with not working full-time all while still feeling like a contributing member of society.

However, I find myself feeling somewhat the same as I enter a new phase in my life.  This is a very exciting phase, one that I never thought possible, but that doesn't take away the weird feeling of leaving a part of me behind.

Two months ago, I got my learners permit.  Yes, at the ripe old age of nearly 33 years old, I will, in a few weeks, be eligible to become a licensed driver for the first time ever.  I'll spare the details as to why I've never driven before because it's health related {#seizuressuck}, and it's not really relevant to this post.

Not being able to drive has been something that has defined me in so many ways.  Driving has always been my greatest fear.  It has restricted me beyond belief.  It has been the source of much stress.  But it has also allowed me to see the kindness and goodness in other people as I have had to rely heavily on friends and family for many, many years to get from point A to point B.

After consulting with my neurologist and having been seizure-free for 3 months, I decided it was time to conquer my fear and learn to drive.  I don't think I could have ever done it without the inspiration of my two daughters.  It was for them that I did this.  Learning to drive meant I didn't have to worry about things I constantly worried about.  Things that other people probably never thought twice about:  How will I get my kids to school?  What happens if they get sick or forget something and I need to get to their school quickly?  What if they want to go to a friends house?  How will I get them to dance or music lessons?

And the list goes on and on on.

Growing up, my mom drove me everywhere.  I have no idea how we would've functioned as a family had my mom not been able to drive.  I had nightmares {ok, not actual nightmares} of my children resenting me for not being able to take them places.  I knew my not being able to drive would have a large impact on their lives, and I didn't want that.  I didn't want to be an embarrassment to them, but I especially didn't want to inhibit them in any way.

And so I'm learning to drive.  And things are going well.  Being able to get into a car and drive a few blocks to the grocery store is one of the greatest luxuries ever.  Not having to worry about how I will get somewhere, anywhere is a feeling I can't describe.  All the planning, the organizing, the inconveniencing is gone.  

It's simply gone. 

I honestly never thought this day would come.  And I'll always be grateful to my Isabelle and LL for inspiring me to be strong and courageous.

After all, driving is easy.


November 4, 2013


I'll admit I'm not that well versed in the world of Imogen Heap, but I've heard enough of her songs to know that she's worth listening to.

My favorite song of hers {for now} is HIDE AND SEEK

I kid you not, I could {and have} listen to this song probably ten times in a row and still get goosebumps.  I love it when music has that sort of effect on me.

It also doesn't hurt that this song is on the soundtrack to The Last Kiss, starring Zach Braff.  Holla, he is hot.

Anyway, give Imogen Heap a chance, if you haven't already!

July 25, 2013

to my BROTHERS...

I have two younger brothers, Jonathan and Matthew.  Both of them will be embarking on new adventures within the next few weeks - both of which are things that I have gone through myself.  So, what kind of older sister would I be if I did not freely give of my wisdom?



Your life as you now know it is changing.  It is not ending.  It is just changing.

Be content in knowing that there really isn't any way to be completely prepared.  Sure, the nursery is all put together and you have a plethora of blankets and clothes.  But, when all is said and done there is no way to fully prepare yourself for how you will feel when you hold your sweet bundle of joy in your arms for the first time.

You may feel an immediate bond.  You may not.  Either way is perfectly normal.

Your baby will entice all sorts of emotions within you.  You may find yourself being completely frustrated to utterly giddy within minutes.

Be prepared to learn how to do all things using only one hand.

Changing a diaper could, at first, take you 15 minutes.  But, before you know it, you'll be a pro.

I don't doubt you'll find yourself looking at your lovely wife and thinking, "She's a natural."

It's easy to focus on all the horrors of parenthood, so instead think about all the memories you have with your (our) dad.  Think about the first time he helped you ride a two-wheel bike.  You're going to be that dad some day.  Think about the first time he took you to Disneyland.  You're going to be that dad some day.  Think about the first time he let you drive a car.  You're going to be that dad some day.

You will be a wonderful father.  And you couldn't ask for a better mother for your child.  Together, you two will make a great home for your daughter.  

And always remember, that one day, your little girl, will say to her friends, "One time, my dad...."  

Make sure her "One time, my dad..." stories are good ones!


You're leaving the land of your birth and moving out of state!  Trust me when I say that I am 100% excited for you.  I'm glad that you and your beautiful wife will be embarking on this adventure together.  It's easy to completely change your surroundings when you have the love of your life by your side.

Moving away from family and friends can be difficult at first.  But, just think about how fun it will be to meet new people and form new friendships.  The friendships you make will have a great impact on your new life.  Make sure they are good friends, and people that place similar importance on things as you.

Emerse yourself in your new city.  Sure, you're not that far from home and weekend trips to visit family wouldn't be too far fetched, but make them few and far between.  Don't live to leave your new home.  Live to explore and find out all that it has to offer you.  Become a local.

Be sensitive to your wife.  She agreed to pack up her life and move away from her home just for you.  Make sure her needs are met.  I imagine your shoulder will be her new favorite place to cry when she finds herself missing her mom.

You are lucky to have this experience.  And you probably won't ever have a chance to do this again.  Take advantage of this time to learn and grow and become more independent.  In twenty years, you may just look back and think, "That was a great time!"


So, to my little bros, never forget that I am here for you.  I'll help you in any way that I can.  You're always in my thoughts and prayers.
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