Place Your Customers in First Position

With this coming storm being the main topic of conversation today, all I could say before ending each one of them was, “Stay safe and pray deeply it won’t be as bad as the meteorologists are predicting.” I did notice some of the offices and businesses were closing early, just so their employees were safe home before it starts.

While on the phone today with one of my dear ones, I was deeply saddened and greatly angered to hear that her computer had been hacked and funds wired out of her deposit account without her knowledge. Oh how I felt for her because I had a nerve-racking situation with identity theft about 15 years ago with caused me to be exceptionally careful from then on about giving anyone personal information.

Since I worked at a bank and fully understand the reasons why there are times when we must give our social security numbers, but unfortunately most don’t realize that they DO NOT have to give any person or business entity their social security numbers unless it has something to do with government reporting of income and/or profit and loss from a purchase or sale. For example, whenever I have to talk to customer service at Alliant Energy, the first thing they ask for is my social security number, and my knee-jerk reply is always, “You don’t have my social security number and never will, because you have my driver’s license number which is the only identification number you need.

Someone told me that our City Water Department is requesting social security numbers whenever there’s a new service established, and if they are requiring it, they may find themselves in a very sticky situation if and when their computers get hacked and some evil entity has possession of bank of valid social security numbers. As far as I’m concerned, all they need is at the most, two valid forms of identification. There’s no doubt in my mind that if an entity is requiring a social security number from someone, and they’re not using it for valid IRS reporting purposes, then they’re unknowingly playing with fire and likely someday finding themselves severely burned.

After my fiasco with identity theft, I cancelled what few automatic payments I had and converted them to monthly billing and check writing. Believe me, the cost of purchasing checks and postage stamps, far outweighs the fear of one of those hacking devils getting into my account via a vendor or two who had their computer systems hacked. A very intelligent internet security geek told me not so long ago that the hackers are always one step ahead of their security softwares which are continually being updated. I said today to my friend like I’ve told many, “Why in the “yell” don’t they go out and get regular jobs instead of stealing from the struggling elderly?” If there truly is a Divine Justice, then they’ll certainly get their comeuppance and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

I stopped over to a home today having required repairs to be made, just so it would meet an appraiser’s requirements, only to see how things were going, and happy to find all the exterior improvements are now complete, so that’s all we have left, are those minor interior issues to get resolved and then I can call the banker and tell him to contact that appraiser to do a final inspection. Did you know that for an appraiser to drive over to a home and walk thru it for a final inspection of items that were flagged, now charges a hundred dollars or more? By the time that home is ready to close, that buyer will have been charged upwards of $600 by that appraiser. Isn’t that crazy? Talk about double-dipping on a struggling first-time buyer.

An afternoon appointment took me out to meet with the owner of 809 – 6th Pl. SE to sign a price reduction on it. Because time on the market is crucial these days, we figured it best to have it priced below $190K, so today, it’s now at $189,500. We have been getting some strong interest in it, but no offers, so we figured a price reduction would possibly incite one of those people who looked at it, to schedule a second showing. Without a doubt, that home is one heck of a well built mid-century ranch.

I had to laugh today when one of my friends mentioned having looked at the photos of 201 S. Vermont and saying, “Those doors are so beautiful, I could walk up and hug them.” I did insist she go back and look at the new interior photos I took today because I wasn’t happy with yesterday’s shots. Oh how I could see myself living in that beauty. I don’t even think I’d change the gentle color of the walls on the main floor because that very light celery green goes very well with all that gorgeous woodwork. Please put the word out on it, as it would make a great and lasting Christmas present. Believe it or not, it’s happened before during these final days before Christmas.

Now that our year is approaching an end, I’m working on getting things readied for this coming year, which is why I paid a short visit to T-Mobile late this afternoon because I’ve decided to drop my service with AT&T Wireless. As long as I’ve had an account with them, I’ve found their range not improving, and especially whenever I’m out of city limits. There’s nothing more aggravating than being dropped while on the phone with a client or customer.

Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed by the sales clerks at their shiny-new phone center because when I walked in, there were two clerks waiting on customers while four other ones were at a round table visiting or possibly having a meeting. All that was well and good, but when one of them got up from that table, looked at me without saying a word, and then trotted over to a computer, that’s when I decided it was enough for me. I’ll try another day, and if I get the same reception, I’ll be paying US Cellular a visit. One of the lines from a Business Administration instructor I had, still sticks in my mind which was, “If you’re going to have a lasting business, you must always place your customers in first position.”

Tonight’s One-liner is: No human being can really understand another, and no one can arrange another’s happiness.

Related Property:
809 6th PL SE 201 S Vermont Mason City
Joe Chodur

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