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Consolidated Smart Systems Complaint - Breaks agreement and steals my identity

Review by Stephen Weinstein on 2007-10-10
GARDENA, CALIFORNIA -- A hardcopy of the following affidavit has been separately submitted to the Federal Communications Commission with my notarized signature as part of a petition alleging that a landlord violated my 47 C.F.R., Chapter I, Part 1, Subpart S, Section 1.4000 rights (this posting does not reflect any developments since the affidavit was originally submitted) [To verify that this has been submitted to the FCC and to read the redacted personal information, go to:

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_document=6519124137

and scroll down to pages 29-37. To see comments of other customers, go to the same link and read pages 22-28]:

I rented an apartment in the building at [address redacted because www.my3cents.com does not want personal information posted] and a parking space at the same address and signed an agreement to obey the house rules, [swimming] pool rules, etc. Subsequently, on several days, I arrived, after 7 p.m., to find, on the door to the apartment, notes from a company identifying itself as Consolidated Smart Systems and indicating that cable television service and cable Internet service in the building would be terminated, that the company would offer television service but not Internet service, and that one or more representatives of the company would be in the building on the day on which the note was left, but only until 7 p.m. I telephoned the number that was provided in the notes.

While I was on hold, I heard a recording in which the company compared its service, or the cost of its service, favorably to that of cable television, but did not give specific dollar amounts. When I did speak with a human representative, I requested that this telephone representative tell me the cost
of the service, but the representative did not do so. I even attempted to find the cost of service on the company’s website, but was not successful at the time. I also entered the company's name in an Internet search engine, clicked on some or all of the links found, and read some or all of the text that appeared on the computer monitor when I clicked on those links. (Because it might be
considered hearsay, I omit the text that I read.) Reading what I read on the Internet was one of several causes of my desire not to be a customer of Consolidated.

At some point prior to the start of service from Consolidated, another tenant told me of his or her dissatisfaction at losing cable Internet service.
Subsequent to my unsuccessful attempts to obtain information by telephone, I met with “Art”, a representative of the company, on a Saturday (I believe the date to have been April 29, 2006). He originally said that if I wanted to record programming, I could obtain TiVo and a combination receiver-DVR recorder (which I later learned would have entailed a two-year service agreement), at a higher total cost to myself than service without this type of receiver. However, I
did not wish to pay to record on this equipment and wanted to continue to record on a standard VHS VCR that I already owned. To simultaneously do this and watch another channel with the equipment that he said was available, I would have needed to pay for two receivers and either a mirroring charge or some other charge.

I was not offered the option of a dual-tuner receiver, at any price, and I was not yet aware that they existed. (Instead, the position that I took at the time
was essentially that I should not have to pay for two receivers to be able to do what I had been able to do with the cable television utility company's service without needing any receivers.) Eventually, he agreed that Consolidated would provide a splitter (a promise that was never kept). My understanding of his offer was that I would only be able to receive a few channels on whichever equipment (the TV or the VCR) was connected to the splitter and not the
receiver, and would be able to receive all other channels on only one piece of equipment (the TV or the VCR, but not both at the same time).

When I considered both the amount that he indicated that I would be required to pay DIRECTV in order to receive service, and the amount that he indicated that I would also be required to pay Consolidated in order to receive service, it became clear to me that my total monthly cost would be substantially higher than my monthly cost for cable television service had been. I believed that the company had previously said that would not be the case, and felt that the prior statement had been dishonest. When I mentioned the prior statement, he asked what I was paying the cable television company and accurately (but, in my opinion, irrelevantly), noted that the figure I gave was similar to the amount that I would be required to pay DIRECTV, but did not include the amount that I would be required to pay Consolidated in the comparison. This representative also said that when comparing what was available from two companies, either that
I “must” or that I “have to” consider the “service”, and not just the cost. (He did not restrict this statement to comparisons to cable television, and, in particular, did not exclude comparisons to 30 an individual antenna from a competing service provider from the prohibition against comparisons
based solely on cost.)

I responded with a negative comment regarding the service provided by him and/or the telephone representative. He then said that he was using the word “service” to mean the channels that were available, and not to mean “customer service”. I expressed lack of desire for the channels not included in the less expensive service to which I desired to make a comparison. I also compared requiring me to pay more because I would receive channels that I was not requesting to requiring a male person desiring television service to obtain both television service and tampons, and to pay more than television service without tampons would otherwise
cost, even though tampons are not useful to a male person. The apartment manager seemed to find this amusing, but the representative did not rescind the requirement to consider the additional channels in any comparison that I might make to any other service.

The representative also told me that, even if I intended to move from the property in less than a year (as I was later told I must do), I should still enter into a one-year service agreement or contract and that I would still be able to cancel before the expiration of the contract or the service
agreement. However, I did not believe him and found his excessive efforts to push me to accept a one-year contract or agreement highly suspicious. My reluctance to agree to a year of payments was partly because he refused to provide a copy of the terms with which I would have to comply for that year. When I requested to see all terms of this arrangement, he told me that he
could show me only the terms of Consolidated, and that Consolidated did not have a copy of the terms of DIRECTV to which I would also have to agree to obtain service. He said that DIRECTV had these terms, that he had no copies, and that I would obtain one later, when a receiver was installed in my apartment and it was time to call DIRECTV to activate it. (However, I later learned that Consolidated did have copies of DIRECTV’s terms, when the person from Consolidated who
installed a receiver brought a copy of DIRECTV’s terms and told me to sign something, even though my requests to review the terms in advance had been denied.)

At this meeting, the representative also said that tenants would be provided with receivers in the order in which they
signed orders for service (with the tenants’ credit card numbers), and that, if I waited to sign such
an order, I would have no service (from either the satellite system or the local cable company)
from when the cable television company’s service was made unavailable until when a receiver
was eventually installed in my apartment (after the apartments of tenants who signed the
agreement with Consolidated without knowing the terms of the agreement with
DIRECTV). However, I did not wish to agree to a year of payments before I knew all the
terms. This was partly because, in spite of his assurances to the contrary, I was concerned that,
if I moved to a location where the service was not available, I might have to continue to pay for
the remainder of the one-year term, even though I would not be receiving service.
The representative of Consolidated did eventually tell me orally that an inexpensive
option (which I had not been offered when he first told me my options) existed, was provided on a
month-to-month basis (without any longer-term contract), would provide me with the small
number of channels, would not require any receivers, would provide me with the ability to receive
multiple channels simultaneously, and would cost less than $12 per month, but would not provide
me with all the channels that I desired; however, he did not put any of this information in writing
and did not mention it earlier when he was trying to persuade me to accept a more expensive
package or when he was suggesting that I obtain a second receiver (at further additional
cost). He also eventually told orally me that, regardless of which option I elected, I would be able
to receive the channels that were included in the inexpensive option as soon as service began in
the building, even if a receiver was not yet installed in my apartment; however, he did not put this
information in writing and did not mention it earlier, when he was trying to persuade me that I
should sign up immediately to avoid a period of no service while waiting for a receiver.
For several reasons, including (but not necessarily limited to) the hearsay I had
previously read on the Internet, a belief that this representative had not been honest with me
concerning the availability and prices of the services he was promoting, the increase in total cost
(including service and receiver) that I anticipated, personal disapproval of his practice of
withholding information (which I considered unethical and dishonest), personal disapproval of his
company's arrangement with my landlord (which I considered to be an unreasonable
anticompetitive restraint of trade between the cable television company and myself and
suspected might violate antitrust laws), Consolidated’s insistence that even those tenants who
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would not be paying by credit card still provide a credit card number, and Consolidated’s
implausible assurance that these credit cards would not be billed (which I have since been
informed was untrue), I decided that, although I did wish to continue to receive television service,
I wanted to do so from a company other than the company that he represented. When I asked if I
could obtain an individual antenna from another company, he said that the Consolidated had an
"exclusive contract" (I now assume this to be the "lease" later mentioned by Mr. [Landlord’s last
name was included here in paper filing but was removed from Internet filing]) to provide television
services in the building. However, I assumed that this applied only to satellite and cable service,
and was not aware that it also applied to receipt of analog signals directly from a local
broadcaster. Therefore, I purchased an expensive individual analog antenna system (consisting
of a "rabbit ears" type antenna and signal-amplifying [boosting] electronics) and attempted to use
it, but did not receive an acceptable reception on most channels.
Eventually, Mr. [Landlord’s last name was included here in paper filing but was removed
from Internet filing] and the apartment manager came to my apartment and delivered a written
statement (petitioner’s exhibit E) that the landlord would pay any cancellation charges and that
Consolidated had agreed to provide the ability to simultaneously receive 15 “local” channels on
an unlimited number of televisions, for an amount that was less than $12 per month, to those who
desired only “some service”. During this meeting, Mr. [Landlord’s last name was included here in
paper filing but was removed from Internet filing] also told me orally that he was aware that other
tenants (not only myself) had found Consolidated’s representative dishonest or untrustworthy,
that he regretted signing a contract with Consolidated, that he was bound by the contract to allow
them to proceed with the planned discontinuation of service from the local cable television utility
company, and that if Consolidated performed in the manner that I (correctly) expected, then he
would then break his contract with them, at some future time, but not until after using
Consolidated had already been the only way to obtain service. Also during this meeting, Mr.
[Landlord’s last name was included here in paper filing but was removed from Internet filing]
asked what I was paying the cable television company and noted that the figure I gave was
similar to the amount that I would be required to pay DIRECTV, but did not include the amount
that I would be required to pay Consolidated in the comparison.
I eventually, and reluctantly, agreed to receive the service of this company, because I
was not permitted to obtain service in the building without using this company. I even elected an
option that required a receiver and was considerably more expensive than the option that did not,
because agreeing to a receiver was the only way to receive a service option that included the
channels that I desired (although this option also included many channels that I did not
desire). However, I was careful to note on the agreement that if the company failed to honor the
promise of the splitter, then I was not agreeing to any service that required a receiver, and that I
was in no event agreeing to pay for any service that I was not free to cancel at any time.
In defiance of my express written instructions, the company subsequently installed a
receiver without a splitter. The installer requested that I sign something. I refused on the ground
that he had not installed a splitter. Next, I discovered that, contrary to the representative’s
assurances that some channels would be available before the receiver was installed and
activated, I could not receive any channels. Since I was not being provided with what had
originally been agreed (a splitter and the ability to receive some channels before the receiver was
activated), I requested to be provided with the less expensive service that did not require a
receiver and would allow simultaneous receiving of all 15 “local” channels. Consolidated did not
provide this service, but did orally agree to provide DIRECTV service through a central antenna
for less than $12 per month, and to pay DIRECTV’s bills themselves, so I did not immediately
attempt to enforce the original agreement, even though I still would not receive the ability to
access more than one channel simultaneously or to receive any service prior to receiver
activation. The oral agreement did not include any “sunset” provision and I did not agree to begin
paying DIRECTV’s bills at any future time. One of their representatives or employees called
DIRECTV to activate the receiver or service; I did not “activate” it myself. Contrary to the earlier
statement by a representative or employee of Consolidated, I was not able to receive any
channels (even the 15 local channels) until the receiver was activated, which did not occur until
the following day. (According to information that I later received from DIRECTV, the activation
occurred on May 19, 2006; I believe the date of installation was May 18, 2006.)
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I then received a letter or statement in the mail from DIRECTV falsely stating that I had
agreed to pay for satellite television services for at least one year, at a rate more than twice that
which Consolidated had told me that I would be charged. When I called to dispute this and stated
I had never agreed to pay for a full year, or to pay the price stated, the DIRECTV telephone
representative stated that the person who activated the service to the receiver in my apartment
had put the service in my name and had, by activating the service, created a binding agreement
that I would pay for the service for one year. I informed DIRECTV, for the first of several times,
that I had not activated the service to the receiver and that Consolidated had done so. When I
requested that DIRECTV send a statement retracting the false statement that I had agreed to pay
for one year, DIRECTV told me to look for this information on the Internet, but I requested that a
paper copy be sent instead. DIRECTV finally agreed to send one, but I have never received it,
even though the promise to send it was made during the spring of 2006. I called again, and was
told that, contrary to what I had been previously told, DIRECTV could not send a paper statement
that I had not agreed to pay for one year (even though it had sent a false paper statement that I
had so agreed). Eventually, I stopped receiving bills from DIRECTV and started receiving and
paying bills from Consolidated. Someone claiming to be from Consolidated left a message on my
answering machine saying that I would not be receiving “any” more bills (from DIRECTV), which I
thought meant that Consolidated would be paying all the future bills, per the oral agreement, but I
now realize was true only in the more literal sense that the bills would not be sent to my address,
not in the sense of whether I would be required to pay them.
Another tenant (not the same one as mentioned earlier) told me that he or she had also
been billed more than he or she had been told, that he or she was being required to pay a total of
two bills per month (I believe that one was from Consolidated and one was from DIRECTV), and
that he or she had not been told that he or she would be required to pay more than one bill per
month. I then checked the document that is now my exhibit "H", and found that, if his or her
statements to me that he or she had two receivers and did not have them connected to a
telephone line were true, then he or she should have been charged more than the amount that he
or she said that he or she was told that he or she would be charged. However, I believed his or
her allegation that he or she was orally promised a lower price than exhibit “H” indicates and
concluded that this person’s statement confirmed my earlier belief that Consolidated was
dishonest and untrustworthy. (Because Herbert [Landlord’s last name was included here in paper
filing but was removed from Internet filing], our landlord, has prohibited me from further contacting
any tenant on this topic [Petitioner's exhibit "A"], I did not request an affidavit from this tenant,
which I otherwise would have done. Should hearsay rules preclude consideration of this
conversation for its probative value, I ask that it still be considered for the narrow purpose of
establishing my motivation for communicating with the other tenants, which Mr. [Landlord’s last
name was included here in paper filing but was removed from Internet filing] has put in issue in
the letter now designated as my exhibit "A", and for the purpose of determining whether I have
reasonable cause to seek another provider, rather than risk being overcharged by Consolidated.)
The same tenant also mentioned having been issued a warning by the apartment
manager, said that the warning caused worry about the possibility of being evicted, and stated
that the apartment manager had indicated that this warning was the result of the apartment
manager overhearing the tenant criticizing the apartment manager (to a third party). (Due to
issues of relevance and hearsay, I ask that the last sentence, relating to the warning, be
considered under the "state of mind" exception to the hearsay rule, to the extent that it relates to
the issue of whether this tenant is in a sufficient state of fear of retaliatory eviction that good
cause exists to allow this tenant to provide factual knowledge without his or her identity being
disclosed to Mr. [Landlord’s last name was included here in paper filing but was removed from
Internet filing], and not for its direct probative value.)
At a different time, still another tenant stated orally that he or she already owned an
individual antenna, that he or she was not using it, that he or she was receiving service from the
same provider as myself (through the central system), that he or she had two receivers in
different rooms, that one was not working at the time, that his or her total cost was approximately
$71 per month, and that his or her total cost would have been approximately $61 per month if he
or she was not required to use the central system and to pay Consolidated to do so. This tenant
also stated that he or she was unwilling to sign an affidavit, that the reason for this unwillingness
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was that "if they [the landlord and apartment manager] want you gone [or out of here, or words to
that effect], you'll [or you will] be gone [or out of here, or words to that effect]", and that leaving
would cost "three thousand dollars" in moving expenses. The comments in quotes occurred after
this tenant had been informed that California law prohibits retaliatory eviction and in a manner
that indicated that the tenant felt that the hypothetical involuntary departure would occur, whether
or not it was lawful. (Due to issues of relevance and hearsay, I ask that the last two sentences
[beginning with the mention of unwillingness to sign an affidavit] be considered under the "state of
mind" exception to the hearsay rule, to the extent that it relates to the issue of whether this tenant
is in a sufficient state of fear of retaliatory eviction that good cause exists to allow this tenant to
provide factual knowledge without his or her identity being disclosed to Mr. [Landlord’s last name
was included here in paper filing but was removed from Internet filing], and not for their direct
probative value.)
Several months subsequent to the start of "service" from Consolidated, Herbert
[Landlord’s last name was included here in paper filing but was removed from Internet filing], the
landlord, sent me a letter (petitioner’s exhibit F) saying that the reason why not all the promised
services were made available was because of the amount of space that would have been
required for the equipment to provide one of the promised services and that my cost would
increase by $18.04 per month to an amount of $29.99 per month “instead of” (not in addition to)
the previous cost (which apparently was $11.95). The new figure of $29.99 was more than twice
the amount I had been promised. He subsequently called me at work and informed me that he
had negotiated with Consolidated (if this occurred, it would have been prior to the installation of
the receiver in my apartment) to have a service (not the one to which I had originally agreed)
provided at the low cost that Consolidated had told me I would be charged, but only for a few
months, and that he thought that this was a good deal. However, I was not told of the terms that
he had negotiated (especially that the cost to me would be increasing so dramatically), until after
the start of the school year, and several months after when, according to his oral statement, the
negotiation had taken place. I had at no time authorized him to negotiate on my behalf. Had I
been requested to so authorize him, I almost certainly would have refused to authorize him to
negotiate on my behalf for lower rates from Consolidated, because I felt that Consolidated had
acted fraudulently (both by misrepresenting their prices and services to me and by using my
identity to initiate an one-year agreement with DIRECTV that I had not authorized and had even
expressly refused in my written instructions) and had already decided that I would rather receive
service from a more honest company than receive a rate reduction from Consolidated. In
addition, I did not sign any waiver of my right not to be represented by a person with a conflict of
interest (I have learned that Consolidated pays or paid a commission either directly to him or to a
business or trust that he owns or controls). I expressed my desire to obtain service from a
provider other than Consolidated and he told me that he had "signed a lease" with Consolidated
agreeing to "enforce" a rule prohibiting me from obtaining service from any other provider. I
requested, but did not receive, a copy of this lease, but believe it to be the “exclusive contract”
previously mentioned. (He stated that it had confidential business information.) He also agreed
to help enforce any agreement with me that Consolidated had broken, but subsequently reneged.
After I complained about the increase in cost and not being notified earlier, he sent me another
letter (petitioner’s exhibit A), informing me that he was the landlord, that I was prohibited by the
rules of the building from having my own antenna anywhere in the complex, even within my
apartment, and that he would evict me if I did not obey the rules of the building. In this letter, he
noted that both "satellite dishes" and "antennae" [sic] were prohibited, making it clear that I would
risk eviction if I operated any individual antenna, even the analog antenna that I had obtained for
receiving (for free) local broadcast signals, and not only if I obtained (at my expense) satellite
television service from an individual antenna. He did not offer to reimburse me for the value of
the analog antenna or the VCR. His letter did make an interesting point that his delay in telling
me that the terms that he had negotiated allowed my cost to double within the first few months of
service did not violate some provision of law requiring him to give thirty days notice, but my efforts
to locate such a provision of law did not result in finding any such provision applicable to
residents of apartment buildings facing increases of more than 10%, or any applicable to delays
otherwise prohibited by federal regulations. This second letter also noted that he had spent “the
better part of an hour” on the telephone with me (presumably referring to when he called me at
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work) and was unwilling to “further involve” himself in the dispute between myself and
Consolidated. I researched my legal options and began to write this petition no later than
September 2006 (as demonstrated by petitioner’s exhibit I). (At the time, I intended to the target
of the petition to be the contract or other agreement between Consolidated and the landlords who
provided it with exclusivity; however, because I was unable to obtain a copy of that document, I
later changed the petition to instead challenge the restriction imposed by Mr. [Landlord’s last
name was included here in paper filing but was removed from Internet filing].)
By the time that this increase was scheduled to take effect (and perhaps even by the time
that I was notified of it), I had received advertisements in the mail for both DIRECTV and DISH
Network. These included at least one advertisement for satellite television service with a dualtuner
receiver for an amount that was less than $30 per month, and was equal, within plus or
minus 4%, to that which Mr. [Landlord’s last name was included here in paper filing but was
removed from Internet filing] stated I would be required to pay for service through Consolidated
(and considerably less than the amount that I was eventually charged). This would have made
my cost per tuner approximately half that which I would have paid according to his letter, because
I still had only single-tuner service, because, in violation of our original agreement, Consolidated
had not provided a splitter or a dual-tuner receiver. However, I later learned that I was actually
billed $11.95 per month by Consolidated and $29.99 per month by DIRECTV, for a total of $41.94
per month, which is approximately $12 per month more than amount advertised by the
competitor, and approximately $27 per month more than the per-tuner cost of the competitor’s
service of slightly less than $15 per month per tuner.
After several months had elapsed, during which I received, and paid the bills sent by
Consolidated, and received no other bills for television services, I found out by telephone that the
DIRECTV account had a past due balance. DIRECTV also admitted by telephone both that the
bills had been sent to the billing address on the account and that the billing address on the
account was 620 West 135th Street, Gardena, CA (this is Consolidated’s address and not my
own) and agreed to immediately send duplicate copies of the bills to my address, so that I could
pay them before the scheduled service interruption date. I never received those bills (and did not
receive any bills from DIRECTV until after service had already been interrupted). Also, DIRECTV
said that I was required to pay them $29.99 for each month for which they had not been paid, not
$18.04, even though I had already paid Consolidated $11.95 for each of the months in question
and the landlord’s letter said that I would be billed a total of $29.99 “instead of” (not in addition to)
$11.95, and I had never agreed to pay, or been told that I would be billed, $41.94 per month.
I repeatedly tried to resolve the various aspects of this situation with both DIRECTV and
Consolidated, especially:
1. that my name was on an account that I had not opened,
2. that I had not received the bills, and
3. that the total of the bills that I had paid to Consolidated and the amount demanded by
DIRECTV exceeded both the amount that I had agreed to pay and the amount stated
in the landlord’s letter.
DIRECTV continued to insist that, because someone had put my name was on the
account, they were entitled to demand payment from me, even if I had not received a bill. (I later
learned that section 1584.5 of the California Civil Code prohibits demanding payment from a
person who has been sent goods or services which that person has not ordered or solicited, but
did not know this at the time.) Each time that I called Consolidated, I would be told that a person
(not always the same one) who was needed to resolve the problem was not there and either that I
should call back or that they would call me back. At one point, Consolidated admitted that
persons for whom Consolidated is not required to pay the DIRECTV bills should not be charged
the full $11.95 (but are still required to pay Consolidated something, in addition to paying the
DIRECTV bills), but refused to either pay the DIRECTV bills or refund the difference between the
bills that I had paid and the amount that persons for whom they did not pay DIRECTV bills are
supposed to be charged. They said that as long as they were not sure whether they were or
were not supposed to be paying the DIRECTV bills for certain months, they would neither pay the
DIRECTV bills for those months nor return the amount that they had kept in excess of what they
would have been entitled to keep if they were not supposed to paying the DIRECTV bills, and that
they were not required to do either until they determined which they were required to do (to the
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best of my knowledge, they have still neither paid the DIRECTV bills nor returned any of the
money I paid them, even though they are aware that they are required to do at least one of these
two things, even if not which one). At another point, I mentioned to Consolidated that the total
amount that I was being charged was in excess of that which a person prohibited from having an
individual antenna could legally be charged and the telephone representative admitted that
Consolidated was aware of the law. Also, on many occasions, Consolidated said that they would
call back and did not (DIRECTV also did this at least once). When it became clear that I was not
going to be able to resolve the situation by telephone or without government intervention, I drove
to a police station (twice) to report that a DIRECTV account had been opened in my name by
another person. Deputy Benavides told me that I should call Consolidated again and demand to
speak to a manager. Subsequently, I called Consolidated and, even after I told them that I was
under orders from law enforcement to speak to a manager, was neither allowed to do so nor
allowed to speak to the person who I had previously been told by Consolidated would able to
resolve the situation. Meanwhile, I downloaded an Identity Theft Affidavit from the Federal Trade
Commission’s website, and had my signature notarized, and sent it by certified mail to DIRECTV
(at a cost of approximately $15 for notarization, photocopying, and certified mail). I also
telephoned the District Attorney’s Office and the landlord. I reached the landlord’s answering
machine (or voice mail), and told the answering machine (or voice mail) that I was being charged
more than his letter stated, that I had reported “Art” (the Consolidated representative mentioned
previously) to law enforcement, and that other tenants had told me that they too were having
problems, and that I still desired to obtain my service from another provider. I never received a
call back and the landlord did not address my complaints; instead, I was served with notice
terminating my tenancy. The postage meter date on an envelope from the District Attorney’s
Office responding to my call and the date of delivery on the return receipt postcard from the
certified mail sent to DIRECTV were both the business day immediately prior to the date on which
I was served with notice terminating my tenancy.
I found a business card bearing the phrases “Trishna Patel”, “consolidatedsmartsytems”,
and “YOUR PROVEN RESOURCE TO INCREASE ANCILLARY PROFIT” (petitioner’s exhibit J)
left at my door with handwritten instructions to call a telephone number in another area code.
While I no longer recall doing so, I apparently left a message on voice mail or an answering
machine telling this person that the service was going to be disconnected unless the bills (which
were sent to Consolidated’s address and which I had not received) were paid. (I was not offered
reimbursement for the telephone call.) I subsequently found a message from her on my
answering machine saying that nothing would be disconnected. I called her and told her that
DIRECTV had said otherwise; she said that she would call me back, but did not do so. Almost
immediately after her message saying that the service would not be disconnected, the DIRECTV
service was stopped. I then resumed operating my individual antenna, in violation of the
landlord’s rule, but I only received an acceptable reception on a few stations. I then called
Consolidated on February 24 to terminate its services as well and Consolidated agreed on
February 24 that it would remove the equipment from my apartment on February 27. They did
not, and, on February 28, I sent an e-mail saying to cancel my account effective retroactively to
the date on which DIRECTV terminated the service because Consolidated had not paid the bills
that its employee "Art" had agreed would be paid and that “I hereby exercise my right under
section 1689(b) of the California Civil Code to rescind any contract between myself and
Consolidated Smart Systems.” Consolidated sent me a bill for service for March 1-31.
After DIRECTV had stopped service, I finally received a bill, showing a shutoff date prior
to the date of the bill. However, even though I had notified DIRECTV repeatedly that I had never
opened or activated the account and that another person (who I believe to be Art from
Consolidated) did so, and even sent a notarized identity theft affidavit by certified mail, when I
finally received this bill, it showed additional charges after both the telephone notification and the
date that the certified mail was delivered. I also found a note from Consolidated falsely saying
that I had agreed to paid DIRECTV’s bills after the first six months and would be responsible for
the past due charges (which Art had agreed that Consolidated would pay) as well as any
cancellation fees (which the landlord had agreed to pay).
I had central antenna “service” for 9 months and approximately 3 days (May 19, 2006,
according to DIRECTV’s records, to approximately February 22, 2007). However, I was only able
36
to make full use of the service for the first 8½ months, because I was forced to spend most of my
free time during the final weeks trying to remedy the billing situation, rather than watching
television.
I was billed by Consolidated $11.95 per month, not only for months for which I had
service, but also for March 2007, which began after DIRECTV had discontinued service to me
(because Consolidated had not paid the bills that were sent only to Consolidated’s address), after
I had twice told Consolidated to cancel my service, and after the date by which Consolidated had
agreed that its equipment would be removed. I was billed $29.99 per month by DIRECTV for
three of the months that were during the period for which I was also billed by Consolidated,
including one month which included only three days prior to the day on which DIRECTV stopped
service (approximately $20 was eventually credited for that month, but I was still charged
approximately $10 for those days, or approximately $100 per month on an annualized basis.)
Sending the notarized affidavit that DIRECTV requires to DIRECTV cost me $10 for notarization
and $4.88 to send by certified mail, return receipt requested. After it was delivered to their
address, DIRECTV continued to demand a notarized affidavit, which would presumably cost a
similar amount to the first one, and also demanded that I send a various other documentation.
DIRECTV also repeatedly claimed not to have received the documentation that I had sent, and
for which I had received a return receipt card. During this time, they sent an e-mail saying “After
the requested information is received by our office, you will receive a letter in approximately four
weeks, informing you of the results of our investigation.” Eventually, they admitted that it might
have been delivered, but not processed. They still did not admit to receiving it, said that they
could not determine where any particular package was, and admitted that they had still not
processed it, even though over a month had passed since the date of delivery. This contradicted
the earlier statement that they would send the letter in approximately four weeks from receipt of
the documentation, unless that statement meant literally from when the appropriate office
received it, and not from when it was delivered to the company. I eventually sent another packet
of documentation, paying an even larger amount to the postal service for “restricted delivery”, but
I expect that this package will also be ignored or followed by further demands for documentation.
At some point, I realized that I had two other problems:
1. One of the agreements into which I had not entered said that if the access card
was not returned to DIRECTV, I would be charged $300.
2. It seemed unlikely that Consolidated would remove the receiver before the date
that I was required to vacate. If I left it behind and Consolidated later demanded
its return, I would not be able to comply, since I would no longer have the
apartment. On the other hand, I did not own it and I would be stealing if I brought
it with me.
Therefore, on Saturday, March 24, 2007, after the equipment had been in my apartment
for more than a month after the termination of service by DIRECTV, I sent Consolidated notice to,
within three days of receipt of the notice, either remove the receiver from my apartment or make
the payments that they had previously agreed to make, and sent the access card to DIRECTV by
insured mail. (I have not received reimbursement for that expense.) I then received an e-mail
dated Monday, March 26, 2007, stating (in its entirety):
Stephen,
We at CSS received your legal notices. Upon the review of what you have sent over and
requested we are going to be able to provide you the following:
1. CSS will pay your outstanding DTV balance.
2. If you wish to receive TV, the only option at Ponderosa will be the $29.99 Preferred
Choice Package.
3. We are willing to waive the $6.95 CSS service fee.
If you ARE NOT interested in continuing your service- we will just we will simply pay the DTV
bill. You can keep the equipment or we can schedule a technician to come pick up. Once
37
again, there is no other way to receive television- but to go through Consolidated. If that is not
a problem, then we hope we have solved the issue once and for all.
-Consolidated Smarts [sic] Systems
(1800) 262-1327
Had they actually made the payment, this might have solved the billing issue (although
not the 47CFR1.4000 issue), but merely saying that they would do so did not solve either issue,
since I had no reason to believe them. Indeed, even though the three day period for compliance
expired under California law at midnight Thursday, March 29, 2007, Consolidated has not
removed the receiver and I have not received confirmation that they have paid the DIRECTV bill
and have not received a response to a request that I sent for the date on which they will do so.
As noted before, had I paid the DIRECTV bills in time to avoid a service interruption
(even though I had not received the bills), then I would have continued to be charged $29.99 per
month by DIRECTV and to be charged some amount by Consolidated (presumably, at least
$11.95 per month, since they charged that much even after I told them not to continue service).
Additionally, Consolidated stated on one or more of the notes that was left on my door
prior to the original installation that they will not be providing Internet service. I have seen
numerous television commercials for satellite-based Internet service, but I am not able to receive
that service because Consolidated does not provide it through the central antenna and Mr.
[Landlord’s last name was included here in paper filing but was removed from Internet filing]
refuses to allow me to use an individual antenna.
Finally, to resolve any confusion that may result from the multiple copies of the rental
agreement that appear as petitioner’s exhibit B, I have been the sole resident of the apartment
since March 1, 2006, but my employer paid the rent for March 2006 and April 2006, for reasons
unrelated to this matter. I paid the rent for May 2006 and all subsequent months. The original
rental agreement was signed by me, but had to be replaced by the second agreement, signed by
an officer of the company that employs me, because that company was going to pay the rent for
the first two months and needed certain paperwork to satisfy tax laws, etc. That rental agreement
(the second) applied to March 2006 and April 2006. The third rental agreement was signed in
April and applied to all subsequent months. (My signature is on the first rental agreement. I
believe that I also signed the third rental agreement, but my copy of the third rental agreement
does not have my signature. I believe that the landlord or apartment manager has the copy that I
signed.) Also, although all three rental agreements provided for an apartment, I believe that only
the third and final rental agreement, applying to May 2006 and subsequent months, provided for a
parking space as well.
I, [name redacted because www.my3cents.com does not want personal information posted], hereby swear under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct
to the best of my knowledge.
Comments:11 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-10-11
Posted by Starlord on 2007-10-10:
This is not a review, this is a case of diarrhea of the keyboard. This is way too long to be gone through with any meaning. What are you sending the information about your landlord to the FCC for? Last I heard, the FCC had nothing to do with landlord-tenant disputes. Try condensing this pile of bull spit into a form that can be understood, and how it might relate to the rest of us, and it might mean something.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10:
Hear Hear starlord!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10:
This post gave me a headache.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10:
Who's on first ?
<;O)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-11:
Sorry, you lost me around chapter 64
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-11:
So what are you trying to say?
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2007-10-11:
When page 2 appeared, my monitor broke through my desk due to it's excessive weight!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-11:
I still have the headache.
Posted by shawnp80 on 2007-10-11:
Blah, blah, blah............................................
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-11:
So Shawn, are you trying to say something? LOL!
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-10-11:
this needs to be put in the legal notice section of the newspaper.
just couldn't finish it or understand what it was all about

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