Adventures in Customer Service

Did you notice last week that I didn’t send out a newsletter? There was a really good reason. I was in the midst of a customer service nightmare – 11 hours of phone calls over the course of two days!

It began on Wednesday afternoon as I tried to make a business call. A robot told me that my service was suspended. When I finally spoke to a real person, I was told “no service until you pay up!” My bill was over $2000!

I was sure that I’d called before we left for Italy to sign on for the international phone plan. Did we mess something up? It was only supposed to cost $10.00 a day for 21 days.

Well, it turns out it wasn’t our fault. The plan worked fine. But remember how I mentioned the serious issues I’d been having with my email? Apparently, someone hacked my phone account and used my upgrades to buy an iPad and a Pro Max 14 iPhone, both with a terabyte memory. (The thief certainly had expensive tastes!) One was sent to Penn Hills and the other to Philadelphia.

Reconstructing the case was an amazing journey. I really had no clue that anything was remotely wrong until they shut off my service; this boggled my mind. I was told that they probably cloned my phone and sold my info to hundreds if not thousands of scammers, subscriptions, and mailing lists.

It was definitely a blessing on Day 2 when I spoke with an angel – the greatest customer service agent of all time! He stayed with me all the way through to the resolution. He empathized with my frustration and said, ”You sound like you have a good spirit.“  I responded by saying “Thank you! My husband refers to me as the Mayor of Happy Town”! We just laughed together, and I felt good for the first time after eight maddening hours on the phone.

So while I go through the craziness of straightening out my email, here’s a heads-up – keep an eye out for a new email from me coming soon!

With all of that going on, I was blessed today when a prominent family originally from Pittsburgh’s Northside purchased my original pastel painting of “Ice Ball Treats with Gus and YiaYia.” That original painting has been hanging in my home gallery for a very long time, and I’m really going to miss it. But you never know who is going to call! I’m so grateful it’s going to someone who truly loves Gus and his family.

Show season is just getting started, so mark your calendars! My next show is the Ebenezer Covered Bridge Festival on Saturday, September 16th and Sunday, September 17th. Check out for more information.

Don’t forget – the Covered Bridge Festival is a cash-only show. (The reason is that cell service is spotty to nonexistent at our location.)  So come out to the country and see me! You can check out my new painting, “Glad Tidings at Gimbels” and other new art gifts!

Have a great weekend… and always protect your identity!