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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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My Almost-Not-Quite Interview With 'The Bear'


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I Want My Talk Radio!
Jimmy Moore
June 2, 2003

I have had a problem for about a year and a half. No, it's not brain damage or being a conservative for those of you who are thinking deranged thoughts right about now.

While this may seem trivial to some people, it has been an aggravating thing for me for a very long time. What is it, you ask? In a nutshell, I have not been able to call my local talk radio station from my home telephone to share my thoughts and ideas about the issues of the day since January 2002.

Here's my story:

A couple of years ago I regularly enjoyed calling The Russ & Lisa Show and The Ralph Bristol Show on NewsRadio 1330/950AM WORD in the Greenville/Spartanburg area. Although I also e-mailed these programs often, sometimes I wanted to vocalize my opinion about the topics that I felt the most passionate about.

Then, one day in early 2002 I attempted to call WORD to talk about an issue on the radio. However, this time I did not get the radio station’s call screener.

Instead, what I heard was this...

(jingle music)
To place your call with a calling card or credit card, press “1”
To place your call collect, press “2”
Press “O” for operator assistance or press “9” to get a rate quote

Thinking I may have dialed the wrong number, I simply hung up and dialed the number again. 5-7-4-9-6-7-3...same recording. Hmmm, that’s strange! Not thinking much about this, I decided to e-mail my thoughts to the show that day. And I continued to e-mail rather than call over the next few months.

But then I decided to try to call WORD again around the time of the Republican primary election last year. I really wanted to get through on the radio to share my support for the various candidates. Unfortunately, I got the same recording. This time, though, I decided to take some action.

First, I contacted BellSouth, my local telephone service provider, to see if they could assist me. I thought they would want to get this issue resolved quickly since the recording I heard was advertising the same services that BellSouth provides. And I finally had hope that I would be able to call WORD again.

I also contacted WORD about this problem so they would be aware of the experience I was having trying to get through to them on the telephone. WORD’s engineers worked directly with BellSouth for the next several days to try to fix the problem with my connection. After WORD engineers and BellSouth were unable to find anything wrong with their equipment and the system seemed to be working well, they assumed the problem was resolved. Unfortunately, it was not.

In early 2003, I tried once again to call WORD to talk about a topic and the same recording was still on my telephone. That day I wanted to get through so bad that I ended up calling the Greenville telephone number long distance so I could give my opinion on the topic.

After I finished sharing my opinion on WORD, I decided to contact BellSouth directly...AGAIN! But all I got from them was the run around from several customer service people over a 3-week period. Just when I felt like giving up on it, though, I finally was able to speak to someone with a brain at BellSouth, their chief technician.

This BellSouth technician asked poignant questions attempting to diagnose what was wrong with my telephone connection to the radio station. He gathered the information he needed and went to work attempting to solve my problem. I actually had hope that I would be able to call and speak with someone at WORD for the first time in nearly two years! But I was setting myself up for disappointment again.

The technician called back about a week later and said that he couldn’t find anything wrong with my connection and that he got right through to WORD when he attempted to call from my telephone number. I told him that I got the same recording from my phone and several telephones on the west side of Spartanburg. His recommended course of action was for me to contact WORD about the problem and have them check their phone lines. However, that had already been done and WORD find anything wrong.

I encouraged him or anyone from BellSouth to please come to my house and attempt to call WORD from my home telephone. He told me that I would have to pay to have someone come out to my home. WHY WOULD I HAVE TO PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT IS NOT MY FAULT?!?! Does that make any sense at all?

Exasperated, I asked the BellSouth technician what I needed to do next. He said that WORD needed to call Opticom directly at 1-888-778-6383 and find out why they are infiltrating the Spartanburg WORD number. He also said that WORD should check all of their remote call phone numbers (these are the lines that are used when multiple callers call the same number to reach the radio station on different lines) to make sure all of them are forwarding correctly. I have been assured that all of these tests have been performed at WORD and everything is working fine with them.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can get this resolved? I am forwarding this article to NewsChannel 7's On Your Side to see if they can help me. At this point, I am at my wit’s end!


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