It sucks when life gets in the way of my blogging. Plenty of strange stuff has happened lately, but I haven't had the time to put it into writing. My plan is to write some of it up now and post it later at work when I have five free minutes.
I believe I may finally be free of USAA General. Well, I guess I won't really be free of their idiocy until I actually receive that settlement check, but it's allegedly in the mail.
I have been waiting for them to receive the title to my demolished car, which I mailed to them on November 10. I have called them several times, and each time they would say, "It takes 7-10 business days" or "10-14 business days." They could not release the check to me until they got that title. They would say, "Maybe it got lost in the mail" or "maybe it's down in our mailroom" or "we have 20,000 employees here, it sometimes takes awhile." I was even scolded by one woman who said it was the law that they could not write me the settlement check until they received my title. Since they are an insurance company, I don't know how much of what they ever say is true (in fact, I know they are liars, because twice they made excuses for not returning my calls by claiming they left messages on my "voice mail"; there were never any messages at home or at work).
After nearly a month of this, I talked to USAA's guy in Recovery Paperwork again yesterday. He says they still haven't received my title. I tell him I have a Xerox of it, is that good enough? He says to fax it and he will talk to his manager.
I am in the process of faxing it when my phone rings. It's him again. And I know he hasn't gotten my fax yet. "I talked to my manager and we have decided to go ahead and mail you the check." Why they can do it now and not two weeks ago, I don't know. "You should have it in 5 or 6 days." USAA had already promised me they would send the check via Overnight Delivery, and I tell him that. "Oh, I'm sorry, no one told me that. It's too late, we have already issued the check." How come five minutes earlier he was all "blah blah we still haven't received your title in the mail" and now he's, "Yeah, that check is already in progress"?
I admit that I was negligent in following up with the guy. At this point, I just want the money, and I want to no longer have a conversation with any of these people again. On one hand, I was told that it was against the law for them to demolish my car without the title. Now he's apparently telling me that he can, but "there's no way for us to make money on it, we have to foot the bill for it ourselves." I'm not terribly sympathetic--the whole deal is costing me $12,000, and it's all the fault of his customer. Boo hoo, man. Why should you make money out of all this?
Bottom line: the check should arrive next week, and that's really all that counts, I suppose. I suspect that the title got there a long time ago, and they were just sitting on it for who-knows-what reason. There's no way to figure their logic, since there's no way of knowing how much of their bullshit is factual.
As if that wasn't enough stress, it appears as though somebody has been vandalizing my mailbox and possibly stealing my mail. I first noticed the day after Thanksgiving (I have since learned that this happened at least as early as Thanksgiving Day, if not one or two days earlier), when I checked my mail, that my mailbox was open, but empty, and the card which contains my name and apartment number had been stolen. I live in a house with four apartments. There are four mailboxes--unlocked--on the front porch. Mine was the only one touched; the other three were stuffed with mail and their name cards were intact.
This was late Friday. I made a new card out of paper and used packing tape to attach it to the mailbox. The old one was a plastic sleeve glued to the box and a paper slipped inside of it that had my name on it. Saturday, the mailman brought something from my brother that was sent Delivery Confirmation, so he rang my doorbell and I went down and signed it. I asked if he delivered anything yesterday, but he didn't have my route.
Monday, no mail. Tuesday, no mail again, and my new name card is gone. Not just ripped off and left on the porch, but gone. Whoever did it took it with him. So I called the police, who said they would do nothing, called the post office, who said they could do nothing, called the landlord, who said he would get new locking mailboxes in a week or so. I don't know if these will go outside on the porch or inside the vestibule, which is locked to the outside.
I have no idea who would steal my mail or why. I'm the only one affected; none of my neighbors lost anything. The thief got nothing of any real worth. And why bother to take my name off the mailbox? There's nothing to gain by it. It's a mystery. My only theory is that it's someone who knows I'm expecting a check from the insurance company. Luckily for me, the insurance checks are going directly to my sister-in-law, whose name is still on the title for the car. The package my brother sent contained a check for the same amount from her, who lent me the money in advance so I could make the down payment on my new car. My brother was smart enough to send it Delivery Confirmation, and I was lucky enough to be home when the mailman rang my bell to have me sign for it. I'm not certain what all was taken; I bought a Harlan Ellison paperback on eBay that I never received, and even though I signed the papers for my new car two weeks ago, I haven't yet received a statement or payment book from the loan company. I don't know whether that would have arrived in the mail that soon or not, but I'll check into it.
One thing that I did (hopefully not too late) was to call TransUnion, one of the three major credit agencies, and put a fraud alert on my name. I'm always getting preapproved credit card offers in the mail. Usually I tear them up and throw them out, but it's likely one was taken from my mailbox, and the last thing I need is someone spending a $5000 credit limit in my name.