Sunday, December 26, 2010

SSA L2765 C1 - Social Security fake letter? Identity theft scam?

Recently we received a letter in the mail asking for additional information about a real name and a social security number (SSN). Any time I get a request for any SSN numbers, I'm instantly suspicious. After all, your SSN is the source of your credit identity in the United States. The form is called "SSA-L2765-C1". It has a blue return envelope addressed to SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, WILKES BARRE DATA OPERATIONS CENTER, PO BOX 39, WILKES BARRE, PA 18767-0039.

After a few Google searches, I verified that the return address does belong to the Social Security agency. So this letter is legit, but you need to make sure if you receive something similar to this letter, to always verify.

This particular form is apparently attempting to correct discrepancies. Your employer may have submitted the incorrect name for your social security credits. If it's not corrected, you would not receive the proper amount in your SSN account.

Here's the official description from

Request for Self-Employment - SSA needs the information collected on Forms SSA-L2765, SSA-L3365, and SSA-L4002 in order to credit the reported earnings to the proper earnings record. When W-2 wage data for an individual cannot be identified, the data are placed in the earnings suspense file, and SSA sends decentralized correspondence (D?COR) to the employee (and in certain instances to the employer) in an attempt to obtain his/her correct name and SSN. If the respondent furnishes the name and SSN information which agrees with SSA's records, or provides information which resolves the discrepancy, the reported earnings are added to his or her Social Security record.

While this particular inquiry letter proved to be real for me, that may not be the case for you. Always, always, always, verify if it is a scam. People are always attempting to get your identity in one way, shape or form. refuses to let me buy more Kinect units - limited purchase quantity?

I bought Kinect for a gift and after seeing how much fun it was, I wanted to purchase it for my house.  I wanted to buy it again from Amazon since they give me free two day shipping.  Unfortunately, my second attempt was a total failure.  They wouldn't let me buy it again since I was over my purchase limit.  Say what?

Here's the message I got: "We are sorry. This item has limited purchase quantity. Because you have purchased the maximum allowable quantity in the past you cannot buy any more units of this item."

I mean seriously? I can't buy more than one?  Even if the first one wasn't for my own?  That's insane.  Okay Best Buy, looks like you are getting my money.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Globe WiMax - Bacolod, Negros Performance

I moved to a new area that didn't have DSL from either PLDT or Globe.

I temporarily used pre-paid wireless Internet that gave me unreliable speeds and quality of service (QOS) problems. When I heard that Globe had WiMax capabilities in my area, I went to their SM Mall office and filled out an application form for their 1mbps plan ($25 USD/month or 995 pesos/month).

Within two days of paying their P500 setup fee, they were able to install an antenna, a HUAWEI Echolife BM622 WiMax-certified "modem" (more like a router), and a 15 meter cable that connects the antenna to the modem.

The setup was fast. I was on the Internet the moment the modem was turned on. At first, the connection speeds recorded by ranged somewhere in the vicinity of 500kbps. After sending text messages to the technician to make sure I'm provisioned at 1mbps, it was resolved and I was able to record 1mbps speeds consistently about 36 hours later.

(I also did some modifications to the QoS settings inside the modem and made sure it was maximized. You need to "borrow" the admin password by looking at the HTML source code of the login screen and logging in as "admin" and using the borrowed password.)

DSL vs. WiMax

In my previous residence I was using Globe DSL and I have to say, Globe's WiMax offering seems to be more reliable. Globe DSL always had quality of service issues, consistent lag or packet loss where as the WiMax seems to be more reliable in that regard. This is "my case" and you may experience something different in your area, especially if you live in an urban city like Metro Manila that may not have clear line of sight signals from your nearest Globe tower and you would probably fare better with fixed wired connections.

Can you use a wireless router with Globe's BM622?

The short answer is yes.

I didn't have to do anything special, I connected my D-Link wireless router and viola, it was managing and auto assigning the DHCP connections without having to change the IP range in the router. (If that sounds too geeky, I just said I plugged it in and it worked.)

In fact, I turned on my XBox's wireless adapter add-on and I was able to logon to XBox Live (after almost 1.5 years of inactivity).


I like it, I'm a fan, and I encourage others who want stable Internet at home to try this out.

I have always been a skeptic of wireless Internet delivered via cell towers, especially after my earlier experiments with AT&T's wireless data services in the U.S. almost five years ago. But when you are desperate for a stable Internet connection, you'll try anything -- even wireless Internet again. I'm pleasantly surprised that the much advertised technology upgrades of wireless Internet via 4G is actually true for my case.

The new WiMax service outperforms SmartBro's 3G USB modems and even Globe's own 3G USB modem. That's the nature of the beast, they are just different technologies and you have better signal strength with physical antennas being screwed on top of your roof.

XBox billing glitches hamper renewals

Incorrect information may stop XBox users from renewing

If you are attempting to renew your XBox Live Gold membership or sign up for the new family pack deals, you may experience a strange error when you attempt to renew. When I attempted to sign up a few minutes ago, it gave me this error code: "Uh oh... that shouldn't have happened. It appears you've found a glitch in the system." The console version of this is a status code error.

The worst part of this whole problem is that it did not offer me a solution or an alternative. It did not even offer a telephone number to call.

This is a revenue generating action and the console and the online site stops customers from executing and renewing. That's not good!

What does this error code mean?

For most users, it means you need to update your credit card and contact information in Microsoft's billing system.

A quick Google search of this error code shows thousands of dissatisfied users complaining about the problem and yet there's no "official" solution. The "advanced" users know there's a toll-free number to call (800-4MY-XBOX) and that they can get it fixed through a customer service representative. But this is also a problem -- every call a customer makes incurs a cost.

There's also some horror stories as well of double billing and credit card issues because anytime you add the human element to a broken automated process, there's increased chances of human error.

Microsoft engineers needs to post an online solution that can fix this problem.

As an XBox user concerned about future fees, I don't want the support cost of this product to go up, nor do I want anymore fee hikes. As a Microsoft shareholder, I also don't want the company to lose profits or customers due to this bad experience.

How'd I fix it without calling support?

I have experienced similar issues with XBox before and I found that you can update your Microsoft billing information online without having to call. The links below helped me get pass these errors and I finally was able to renew my membership WITHOUT calling billing support. Update your contact information, email address, etc. Update your credit card information. Login to the online XBox/Windows Live community first.

I'm posting this hoping that Microsoft will implement a permanent fix and users have an alternative to fixing this problem without having to call.