wiretapping laws

Ended a lucrative business relationship because of an incompetent, racist owner.

This happened over the course of the last week.

I hired a company to correct a big sinkage in my basement. They come in and drill holes and spray industrial foam under the flooring to level it. About a week ago they sent a guy over to locate all of the pipes and scope them for damage.

Then about 3 days ago the foam guys show up and get to work. About halfway through they stop and call me into the basement. There’s water running along my baseboards and they’re afraid they’ve hit a pipe.

They call the owner of the scoping company to come over and re-scope the pipes. He does and finds massive corrosion running all through it. I ask him why they didn’t find that on the first scope, and he tell me they weren’t looking for damage they were just locating the pipe. This makes no sense to me as you don’t need to put a camera into a pipe to locate the pipe.

Then he gives me the sales pitch. It’s going to cost between $4000 and $6000 to fix it, but he can get a “crew of cheap Mexicans” out there who “don’t pull permits” and can do it for much less. He says plumbers will rip you off, he used to be a plumber. I ask, “Oh, and you ripped people off?” I tell him no thanks on the labor, I’ll call my basement company back and let them deal with it.

During the course of the conversation with the scoping company owner he tells me they do about 100 of these a week for the basement company. Scoping is $99, cleaning is $125. At least $10,000 a week, probably $500,000 a year they make from the foam guys.

So here’s the rub. When things started to go pear shaped, I do what I used to do back in college when I had to have conversations with police. Put my phone in my shirt pocket and started to record. (No wiretapping laws in my state.) That’s right. I’ve got this guy soliciting illegal labor to me in full living digital color.

The next day, the basement company sends out some licensed and bonded plumbers to fix my pipes for $0 because of the failure to locate the pipes. That’s right, the scoping company marked the pipe FOUR FEET away from where it actually was. The scoping company not only didn’t find any damage, they didn’t even find the pipe. They did literally nothing. The basement plumbers do an excellent, professional job. They bill the scoping company for their time.

This morning the foam guys came back to finish the job and I tell them about the sleaze ball that they’ve contracted. I play the audio for them of the guy trying to sell me on “cheap Mexican” illegal labor. Half of the foam crew is Hispanic men. They are NOT pleased.

The white crew chief tells me, “We are never doing business with that company ever again. I’m calling our owner right now.” He also read me the contract that they had with the scoping company that explicitly says they are to look for damaged pipes, vindicating me once more.

Google Explains Exactly How It Reads All Your Email

Apr. 15 2014

Google Inc updated its terms of service on Monday, informing users that their incoming and outgoing emails are automatically analyzed by software to create targeted ads.

The revisions more explicitly spell out the manner in which Google software scans users’ emails, both when messages are stored on Google’s servers and when they are in transit, a controversial practice that has been at the heart of litigation.

Last month, a U.S. judge decided not to combine several lawsuits that accused Google of violating the privacy rights of hundreds of millions of email users into a single class action.

Users of Google’s Gmail email service have accused the company of violating federal and state privacy and wiretapping laws by scanning their messages so it could compile secret profiles and target advertising. Google has argued that users implicitly consented to its activity, recognizing it as part of the email delivery process.

Google’s updated terms of service added a paragraph stating that “our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”

A Google representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.