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Probe: March 20, 2002

March 20, 2002

NEXTEL AGAIN — I have been a Nextel customer for about a year. I called Nextel's 800 number and asked if I could disconnect a phone without facing penalty fees. I spoke to a woman who said no fees applied. I disconnected my phone.

When my bill came in, there was a $200 disconnection fee. When I called to see what was going on, I got a run-around. I kept calling, finally talked to someone who agreed that if I re-connected, the cancellation fee would be dropped.

I had the phone hooked up again but they did not drop the charge. I called and called. Once they switched me about five times and put me on hold for an hour. I think they didn't want to deal with me.

Finally, I refused to pay the disconnect charge. Each month I paid only the current charges.

Then I got a bill saying if I didn't pay the charge, they would suspend my service. I didn't pay and they suspended my service. We were without cell phones for a week until I finally paid. I figured I had to pay because the next step was collection.

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Nextel says I have to pay because I breached my contract. We never signed a contract. They say it was a verbal contract. — Connected, Calexico

Call 352-4000 and speak to a customer representative at Advanced Wireless, the local franchise dealer for Nextel. A spokesman who called us said he can get the fee dropped.

He said he also can get El Centro phone numbers for the man who could not get his service disconnected when Nextel gave him Escondido numbers for his El Centro business.

"I can get him all the El Centro numbers he wants in less than 30 minutes," promised the local Nextel representative. He said both of you ran into trouble when you dialed the 800 number.

QUESTION: I would like to get in on the drive-in movie nostalgia. When I was young we lived in Ocotillo and often drove to Brawley. We would pass a drive-in movie theater that advertised Mexican movies in Spanish. Do you know about the drive-in? — Movie Buff, Brawley

We don't, but we expect PROBE readers will know everything. The closest thing to a Spanish-language drive-in in our memory was the Aerodrome, an open-air theater at the corner of Fern and Fifth streets in Holtville. It was just a fenced lot with folding chairs.

The Aerodrome gave way to the English-language Alamo Theater in 1948. When the new movie theater was completed, the old Holtville theater was converted to Spanish-language movies.

ANOTHER RECIPE — When I moved to the Valley in 1948, my first real job was working at Brawley Floral serving soft drinks to customers. I was taught that a suicide was composed of equal parts of Coke, Sprite and Mr. Pibb. I tried it and it was great, with an excellent sugar rush! — Soda Jerk, El Centro

It just goes to show a drink named "suicide," like a taco, is anything you say it is.

QUESTION: I feel silly. Do you ever feel silly? — Feelin' Silly, Calexio

Regularly. Just yesterday we dished up a big bowl of chicken and rice, scolding us because it was our second bowl. An hour later, we started thinking about chicken and rice again.

Our sensible voice scolded, "No way! If you keep stuffing, you're going to be fat as a pig." So we didn't.

Time passed and we found us back in the kitchen, looking in the empty pot, and then in the full bowl on the counter where we had left uneaten our chicken and rice, so we ate it. We felt silly, but happy!

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