A while back I signed up for AT&T's new whiz-bang everything service. American Telephone and Telegraph is now basically responsible for all my communications. I am pretty sure they are responsible for the communications of my heirs and any instances of me in a parallel universe also. When I signed up, I was offered a deal with $300 in Visa cards, and I took it, because it would offset the ridiculous sum I had to pay to break up with DirecTV, which is about the only company worse than AT&T. Signing up with DirecTV remains in the Top 10 mistakes of my life. Frank McCourt will pay less for his divorce than I did to get out of my DirecTV contract. Anyway, months go by and I see neither hide nor hair of my $300 in gift cards. I always remember this when I'm at the store or on a weekend or something when I can't do shit about it. Today I finally remember to call them during business hours. Lo and behold, they have no record of me ever being eligible for these cards, and even if I were I didn't call soon enough, and yadda yadda. Bottom line, the odds of me ever seeing that $300 are about the same as the odds of me double-teaming Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore this weekend. I'll try a couple more avenues with this but I'm not optimistic. Failing that, I still have the name and contact info of the slick-haired, wrinkled-Dockers-wearing 27 year old community college dropout who sold me the damn thing, and maybe we'll bring back the time-honored tradition of the Wahoo. FOCUS: When have you been ripped off? Did you make an attempt to recover, or did you just chalk it up to the cost of doing business? Did you procrastinate in dealing with it, like me, and screw yourself?