His only complaint was that Time Warner Cable kept billing him for TV service even after he canceled his subscription. A company spokesman, Dennis Johnson, told me a mistake had been made. He said Ehrlich would be credited $30 for the overcharge.
I asked Ehrlich whether he had any regrets about joining the ranks of cord-cutters. Does he miss all those cable channels?
"Absolutely not," he answered without hesitation. "The best way to send a message to companies like Time Warner and CBS is to take the plunge."
He's got a point.
I wrote last week about CVS Caremark requiring people to forgo federal privacy protections if they want rewards for prescription-drug purchases. This caused quite a stir among customers, not to mention among CVS executives.
The company sent talking points to its store managers and pharmacists nationwide "to address any customer concerns" they may encounter as a result of the column.
"Contrary to recent coverage in the Los Angeles Times, we do not 'redisclose' patients' personal information," the memo emphasized.
I didn't pull the possibility out of the air. As I reported, CVS' enrollment process for its ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program includes a warning that "my health information may potentially be re-disclosed and thus is no longer protected by the federal Privacy Rule."
I had asked a CVS spokesman, Mike DeAngelis, to elaborate on this, and he declined to comment. I raised the question once again this week in light of the company's talking points.
"The 'redisclose' statement is required as part of the HIPAA privacy rule," he replied. "As we stated to you, we do not share patients' personal info."
HIPAA, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, "gives you rights over your health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information," according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The importance of the law is highlighted by the fact that it requires a drugstore or hospital to warn people that, if they waive their HIPAA rights, their confidential medical information might be shared with others.
Without the law's protections, you have only a business' word that it isn't hawking your info to the highest bidder. If that's good enough for you, then you have nothing to worry about.