Pet Peeves: Liars, Cheats and Thieves!
I’m not a negative person. At least I try not to be. But, every once in a while, things get to me and, lately, there’s been a lot of little things getting to me.
Things are tough right now. The economy is struggling, people are struggling and I know some businesses are struggling, too. What makes me angry is the widespread lack of integrity that is destroying the trust of people everywhere.
- Banks manipulating transactions to maximize the amount of fees they can collect regardless of the financial hardship caused to the consumer
- CEOs lavishing bonuses on themselves while laying off thousands of workers and begging for handouts from taxpayers.
- Fake Debt Collectors scamming people out of money, leaving them broke and still stuck with the original debt.
- Legitimate debt collectors bullying people into paying amounts that are grossly inflated above the amount of the original debt.
- Credit card companies manipulating consumers in order to saddle them with unfair fees and interest hikes.
These are only the tip of the iceberg. These days it seems like there are people everywhere looking for a way to scam you out of every cent they can.
A few months ago, my washer stopped working and, like any normal person, I called a repair company. They came out, briefly looked at my washer and gave me an estimate of $350 to fix it. I was stunned. I don’t know a whole lot about washers but it didn’t feel reasonable to me. So, I called my step-brother to see if he had any handymen friends who might be able to help me out for less. Instead, he stopped by my house to take a look at it himself.
After a quick look, he knew exactly what I needed. He left the house and returned about 20 minutes later with a part he’d purchased for $30 bucks. And that INCLUDED the taxes. He tilted the washer back, had me hold onto it so it wouldn’t fall over, then reached under, removed the old part and replaced it with the new one. In less than 10 minutes, I was doing laundry with a washer that ran like new.
I called the original repair place and let them know I had purchased the part for $30 and questioned them on their inflated estimate for the repair when the part was so cheap. They tried to tell me it was a complicated repair and the bulk of the charge was for labor. When I mentioned that my step-brother had made the “complicated” repair by himself in about ten minutes, the guy became tongue-tied. He knew he’d been caught. He quickly apologized for the “miscommunication” and ended the phone call.
In the past few weeks, I’ve found overcharges on two of my utility bills. In both instances, when I contacted the company in question to get the charges removed, the customer service person on the other end did everything in their power to NOT help me. I swear, these people are trained to talk in illogical circles for as long as possible in order to completely confuse and aggravate the customer. Probably because too many customers just give up and pay the bill. I often wonder how much profit they make by doing this.
In both cases, I had to become completely irate and demand to speak to a manager. Within minutes of getting a manager on the line, they “found” the error, admitted to the mistake and corrected the problem. In both cases, the call ended up being longer than it needed to be and, instead of leaving me satisfied that it was corrected, it left me feeling angry and frustrated because I had to go through so much to fix a simple problem.
There have been a few other issues this week as well. Any one of them alone would not be a big deal, but the combined effect of them all together has left me wondering if there’s anyone left to trust.
Businesses, big and small, need to learn that integrity is the most important thing they have. If they sacrifice that, they may earn a few extra dollars for a little while, but in the long run, they lose so much more.
Okay, rant over!
Any pet peeves bothering you lately? I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to use the comment section and rant away!