August 9

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!

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Posted August 9, 2010 by Ven in category "Observations", "Opinions


  1. By Barbara Swafford on

    *smiles* Ven,

    I recently changed the cell phone company we use for the business. When I called the old one to have the last two lines disconnected, I could not get out of their “loop” to talk to a real person. After trying several of the options and even just pressing zero, nothing worked. I called back, hit the option for new service, which ironically (surprise, surprise) instantly got me a real person. I told them I needed to disconnect, so they transferred me to another real person. After taking care of my needs, the person asked me why I was having the phones disconnected and if there was anything they could do to improve their service. Although I didn’t want to rant to an employee who probably only does what they’re told, I did have my say and suggested he talk to his superiors about improving their phone service for those who want to disconnect or who have a problem.

    The sad part of it is, they used to have terrible instore customer service, but excellent phone service. Now they’re both bad.

    So, there you have it, my latest rant. 🙂

    P.S. I agree. Some people don’t want to deal with the lack of good customer service and just pay the bill.
    Barbara Swafford recently posted..Writer or Blogger – Which One Are You

  2. By Ven (Post author) on

    Hi Barbara,

    Sorry to hear about your problems with the cell phone company. Good customer service definitely seems to be a slowly dying art these days.

    I think it’s sad that companies seem more interested in courting new customers than keeping existing customers happy. It doesn’t make much sense when study after study has shown that keeping existing customers happy is better business and results in new customers via word-of-mouth advertising.

    I don’t usually rant at customer service people because I know most of them are just doing their job and have no say in the matter. I try to handle things firmly and politely and ask for a supervisor when things get stuck. This particular week I’d just had one too many frustrating experiences in a row and it got to me. I needed to rant.

    That’s one thing blogs are good for. I can get it off my chest and get back to being my normal, sunny self.


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