Friday, April 27, 2012
“Ruses, Rip-offs and Outright Lies”- An inside look at every day business in America
A few years ago; after I had published my book, “Popping the Question, Seattle Style”, I wrote a second book about business. This book tells the story of how business is often done in our country. The title I decided on was “Ruses, Rip-offs and Outright Lies”, a harsh title, but one clearly deserved.
My primary purpose in writing the book was not to make money. In fact, I found out early on that most business books are not profitable. My goal instead was to try to wake people up to all of the scams and gimmicks that are perpetrated on us by so many companies in today’s times. It seems many people blindly accept these deceptive business practices as just the way business is done. However, I am continually frustrated and disgusted by the way many companies do business. I never did have the book published, as I found it would have taken another re-write or two as well as an investment on my own part of fifty thousand dollars or more. However, it is still a subject I’m passionate about and the lack of integrity often found in business continues to disturb and disgust me. I’m a big believer in karma and that we get back what we give in one form or another. In order to know where to spend our hard-earned money, it’s important to be aware of some of the “snake oil” that’s being peddled out there. Thus the purpose of my book is to alert consumers so that they know and understand what businesses and practices to avoid.
Some of the subjects and chapters in the book include:
“Bogus sales” – a new and different sale just about every week with supposed savings of 30, 40, 50%? We all know the truth - the starting price is marked up higher to allow for such deceptive discounts.
“Phoney and Fictitious Claims”. Claims with “guarantees” to grow hair, lose ten pounds in a week’s time, enlarge or reduce various parts of the body, etc.
Extended warranties. Many companies don’t even make a profit on the products they sell, but are able to stay in business from the profits generated by these after-sale warranties.
Joining a club to save money. This one drives me crazy. Needing to have a plastic tag or a special number to save $$$ at the neighborhood grocery store and elsewhere?
Rebates – one of the most frustrating of all. These companies show the price in bold print with a small asterisk that says “after $50. Rebate” or similar. They know full well that less than 25% of the buyers will bother to redeem the rebate.
Zero percent interest scams or “Don’t pay until 2015”. C’mon, we know these prices are marked up to cover the interest charges. Such offers can end up causing a lot of financial trouble later for those customers that are not as fiscally responsible.
There are many more chapters and various other “ruses, rip-offs and outright lies”, but we obviously haven’t the time or space to list them all here.
The bottom line is that wherever and whenever you shop, it’s important to recognize these deceptive and even immoral business practices and avoid the companies that employ such tactics to try to con you. Remember, Caveat Emptor, i.e. buyer beware.
Spend your hard-earned dollars with companies that deserve your business and that have integrity and treat you with respect. In business, buyers vote with their pocketbooks. It’s a powerful tool that can influence how businesses operate and advertise, so be sure to make your vote count!