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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Read those disclaimers


I don't watch too many commercials but don't you just hate it when they all end with disclaimers. You can take this medication unless you have been diagnosed for diabetes, hypertension, or numerous other conditions. I wonder how many people took their drug not knowing if they had hypertension or diabetes? I guess a doctor's prescription for that drug would require a test for diabetes or hypertension. I hope it does.

I received an e-mail yesterday from ATT informing me, that since I was such a good customer, they were going to let me have the brand-new Blackberry Torch for a low of price of $49.95.I was not fooled by the email flattery,I was just on the list. What the hell,I'm retired ,so  I decided to go to the main branch to check it out. The salesman said everything was a go until I told him that I was ineligible for an upgrade. I then showed him the e-mail. His smile changed to a disappointed one; as he informed me that the phone would be in the range of $400 or more. It only cost me the trip to ATT, but why can't we just have the disclaimer in bold print: this offer is for new customers or those wanting to use their upgrade? I should have known better because companies no longer reward their longtime customers. Everything is computerized such as your shopping preferences, contract, and complaints, but customer loyalty is seldom recognized.

Do you really believe all those ads about extra strength, 20% more and extra light? I'm a bit of a skeptic, but I got that way running an old Hancock Service station that advertised about five blends of gasoline, but I only had one fuel nozzle with a selector switch on the pump. It was supposed to blend premium and unleaded to the customer's desire. As long as I had the station, I only used premium and unleaded because no one ever asked for the other blends. I guess it's possible to blend the different grades, but it never should have been a selling point.

It just angers me on how companies are set up to take advantage of one’s vulnerability. Last week I was watching an episode of PBS's "Need to Know" where a company "Structured Investments Co.” offered “pension buyouts.” Under these “buyouts,” the company gives an individual an immediate lump sum of cash in exchange for some part of that person’s future pension payments. Although federal law prohibits members of the military from “assigning” their pension to any other parties. This company argued that it was in compliance because it's just a loan. This was a story of a story of Louis Kroot, a former Navy medic, who entered into a deal with this company to help pay off his family’s medical and tax bills. The company gave Lou roughly $92,000 in cash, and in exchange, Lou promised to give the company roughly 95 months of his Navy pension, which works out to over $240,000.

Will we ever go back to the truth upfront without a need for disclaimers?


Edith Ann said...

Funny you should mention this deception by AT&T.

Back in April, I switched to AT&T because, with the exception of one person I call, everyone else was an AT&T customer. I was looking to lower my bill as best I could.

I specifically told the sales girl that all I wanted to do was make calls and take calls. No texting, no data plan, no frills. Period.

First bill I get, there are these extra charges for receiving text messages and accessing the internet. I swear to God I never went near the internet and I would not know to access a text message on the phone I have. I can barely get the voice messages. It was the cheapest one they offered.

When I called customer service, I was told I had a data plan and texting capabilitites. I explained what I said I wanted when I made the purchase, and she asked me if I wanted her to remove them! Well, unless they are free, then YES!!!

Point is, had I not looked at my bill, seen the charges, no telling what I would have paid in the future. That really pissed me off and certainly makes me think AT&T is sneaky. And they are. No telling how much money they make off unsuspecting folks...

Oh, and they were hoping you'd want the new phone too much to just walk away. I admire your resolve!

Mike said...

I read about a ATT customer who took his battery out of his cell phone to test the charge for Internet Data Service.... He left it that way for three days but he wasn't surprised that he was charged for data use for those three days. The company blamed a computer software glitch but removed the charges. I wonder how much money the computer glitch made for the company?

I went from a email platinum customer to just another customer, in just the 30 minutes it took me to drive there and be waited on...:-)

Edith Ann said...

Exactly! Inattentive people.