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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Scams of Various Kinds

Two scams: one recent, one on-going.

The Recent Scam: Credit Protection In A Dress
I bought some clothes as a Christmas present for my wife from an on-line catalogue. Now I had trouble with the order initially, in that you got a gift if you made a purchase of over a certain amount, but yet it was impossible to find the spot on-line where you claimed the gift. That was clue 1 that I wasn't dealing with most reputable outfit going. As if that wasn't enough, today a received a check from these folks. Now I'm thinking "well maybe this is to make up for their scamming me on the gift" (as I did complain about that after placing the order), so I open it up and read the fine print. Intersting to say the least. By cashing this check, I would be automatically enrolling myself in a credit monitoring service that will be billed in the amount of $139.99 to the same credit card that I used for my purchase. I wonder how many people got this, cashed it, and then ended up wondering why they have a $139.99 charge to their card?

Needless to say I was furious. It's been a rough two days, and I really didn't need this. So what to do? Well, I packed a nice, nasty letter back to these folks, along with the voided "check". I also copied the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office on Consumer Protection. I also demanded that I be removed from all of their mailings. Now this will probably do squat in the grand scheme of things, but hell, at least it felt like I was fighting back.

The On-Going Scam: College Text Books
For the Spring Semester, my dauther's book costs will come to about $440, and that's with buying books on-line, used, etc. It's a royal scam. One class alone had about thirty books to buy. Now I don't mind that really, becasue the books in question were works of literature that they would be covering in class (like "A Clockwork Orange" for example). But I really do mind, for example, the $124 single textbook that I managed to get for the wonderful price of only $80. That's four Steven King novels at It's a hell of a racket. I do hope that someone is making money off of this, because it sure is painful for me.

Oh, and just to make things even more interesting, there's a blizzard outside.

Ah, the joys of life.

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