Greetings, Friends ~
I have been doing some research on various types of scams and marketing ads that are designed to get our money, as American consumers. In the spirit of finding some common ground across the masses, I would like to shine a spotlight on an issue that affects every single one of us as citizens: Legal theft.
A few weeks ago, a friend suggested I order some samples of face cream. I was assured after reading the “order free sample” literature on this product, that it was a mere $4 shipping and handling charge, and no commitment to buy further products. Wrong.
A few days ago, I checked my bank account and found that $180 had been charged to me because that particular company placed me in a monthly auto-ordering system to send me two bottles of skin cream (which I have yet to even try) at the cost of $90 per bottle. My bank states they cannot remove charges that are attached to my debit card. After several hours and a very frustrating 800-number run around, I got a hold of a live person actually connected to the skin care company. I was assured that the next day, the charges would be removed and this auto enrollment would be cancelled. All these days later, I not only still have $180 missing from my account, but they charged me another $90 yesterday for “phantom” products that I had already canceled days prior.
A few years ago, I ordered Proactive for my daughter. Unbeknownst to me, that company placed me into a revolving, monthly ordering system which drew $150 out of my checking account monthly. Now, that was a product I ordered by phone. At no time during my conversation with the sales person did they tell me I was being auto-enrolled for this product. I would never have agreed to that type of transaction. Long story short, I lost $600 I was unable to recover. I did, however, have about $200 worth of useless acne products to show for my frustrations.
Unfortunately, the masses have gone to a you-should-have-known-better attitude, which too-immediately dismisses the conversation about this type of theft. Also, the laws in our country are set up to allow these companies to attach our bank accounts (or credit accounts, as it were) to their business. Is there a law against what is occurring? Nope. Has someone found a way to deceptively take your money from you without your obvious consent? Absolutely.
These companies go to great lengths to hide their practice of getting as much of your money as they can before you can stop it. Let’s be honest about what those companies are doing to us, as consumers. Whenever a company actively hides the these “agreements” from the purchaser, the entire transaction is based on deception. It is intended to get your money without your knowledge. That is theft.
A different type of theft heavy on everyone’s mind today is our pharmaceutical and medical industry. I have great respect for nurses, doctors and those medical professionals who are suffering with us, and they can do about as much as we can to stop this madness. They signed up to help their fellow humans, but they did not agree to what is happening now. If you engage them in conversation about the growing medical problem in our country, they are happy to share how negatively it has affected each of them as well. Billions of dollars are being paid to high-earning companies because we get sick or hurt. Whenever that much profit is involved, the ethics are lost. That should never have been allowed in this great nation.
To make matters worse, because of the mental “grooming” from the system in place today, we do not know anything other than what our doctors tell us about our health. That is not true of everyone, of course. But the masses follow any advice they receive, however illogical it may be. They swallow whatever jagged little pill they are handed, without question. And those pills aren’t cheap.
Who is to blame for this continuation of financial assaults on our medical care? Every citizen of this country that does not question their care, diagnoses and prescriptions.
A few years ago, my insurance company changed. The new “self insurance” carried by my employer paid $500 for an allergy prescription I had historically been prescribed at a much lower cost. When my insurance company changed, my “new” copayment for that same allergy prescription was $120. I canceled my prescription, left it at the pharmacy counter and voiced my extreme displeasure at not only ripping me off, but my insurance company as well. I went home, did some research and ended up buying a Kirkland brand (same ingredients, by the way) at Costco for $12 total. There were 570 more pills in the Costco bottle than the prescription my doctor wrote. And it worked just as well.
There is no excuse for that. NONE.
Just because our system does not convict companies (or shut them down) for unethical business practices and medical gouging does mean that we, as citizens, should accept this type of amoral business practice. Let’s be realistic, though. Our freedoms are being given away at this point because of our unwillingness – yours and mine – to research our own health problems and do something for ourselves. Because this is such huge business in our country, we should be questioning every single diagnoses we receive. As well, we should be researching the prescriptions before we ever fill them.
At almost 100 pounds heavier than I am now, I was advised to go on diabetic meds as well as high blood pressure pills. I wasn’t born needing those medications. I decided to start exercising, change my eating habits and lose the weight. It worked. My body returned to normal.
Each of us plays a part, and every one of us can change this flawed system. We can stop accepting everything we are told by the highest degree in the room. Since when did your doctor become the expert on your health? That is our responsibility, and there is information everywhere on getting our bodies back in check. We can stop ordering online products from companies that offer free samples. If apples are $3.00 a pound at the store when you go shopping, leave them on the shelf. Go somewhere else or wait for a reasonable and fair price to return. Or better yet, plant your own tree. Simply refuse to make a transaction when you know full well there is another way to accomplish your goal. If we continue to support these transactions and flawed business practices, then we deserve exactly what we get. That includes anything that involves our health.
As for the politics at play, especially now regarding the medical communities: Consider disengaging completely. Every logical-thinking adult should know by now that we are fed media and not given the whole truth about what is happening on the right, or on the left. So, the “truth” does not exist in the information we have access to anyway. Why would we continue to support that nonsense? If we, as consumers, taxpayers, and voters, stop participating then “they” lose their power. I think everyone agrees, largely, that the power we gave them has been consistently abused.
We can make a difference and shake the web in a more positive way. The way we do that is decide we are taking control of our health, our spending and our lives. Collectively, if we step away, the much-abused “power” that the leadership now has will disappear. We gave it to them – you and I. Let’s take it back by adjusting the way we, as individuals, do business. Every single one of us can do that much.