Saturday, March 26, 2011

Scams, airline tickets, Joe Cramer, author

A national news program I was listening to had a program dealing with a subject I brought up on this blog: Internet coupon deals. It was interesting to hear my own words coming from someone else, word for word! Quite the compliment I think. I don't spend every waking hour promoting "Joe's Story: The Book of a Lifetime." Although that is very important to me I actually do have a life. Part of it is involving myself in gathering information concerning scams and price gouging techniques used to extract money from the most trusting and needy among us. The methods these operations use to circumvent the law are ingenious and we have to approach any good deal with pessimism or very likely face the loss of some of our hard earned cash.

Have you or do you know of anyone who purchased a car from one of those "Buy here, pay here" car lots? They serve a useful purpose to many high risk, otherwise un-financable folks who have gone through hard times, are honestly trying to make a better life for themselves and need transportation to get to a job. They also offer structured payment plans which help develop proper appreciation for maintaining credit. Then comes the dark side of some of those places. They buy a car for $500, sell it for $3000 and collect exorbitant interest rates, often making a profit of 6 to ten times their original cost. Something to think about.

I just received a letter informing me I "have become eligible to be awarded two first class airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States." Boy! That's sure a mouthful of nothing tangible. Also, given there was no return address on the envelope or on the stationary and the name of the company on the letterhead was false, I'm guessin' this just may be some sort of scam.

I've always had a yearning for one of those tall, wooden, classic grandfather clocks. In my mailbox one day was and offer to purchase a grandfather clock for $60 plus shipping and handling. The picture was beautiful. It was priced so cheap because it was part of a shipment to a bankrupt company and it was cheaper to sell at below cost than to ship them back to the factory. I bit on that one! It wound up like this: $60 money order in advance, checks or credit cards not accepted, they took too long to process and these clocks need to be sold now. When the clock arrived it was shipped to a warehouse and I had to pick it up there, no home delivery. I had to pay the warehouse another $113 money order for shipping and handling. I got it home and assembly was required. This grand old, heirloom quality, grandfather clock with Swiss movement was made from some type of hardboard, similar to what the boxes my shoes come in. It was held together by cheap plastic clips. The genuine Swiss movement clock works had fake cotton draw strings and hollow, plastic, fake weights, a cheap plastic, fake pendulum and a battery operated plastic housing that I had to glue in place. The word "Swis" was stamped on the back, crooked and mispelled as it was. By the time I called the company the next morning the phone was disconnected and they were no where to be found and neither was any of my money. so yo know from where I speak, not from being so smart but from being dumb enough to be taken like that. I just wanted a grandfather clock so badly I forgot to think.

Now I'm going to turn on that national news program and listen to find out if I hear my own words again. I'd appreciate it this time if they'd us my name as part author. Yeah, that'd be kinda cool..........Joe

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