Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day, and are able to share with someone you love.

One thing that has put a tarnish on this holiday, as well as others, is greed. I've always hated it, because it brings out the worst in people and businesses. I'll pay a fair price for goods or services, but when it becomes clear that they're greedy, they get no business from me.

I'm willing to pay a decent price for flowers throughout the year, but when these florists jack their prices up to triple the cost in the week before the holiday, my response is to buy nothing from them. And it puts me off for a long time after, so they wind up losing in the long run. They make a habitual customer decide to stop the practice of buying from them. I even tried online-- found a good ad with a good price, clicked through, and found out at "checkout" the price with hidden charges was almost double. They wound up with no sale, forever. Won't try that again.

Cards, too. I was a big card person, always sending them for holidays and special occasions. The price of those shot up. I will not pay four dollars for a card-- even if I was rich, I find that cost for a piece of cardboard that gets looked at for 30 seconds to be egregious. And so I stopped buying those, too.

Let's not talk about airlines. If they all went out of business, it would be a good thing, because someone would then come along with a new one and offer real customer service, like they used to. I'd love to see someone crush those ripoff companies with their extra, hidden charges. I think Southwest is trying this a bit, and seems to be doing well. Given a choice, I'll deal with the company that offers customer service, and will not ever buy from one that rips me off and treats me like cattle. Listening there, companies? You should.

This is also why the big publishing companies are crumbling. For years they held the power and could overcharge the customer, while screwing the content producer. Now the tables are turned, and they're crying in their champagne, because the golden goose is gone. They could have jumped on the ebook bandwagon, promoted it, charged a fair price, and kept their position. But people want to buy an ebook for $3, not $10, and so they found ways of doing it.

What examples of greed do you see that you loathe?

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