Who is lying to you? Basically anyone flappin’ their gums. But who’s really lying? I think the probability goes off the charts when it’s someone in retail and/or someone trying to sell you something.
For example, one group conducted a study and found that one-third of seafood sold in the United States is “mislabeled.” I think that’s the nice way of saying, “fucking liars.”
The study found that 50% of tuna sold in Washington D.C. restaurants was something described as “cheaper” and that 87% of the time seafood described as “snapper” was actually something else.
Talk about having a whale of a good time!
In other news, the “biggest US honey supplier admits to laundering, mislabeling Chinese honey.” Yeah, Chinese honey is banned from U.S. markets. That doesn’t mean it’s not for sale down the street, though. Why use the real thing when you can acquire “cheap honey” from China? Because, profits.
Earlier this year Apple agreed to pay $450 million to settle claims it colluded with five major publishers to inflate book prices. As part of the deal, Apple, of course, admitted to no wrongdoing.
Also this year Whole Foods Market, as part of a settlement, was ordered to pay $800,000 for overcharging customers. For its part, Whole Foods claimed their prices were accurate “98% of the time.”
AT&T agreed to pay $105 million as part of a settlement for “adding fees that customers didn’t authorize” to phone bills.
When you stop to consider that these are most likely outlier cases, in terms of actual consequences, it is easy to imagine the vast majority of fraud goes completely unpunished. And you can take that to the bank.
Banks? Never mind. Don’t get me started.
Drop on the deck and flop like a fish! You can trust me, your humble guru. I’m not selling anything.
Tickmaster is a website service that sells tickets. (Yes, this is a bona fide typo but I’m not fixing it. -Ed.) They offer a “fan guarantee” chock full of neat-o sounding stuff. I just looked and only counted three fine print asterisks on a bulleted list of eight items. Certain exceptions apply.
Wow. Is that a festive and fun fan guarantee or what?
Some people who purchased tickets through the official Ticketmaster website may have been signed up for a “rewards” program that costs $9 a month. According to Consumerist.com, the attorney for the plaintiffs in a suit against Ticketmaster claimed 93% of program participants never redeemed a single coupon.
This week Ticketmaster settled a $23 million lawsuit alleging that customers were signed up for the program without realizing it costed $9 month which was charged to the same credit cards used to make ticket purchases.
The settlement has been approved by a U.S. District Court judge and, it goes without saying, Ticketmaster did not admit any wrongdoing. Like me, apparently they love to pay $23 million to make problems go away. Hell, I’m always out doing that. Perhaps that’s one reason why I don’t have a lot of money on me. You know my motto. “Never leave home without $23 million.”
The average rewards member lost about $72 because it apparently took about eight months for them to notice the mysterious recurring charge on their statements. “Hey. What’s this giant sucking sound in my account?”
About 1.2 million people who signed up between September 2004 and June 2009 are eligible to file claims as part of the settlement and could receive up to $30. What the hell, it only went on for almost five years. That’s a pretty good run in ecommerce circles.
This sort of thing reminds me of the time my wife booked travel plans from a snarky gnome and we got hit with similar “membership” charges. To this day we don’t know what benefits were part of the program. They never told us.
With all this in mind, I am pleased to announce the new Gigantor Abyss Rewards Program (GARP). According to the world of GARP you provide your credit card information and I respond with a personalized notice of acceptance. The guru will fee you now and, as an added bonus, there’s no waiting room. Membership has its snivileges.