Predatory Business Practices

Everywhere you turn, your local business is doing dirty deeds by predatory business practices. And, you would be amazed at the business/government that does these things.

 

“In Predatory Business Practices, there are no ethics, no rules, only what you can get away with. The feelings of the customers play no role in the actions of the predatory business person. It does not matter to them if lives are disrupted; people are emotionally hurt or inconvenienced. A good example of a predatory business is a moving company. They agree to move households for a low price but the moving contract contains many provisions harmfully to the customer. Since the mover has the customer’s belongings they are in a position to demand what they want in compensation or they will not deliver the goods to the new home. This is a very common practice in the United States. There is an abundance of naive shoppers easily fall for a good sales pitch, promises, and an inexpensive price. It is a particularly viscous practice and the perpetrators of these scams are probably based out of the state and outside the reach of state courts and regulations.

The word predatory is a moral term with a long history of use describing behaviors a society condemns. This is because the world is building a civilization. Predation is part of the past not the future. To allow predation to flourish is to turn the clock back on civilization. Predation is a low brain function. The ethical person uses the more evolved prefrontal areas of the brain to guide their activities. (Definition from businessethics.net)”

A Contractor that underbids a project knowingly to win the contract but then adds additional expense to the project as it progresses may be doing such practices. It depends if the additional work is actually necessary or should have been included in the original pricing. An example would be if you hired a Contractor to install a new shower for you and after he pulled your old shower out he claimed that you would have to pay more because the floor beneath the old shower was damaged, but it was not damaged. I use this example because more often than not the floor area beneath an old shower is damaged due to water leakage causing wood-rot to the sub-floor and joists. This is a common problem and it should be discussed prior to accepting the job and the Contractor should be the party raising the discussion. Some Contractors will just charge you in the original contract for this work based on the chances the work will be required anyway. The point here is; If the work not performed, you should not be required to pay for it.

Even your bank does Predatory Business Practices. Recent Court cases involving a number of the big banks revealed that banks were taking their customers transactions out of sequence to create additional NSF charges to the customer accounts. There are a number of other predatory practices used in banking. Best advice; Banks only make the rich richer, they cost the rest of us. In other words; If you don’t have enough money in the bank for them to pay you, they are going to find a way to make sure you pay them.

The Courts have joined the predatory practices parade. It used to be that if you got a ticket you could not pay, they contacted DMV and suspended your license. When you could afford to pay the ticket you would pay for your license to be renewed also. Now the Courts reach right in and take the food off your plate and do not give a damn that their actions only affect the poor. What happens now when you get a ticket and cannot pay it, they get you for Failure To Appear which carries an automatic $300.00 price tag, then they find you guilty of the violation and charge you the fine amount plus a $300.00 Civil Assessment Fee. So it is entirely possible that your “registration” ticket, that should have been a “fix-it” ticket can ultimately cost you $700.00 to $1000.00. Now this is the part that pisses me off. If you could have afforded the initial ticket, of which none are free anymore. Even fix it tickets signed off by a Police Officer now carry an additional charge for something. So, if you could not afford to pay the initial ticket when due, what makes them think you would have the money to later after they add $600.00 or more to the charges.

Or even more disgusting; You get pulled over for a registration violation. They give you a ticket for the violation and then impound your car. Now you are not affluent. The charges by the Tow Service and Impound Fees are impossible for you to pay. You are unable to rescue your car which you paid (Just pick a number.) $3500.00 for so it is lost. You could no more afford the Impound as you can the ticket. Impound fees are about $65.00 to $100.00 per day. The Tow Service will cost you about $200.00 or more. After 30 days you have to come up with close to $2500.00, plus pay to fix your registration, and pay the ticket just to bail your car out. Of course, you cannot pay it. AND THEY KNOW IT! They are intentionally targeting the lower income with predatory business practices. They know we cannot get to work, or take the kids where they need to be without the car, so you find a way to pay or lose it. They do not care if you lose your car, your home, or cannot feed your kids . . . So Long As They Get Paid. Do you believe your local government ethical? Yeah, right!

Truck and Car Rentals can get you too. Recently we rented a U-Haul truck to move some stuff to storage. Behind the passenger seat was a brand new gallon of paint that we forgot to take out of the truck before returning the truck. Somehow, on the way to return the truck the can toppled and spilled paint on the floor mat only. A U-Haul employee took control of the truck and using a high pressure stream of water sprayed the paint on the floor mat, spraying paint everywhere. Then they turned around and charged my credit card $200.00 for cleaning.  I even had witnesses that verified the employee responsible for the mess created. I  still got screwed. But, it is all predatory.

In America today, it is hard to find an honest business. All of them do something predatory. The problem is, these predatory practices tend to effect only the poor. We can break this down by race and income but it isn’t really racial, it’s income. If you have the income to meet their obligations, then you do not get caught up in the predatory stuff. If you do not have an adequate income they will predatory nickel and dime you to the poor house and not give a damn about it.

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