Cheating

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Cheating

Postby vivian maxine on January 16th, 2016, 8:35 am 

Psychologists may have investigated the fact of this which I've been pondering. We keep hearing that there is more dishonesty and cheating of customers these days than there used to be. I wonder about the truth of it.

1. Is there actually more cheating of customers these days? Or is it just that news gets around faster and wider?

2. Is the cheating of customers more prevalent among large businesses that one could once trust? If one of those old lists of "Top 10" appeared today, would we still see #1 as used car salesmen? Would used car salesmen even be on the list?

I am not talking about personal cheating. I am talking about cheating of customers by businesses. Is it truly an epidemic? Or are we just hearing more about it?

I'd appreciate opinions of those who have seen accurate reporting.
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Re: Cheating

Postby Ormond on January 16th, 2016, 9:57 am 

I am talking about cheating of customers by businesses.


Perhaps it is the global scale of modern corporations? My sense is that when any organization reaches a certain size it's only concern becomes it's own survival. The great size and global scope of modern corporations probably also feeds a "god complex" which leads them to assume they can get away with anything.

I was amazed by the scandal at Volkswagon, whose excellent branding campaigns had me fooled. Did they think that no one in the entire world would think to double check VW's emissions system???? Apparently they did think that, hubris run wild.
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Re: Cheating

Postby vivian maxine on January 16th, 2016, 11:30 am 

That is a "why" of it. Is it limited to a few companies and we just meet up with or hear about those? Or is it really more widespread than in the past? Are far more companies cheating customers than we'd consider "normal"?

I am just remembering a spell when discussions proclaimed cheating in schools acceptable. Mostly it was students saying it was acceptable and teachers saying it was not. I wonder if this is where it grew into large companies accepting those students with their "cheating is OK" philosophy.

Thanks, Ormond. You've given me an idea. I hadn't thought of it as inherent to global companies.
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Re: Cheating

Postby Ormond on January 16th, 2016, 1:18 pm 

Or is it really more widespread than in the past?


I really don't know, but sites like Angie's list should be helping, at least for local companies. It's quite a bit harder to pull crap on customers and keep it private these days in the new information society.

We needed a new AC unit last summer and went to Angie's List. One company had 89 raving reviews, while the others had about a dozen mixed reviews. Of course we hired the company with all the rave reviews, and they really lived up to it, so I posted a rave review too. After the job was done and we'd paid our bill they sent us a box of chocolates. No shit, I couldn't believe it either. :-)
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Re: Cheating

Postby zetreque on January 17th, 2016, 1:23 am 

I can only lend my theory. In a book I recently read about social oppression and activism I remember there being a section about (if you are a conspiracy theorist) governments promote mistrust in the world to support their agenda (such as invading other nations). This has far reaching situations and scenarios. I'm willing to believe a lot of it without labeling myself a conspiracy theorist because there has been a lot of history of things that have been uncovered from the past.

I guess I was trying to make a connection between mistrust and cheating there. Maybe failed.

In general I think that just with a larger population, and how shitty society is becoming that people are just more greedy (promoted capitalism to support government and businesses agendas) and being more greedy and dishonest everyone is out to make a buck so trust no one and sell your mom if you can. That's the direction I see happening in the world. The only real honest people are poor. Why? Because you can only get money by taking it from someone else which many people do it through any means possible believing in this capitalist society that is destroying the planet. Of course a hard honest worker will have money, but everyone that has a lot of it got it from some form of dishonesty. I'm sure someone could try to prove me wrong that the more dishonest a person is, the more money they have. I know there are exceptions but I think it's a real trend. Just look at all the advertisements on TV saying "we have the best this the best that" Lies!

Also as people live in tighter quarters and more condensed communities and as our environments are degrading it increases peoples stress levels. When people get stressed out (not to mention from eating poor diets, drugs and alcohol on top of all that giving them poor health and mental health) then they are quick to get angry and seek revenge aka cheating businesses that they see (maybe even subconsciously see) as the evil problem. I have a very negative outlook on the direction of the world these days.

I don't think people were necessarily more honest a long time ago though. Human history is packed to the brim with lies and deception for domination. Maybe our idea of people being more honest in the past is another marketing deception of what the typical American family should be like. (which was another interesting part of the book I just read in the section about sexism and "nuclear" family units which were good for capitalism)

Native tribes however had to have honesty. When you live in a close knit community where everyone relies on everyone else to survive, you have to have trust and honesty. Human's don't have fangs or claws, we have brains and our ability to work in groups that keeps us alive. Which is why I have a negative outlook on the world because we are completely losing sight of that type of living in which we are intimately connected to our community and planet wanting to live happy, and healthy. we have all been brainwashed by the people out to dominate.

I think your assumption about people being more likely to cheat large corporations over small businesses makes sense. A large corporation people will be like "oh they have billions of dollars, they won't miss if I steal an item" But you never know.

conclusion: Blame capitalism which is promoted by the dominate players of the world and generates distrust and cheating. The local slow food movements and others like it are giving hope that we can change the direction of this ugly trend toward everyone out for themselves to generate capital and cheat everyone you can to get it. The cheating and dishonest part is starting to be understood by more people rather than just the people at the top, so I think that's why we are seeing more of it.
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Re: Cheating

Postby vivian maxine on January 17th, 2016, 8:28 am 

zetreque » January 17th, 2016, 12:23 am wrote:I can only lend my theory. In a book I recently read about social oppression and activism I remember there being a section about (if you are a conspiracy theorist) governments promote mistrust in the world to support their agenda (such as invading other nations). This has far reaching situations and scenarios. I'm willing to believe a lot of it without labeling myself a conspiracy theorist because there has been a lot of history of things that have been uncovered from the past.

I guess I was trying to make a connection between mistrust and cheating there. Maybe failed.

In general I think that just with a larger population, and how shitty society is becoming that people are just more greedy (promoted capitalism to support government and businesses agendas) and being more greedy and dishonest everyone is out to make a buck so trust no one and sell your mom if you can. That's the direction I see happening in the world. The only real honest people are poor. Why? Because you can only get money by taking it from someone else which many people do it through any means possible believing in this capitalist society that is destroying the planet. Of course a hard honest worker will have money, but everyone that has a lot of it got it from some form of dishonesty. I'm sure someone could try to prove me wrong that the more dishonest a person is, the more money they have. I know there are exceptions but I think it's a real trend. Just look at all the advertisements on TV saying "we have the best this the best that" Lies!

Also as people live in tighter quarters and more condensed communities and as our environments are degrading it increases peoples stress levels. When people get stressed out (not to mention from eating poor diets, drugs and alcohol on top of all that giving them poor health and mental health) then they are quick to get angry and seek revenge aka cheating businesses that they see (maybe even subconsciously see) as the evil problem. I have a very negative outlook on the direction of the world these days.

I don't think people were necessarily more honest a long time ago though. Human history is packed to the brim with lies and deception for domination. Maybe our idea of people being more honest in the past is another marketing deception of what the typical American family should be like. (which was another interesting part of the book I just read in the section about sexism and "nuclear" family units which were good for capitalism)

Native tribes however had to have honesty. When you live in a close knit community where everyone relies on everyone else to survive, you have to have trust and honesty. Human's don't have fangs or claws, we have brains and our ability to work in groups that keeps us alive. Which is why I have a negative outlook on the world because we are completely losing sight of that type of living in which we are intimately connected to our community and planet wanting to live happy, and healthy. we have all been brainwashed by the people out to dominate.

I think your assumption about people being more likely to cheat large corporations over small businesses makes sense. A large corporation people will be like "oh they have billions of dollars, they won't miss if I steal an item" But you never know.

conclusion: Blame capitalism which is promoted by the dominate players of the world and generates distrust and cheating. The local slow food movements and others like it are giving hope that we can change the direction of this ugly trend toward everyone out for themselves to generate capital and cheat everyone you can to get it. The cheating and dishonest part is starting to be understood by more people rather than just the people at the top, so I think that's why we are seeing more of it.


So, it is pretty much the same old same old multiplied as populations multiplied and access to news spread more easily. Then we add, as you indicate, our evolving and deteriorating culture and politics.

As for your first paragraph, had I written that book, I'd have said exactly that. Friends and I talk about it and I keep hoping we are wrong - that we are just being negative about something we do not understand.. But I don't think we are.

And, yes, your connection between mistrust and cheating is right on point.

Thanks for some clarification and your thoughts on the matter.
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Re: Cheating

Postby Serpent on January 17th, 2016, 11:56 am 

I suspect all kinds of cheating and lying vary directly with two factors: money-centrism and anonymity. In societies where the only valued currency is legal tender - rather than reputation, Brownie points, status, competence, usefulness, etc. - the getting and keeping of money becomes far too important and eclipses other kinds of social transactions. It's also the only form of security, when one can't rely on a social support structure. And the bigger and more diverse a society is, the less sense of community, shared moral values, common purpose people feel; the more people are surrounded by strangers, the easier it is to see them as marks rather than persons.

The politics of paranoia isn't helping; neither is the theme of remorseless criminality that runs through so much of mass entertainment.

There is a lot of bad business practice. I occasionally watch a tv show called Marketplace that investigates such things, and they never run out of material. Big, small and medium-sized contractors, manufacturers, garages, landlords and retailers all seem to take advantage or advertise falsely or overcharge or fail to deliver on commitments. I don't know how many of these incidents are deliberate and how many are due to indifference, but many, many customers are cheated or at least feel cheated.

On the other side, as well as regular fudging on expense reports and income tax returns, there is plenty of shoplifting, vandalism, false warranty claims and product returns. The expensive dress or suit, worn very carefully for a special occasion, then taken back for refund is a well known ploy of impoverished youth, but now it seems almost routine and hardly even considered reprehensible. Just recently, somebody in Ontario has been running a bootleg operation: He or she would buy a large plastic bottle of vodka and return it next day for a refund - only it's mostly water! I'm not sure how they replaced the contents without disturbing the seal, but they got away with a fair bit of Smirnoff.

People wouldn't do that to people they knew and cared about, or whose good opinion and trust they required to function in their communities.
They only do it to those they perceive as rivals or enemies; predator and prey.
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Re: Cheating

Postby vivian maxine on January 17th, 2016, 12:43 pm 

Thank you, Serpent. I only question your last paragraph. Up to a point, perhaps you are right. But I see - and occasionally experience - it from companies whose standing in the community is very important. That doesn't seem to stop them. And if accusations or charges are made, you hear "He says he didn't and I have to take his word for it".

One thing I don't think you covered. If you did I don't see it. Is it happening more in large, long-standing businesses that have had excellent reputations in the past - companies we'd have bet our bottom dollar on?
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Re: Cheating

Postby zetreque on January 17th, 2016, 1:50 pm 

I used to hear the saying "The customer is always right" a lot growing up.
Never hear it anymore and after my long time job at a corporation, if there was a new saying, it would be "The customer is always wrong, but we have to lie and manipulate them into thinking they are right or call the police to come arrest them because there are plenty of other customers to replace them"
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Re: Cheating

Postby Serpent on January 17th, 2016, 4:01 pm 

vivian maxine » January 17th, 2016, 11:43 am wrote:Thank you, Serpent. I only question your last paragraph. Up to a point, perhaps you are right. But I see - and occasionally experience - it from companies whose standing in the community is very important. That doesn't seem to stop them. And if accusations or charges are made, you hear "He says he didn't and I have to take his word for it".
One thing I don't think you covered. If you did I don't see it. Is it happening more in large, long-standing businesses that have had excellent reputations in the past - companies we'd have bet our bottom dollar on?


They're still companies - not persons. That means they may be getting their policies from 'head office' - someplace else, with no local roots - or else through a corporate structure where responsibility is not properly fixed at any one point, but all executives are under pressure to maximize profit and minimize cost, pressure they pass on to foremen and supervisors in all departments. Also, there is a good chance that the complaint department is completely disembodied from the customer base... i.e. Chandra Patel with a bank of phones in her living room in Delhi. Today's companies are not the same ones the paterfamilias built up in the 1920's.
Also, of course, you are dealing not with the CEO, but some low-level, poorly-paid and unappreciated front-man. As employees see bosses in an increasingly adversarial (not to say predatory) relationship, why should they care about the company's reputation?
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Re: Cheating

Postby Serpent on January 17th, 2016, 4:08 pm 

zetreque » January 17th, 2016, 12:50 pm wrote:I used to hear the saying "The customer is always right" a lot growing up.
Never hear it anymore and after my long time job at a corporation, if there was a new saying, it would be "The customer is always wrong, but we have to lie and manipulate them into thinking they are right or call the police to come arrest them because there are plenty of other customers to replace them"


You can't really argue with GM or Lilly. But, working for a very small business, I can tell you, they do have to live by the rightness of the customer. And that can get very costly on a tight profit margin when some of the customers are dishonest. Most, though, are reasonable, fair and courteous. The positive feedback we get most often is how much people appreciate prompt personal attention. You'd almost think it was going out of style!
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Re: Cheating

Postby vivian maxine on January 17th, 2016, 4:16 pm 

"The positive feedback we get most often is how much people appreciate prompt personal attention. You'd almost think it was going out of style!" (Serpent)

It is going out of style. It's almost gone out of style. The small family stores - most of them - still try but they are slowly being driven out of business.
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Re: Cheating

Postby zetreque on January 17th, 2016, 5:41 pm 

Some evidence is 2 days ago when I went to pay my car insurance. The underwriting department had to speak to me (after I paid my bill so they had my money first!!) and made all these demands of me and said if I didn't meet them they would drop me. I couldn't meet one of them and said I might have to go to another insurance company. She told me I "yes I might have to". She ended up meeting me half way for one of the demands (after I spent 4 hours driving around town trying to fake paperwork to prove to them the truth that they would rather have me lie about and make my life more of a costly mess in other ways) but in the end still raised my rates just because I live with someone she found out as I went through meeting her other demand so they forced me to pay more money just because I live with someone and had to fill out more paperwork to exclude them while they are still on my policy.

She is in the position of being one of the "front man" as serpent puts it where she is trying to impress her bosses so she makes a little bit more money from a raise or bonus by screwing everyone she possibly can out of their money when I am already struggling to pay my bills at the moment. What will she do with the extra little bit of money she makes? The same thing I see every manager or boss or exec do. Spend it the second she gets it on worthless consumables then complain she still isn't making enough. And the cycle repeats walking over more people cheating them out of their money so that they can get more for themselves.

People in positions like her treat you like you are nothing but lifeless matter. And, in this situation it's insurance companies who have you by the balls because you are required by law to have their service. You do have a choice as a consumer to go with another company (as she told me on the phone), but I am still required by law as more and more corporations form ties with governments to pull us into this capitalistic system... Health insurance is headed there right now as they restructure it. Don't even get me started on that. I have to pay more money now for worse service from specialist doctors who have done nothing for me.

I am ranting, but it's right on topic. :)
I was also a bit vague for privacy. The conclusion is (always lie to your car insurance company about living with room mates (especially ones that don't drive your vehicle). Tell them you are single and tell them as little as possible)
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Re: Cheating

Postby Serpent on January 17th, 2016, 8:29 pm 

Car insurance even gets on your case about room-mates !!? How do they figure that's their business? Yeas, I know: everything is, and "Because they can." Whatever lets them get away with giving you less coverage and/or not paying out and/or raising your premiums is money in their pocket. The front-man, though is pretty much in your same position in every other aspect of his or her life, and doesn't get much leeway in company policy or the forms - so maybe cut them a little slack.

I got up in the face of a post office clerk the other day. No excuse: I knew perfectly well she had no control of how they conduct business (no longer refunding quite hefty postage charges when they fail to deliver - or lose! - the package); I just had to blow up at somebody.

I'm almost looking forward to when the robots take over all service desks: at least we won't have any false expectations... And they'll be consistent, rather than telling us a different story at each extension we finally manage to connect with, after being driven half mad with waily country music.
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Re: Cheating

Postby zetreque on January 17th, 2016, 8:37 pm 

Apparently their policy is that room mates have a potential of driving your vehicle so they have to raise your rate. How am I going to argue it? It's one of those arguments that neither side can prove. I'm shopping for a new company but I think I already still have the cheapest I can get so that sucks. I'm going to call them back next renewal and say I am living by myself now and want them removed from my policy completely. See how they come back at that one. It's a constant battle with these companies and they want to invade our privacy even more. State DMV, homeland security, IRS, and private insurance companies are all slowly getting tied together to keep tabs on us even more. Next time you get pulled over (in a small town), the cop can be like "oh, so and so is your room mate so says your insurance policy? I don't like him/her so I'm going to be biased in giving you a ticket when I probably wouldn't have."

And so we wonder why people are becoming less honest, and cheating whenever possible.
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Re: Cheating

Postby Serpent on January 18th, 2016, 2:25 am 

It's a more and more adversarial world.
Probably another symptom of the too-many-rats syndrome.
We're all overstressed and irrational.
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Re: Cheating

Postby vivian maxine on January 18th, 2016, 6:48 am 

Serpent » January 18th, 2016, 1:25 am wrote:It's a more and more adversarial world.
Probably another symptom of the too-many-rats syndrome.
We're all overstressed and irrational.


That's it - overstressed and irrational. Insurance salesmen have been on that "top 10 least trusted" for many years. They've had a century of practice. Nothing new there.

I was searching the internet a couple of days ago. No more "Top 10". Now it is "Top 100". So, it's that bad or they hope we won't remember who is on the list if it is long.
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