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Deceptive Business Practices -- What's Your Take?

1235

Posts

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    So, my favorite? Comcast. I got in on their little two-year contract dealie recently. For one low price, we get cable, phone, and internet (yes, we still use a land line...blow me). Now, I understand that there are taxes involved, and they vary, so that's not included in the price that Shaq and Ben Stein were pitching in the commercial. Cool. DVR fee after six months? Sure.

    But a fee for the modem? Really? That's, like, not optional. Especially on this particular service (with phone), where they require that you use their modem...unlike regular cable internet, where you can easily supply your own. If there's a piece of equipment that's pretty much required to use the service (unlike DVR), that should be rolled into the advertised price. They already stopped charging extra for the HD box, because people realized that was bullshit. I figure they have maybe another year before people start bitching about the modem fees too.

    That sounds more like a regional issue, than a straight Comcast issue. That, or the monkey was lying to you. I have Comcast cable internet, and I can definitely use my own modem.

    Somebody already replied, but the issue was specifically with VoIP service; if you're a cable internet customer, you can use your own modem. If you're a cable internet and VoIP, you use theirs. And, as mentioned, it's basically the same price to add the phone as it would be for cable+internet (and not much more than internet alone...they gouge single-service customers).

    And once they have you on a contract....

    I actually considered paying the termination fee just to tell them to go fuck themselves. But where I live, that means Qwest, and it means 1.5 fucking megabits max download speed. And I'm not exactly in the boonies, I'm near downtown in a city of 40K, in a county of several hundred thousand, in a metro area of millions. But whatever.
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    It should be illegal to make cancelling a service harder than signing up for it. I'm sick of spending twelve minutes on the phone with the headset jockey just to get a confirmation number so I know I (hopefully!) won't get billed again and have to call and do it all over again. Like I did with Sirius. Motherfuckers.

    If I can sign up online, I should be able to go to my account settings and cancel online. You want to keep me as a customer? Fucking email me. I promise I'll read it. For realsies.

    The last time I dealt with this I basically told the person I had to call to cancel "Do not try to pitch me. Cancel my account, period. Whether or not you give me a confirmation number, I'm going to contest any future charges through my credit card company, because they are no longer authorized. Then it will cost your company more money for the chargebacks, so it'll be cheaper just to not waste my time."

    Worked like a charm.

    mcdermott on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    japan wrote: »
    up to 50% OFF!!! GAAAAAH!!!OMGSOAWESOME!!!

    please be aware nothing anyone would ever want is on sale

    Heh. There is a company in the UK called DFS that sells living room furniture. They are perpetually having some kind of half price sale.

    If you actually visit their stores, there are two sections. The section where everything is full price, because there are laws governing how long something has to have been on sale at a certain price before advertising it at a reduced price, and a section where everything is OMG 75% OFF WITH FIVE YEARS INTEREST FREE CREDIT.

    Every so often they switch the signs from one side of the store to the other.

    In reality, everything that is not currently on sale is massively overpriced. This isn't an uncommon one, it's just funny that DFS seems to have built their entire business model around it.

    When I bought one of my couches, I looked through a furniture store catalog for the one I wanted, and wrote down the manufacturer and item number. The store wanted something like $1800 for a regular-sized black leather sofa.

    Then I went on Craigslist and put up a post basically saying, "Who will sell me a Coast Furniture #8883 black leather sofa at the lowest price, delivered?"

    I got it for $450 to my front door.

    Feral on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    up to 50% OFF!!! GAAAAAH!!!OMGSOAWESOME!!!

    please be aware nothing anyone would ever want is on sale

    Heh. There is a company in the UK called DFS that sells living room furniture. They are perpetually having some kind of half price sale.

    If you actually visit their stores, there are two sections. The section where everything is full price, because there are laws governing how long something has to have been on sale at a certain price before advertising it at a reduced price, and a section where everything is OMG 75% OFF WITH FIVE YEARS INTEREST FREE CREDIT.

    Every so often they switch the signs from one side of the store to the other.

    In reality, everything that is not currently on sale is massively overpriced. This isn't an uncommon one, it's just funny that DFS seems to have built their entire business model around it.

    When I bought one of my couches, I looked through a furniture store catalog for the one I wanted, and wrote down the manufacturer and item number. The store wanted something like $1800 for a regular-sized black leather sofa.

    Then I went on Craigslist and put up a post basically saying, "Who will sell me a Coast Furniture #8883 black leather sofa at the lowest price, delivered?"

    I got it for $450 to my front door.

    This is common in many areas of retail. Hell, the department store jewelry market is built around it. I worked at a J.C. Penney for a couple years, and you can bet that aside from a handful of items in the store, if you didn't get it on a massive sale (upwards of 33% to 50% off) you got ripped off.

    mcdermott on
  • XaevXaev Registered User
    edited April 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    up to 50% OFF!!! GAAAAAH!!!OMGSOAWESOME!!!

    please be aware nothing anyone would ever want is on sale

    Heh. There is a company in the UK called DFS that sells living room furniture. They are perpetually having some kind of half price sale.

    If you actually visit their stores, there are two sections. The section where everything is full price, because there are laws governing how long something has to have been on sale at a certain price before advertising it at a reduced price, and a section where everything is OMG 75% OFF WITH FIVE YEARS INTEREST FREE CREDIT.

    Every so often they switch the signs from one side of the store to the other.

    In reality, everything that is not currently on sale is massively overpriced. This isn't an uncommon one, it's just funny that DFS seems to have built their entire business model around it.

    When I bought one of my couches, I looked through a furniture store catalog for the one I wanted, and wrote down the manufacturer and item number. The store wanted something like $1800 for a regular-sized black leather sofa.

    Then I went on Craigslist and put up a post basically saying, "Who will sell me a Coast Furniture #8883 black leather sofa at the lowest price, delivered?"

    I got it for $450 to my front door.

    This is common in many areas of retail. Hell, the department store jewelry market is built around it. I worked at a J.C. Penney for a couple years, and you can bet that aside from a handful of items in the store, if you didn't get it on a massive sale (upwards of 33% to 50% off) you got ripped off.

    I actually work for a large regional furniture retailer and I will tell you this - EVERYTHING in the store that is not specifically on sale is sold for three to four times what we pay for it.

    Xaev on
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  • frandelgearslipfrandelgearslip 457670Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »

    It should be illegal to make cancelling a service harder than signing up for it. I'm sick of spending twelve minutes on the phone with the headset jockey just to get a confirmation number so I know I (hopefully!) won't get billed again and have to call and do it all over again. Like I did with Sirius. Motherfuckers.

    If I can sign up online, I should be able to go to my account settings and cancel online. You want to keep me as a customer? Fucking email me. I promise I'll read it. For realsies.

    In a perfect world yes, but hell even Xbox live is a lot harder to cancel then it is to enact. It took me a couple of hours to cancel XBOX live (after I realized that they were automatically reupping me), though most of that was figuring out exactly how to cancel XBOX live.

    frandelgearslip on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »

    It should be illegal to make cancelling a service harder than signing up for it. I'm sick of spending twelve minutes on the phone with the headset jockey just to get a confirmation number so I know I (hopefully!) won't get billed again and have to call and do it all over again. Like I did with Sirius. Motherfuckers.

    If I can sign up online, I should be able to go to my account settings and cancel online. You want to keep me as a customer? Fucking email me. I promise I'll read it. For realsies.

    In a perfect world yes, but hell even Xbox live is a lot harder to cancel then it is to enact. It took me a couple of hours to cancel XBOX live (after I realized that they were automatically reupping me), though most of that was figuring out exactly how to cancel XBOX live.

    With things such as Xbox Live and MMO subscriptions, where you can buy time cards or use your credit card to auto-renew, always go with the time cards.

    You might think it's a hassle to go out and buy them, but if you want your subscription to end you know you won't end up continuing to pay for it.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    I'm going to type up my experience with Steam tomorrow for you guys to read.

    Let me guess: They messed something up and you received horrible\non-existent customer service resulting in a resolution that was less than acceptable to you?

    Yes. What irked me the most was the fact that they had absolutely no way to call. So I basically conferred back and forth with them through their stupid online system for about 2 months. 2 months. 2 months for something that could be fixed with about 5 minutes on the god damned telephone.
    Pretty much started in January, I bought L4D2 for a friend, using my current account. Okay, that's weird, I can't log in. So I opened a ticket after looking for a phone number. A week letter I get a message from Walter.

    He said (I'm paraphrasing here because it's filled with useless information) "Your transaction has been disputed, close the dispute and have the credit card company return the money to us."

    I get ahold of the card company (it took me a few days to get some time where I could call their billing department, but I finally did) and was told by them that "Yeah everything is fine, I marked the purchase as a valid one, but we can't just refund them money, they have to reprocess their transaction." My guess is there's two types of disputes, one that hits after the card has been charged, and one that hits before the card is charged.

    Here comes walter
    Your purchase is still listing a chargeback from PayPal in our system. You will need to contact PayPal and ask them to close the dispute and return the funds to Steam for your purchase. If you have already contacted them, they may be in the process of sending the funds back to Steam. The process can take some time depending on the specifics involved in the case. To check the status, you need to follow up with PayPal directly. As soon as the chargeback dispute is settled we will automatically reactivate your account. If this hasn't happened, it means that the chargeback is still pending with PayPal.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to accept new purchase for the charged-back transaction. Due to the fact that PayPal has opened a dispute case for this transaction we have no way of determining if subsequent payments are valid or if they will also prove to be disputed. While we understand that your case may be an exception, we do encounter a high level of confirmed fraud cases. We need confirmation from PayPal that the chargeback or dispute was canceled by the account holder and that the funds have been returned to Steam for the purchase to protect us from fraud liability.

    Uh. Hm. Why would my card be listed originally and not PayPal? Weird. Okay whatever. I call PayPal.

    PayPal said, "You haven't made a purchase with PayPal in 5 years, not even anyone with your name has made a PayPal purchase, or even used that card in anyway."

    What. The. Fuck. It became obvious at this point they were trying to get rid of me or weren't really looking into the issue at all. So I let them know what PayPal said.

    Hey look it's Walter again:
    I apologize for the confusion. There is currently no chargeback with Paypal

    Your purchase is still listing a chargeback from your bank in our system. You will need to contact your bank and ask them to reverse the chargeback. If you have already contacted them, they may be in the process of completing the reversal. The process can take some time depending on the bank/credit card company handling the case. To check the status, you need to follow up with the bank directly. As soon as the chargeback dispute is settled we will automatically reactivate your account. If this hasn't happened, it means that the chargeback is still pending with the bank.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to accept another purchase on the same card or a new card for the charged-back transaction. Due to the fact that the bank has declared the charge fraudulent, we have no way of determining if subsequent payments are valid or if they will also prove to be fraudulent. While we understand that your case may be an exception, we do encounter a high level of confirmed fraud cases. We need confirmation from the bank that the chargeback was reversed by the cardholder to protect us from fraudulent activity.

    Your bank should be able to reverse the chargeback from their end even if the original card has been canceled. In most cases reversals can be done by the bank anywhere from 60 to 90 days after the chargeback was issued.

    I uh, what? I already told you they said they couldn't refund the money. You have to reprocess the transaction. Look, I've worked with credit cards in 3/5 of my jobs. It turns out that most POS or CC software layers allow you to press a button and rerun the transaction. Newegg does this, my previous jobs did this, it's not exactly a hard process. I start getting angry. It's already been a month at this point.

    We go back and forth pretty much every day with me repeating what I've already said and them saying "how do we know you're not a theif?" I even got to the point where I said "If I were going to steal from you, why would I go through all this trouble? It's not like my grammar and spelling are in such a horrible state that you'd need to be really suspicious of that." I start asking for phone numbers. Then they ask me for my CC company's phone number to call them. I give them that. They still refuse to unlock it.

    A week after that last post, he goes back into the same copy-paste he did when I first talked to him in the beginning of February. I ask to speak with a supervisor or have a phone number. At this point I get passed to Charlie who repeats the same conversation about the chargeback and how we need to refund them money.

    It also turns out that NYS law lets you sue an online business locally (I checked with small claims court with a phone call) if they offer a service or product to your area. I filed a claim with the BBB and informed them if this wasn't resolved in a week that I'd be filing a claim for $100 at the small claims court for rendering my account inactive (and all of my products I've purchased). I even informed my boss that I'd probably have to go to small claims court for a few hours, he was okay with it, he even said the whole situation was stupid and said, "Good for you for not just rolling over and taking it and buying it again, even if it'll cost you more to take them to court but you're sticking up for what's right."

    Well golly gee, a few days later I get this:
    I have contacted Capital One directly on your behalf and verified that the card was not used fraudulently.

    Our standard policy is to have the bank withdraw the chargeback before we reactivate your account. Since this is not an option in your case, I have had a discussion with my supervisor and gotten approval to reactivate your account with the expectation that you repurchase the chargedback title.

    Your account is now activated.

    Please note, this is a one time exception to our policy, any future chargebacks or payment reversals will result in the account, and all the games therein, being permanently locked.

    That's still stupid, if the policy of a Visa account is to not give you money and have you rerun the transaction, your policy is bad and stupid and will result in pissed off customers. Like me. Three months later I can play my god damned video game again. It's also a pretty common for CC companies to not refund money and have the vendor rerun the transaction. Capital One isn't the only one who makes most vendors do this.

    The only thing this has taught me is to make an empty steam account and order products as gifts just in case my credit card company decided to dispute the transaction.

    GG Valve, you're probably the worst company I've ever head to deal with. Even the company that sent me products I didn't order and tried to ding my credit rating after I refused to pay for them was less of a hassle to deal with.

    bowen on
    Ladies.
  • EndEnd Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »

    It should be illegal to make cancelling a service harder than signing up for it. I'm sick of spending twelve minutes on the phone with the headset jockey just to get a confirmation number so I know I (hopefully!) won't get billed again and have to call and do it all over again. Like I did with Sirius. Motherfuckers.

    If I can sign up online, I should be able to go to my account settings and cancel online. You want to keep me as a customer? Fucking email me. I promise I'll read it. For realsies.

    In a perfect world yes, but hell even Xbox live is a lot harder to cancel then it is to enact. It took me a couple of hours to cancel XBOX live (after I realized that they were automatically reupping me), though most of that was figuring out exactly how to cancel XBOX live.

    With things such as Xbox Live and MMO subscriptions, where you can buy time cards or use your credit card to auto-renew, always go with the time cards.

    You might think it's a hassle to go out and buy them, but if you want your subscription to end you know you won't end up continuing to pay for it.

    Even if it isn't hard to cancel, a lot of people simply forget to cancel.

    It's not hard to cancel a WoW subscription*, but I knew someone who had their subscription stay active for a year before she returned to the game, and found out she had forgotten to cancel in the first place.

    * Unless their servers went down!

    End on
    I wish that someway, somehow, that I could save every one of us
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  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Furniture stores are the worst, THE WORST.

    We went out to buy a sofa, and had about a grand to spend. Basically every big name place we went to that wasn't a Big Lots wouldn't offer a discount unless we bought some super overpriced insurance, or an entire living room set.

    Then, the delivery. Now one store, the one we ended up using, had a local distributor so we could just pick up the couch ourselves, but they still charged us $40 for "processing" I even tried to fight it was clearly told, "hey, you can buy a couch somewhere else, but the fee stays" The sad part is that this was the nicest of the people we dealt with. I mean other than ordering online sight unseen, there was no other way around it.

    The other place though, I think it was rooms to go, but I'm not sure. They wanted like $100 for delivery, and when we told them we refused that, and would pick it up, we were told the only way to pick it up is to drive to Atlanta (over 300 miles away) and that they wouldn't ship to the store for us to pick it up.

    Buying furniture or major appliances is such a pain in the ass. There's just no room to bargain like there is with the auto market.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

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  • ParagonParagon Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    As a Norwegian who's been to the states for a while and is currently studying in Canada, one thing that pisses me off is how every retailer adds the sales tax after the posted price. This is a ludicrous business practice that I cannot believe is actually legal; if a company in Norway didn't list the full price, they would be fined to hell and back.

    Like Americans in general don't hate taxes enough as it is. Now they buy a TV and get to see the price of $999 only to have to pay another 70-150 bucks. Cue rants about the evil guvv'rmnt stealing all their hard-earned monies.

    Paragon on
    Bagginses wrote: »
    Really, -J-'s argument against empiricism comes down to "sure, it might work in practice, but it still doesn't work in theory," which I suppose makes rationalists the philosophical version of paultards and goldbugs.
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Actually this only bugs foreigners, extreme hicks, and little children as they are the only ones who don't understand that sales tax isn't included in advertised price.

    Also in a recent survey over sixty percent of Americans are fine with the taxes they pay, just wish that others were paying more, or so they claim.

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Is this for advertised prices, or prices posted at the point of sale?

    I can see why you would exclude tax in the former, because (I think?) it varies from place to place. I have no idea why you wouldn't display the price including tax in a retail location, for convenience if nothing else.

    japan on
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Basically stores/restaurants want to show the lowest price possible so they just advertise the price usually with a disclaimer about how price doesn't include all applicable taxes.

    Semi handy for national advertising as most states have wildly different sales tax ranging from zero to low teens.

    The only thing consistently advertised with all taxes included in the US is the price of gasoline, and I think they are federally mandated to do so.

    It's just a different way of doing things.

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • TehSlothTehSloth Hit Or Miss I Guess They Never Miss, HuhRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Basically stores/restaurants want to show the lowest price possible so they just advertise the price usually with a disclaimer about how price doesn't include all applicable taxes.

    Semi handy for national advertising as most states have wildly different sales tax ranging from zero to low teens.

    The only thing consistently advertised with all taxes included in the US is the price of gasoline, and I think they are federally mandated to do so.

    It's just a different way of doing things.

    Yeah, pretty much the only places that i've seen list the sales taxes into prices do it for convenience, like if they price things so that the tax brings it to an even dollar amount or something. Especially with places where it's inconvenient to give change, like I believe in vending machines (which I assume have to charge sales tax) and the ice cream man.

    TehSloth on
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  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Basically stores/restaurants want to show the lowest price possible so they just advertise the price usually with a disclaimer about how price doesn't include all applicable taxes.

    Semi handy for national advertising as most states have wildly different sales tax ranging from zero to low teens.

    The only thing consistently advertised with all taxes included in the US is the price of gasoline, and I think they are federally mandated to do so.

    It's just a different way of doing things.

    Definitely so with regard to taxes, but it's certainly an irksome and deceptive business practice with regard to mandatory fees on a purchase. Two notable examples here in Canada are cell phones (where you have mandatory fees for 911 access as well as the wonderful "system access fee") and airfare (where the number of additional fees is simply staggering). Airfare, in particular, you can see a flight advertised for $99 and have something like $150 of mandatory fees on top of that.

    Edith_Bagot-Dix on


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  • Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It's not just State taxes. Sales taxes can differ based on county, city, school district, or even "downtown area" Notice how the MN State Sales Tax calculator requires a Zip+4, because tax rate can vary even in the same zip code.

    You'd have to get rid of that before you made stores advertise the price including tax. Unfortunately, legislators like it for things like funding stadiums (which is more politically viable if you put more of the cost on the localities that directly benefit from the stadium).

    Monolithic_Dome on
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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Most states only have sales taxes by state, i.e. most places don't have city/county/town taxes as most of those use property taxes as their primary form of income.

    There are some egregious examples though, NYC I'm looking at you. It would suck to live in the boonies and have an additional tax on goods; most people I think would just shop elsewhere.

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Most states only have sales taxes by state, i.e. most places don't have city/county/town taxes as most of those use property taxes as their primary form of income.

    There are some egregious examples though, NYC I'm looking at you. It would suck to live in the boonies and have an additional tax on goods; most people I think would just shop elsewhere.

    In Vermont the sales tax is 6%. In Williston, VT, there's an additional 1%. There are so many box stores and other local merchants there, everyone shops there anyway. And it's right near Burlington, so it's not like there's no choice.

    Shadowfire on
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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm actually surprised a VT municipality has a sales tax, you guys are usually pretty against that sort of stuff. I wonder why they went through with it.

    You're also right that one percent isn't really worth driving too far away for, besides major purchases which don't really apply at those types of stores.

    You bet your ass though I go to NH to buy everything over a grand though or buy it online through a retailer with no MA presence.

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Honestly, Williston kinda had to. They had expanded a ton, and needed to pour a ton of money into infrastructure.

    And yea, I do the same thing. I live right on the NH border, and I drive across all the time to Lebanon to buy things. Of course, there's really nothing on this side of the border for a good 60 miles, so we have little choice. ;-)

    Shadowfire on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Most states only have sales taxes by state, i.e. most places don't have city/county/town taxes as most of those use property taxes as their primary form of income.

    There are some egregious examples though, NYC I'm looking at you. It would suck to live in the boonies and have an additional tax on goods; most people I think would just shop elsewhere.

    Really? All three states I've lived in with sales tax had it vary at least by county, if not by municipality. I thought that was the norm.

    And really I don't see any problem with not advertising the price with tax, since every other retailer does the same and thus direct comparisons still work. If, like, only one retailer were doing this then yea it'd be bullshit.

    mcdermott on
  • AtomikaAtomika Brought to you by Technicolor™ Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Most states only have sales taxes by state, i.e. most places don't have city/county/town taxes as most of those use property taxes as their primary form of income.

    There are some egregious examples though, NYC I'm looking at you. It would suck to live in the boonies and have an additional tax on goods; most people I think would just shop elsewhere.

    Really? All three states I've lived in with sales tax had it vary at least by county, if not by municipality. I thought that was the norm.

    And really I don't see any problem with not advertising the price with tax, since every other retailer does the same and thus direct comparisons still work. If, like, only one retailer were doing this then yea it'd be bullshit.

    I have to admit that I think it works out to be more than a little dishonest when buying airfare, though.

    "Oh, great, a ticket for only $90! And . . . let's see . . . with taxes, fees, baggage, more fees, and transportation, it works out to . . . . $357 dollars. Fuck."

    Atomika on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Most states only have sales taxes by state, i.e. most places don't have city/county/town taxes as most of those use property taxes as their primary form of income.

    There are some egregious examples though, NYC I'm looking at you. It would suck to live in the boonies and have an additional tax on goods; most people I think would just shop elsewhere.

    Really? All three states I've lived in with sales tax had it vary at least by county, if not by municipality. I thought that was the norm.

    And really I don't see any problem with not advertising the price with tax, since every other retailer does the same and thus direct comparisons still work. If, like, only one retailer were doing this then yea it'd be bullshit.

    I have to admit that I think it works out to be more than a little dishonest when buying airfare, though.

    "Oh, great, a ticket for only $90! And . . . let's see . . . with taxes, fees, baggage, more fees, and transportation, it works out to . . . . $357 dollars. Fuck."

    I almost never see airfare advertised without all taxes and fees included. I guess I see it in newspapers, but I never really look for airfare deals there.

    Cauld on
  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I love the advertisements for a $599 laptop, or whatever, but in small print it says after mail-in rebate. Meaning, the laptop costs $899 and you'll receive your $300 rebate in 2013.

    Slider on
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    I love the advertisements for a $599 laptop, or whatever, but in small print it says after mail-in rebate. Meaning, the laptop costs $899 and you'll receive your $300 rebate in 2013.

    Those can sometimes be really good, though. My dad has started saving money by buying new printers instead of ink refills. Unfortunately, several companies have gotten wise and have started selling the printers with mostly empty ink cartridges.

    Scalfin on
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  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Rebates are, in my mind, always and everywhere a deceptive business practice. The entire enterprise revolves around the assumption that a portion of customers will fail to take advantage of them, yet for some reason when it comes to advertising a price it's well and good to just take the rebate for granted.

    nescientist on
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  • AtomikaAtomika Brought to you by Technicolor™ Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Rebates are, in my mind, always and everywhere a deceptive business practice. The entire enterprise revolves around the assumption that a portion of customers will fail to take advantage of them, yet for some reason when it comes to advertising a price it's well and good to just take the rebate for granted.

    Not to mention that waiting for months to get your rebate kind of hurts the ol' pocketbook when you don't have that much expendable income.

    Sure, you might get that $1000 computer for free, but I hope you don't have to eat for the next two months.

    Atomika on
  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Rebates are, in my mind, always and everywhere a deceptive business practice. The entire enterprise revolves around the assumption that a portion of customers will fail to take advantage of them, yet for some reason when it comes to advertising a price it's well and good to just take the rebate for granted.

    Not to mention that waiting for months to get your rebate kind of hurts the ol' pocketbook when you don't have that much expendable income.

    Sure, you might get that $1000 computer for free, but I hope you don't have to eat for the next two months.

    Exactly. So even if some imaginary company were to experience a 100% rate of rebate cards being sent in, they'd still be stiffing their customers for several months of interest on their money.

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Another thing I thorougly enjoy. Packages of food that do not contain a reasonable amount of food: i.e. potato chips.

    Why am I buying a bag of potato chips that is half full of air? And why hasn't anybody complained about this?

    Is it too much for them to fill the bag, at least, 75% with potato chips?

    Lately, I've also been pissed off that I'm getting 4 servings out of my cereal boxes, when it says that it serves about 7 or 8.

    Slider on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Another thing I thorougly enjoy. Packages of food that do not contain a reasonable amount of food: i.e. potato chips.

    Why am I buying a bag of potato chips that is half full of air? And why hasn't anybody complained about this?

    Is it too much for them to fill the bag, at least, 75% with potato chips?

    Lately, I've also been pissed off that I'm getting 4 servings out of my cereal boxes, when it says that it serves about 7 or 8.

    This is annoying, but not half so much as the retarded serving sizes they post. "Oh, awesome, this bag of chips is only 100 calories per serving! And let's see, a serving is... two chips. Oh."

    ElJeffe on
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  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Another thing I thorougly enjoy. Packages of food that do not contain a reasonable amount of food: i.e. potato chips.

    Why am I buying a bag of potato chips that is half full of air? And why hasn't anybody complained about this?

    Is it too much for them to fill the bag, at least, 75% with potato chips?

    Lately, I've also been pissed off that I'm getting 4 servings out of my cereal boxes, when it says that it serves about 7 or 8.

    Amusingly, this can change depending on your altitude. Sea-level bags of chips that were originally packaged at altitude are practically shrinkwrapped, but the reverse will give you an enormous, balloon-like bag with the same small amount of chips rattling around in there. There is definitely an overall tendency to attempt to try to make... well, everything appear larger, or more valuable, or whatever. You know, marketing. But that's a totally different topic from deceptive business practices, right guys?

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2010
    Rebates are, in my mind, always and everywhere a deceptive business practice. The entire enterprise revolves around the assumption that a portion of customers will fail to take advantage of them, yet for some reason when it comes to advertising a price it's well and good to just take the rebate for granted.

    More problematic is that the companies often actively try to screw you out of your rebate. They give you a ridiculously short amount of time to send in the rebate, plus they require you send in the original receipt, so you better hope you don't need to return your merchandise for being defective. And better hope they don't "lose" the paperwork you sent in. This is all aside from the part where you can expect your rebate in 3-4 months, after which if they "forget" to send it to you you'll probably have forgotten.

    ElJeffe on
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    I make tweet.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Another thing I thorougly enjoy. Packages of food that do not contain a reasonable amount of food: i.e. potato chips.

    Why am I buying a bag of potato chips that is half full of air? And why hasn't anybody complained about this?

    Is it too much for them to fill the bag, at least, 75% with potato chips?

    Lately, I've also been pissed off that I'm getting 4 servings out of my cereal boxes, when it says that it serves about 7 or 8.

    Amusingly, this can change depending on your altitude. Sea-level bags of chips that were originally packaged at altitude are practically shrinkwrapped, but the reverse will give you an enormous, balloon-like bag with the same small amount of chips rattling around in there. There is definitely an overall tendency to attempt to try to make... well, everything appear larger, or more valuable, or whatever. You know, marketing. But that's a totally different topic from deceptive business practices, right guys?

    Sacramento has an elevation of 50 feet, and the bags here are still 50% full of air. Ditto boxes of candy, and I don't think the boxes are really puffing up. :)

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    Another thing I thorougly enjoy. Packages of food that do not contain a reasonable amount of food: i.e. potato chips.

    Why am I buying a bag of potato chips that is half full of air? And why hasn't anybody complained about this?

    Is it too much for them to fill the bag, at least, 75% with potato chips?

    Lately, I've also been pissed off that I'm getting 4 servings out of my cereal boxes, when it says that it serves about 7 or 8.

    Amusingly, this can change depending on your altitude. Sea-level bags of chips that were originally packaged at altitude are practically shrinkwrapped, but the reverse will give you an enormous, balloon-like bag with the same small amount of chips rattling around in there. There is definitely an overall tendency to attempt to try to make... well, everything appear larger, or more valuable, or whatever. You know, marketing. But that's a totally different topic from deceptive business practices, right guys?

    Sacramento has an elevation of 50 feet, and the bags here are still 50% full of air. Ditto boxes of candy, and I don't think the boxes are really puffing up. :)

    Example: junior mints. Half full = wtf.

    Slider on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The theater boxes of candy are a rip-off, but at least potato chips and similar can claim the air helps cushion the product in transport.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • rndmherorndmhero Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Rebates are, in my mind, always and everywhere a deceptive business practice. The entire enterprise revolves around the assumption that a portion of customers will fail to take advantage of them, yet for some reason when it comes to advertising a price it's well and good to just take the rebate for granted.

    More problematic is that the companies often actively try to screw you out of your rebate. They give you a ridiculously short amount of time to send in the rebate, plus they require you send in the original receipt, so you better hope you don't need to return your merchandise for being defective. And better hope they don't "lose" the paperwork you sent in. This is all aside from the part where you can expect your rebate in 3-4 months, after which if they "forget" to send it to you you'll probably have forgotten.

    In complete honesty, reading this thread just now reminded me that I never received a rebate check from a company. It's been several months now, and I have absolutely no way of demonstrating that I'm entitled to it were I to call them back.

    rndmhero on
  • MuncieMuncie Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Sales taxes not only vary state-to-state, but often county-to-county. Plus, if you buy an item from a company that maintains no brick-and-mortar establishments within the state it was purchased (via mail order or internet), there is no sales tax.

    It's just a different way of doing it, Paragon. I'm not sure how uniform sales taxes are in Norway, but this is something that would not catch an American off-guard as it is expected and understood. We're pretty used to our federal system and the little quirks that come with it. If retailers were responsible for making sure the price + tax was accurately represented in their ads for every tax rate within the region (and you may have 4 different tax rates within a broadcast media market) it'd be a mess.

    Edit: wow, I thought I had read the last page. Oh well, late to the party.

    Muncie on
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Actually chips are packaged that way for a good reason; a bag of just chips will turn into dust if shipped by normal means, you need that air as a cushion.

    Xenogears of Bore on
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  • AtomikaAtomika Brought to you by Technicolor™ Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    This is annoying, but not half so much as the retarded serving sizes they post. "Oh, awesome, this bag of chips is only 100 calories per serving! And let's see, a serving is... two chips. Oh."

    Yeah, I actually think there should be some legislation to prevent this kind of thing. It's ridiculously misleading to the public, especially considering America's obesity epidemic. Like, you shouldn't be able to sell things that are not whole servings. If that means you either increase the consideration of what a serving is or you decrease the volume of the packaging, I don't care.

    Just about every 20oz. drink is listed as being 2.5 servings. For calorically-sweetened products, this is hugely dangerous to an unwitting public. Instead of that 105 calories you think you're getting in that bottle of Coke, you're actually getting over 250.


    Thanks, Coke!

    Atomika on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The greatest things which have happened in Australia recently have been that someone did something to make them make 600mL coke and related products actually list serving size as "1" (I don't quite know how it was done, but it worked).

    The second is that supermarkets are now required by law to list the unit price of all goods. It makes shopping so unbelievably easy when you can pick the cheapest at a glance, but also means its easy to figure out what price/quality level you want (and what's a rip off).

    electricitylikesme on
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