Is This a Great Country—or What?


Several years ago, I  needed postcards to send to clients.  You can get them pre-stamped from the U.S. Postal Service.  You know—what we commonly refer to as THE POST OFFICE.  I went to  a local post office and got into the line.  I stood in the line for  over 45 minutes. When I got to the front of the line and asked for postcards, the clerk told me, “We are out of postcards.”

Huh?  I said, “This is the post office, isn’t it?

She got all huffy & said, “Well, we run out of stuff, too!”

“I want to talk to the manager,”  I said.

“She’s on vacation,”  the clerk retorted.

“She went on vacation without making sure you had postcards?  I don’t get it. All you sell is stamps and postcards.  How do you leave on vacation without ordering supplies?  Why don’t you put up a sign?”

It didn’t matter.  They are the post office. They are not part of the government. They are sort of a parastatal.  They can do whatever they want.

I told a friend of this incident, and he told me how he went to a currency exchange to apply for a license plate, stood in line for about as long as I did, got to the front, & they were out of forms.  & you wonder why businesses go OUT OF BUSINESS.

But now,t he formerly  well run companies—the  FORTUNE 500 are getting pretty sloppy in their business dealings.

I have a Worldpoints VISA card, and they sent me a couple of mailings telling me they’d gladly refinance my mortgage at a lower rate.  I knew the odds were pretty slim, but I had nothing to lose, so I called them. Sure enough, their phone clerk could do nothing for me as they didn’t hold my mortgage.  So—why did they send me letters?  How could they not know?  They obviously sent it as a teaser to credit card holders.

Citimortgage, which does hold my mortgage,  turned me down when I asked to refinance, but sent me  a letter telling me they would refinance me after the turned me down.  It was a wash. While they’d lower my interest rate, all their closing costs negated the savings!  Really!

But I think the champion letter for flim flam  goes to the collusion of Citimortgage with “Essential Health”—which—in large type on the front page of the mailer, says, “With this insurance plan….” & tells you, “Worry less about bills if someone gets sick or has an accident…” & THEN, on the back page, & on the disclosure tells you that this is NOT a health insurance plan (it does not say what kind of plan it is—except that it will pay hospital  stay bills), and it DOES NOT  COVER SICKNESS OR DISEASE.  Um,  so illness is covered—not sickness or disease. It covers the hospital room only. Nothing more—& apparently only if you are injured, and they will pay  up to $400 for up to 365 days (this is item #7) except  they will pay only for up to 30 days  they will pay up to $5000 lump sum (item #8)—meaning  $166. & change per day.

I believe this company is banking on people not being able to read, or do math, or counting on the integrity of Citimortgage to not rip them off.   & it’s legal—because you have to read the entire document.

I also believe that all these companies have a vested interest in not having our educational system improve.

Yesterday, the Illinois legislature passed a bill allowing the telephone companies to change your plan without notifying you.  You will not find out until you pay your bill.

If anything will drive  more people to become computer & internet savvy, & switch to Skype, this must be it, but  it will be a while.  We know…people are not checking their bills.

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