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The Unaccounted Costs of Corporate Loss of Moral Values

Updated on August 29, 2008

Are you a victim of credit bureau tactics?

If you are a corporation or a large private business you are not going to admit that there is anything at all wrong with your corporate ethics . Nevertheless, you would be wrong.. Business today is in trouble and it is reflected in our society that no longer has any conscience about stealing, cutting corners for more profit, and the manipulation of employees for personal gain, or exploitation.

A company contracts for clothing manufacture in China that is so low the shop manager is forced to demand more work from fewer employees. He is forced in the sense that there are at least 5 more shops that will take the same work and deliver it for less. Faced with his loss of a job is the fact that his workers will all lose their jobs.his workers send home badly needed money to parents whose farms have fallen on hard timers. Things are more expensive overall.

The author wonders sometimes if the wearers of these sweat shop clothes are worn by the owner to church. Is she smug in the knowledge that she got a fantastic deal but shuts out negative images of workers toiling in awful conditions for little pay, no vacation or severance, and, the idea of insurance will not be within the realm of possibility. They work when they are sick.

A hard charging graduate of one of the business schools thinks that an idea that was rejected by his professor and classmates(but not all) as unethical is that usury is the way to instant wealth. The notion of getting the ceiling removed on all loan interest, especially credit cards, would put banks in the top tier of earnings and give them the power to control all capital markets. The board of directors of these banks barely blinked as the move was voted on and approved. They weren't worried the regulator would balk at this draconian idea. Usuary is acceptable for the first time by the banks, and finance companies in competion with loan sharks! Thousands of years of custom and respect for the credit markets, as well as many religions that despise usury, had traditional beliefs wiped out with a stroke of a pen. Was it announced? Who knows and did anyone care? At least our boy with the bright suggestion must have profited and become a vice president of new ideas. But the credit crisis of 2008 proves the folly of soaking customers for all they are worth. While they may stand against interest rates for awhile, they can't possible keep up when the rates exceed140% a year. The banks packed up these loans and sold them to an unsuspecting world market. The results are in. The world doesn't like the market created by the United States. In fact they won't stand for it and these bad loans are being bought back by American banks. As it should be, justic prevails.

Before that great innovation, another enterprising young bank executive introduced the notion of ATM machines and electronic banking. In one fell swoop ATM's swept the country. They would be a "convenience," the bankers insisted. Maybe a small token of 25 cents to access an account. The rest is history.How much interest is in that $5.00 service fee you paid to get $100. for the weekend? Paid back when your check rolls into the bank in ten more days, after another "service charge" is deducted , of course.

An automatic bill pay is sent to the telephone company, along with an extra $2.50,by mistake. Does the telephone company send you back the overage? the telephone company not only will pop the money into their own account but may charge a service charge to do so. They often slip new charges onto your account with not a sigh of warning.

The author objected to the Verizon Company adding charges for text messaging since he never used it and didn't ask for it. When they refused to issue a credit, the writer caused their automatic bank payment to be stopped. They turned off the phone, then sent a bill for three months service.

The overriding theme today is that the business gets something for nothing. If you don't like it they may extort the money from you by threatening to report you to the credit bureau.. These credit bureaus should be neutral, but a customer may not even call the credit bureau, while merchants have free access. Who pays ultimately for the service? The customer, of course.The credit bureaus, floating in cash from being one of three kids on the block for billions of clients have free reign to pretty much put whatever they feel like into a credit report that may help an employer decide if you should get a job.National security agencies may deny a security clearance based on the credit report. A bitter wife or husband may provide phony information the credit bureau greedily puts into your report without checking if it is true.

Even when an identity thief is caught and admits everything, the bad credit remains on your report. In fact the author may not view his credit report for refusing to go back 26 YEARS. Most federal crimes have a window in which a crime may be prosecuted. The credit bureau will threaten dire consequences so that if you object, higher interest rates and credit may not be granted to you at all. An idenity theft occured some 19 years ago, but still shows up as a bad item of interest. Last year a collector suggested the author just pay the bill, even as he produced a notarized document from the thief admitting all. .There are many people who pay a small debt to get the bureau off their back.

Is credit good? If the companies don't feel any guilt for loading their customers with debt, who will look out for those forced to pay these interest rates? Who protects the consumer at the credit bureau? Who stands against the lobbiests whose mean spirited bosses pay their salaries and have no concern for the consumer.

The trust that once developed between consumer and business is gone. What has replaced it is a cynical shell of a once proud relationship. Perhaps the corporations will wise up and work within reasonable limits to market its products. In otherwords, can you ever expect that business will be as usual? There is a responsibilty that comes with human interaction. When the lines are crossed between exploitation and responsibility, it does not bode well for anyone.

If you are not careful, you may "accidentally "be shut off from a call made to correct a bill or new service..Careful is not upsetting a customer service person. Once you are shut off there may be some very serious consequences. ATT was granted a virtual monoply to run roughshod over any little guy tyhat gets in their way. If they say pay!~ Even if you don't owe the money, they will cut your service off, No hearing, even though the consequences for an older person may be deadly serious.

You may begin again, but you may not begin at the front of the line. If you protest that you are running up your bill to call them, you may have to call through up to four operators, explaining the problem to each one, sending your private information over open lines, and never sure if you will be cut off again. Who do you complain to when problems lie this occur? Why, ATT, of course.

Threaten them with the FCC? An FCC representative probably has an office next door or in the same building. The FCC may take a complaint but never speak with you again. It is all handled with another party, which just happens to be ATT.! A letter will arrive stating that: After careful consideration blah blah ATT is not at fault blah blah please contact us but not before six months has passed blah blah.and don't forget, send money right away.

the writer has an automatic payment going to ATT from the bank. When he received a collection notice from ATT they "know nothing about any payments." I had actually made double payments for the past 20 months, and it still is up in the air! Yahoo and ATT are partners but when I got hacked, Yahoo immediately closed my e-mail and other stuff I had paid for, such as software, and extra e-mail. There is no one to complain to..

Since the writer's computer was shut down, he was charged $139 for correcting the hacker problem, and another $200 to reconnect. When he opened the computer the hacker was on the computer removing files. When ATT security was contacted, their response is that they weren't responsible for the problem,so the writer lost all the files, had to buy a new computer, and still didn't get the Yahoo account back. A serious hacking problem that could have been solved was ignored. ATT will furnish a password for yahoo, but it only works one time. And the $139 squeeze payment? That comes under The one law on the internet, and that is to get and keep the money, whatever the cost. There is yahoo but the catch 22 is that the password works only once.

the grocer sells borderline spoiled produce, milk, and meat that causes much spoilage at home, and,within a day or two.. When confronted, the grocer refuses to address the problem. customers, shocked and angry, change to another store.

Costco carelessly allows a pallet displaying merchandise to protrude so that a customer is tripped up and lands on the floor, dazed and bleeding. The door person witnesses the fall and the protruding pallet. It is brought to the managers attention and a report is made.Costco informs the customer it insures itself and to get medical attention, which they will pay for. The customer has a detached retina and broken collar bone. He spends the day at hospital and pays $2500. to save his sight. The collar bone is braced and the customer sent home. He calls the number provided by the store manager and is assured that : yes, Costco indeed insures itself and to keep in touch. Several months later Costco wants all the bills, which are provided. Costco now reverses itself and says they will settle the claim for $100. The customer, out several hundred dollars talks to a lawyer who says it's too late in the game to get a settlement. Besides, "what if the customer is faking it?" Unaware that a detached retina could be faked and then treated with a laser, the customer goes home, disillusioned and broke.

The attitude in the market place is "let the buyer beware." This is true in the supposedly regulated stock market, the real estate industry, banking, and public utilities, which need stong regulation and oversight because of their monopolistic acceptance by the government. If you don't like a utility policy, you can't just quit and get a new one. There is only one.

Churches don't seem to be able to regulate themselves against some with evil intent, and money mis-managers, as well as those who push non profit status to the limit, encroaching on the rights of the very people who make it possible to keep some political preachers on television. There they solicit millions in donations to support their often lavish lifestyle. Every two or three years another preacher is exposed for what he or she is, dashing the innocence of many who want to believe preachers are above such shenanigans.

Report a church for malfeasance or complain about the non-profit status of a church and they come back with charges they are being set apart and picked on. The people who make the charges are "athiest" and "anti-Christ." They never see the possibility that it's wrong to make others pay for their lifestyle of wealth, swimming pools, spas, mountain retreats, and $500 Hong Kong taylored suits and the plane tickets to get there.

When community institututions cheat and lie for their own ends it sends the message to the young that it's ok to cheat and lie and win, regardless of the price to integrity of the company or government agency. And regardless of the price the community will pay in the future for undetermined losses driven by the strange, new morality. Not that the family won't have paid plenty to raise these amoral kids, some of whom may never contribute anything meaningful to society. Furthermore, they will burden communities with costs associated with anti-social behavior, such as courts, law enforcement, and prisons. Victims seldom are restored to the way things were. Take your eyes off your cane or even crutches and they will disappear.Leave a door unlocked at home? Someone is waiting for that very mistake.

the author is making the case that corporate theft and a lack of any empathy for their customer also contributes to a continuing problem as youngsters, who have acquired a negative image of institutions assume a detached attitude to the community and the people who live there.

Comments and ideas are solicited and welcome. Opposing viewpoints are thought to be in the interest of bringing problems to the attention of the community and making an honest attempt to solve them.


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    • Keith S profile image

      Keith S 

      9 years ago

      what say you?

    • Keith S profile image

      Keith S 

      9 years ago

      Well said. My email signature includes a quote from Gandhi which reads, "The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice."

      I think as we end the first decade of the 21st century we are well on our way of being destroyed.


    • solarcaptain profile imageAUTHOR

      mike king 

      10 years ago from california

      This blog is updated and re-edited.

    • solarcaptain profile imageAUTHOR

      mike king 

      10 years ago from california

      there is much more that needs to be said on this topic as health care benefits and pensions are cut and eliminated. the implications are that society will be expected to pick up where the corporation leaves off. What is galling is that companies are firing employees with pensions that are within reach, such as the employee who needs 20 years for vesting and is fired just short of the 20 year goal.

      unions are not the powerhouses they once were and cannot be counted on to counterbalance the power on management side, leaving employees vulnerable to abuses by management. Cutting wages and overtime are becomjing more common, even as other benefits are dropping too.

      A sweeheart deal with American drug makers left seniors vulnerable to price gouging. the Bush administration will not allow volume discount bargaining with providers, giveing them a tremendous advantage in pricing their products, thus insuring the enevitibility of higher prices for drugs.


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