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Updated on January 21, 2011

Deception, misrepresentation, deceit



“Contents by volume.” “Contents may settle during shipping.” Sound familiar? These are but a few of the caveats given to the purchaser of many items which appear to be so much more than they actually are. The packaging is large, leading the buyer to believe there is so much more product inside. Potato chips which only fill 2/3rds of the bag, if you’re lucky. Often, when having ‘settled,’ the content, in some cases, reaches only ½ the space inside the package.

Remember 1 pound coffee? One pound peanut butter, mayonnaise? The ounces began to fall off several decades ago. Initially, only one ounce disappeared, making these popular foods 15 ounces. Then, coffee speedily went from a full pound to 14 ounces, then 13; now 12! And yet, you find yourself paying the same amount for less.

Canned foods followed this pattern with 6 ounces becoming 5 ½ and, now, 5 ounces. This last reduction happened within the last year, to my knowledge.  And vegetables, fruits in cans were one pound, then 15 ounces and, now; 13 or 12 ounces in some cases. 

Cosmetics are expert at the great deception! Bottles of creams have bottoms which are indented as much as a half inch…or more! Lids are huge and heavy, giving impression that there is more of the magic elixir inside than there actually is. These lids can stand as much as 1 to 1 ½ inches high, adding the appearance of copious fluids inside. And the box which houses this illusion! Once opened, you find a piece of plastic inserted in the bottom which lifts the jar of cream as much as an inch, showing the label through the little opening in the box to cause it to seem so much larger than it is. “Protective” cushioning on top, as well, is placed to further enhance the size of the container. There is no end to the outright trickery used by the gargantuan beauty industry which feeds off our egos, feelings of self worth and desire to achieve the unachievable; perfection!

Insurance companies!!!! Right now, there is an onslaught on our senses by four major companies vying for the almighty dollar! Cute, clever and compelling with lovable main characters who tug at our hearts and humanity; these companies spare no ingenious ploy to convince us that their deal is the best. Of course, nowhere is mentioned the penalties if one actually needs to use the insurance coverage, Deductibles are teasingly said to vanish if no claims are made on auto insurance policies. What about homeowners? What is “ok,” what is acceptable about a company who, after charging you (on average) $3,000.00 annually for their protection, forces you to pay a huge ‘deductible’ before realizing payment for the damages you have sustained.? Isn’t the premium enough??? Of course not! The huge mega insurance conglomerates are, first and foremost, in the business of making profits by investing our premiums and, therefore, earning huge profits from rate payers as well as from stocks, bonds, etc.

Consider the cost of insurance where you live! I have property in two states. In one, the property is appraised; sells for and valued at 4 times the property in the other state. I have the same insurance company covering properties in both states. I’ve been with this particular Provider since the mid ‘70’s! Guess what! I pay MORE for the lesser valued properties than I do for the pricier homes! How do we reconcile this? That we live in a Socialist state?

Having a home over one’s head is a necessity. We must all have shelter from the elements, for safety and to raise our families in relative security. But, imagine this! There is an industry which feeds off this necessity, makes outrageously disgusting profits from people who attempt to own a piece of the American dream. Who and what are these behemoths who voraciously feed off the need for housing?

MORTGAGE COMPANIES!! How in the world is it legal that this particular industry escapes ripping off people, “earning” obscene profits and yanking homes from debtors if those debtors cannot pay the indecent monthly payments to the mega-profitable-business! An entire ethic built around bleeding the common man dry.

If the average home buyer ‘buys’ a 30 year loan at even low rates such as we have today; that person still ends up paying 3X or more the asking price of the property! Indentured for most of adulthood, the hapless home buyer is no more than a slave to the huge conglomerate which feeds off the diligent efforts to pay, and pay on time! Then, there are the “add ons.” Points, closing and so many other little ’fine print’ monetary amounts that must be met to close the deal.

Recently, this industry has been bridled a bit for their ’predatory lending practices,’ but it is too little, too late. There is much carnage along the road to correcting the egregious, endless appetite of Mortgage companies, their investors and beneficiaries.

In almost all categories of commerce, the whole picture, the entire package and all the prerequisites NEVER see the light of day until the ’fish has been hooked!” and can no longer renege (without penalties, fines and a bad credit reference) . Then, and only then, when the bottom line must be signed, do all the double spoken, fine printed facts appear. Under pressure, the humble individual is caught in the net and must concede to the terms of agreement!

There are so many more examples which contribute to why, sadly, I feel we have fallen into the ruse of the BIG SELL of our, unfortunately LIAR NATION.


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    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Welcome and thank you, ubanichijioke! Appreciate your words..and, sadly, it is very difficult, sometimes, to find an honest deal. thank you!!

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      Truth is always hard to come by these days. Great hub

    • ImChemist profile image

      ImChemist 6 years ago

      Great information thanks.

    • We Save Cats profile image

      We Save Cats 6 years ago from SE Kansas

      What about Haagan Daz and pizza and Starbucks large coffee isn't. Another good hub, Kath

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Ohhhh...don't get me started!

      Have you noticed things like peanut butter, in apparently the same size jar as always, but with a large concave indent in the bottom? I guess they took lessons from the cosmetics industry.

      How about the latest trickery in candy bars? "Now with 1/3 fewer calories!" the label exclaims. Sure--1/3 less candy bar is how they pull off that deception!

      There ARE 'truth in advertising' laws..why are they not enforced? And don't you think that packaging is part of the 'advertising' and should be subject to the same rules?

      It has become up to us, as it always was before said (uneforced) laws, to do our own homework.

      Caveat Emptor, they used to say: "Let the buyer beware."

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

      Yes, the age of pay more get less. Great hub.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Lucky Cats, since I realize that it was "to be continued" hub, can I make a suggestion?

      Just link those hubs together, put the link capsule at the bottom, then it would be apparent for readers that those hubs are interconnected.

      I am so new here, I learn as I go. But I love "Stories", it is hard sometimes to write one hub on the subject and disengage and switch to something completely different.

      By the way, those cats are truly LUCKY!

      All the best,

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      It is sad, but it is reality. We are all well trained to lie. Navigating one's course in this lies-infested society is a tall order, you must be well-prepared to the fact that you are constantly lied to and acknowledge the fact that you have to lie yourself. The question is more often than not is "When do you draw the line? When does it become unacceptable to lie unless you agree to compromise your integrity if there is any?"

      When I was a student at DeVry we had a course in "Professional Writing" where we discussed ethics among other things.

      Completely ethical? Mostly ethical? Ethics uncertain? Mostly unethical? Completely unethical?

      There was a whole hand-out "Ethics and Professional Communications or YOU WANT ME TO WRITE WHAT?"

      I did not realize this hub was a part of a series of hubs, but I found this material "hub-hopping". It caught my attention, because I just HATE lying.

      Lying is disrespect and who likes to be disrespected?

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi kallini2010! I so sympathize with your experience. the shame is that this is so rampant that reams of materials are used to protect the liar while leaving the "rube" unprotected. Lawyers upon lawyers earn their lucrative living by supplying all the legal mumbo jumbo to the liar to save that liar from the rightful wrath of the victim. SO DAMNED SAD!!! And, we, the duped public, who cannot, for the most part, afford the luxury of legal representation, have to wade through the mire of fine print, caveats and confusing verbal assaults to find where we are, (probably), going to be taken advangtage of. I wrote in LIAR NATION (the first of these hubs) this very fact; "the sin of omission." What you don't hear is as important, if not more so, than what is before you at the time of signing a contract. And our legal system supports these's a pretzel twisted mode of fooling the buyer in order to make lots of profit. You have my sympathy and empathy, kallini!!

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Oh, there are too many liar nations, LOL. If you lived in a Socialist State, there would be plenty of lies as well.

      Lying is a plague, and universal plague at that.

      Of all mistakes that I made the worst was purchase of the Education Fund. I was given time "to study materials" and I did, but the actual contract was given to me on the day I should have signed it. "Sign here!" I did. She did not bring my attention to fine print. I really hate this woman for her blatant lies, no, she did not lie, she did not tell me the truth. Of course, it was my responsibility to read the fine print and we all learn it too little too late. What happened? The first year contributions went straight to cover the fees for the Fund. Canadian government adds 20% to the contributions, but I guess these contributions were dissolved as well.

      I accept the fact that it was my responsibility and I should not blame the woman (the representative!), but I just could not help myself loathing her. I told her later on the phone that I just cannot talk to her and I delegate the task to my ex-husband. I have no words to describe my contempt, loathing for the woman.

      I think doing things like that are just too degrading. I guess, however, she is happy with herself, no problem with disrespect.