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Britain: Commercial Greed: The Size of the Soap's the Clue!

Updated on December 7, 2013

And a Look at Some Seasonal Banking (Mal) practices

Britain: Commercial Greed. The Size of the Soap's the Clue

...and a look at some Yuletide banking (mal) practices.

Visitors to the UK, especially our Cuzzies from across the pond, might be excused for thinking some of the products are made and packaged with Lilliputians in mind. I lived in the US for 8 years and became used to finding volume packets, jars and tins of products, making them an economical buy over the long haul.

British retailers, however, being of a far more commercial bent than the more generous Americans, saw that putting more amounts of a given product in a larger pack would not be in their interests. Why else would the only soap for sale in the UK Supers be of the hand-soap size and no large bars, the bath size? One or two showers and you need a new bar. This supply of small sizes only applies to scores of products, from coffee to aspirin. I remember with nostalgia the old bottles of Bayer aspirin in the USA...500 or 1000 tablets were they? In the mendaceous "Rip-Off-Britain," these low priced pain relievers are treated like prescription medications and packaged 5, 10, 20, etc., to a pack.

Hardly anything is sold in wholesale (bulk) amounts. Rice, beans, flour, etc., all in tiny packets; in the US they were available in bags of 10 and 20 pounds, etc.

Packaging itself seems to change daily. Containers get shorter, thinner - less content inside; while the gram amount on the outside flickers like ticker tape. You have to admire their creative mendaceousness at the same time you detest them for manipulating us like this. This couldn't have been done a few years ago, but now the packaging manufacturers (often in- house) can change a carton's configuration at the touch of a keyboard, changes can be made hourly to the container, the advertising, and the amount of product it receives.

But the soap especially irritates me...

... along with the low pressure showers here and the lack of power points in the bathroom (illegal to install here; "nanny" doesn't trust us!).

What's going on in the banks? Along with all the power companies raising their prices as our heating bills soar anyway in the long winter days and nights, the banks apparently ran out of money over the last three days preventing shoppers from using their credit cards of accessing their acounts online or at cash-points.

The two or three major offenders blame it on out-dated computer systems faltering under the Christmas load. Balderdash! And if true, why? They are still handing out billions in bonuses, why not upgrade the computers first?

I see something more sinister here. I think they are terrified of a run in the banks...they want to control how much we get out of our own money, ready to slam the port cullis if there is a whisper of a run. It wouldn't take much, believe me. People here absolutely hate the banks and view them with the utmost suspicion. Savings accruing peppercorn interest anyway are down to a new low as customers have been milking their savings acounts and hiding the money elsewhere. The banks know this and have their grey mitts hovering over the panic button.

You see, they think the money is theirs, not yours, the customer's. As we have seen before and will see very soon again I think, they will attempt to appropriate it all. Personally, I went out and spent $5000 on a better car last month, and I am changing what's left into Swiss Francs and I'm not alone!

Last week I received an email from the bank I deal with "suggesting" I pay off the $2000 balance on my credit card - " I am paying more interest and I HAVE MONEY IN MY SAVINGS ACOUNT" - yes, that's just what it said. Does this sound like something else to you? Wouldn't you think they'd be pleased at the interest they are getting? Could the hidden agenda be, "If we seize your funds, we don't want to be out of pocket on your visa!" And how far up our rears do they have their hooked noses?

Maybe I'm paranoid...maybe you'd better be, too!


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    • diogenes profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Genna. These articles are like a mental fart really: smell, finished fast and only give temporary relief. I can't be bothered to write anything worth while...I guess I have been about wrung dry of words.


    • diogenes profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Will. Waiting eagerly for some more of your engrossing yarns. Yeah, I lived to long in Oz and the US and got used to size!


    • diogenes profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Cheryl: It's not considered manly here for chaps to use body wash, only chasps! Don't worry about me being pilloried I have a skin like a rhino


    • diogenes profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi OP, yeah, maybe the bulk stuff is not always cheaper, but it would be nice to have the choice


    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent hub, Bob. In the US, banks -- especially the largest ones -- are more tolerated than anything else...certainly not "trusted." (Wall Street is viewed with disdain.) Nevertheless, the letter you received would have had me boiling mad. I don't know what is headed our way since a number of Americans like to buy in bulk to save $$; we can only hold our breath and wait.

    • WillStarr profile image


      4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Americans like to buy in bulk, and that's why businesses like Costco and Sam's Club are so successful. Like most people, we maintain a pantry with enough food to last us several weeks if need be. Some folks have food for months and even years.

      Unlike Europe and the UK, we are a very large country, and everything we do is large. One of the first things we notice when we visit Europe is how small everything is.

      But I suspect things are about to change in America, and we too will begin to see a sort of retail rationing as socialism creeps in.

      Good Hub, Bob!

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 

      4 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Great article. Voted up. That is why I use body wash lol I think some of these things are hysterical but not laughing at you with you.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      4 years ago

      Interesting hub as usual.

      As was pointed out, large packaging is not always the most economical purchase here in the US. Sitting on the shelf it looks like a real bargain, but if you do the math the cost per item may be greater than some smaller packages.

      Another trick here is keeping the large package the same size, but reducing the amount of product in the package while leaving the price the same. Just another means of raising prices without our knowledge.

      Like you, I love a giant size bar of soap. Those little soaps they leave for guests in hotels are pretty much worthless in my opinion. I would be glad to send you a case of giant bars of soap if customs would let it go through as a gift. You could hand them out as Christmas presents and be a really popular guy.

    • diogenes profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Thanks dear. I tried to post three pics but they wouldn't download. Well, weak shower and itchy birds, I am proving too easy to resist! I was nicknamed Tripod in the Navy? Does that help??

      Your like my cyber wife anyway!


      Miracle whip? Mmmmmm!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      Very interesting and well written. Funny and informative at the same time. I agree it's odd they want you to pay off your balance rather than sticking you with high interest.

      Sounds like the British people know their stuff. Here the banks are heros to many people. I guess even the victims of this recent Bank Heist (2008) admire the banks for pulling off the theft of the millenium.

      Prices on everything went way up a few months ago, but we do still have large packages of most things available. They aren't always the most economical. It pays to do the math. Often it is the most popular size of a product that is the cheapest. Miracle Whip (salad dressing), for example, is cheaper in the medium size because that is the size most often purchased. Yes, and you can save by buying pain killers in bulk, but not quite 500 tablets. Perhaps 30 or 40.

      A wussie shower would drive me crazy. Strong water pressure helps wash the dirt and germs off.

      Without a photo I can't pin this article. I will vote it up, IF, and share. Have a good Saturday Bobby . . . xox


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