I like to think of myself as fair-minded. I usually give others the benefit of the doubt. I try not to form opinions and make judgments. However, I am finding that harder to do and I don’t like the person I am becoming.
During the last few weeks I had three different situations occur and each has been very troubling. Like each of you, I don’t like to be lied to and taken advantage of. Is it just me, or does it seem with these changing times that society appears to be getting greedier and more people seem to be out to get others? Or, are we in such a hurry that mistakes are simply being made?
For Valentine’s Day I ordered a brass necklace for my daughter from Etsy, an online web site that markets itself as the premier site for artists of all things homemade. The ‘artist’ describes the item I ordered as brass and includes a picture. What I received was far from being brass. In fact, it was plastic and was only brass in color. I wrote to the ‘artist,’ asked for my money to be returned and after about a week I didn’t get a response. I reported the transaction to Etsy and only then did I get a response. However, a month later I still haven’t received a refund even though I have returned the item.
I also ordered a Pandora charm from an E-bay seller who ranked high in sales and feedback. When I won, I paid for the item and it arrived a few days ago. The item was far from being authentic Pandora and it doesn’t fit my bracelet. I have contacted the seller and have once again asked for a refund.
These items were not substantial in price, but this weekend, my husband and I had an incident occur that was a bigger dollar item. This situation occurred at a store where each of you may shop…the store next door. Let’s just say it starts with a ‘W’ and ends with a ‘mart’. After an extensive Internet research, my husband placed an order for Goodyear Assurance tires for my my minivan and paid with our credit card. The big-box store sent a message indicating the tires had arrived and to make an appointment. Saturday afternoon my husband took the van and receipt with him to the appointment. The receipt indicated the purchase and the type of tire – all four of them.
While waiting for the tires to be mounted, my husband ran a few errands and shopped at the big-box store. Two and a half hours later (much longer than the hour quoted), he left. Once he arrived at his next destination, he looked more closely at the tires and noticed they weren’t the Goodyear Assurance tires we paid for but Goodyear Viva tires priced at half the cost and rated lower. We later learned these are the tires the big-box store sells and installs regularly.
My husband went back to the store and complained. The manager of the Auto Service Department indicated it was a mistake and the technician simply pulled the wrong tires; however, what if we had never checked? What would have happened to the tires and the additional money we paid? The big-box store apologized, but how do mistakes like this occur? Is there no quality control? What if this was their vehicle or money?
If this situation had occurred in and of itself I would have not given it a second thought. Maybe it’s the sign of the times; maybe I have a short fuse. Am I just getting older, am I jaded? Why do we have to double check each and everything we purchase? Why do sellers think we won’t return items if they have a return policy? And, do they not care if we report them to the hosting sites or the Better Business Bureau? Have we gotten so far away from good customer service that it doesn’t matter? Have the big-box stores gotten so large that we all are just numbers who contribute to their ever growing bottom line? If so, I would rather shop at smaller, local stores and pay more money and be known by my first name and be treated with a warm smile and friendly hello. Maybe this situation was a reminder as to what I already knew, but had forgotten.
Like so many of you, I don’t like the way things are going in this world. I try to surround myself with positive people and an upbeat environment, but admit it’s getting more difficult. My medical situation requires I manage my stress, if not, my pain level increases. In addition, I am struggling with Gastroparesis, which I wrote about in early January. If I don’t also manage my food…it manages me.
Maybe I am a bit naïve. I like to believe most people are good and aren’t out to get you. However, in my latest transactions, I have been shown the opposite. I am very disappointed lately…in people, companies, but also in me. I didn’t used to be this way. How can I be more trusting? I don’t know where to begin. I believe we should all get back to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 KJV. In other words, simply live the Golden Rule. I believe it may solve many of the today’s problems. I am willing to give it a shot…how about you?
©My Unplanned Life and http://www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com, 2013