How Would You Know…

I am convinced that consumers are being taken advantage of on a daily basis.  At least I think I am, from gas gouging to meat substitutes (I’m not talking about tempeh) and unnecessary auto repairs.  The worst part of it all is they’re banking on the fact that we’ll never know.

How would you know?

Gas prices increase and fluctuate for many reasons: supply & demand, crude oil prices, future contracts, future exchanges, seasonality and then there’s collusion that occurs among gas stations.

How would you know?
Most wouldn’t. Does it even matter?  You fill up if you can and bitch about it later.

Gas Prices Robbing Without A Gun
Friday, I filled up my tank…12 gallons cost me $49.42.  I’m bitching.  What do you expect – it’s later!

The pain at the pump is brutal, however I think deceptive food labeling is much worse.  Last year, it was pink slime.  Prior to that, Taco Bell’s mystery meat and now some of us are finding out that we may have eaten horse meat without having any knowledge; and for others, for many years, we have been susceptible to fishy fakes, which I know I have fallen victim to.  Who’s to say we would not have eaten these food products willingly.

I’m just sayin… let us know.  Damn!

JJ Fish Originally from ChicagoJust recently, my husband and I ordered carryout from a local restaurant.  When it’s on, it’s on – and when it’s off –  it’s horrible.  Needless to say, our catfish dinners were far from on.  With so many restaurants trying to pass, I contacted the health department and ordered a food inspection. To make a long story short, I grew up on Fish Fridays and I can tell the difference among many species. It’s ridiculous.  All I want is what I paid for, and if they pass – they pass.  Either way, I’m never going back.

Enough about food, what about the auto mechanics- are they on the up and up?  When you take your car to be serviced, let’s say for an oil change; how do you know they changed the oil?  Let’s see…you can check the dip stick – clean, fresh oil is amber clear, used oil is very dark and tar-like.  But what about those repairs you can’t see – the ones that require the expertise and straightforwardness of a mechanic?  How would you know?  I wouldn’t.

Jae Mac TweetThe other day, during another Midwestern Blizzard, I had a flat tire.  It was recommended that I purchase 4 new tires.  It’s amazing how 1 equals 4,  but I will give them that; they were 5 years old.  Whatever.

$500 later, it was also recommended that I get an alignment.  They even recommended the shop.  At this point my cahoots sensors are beeping.  So what do I do?  I take it to the shop I’ve been dealing with for several years – Firestone.

About an hour later my husband gets a call.   For my car, a simple alignment cannot be completed without replacing the ball joints and control arms.  What?  They cannot and will not do it until they replace the ball joints.  The cost for such a job and the alignment $486.05.

Forget about it. Take it off the rack.

We proceed to the shop that was recommended by the tire dealer – Merlin. They complete a 4 Wheel Alignment for $99.95, plus I had a coupon.  My final total $74.95. We asked and was told I did not need any additional work done.  “If the ball joints and arm were bad, we would not have been able to do the alignment.”  Hmm…

What now?  Is my steady Freddy a big fat lying cheat?  Is my new beau too good to be true or simply  true blue?  At this point, how would I know?   If it is the later, I’m thinking I’ve chowed down on an awful lot of shit thinking it was chocolate.


I’m Just Sayin’…(Damn!) 


How do you know if you’ve been taken advantage of? 
Share your story.

Professor at the national catch this taiwan university who is agonizing right now

4 comments for “How Would You Know…

  1. March 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I think it's a "given" that companies will try anything to improve their profits and decrease their expenses. And they aren't above employing trickery to reach their goal. That goes for the cans of vegetables that are now only 10 ounces of food inside a 16 ounce can, to hidden ingredients, to car maintenance. So, we have to be informed consumers. That means learning as much as we can and reading everything (labels, service agreements, etc.). Of course, it's not always easy and not everything must be disclosed (can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would vote down a law requiring manufacturers to list what's in our food).
    My recent post Vegan Recipe: Yellow Split-Pea Loaf with Almond-Cardamom Gravy

  2. Jae_Mac
    March 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I agree. We have to be informed consumers – read labels, disclosures, etc and ask questions. It is so unfortunate that profit trumps people all day long. Thanks for commenting!

  3. March 4, 2013 at 3:47 am

    I say out with the old and in with the new. Looks like you might have gotten scammed more than once from "Freddy".

  4. Jae_Mac
    March 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I know. It makes me very angry to think about it! I can only hope that it wasn't EVERY time. grr :/

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