THE CONSUMERIST MANIFESTO BLOG

Having The Last Laugh for Bad Products, Poor Services and Broken Promises

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This blog is for consumers abused by corporations. That means you.

Wait a minute…abused? Me?

That’s right. Abuse is not reserved for children, spouses, the elderly, or baseball umpires. The most regularly abused category of person is the consumer. This abuse has gone on so long that most people accept it as “just the way things are” and shrug it off without thinking that anything unusual has taken place. Any consumer who claims never to have been abused is a consumer who has not bought groceries, purchased clothes, eaten out, tried to redeem frequent flier points, needed customer service and owned a car—in other words, a consumer that has stopped consuming.

So, yes, if you buy things you are a target of serial consumer abuse. No shame in admitting it, but why not do something about it? That’s where this blog comes in. I’ve been a consumerist guerilla for more than four decades and I can show you how to fight back--and make it worth the effort

As a guerilla, I view a corporate abuse as an opportunity to get compensation. I try to get my money back (plus a little something for my time), and then resume living and consuming—ever vigilant for new abuses. Admittedly I look forward corporate abuse--in particular when it grows to “abuse cluster.”

My guerilla actions started small. I objected to being short changed by corporations that did not give me full value for my money. I discovered that complaints worked, especially when “creative.” As my income grew, so did my shopping habits. Instead of getting my money back for a tube of Stripe Toothpaste that ran out of red stripes before the white, I moved up to refunds for new tires for my first car, hotel room credits for bad rooms, and cancellations of all sorts of bank and credit card fees. I returned a defective Christmas tree. A trip to the supermarket is incomplete unless I return stuff and get something extra for my time. ,

As corporations have grown in size and influence over regulators, abuse of consumers grows.As for that claim that customers are their “first priority” or that customer “satisfaction” really matters, don’t believe them. It’s propaganda. The bigger they are, the less they care.

If corporations like us so much, why do they treat us the way they do? They are not very friendly. Maybe it's because there is a permanent conflict between buyer and seller. We consumers want the most for our money and corporations want to provide the least. And so it goes: This is war--but only corporations seem to know it.

My blog may give you some laughs—and some ideas about how to join and profit from the fight. Read about the abuses. Learn how the enemy thinks. Think about some corporate candidates for my Dubious Distinction Awards. And start treating corporations the way they treat you.