THE CONSUMERIST MANIFESTO BLOG

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

Selected Works

THE CONSUMERIST MANIFESTO

THIS IS THE BLOG FOR CONSUMERS ABUSED BY CORPORATIONS


This blog is a resource 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. Turns out, the most regularly abused category of person is the consumer. This sort of 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 wrong has taken place. The fact is, 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 an ongoing victim of serial consumer abuse. There’s no shame in admitting it, but why not do something about it? Don’t know how to start? 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.

As a guerilla, I view corporate abuse as an opportunity to get compensation. I get in, get my money back (plus a little something for my time), and then resume living and consuming—ever vigilant for new abuses. I look forward to a few laughs when corporations try to explain away an abuse or two. (Sometimes they commit a few at a time, something I call “abuse cluster.”)

You probably have guessed by now that I enjoy getting something back when I am treated badly by a corporation. I sure do. And to be clear, I am not blogging to try to change what corporations do to consumers—it would spoil my fun, not that there is much chance corporations will change their ways. Why, then, am I blogging?

A short explanation: My guerilla actions started small when I was a young person. I did not like being short changed or taken advantage of by corporations that did not give me full value for my hard-earned money. I discovered that complaints worked, especially when they were “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 full 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 once returned a defective Christmas tree. A trip to the supermarket is more fun when I return stuff, especially “fresh” fruit and vegetables for which I have figured out how to get more than what they originally cost me.
As corporations grow in size and reach (and influence over regulators), they become increasingly abusive of consumers. In fact, when they claim that we customers are their “first priority” or that our “satisfaction” really matters, don’t believe them. It’s propaganda. The bigger they are, the less they care. In fact, they talk a good game but they act not like a friend but like an enemy.

An enemy?

Yes, an enemy. If corporations like us so much, why do they treat us the way they do? They are not very friendly. That’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, even going so far as to lie about their offerings, provide dangerous products, and hire indifferent, outsourced customer service.

I am writing this blog because founding an online guerilla training camp is my last laugh at the corporate world. I have been engaging in these skirmishes for a long time and have no intention of ever stopping. But like everything I buy, I too shall come to an end some day (probably from a fatally defective product, but as a precaution my next car will not be a Toyota).

My blog may give you some laughs—and some ideas about how to join 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.