Walter Mencken 9 a.m., Oct. 1
- Community Blog
Up, Up and Away
Here we go, another corporate biggie has decided to raise prices. I am trying to understand this. We American taxpayers are aiding & abetting corporate welfare assistance because the rich bigwigs were trying to pull a fast one and pad their own pockets. So, instead of firing the whole darn bunch, our Congressional representatives along with our new President, reward them by handing them billions of dollars to fix the problems they created. And, they still get to go on company sponsored trips, & receive their "well-earned" bonuses. Bully for them.
Drum roll please, and now the trickle down theory gets to proceed. Credit card companies (bank owned & operated) are raising their rates. Since there are no regulations, there is no limit AND no notice required. A letter explaining the new (substantial) rate increase arrives about 2 weeks before the changes. There is an out. You can decline the new rate, which translates into a loss of your credit card. You can still make monthly payments on your bill, but the credit card itself is canceled. NICE.
Cox Communications jumps into the fray. In awaiting a response to my last e-mail, I got a notice of rate increase from Cox. There are NO actual numbers regarding the increases, just a simple statement: "However, due to escalating operating costs, we will be making changes to some of our prices". Apparently these rate increases will be explained in the July statement. Please don't tell us how much, because we consumers love surprises on our monthly bills. The company that touts their customer service (JDPowers award) is fast becoming much less. Seems to me this is a bait & switch con. Advertise like crazy about the BIG savings if you bundle services, reel in the consumer, then hit them with a rate increase. Are cable rates regulated?? It sounded good, so I took them up on their offer. That was in January. My savings amounted to about $9/month. But, there was a problem between Cox & California LifeLine, so I am still in "wonderland". Wondering if anybody can/will fix that issue.
Now I get to wonder how much the price increase will be. My fixed income remains fixed, but Cox, credit card companies, consumer services can raise their prices. They do not have to, nor will they, consider the consumer ability to pay, given the fact that the financial crisis is worldwide. What truly matters is their profit margin.
There is an interesting dichotomy in all this, consumer goods are fighting for attention. There are radical price decreases, free shipping for online purchases, lots of sales, all competing for the consumer dollars and hoping to stay in business.
Did anybody notice that Sees Candy closed up shop in Horton Plaza? Lots of other places are closing, moving (Corvette Diner), cutting back hours, again in the effort to remain viable. Restaurants offer special deals, mainly in the form of 3 course, price fixe meals. There are also pre & post game deals for baseball season, special Happy Hour prices, etc.
So, get the best deals you can. Get free shipping, print coupons, use the Community Magazine coupons.
Then turn around and give those savings to Cox or use them to pay for medical expenses. Gotcha coming & going.