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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oh my goodness!

I've talked several times about how we should always check the amounts on our bills and what gets rug up at a cash register .  Never trust a bill or a cash register!  Always check it for accuracy.  Even a small error in the favor of those who bill us is money out of our pockets.  That's money we could use for food or shelter.  Well, sometimes the errors I find are down right ridiculous. 

Recently I read that our water bill would be going up.  I knew this was going to happen and sort of prepared myself for the rate hike.  Yet, when I got the bill I was very shocked.  I wasn't shocked by the amount of the raise.  I was shocked by how much water they claimed I was using.  It was double my normal usage.  Double in one billing cycle.  Yikes!  Now let me tell ya... there's absolutely no way I'm suddenly using double the amount of water!  Not with all the ways I've cut back. 

I call the water company and I'm told I must have a water leak someplace.  Ok, I can accept that as an answer.... for now.  I'll get a plumber to come check it out.  In the meantime, I talk with several other people who have said the same thing.  They were billed for double the amount of water than is normal.  These people have also called the water company and got the same answer.... there must be a water leak someplace.  Granted one or two people who know each other might have a water leak but all 10 of us?  Ten out of ten is pretty high odds that we all have water leaks under our houses don't ya think?

The trouble with double checking our water usage is that the meter is underground and impossible to check for accuracy by the homeowner.  Anybody know who I could file a complaint with other than the water company?  

Ok, how about a bill from a nursing home for the care of a patient who is not even in the nursing home?  Mom was in the hospital from just after Thanksgiving until after New Year's day.  The bill had charges for December.... twice.  Bills for October and November which were already paid.  AND.... billing for January.  January hadn't even arrived yet at the time I got the bill.  I got this bill on December 27th.  How can they charge for care that hasn't been given?    Hmm... it's kind of like being charged for surgery when you haven't been operated on yet.  Or paying for groceries when you haven't even filled the cart yet. 

I do know when a patient leaves the nursing home and is admitted to the hospital you must pay a fee to hold the bed.  If you don't pay the bed hold fees they can give the spot to someone else.  Which leaves the patient without a place to go back to if not paid.  It took a couple of phone calls and this was straightened out.  A computer hiccup was the cause..... or so I was told. 

Well now, moving on, we all know about the cost of groceries going up... am I right?  I know I sure do get sticker shock every time I go to the grocery these days.  From one trip to the next, I find the cost of everything has gone up.  I don't care what the tv news tells us about the economy getting better.  In my personal opinion, the economy is only getting better for big wigs and wall street, not main street.  I believe what I see with my own eyes every time I pay higher prices for groceries.  Uh, DUH!  Maybe I should change that?  Maybe I shouldn't believe my own eyes anymore. 

Let me tell you about my shopping trip yesterday.  My readers know I love to buy discount items when shopping for groceries.  There are certain discount produce items which make me as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning.  When I find bananas, oranges, onions, bell peppers and stuff like that on a produce discount table I am very happy.   I don't take it all but I do take enough to last me for awhile.  Yesterday, I had just about given up on getting fresh bell peppers, which I'm completely out of right now.  I had already been to Kroger where the price was $1 each for very small ones.  None were marked down.  I believe the cost of a pound of bell peppers is comparable to the cost of a pound of t-bone steak these days.  Don't believe me?  Maybe you will in a minute or two.

When I get to Meijer, I'm delighted as I spot bell peppers on the discount table.  I saw them from way across the room.  I rushed to get a few before everyone else spotted them too.  I quickly grabbed a couple bags of the color ones and a couple bags of the green.  I put those in my cart along with a couple bags of over ripe bananas.  Ok, are you ready for some sticker shock too?   Can you believe this? 

Yup, it says $109.59 for three reduced price bell peppers.  Isn't that about the cost of t-bone?  A very, very expensive t-bone?  Ok, how about this price tag?

Yup, the price is $62.39 for two reduced price peppers.  The price is $79.99 per pound.  Wow, talk about sticker shock!  After looking at those price tags, the hair on my head stood up, I had a look of sheer surprise, and I'm standing there shaking from the jolt I got.  I'm in the produce isle looking sort of looked like this..... (click to make the picture larger to get the full effect)

I look around to see if anyone else has as much sticker shock as I did.  Yup, I looked kind of like this too as I stand there looking around at other people who are also rather shocked. 

Trust me, I do not want this kind of sticker shock very often!  A little giggle from the produce manager and all the tags were changed.  Hmm... I wonder why she giggled instead of feeling embarrassed or saying she was sorry?  Do you think there might have been people who actually paid that price without ever checking it?  It's quite possible.  Next time I go grocery shopping I think my clothing should include a grounding wire from my waist to the floor. 

Now do you see why I tell people to always check?  Excuse me while I end this post and get a cuppa coffee.  Maybe the caffeine will calm me down a bit.  With all the shocks I've been getting lately I'm almost afraid to go near the quilting machine.  I might damage it with residual shock current coming from my hands.


Joyful said...

Wow! Sounds like all the tricks of making people pay more at a time they can least afford it are coming out, don't ya think? I know I have seen a few wrong prices on stickers and sometimes been charged more at the till also...I always try to remember the prices/discounts when I'm shopping so I can alert the cashier before I pay. They are always good about it but sometimes I'm not quick enough to catch the error. Just think about all those who are elderly or don't have good eyesight, or can't do math that quickly. They must really get taken!

jillyヅ said...

Can't believe the produce clerk giggled. I'm feeling very blessed living in San Diego right now, as we never have problems getting fresh fruit or veggies. And certainly alot less than $109!!! Geesh!! It does make you wonder if anyone did pay that price.