At one time I can remember my brother saying, "I want to live off the land. I want to move to Montana, build a cabin and live free of all these trappings that keep us chained down."
Well, as we were paying bills the other day my brother's words came back to haunt me. There's nothing quite like being cheated out of your hard-earned pay by a bunch of supposedly legit companies to make your day complete, is there? Recently, my husband and I decided to switch propane companies. Well, it was by far the smartest move we ever made. One, we're paying about half of what we used to pay. Now, take a moment, close your eyes and imagine the word half. Yes, we cut our bill in half and all we did was switch companies. That tells you the other company is as crooked as the day is long if they're charging twice as much, doesn't it? Oh and the best part is, the old company still has their tank in our yard. It seems we need to call to have them come and pick it up. The catch? We need to pay a fee to have them pick up their own damn tank. Yep, that's right. They own the tank. All we did was lease it. We paid a fee every single time they came out and filled it. Now, we have to pay another fee to have them come and get their friggin' tank. Back in school we would have been taught that cheating people was wrong. Something tells me the propane companies were out sick that day, what do you think? With the new company we bought our own tank. Period. It's ours. No fees, no bullshit.
Back to the bill paying. So, we open our cable bill, which happens to also be our internet bill. My husband's mouth drops as he sees that it's jumped by $35. We didn't DO anything to cause it to spike. So, he calls the cable company. Why is our bill suddenly higher? It turns out we're paying more because our old plan ran out, so now we're being charged more. He stays on the line for awhile and attempts to get us changed to a new plan. Thankfully, it works and we're back down, not quite to where we were, but close. So, you have to wonder, how many millions got bumped but just paid to avoid the hassles of dealing with these annoying assholes? How many millions of dollars do they make because of their sneaky business practices? New plan my ass. It's another way for them to rip us off. A few dollars here, a few there, it's easy to overlook it. Assume our introductory rate ran out, etc. You know what's so frustrating? They're the only company around our area with this type of fast connection. They have us over a barrel and they know it.
Between the cable company and the propane company I looked at my husband and said, "I'm about ready for a wood stove and oil lamps!" Sometimes I wonder if it'd be simpler to ditch modern conveniences and go back to the old ways. It wouldn't be a whole lot different from the way I grew up. There were a lot of winters we simply didn't have the money to pay the heat, so dad cranked up the wood burning stove. I personally never felt the difference. After all, I was still warm, still happy and it was still Home Sweet Home.
There's a special place for crooks like these. I'm sure of it. And it's not a sunny happy place either!