Just What am I Paying You For?

I apologize for ending today’s title with a preposition. In my defense, we are
allowed some creativity with titles.

There’s a million and one threats to each of us today. That means there are a
million and one companies asking for our money so they can protect us. Our
home ownership is at risk. So is are our bank accounts. Our entire identity is
apparently there for the taking. Of course there are tangible, literal threats as
well.  Car theft. Being shot. Devices and “watch dogs” are employed to
protect us. As always, things will genuinely break and we will need them fixed as

I have an observation about the protectors. While I understand that technology
moves forward and so must they, it seems that once you have a contract of one
sort or another with some of them, we apparently are not actually protected
against anything.

From antivirus software, to internet transaction protection, to car theft protection,
to home protection and on, in about ten days (if your lucky) after paying for said
protection, you are inundated with scare tactics that say you are vulnerable for
this or that, please send us more money and we’ll fix it.

I finally asked (via email) one “protector” the other day, what have I been paying
you for up to now?  Yes I know there are thieves that move forward in what and
how they steal, but you said I was safe and then as soon as you got my money,
you said that I am at terrible risk.

Makes me wonder who are the real thieves?

I also wonder if the next step is not to revisit the gangs of the nineteen twenties
and early thirties prohibition, where if you lived or owned a small business in a
location, you paid the mob for protection against the mob.  In other words pay us
for protection or we can guarantee you that some unscrupulous character
(us) , will not come and smash your business or residence. 

I actually had an email from an internet protector ask for more money to protect
me better for exactly what I was already paying them to protect me from. I
would call that not more protection, but actually a rate increase. While I don’t like
rate increases, I realize that there are several legitimate reasons why they might
need to happen.  There is a difference in that, and “polite extortion.”

I stand by the free enterprise system, but it only works if people will not tolerate
the people who sell us things, being as bad as the crooks. The exchange of
money for goods and/or services, is not meant to be a heartwarming
experience. It was meant to be a freedom loving way to get things
accomplished, be they physical products, or services including protection, 
where everybody stands a chance to come out a winner.

It’s not just about identity theft. There is much to be weary of with those that fix
our stuff when it breaks.

A while back, my car needed to be towed into a garage. The place that fixed it
seems to do good work, and by and large, I think are as honest as any auto
repair garage. That’s not an enormous endorsement, but I am saying as much as
they feel they can, they remain honest.

My car was towed because it quit running one day. My personal diagnosis was,
it’s not getting enough fuel, it is probably the fuel pump. They called me later
that day and said your fuel pump is malfunctioning, and he gave me a cost of
$1,250 plus labor. I gasped and then said go ahead. What else could I do?  He
called me back and said that there are two fuel pumps on the car (that‘s true),
and the $250 pump will also need to be replaced. He described to me what it did
with only one new pump. It did the same thing it did for me before any repairs.

The car did not need the expensive pump, only the cheaper one. They
misdiagnosed the issue, and rather than eat the cost of the big pump that I did
not need, they just said well er, ah, they both must have failed at the same time.
They of course could not return the expensive one to their parts guy for a refund,
because it had been on a car and running. They passed the expense on to me,
rather than incur it themselves. I paid not only for a malfunctioning fuel pump, I
paid to replace one that worked just fine.

IAs I previously said, I think by and large they are honest, but
I can assure you it is difficult for me to just throw away $1200. Also, what a
business does once,  if they gets away with it, they will do it again.

I did offer my displeasure, but it made no difference. They were not going to
explain this to their boss, or pay the cost for their error, when there was little I
could ever do to prove it, other than plan an expensive court date.

The system is not broke, but it is damaged and needs some repairs. Sort of
like my car was.

Thank you for listening (well, reading) I feel much better.

I included two pictures below, because this is supposed to be a photography

God Bless,

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