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Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Inspector 34 posted:

I think it's been mostly me and you talking about this (other than the above 2 posts) so I'm not sure who else you're referring to as "people in this thread". I never said repair shops don't rip people off, of course they sometimes do. But you're behaving as though every single auto tech is an rear end in a top hat out to turn your wallet inside out.

Yeah, this is true. It's only about 80% of them.

I'm ridiculously fortunate to have a trustworthy mechanic living literally across the road from me. He's just the archetypal good natured dude who likes to work on cars all week and get drunk all weekend. He's the mechanic and his dad and brother do body work out of their two garages. They have no one running the business end of things; like, I had a couple hundred bucks' worth of work done last July and didn't pay them for it until November, because it took them that long to produce a bill. It's that kind of shop.

The downside is that any mechanic who is honest, competent AND inexpensive is going to be in ridiculously high demand, and time management isn't his thing. When I need routine maintenance done I'll stop in (if you try to call, I've learned, it's like a 1-in-10 chance you'll get an answer, and I doubt he even listens to voicemails) and he might say "sorry man, I'm booked for the next 2 weeks" or he might say "yeah, just leave it here tomorrow and I'll do it sometime during the day, pick it up in the evening" or if it's really my day he might even say "yeah sure, I'm almost done with this exhaust, I'll do you real quick here in 10 minutes." You get the idea; he's that kind of guy who would work on cars in all his spare time anyway and can hardly believe people keep bringing him cars to work on and paying him for it.

But since he's usually busy on far more interesting things than oil changes, I'll usually go elsewhere for those. That's how I've found three different shops over the past few years whose business model is to rip off the ignorant. Same M.O. every time: I'll leave the car with them for a routine oil change/rotation/whatever, and they call later in the day and say "it's done, but, uh, I discovered [part] that needs replaced or you're probably going to die before you get the car home (paraphrased), I can do it for $600, is that OK?"

Well, no, that's not OK, thank you. I think I'll get a second opinion.

In one case, the mechanic I trust found no such problem. In the other two cases there was a legitimate issue, but it was less critical than advertised and he fixed it for less than half what the scammers were trying to charge me.

The auto repair industry is very attractive to scammers for four reasons:
1. Huge profit margins for successful scams (in the 3 cases above they were trying to charge $200 to $400 for less than an hour of labor)
2. Huge numbers of marks come to you without your even having to go out looking for them (every adult regularly needs car work done, and most people know nothing about cars and don't want to know anything about cars, they just want their drat car fixed)
3. It's often extremely, painfully inconvenient to take your car to a different mechanic for a second look
4. Pressure tactics are extra effective ("you can do what you want of course, but if you try to drive your car without this problem being fixed you're probably going to die", I've also heard "I can't in good conscience allow an unsafe car like this to leave my garage")

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Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


BiggerBoat posted:

I keep getting robocall phone messages from 2 or 3 different numbers all leaving the same recording but the fuckers are so dumb that they don't wait to leave the message until my greeting plays so all I hear is "please contact us about this important matter, etc." But I have no idea wtf it is.

Over the past 10 days or so I've suddenly gotten an eruption of robocalls from a wildly different number every time. Looks like the hemorrhoids on the rear end of humanity have gotten wise to people blocking numbers and dramatically widened their spoofing web.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


ToxicSlurpee posted:

Yeah, there are entire companies that just do that. It's actually hilarious how terrible literally all security actually is. Everybody thinks about hackers as being trench coat wearing guys with sunglasses and weird hair typing at a computer to breaking through all of the security when usually the weakest link was somebody who looked vaguely official talking themselves into a building.

I like the little nod to this in the new Shadowrun games; Johnny Clean dresses like a janitor all the time but is actually a skilled hacker. He dressed like a janitor to get past security so often it just kind of became part of who he was. The reason is that people mostly ignore the janitor. A cleaning uniform, a broom, and a bored look on your face is an easy way to become invisible.

Rule One: Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man!

quote:

'Ai! Shao! Hai-eee-' he began.

The dojo master stood up. 'Hold!' he commanded. 'Do you not want to know the name of the man you are about to destroy?'

The fighter held his stance, glaring at Lu-Tze. 'I don't need to know name of sweeper,' he said.

Lu-Tze rolled the cigarette into a skinny cylinder and winked at the angry man, which only stoked the anger.

'It is always wise to know the name of a sweeper, boy,' said the dojo master. 'And my question was not addressed to you.'

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


The Lone Badger posted:

I remember reading an article about that, online pharmacies are of questionable legality but a surprisingly number of them will actually send you what you paid for.

Or at least they'll send you a bottle of pills labeled as what you paid for. With a lot of drugs it's easy to sell gel capsules with sugar in them, or placebo pills, or even cheap actual drugs but not the one they're claiming to sell you.

In a lot of ways prescription drugs in the US are a monopoly racket aggressively protected by the bought-and-paid-for FDA, but there are very very good reasons why the FDA and strict laws as to who can sell and who can buy those drugs exist.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Konstantin posted:

Plus, a lot of those online services have low limits. Venmo is $3,000, which isn't enough to buy a decent car.

It's plenty for most camshows though

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Sanford posted:

Ask them if they are still letting abuse victims be closely questioned by their abusers before going to the police.

Ask them what happens to members of their church who want to leave.

Ask them how their church works to integrate gay or trans members.

If they have a young person with them, ask if they're having fun and tell them there are far better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.

When you do stuff like this they just mark in their little notebooks that they were Persecuted. I'm given to understand that being Persecuted is redeemable for valuable Watchtower Bucks so it will only make others eager to come to your house as well

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Sydin posted:

3. Those loving people trying to sell me carpet cleaner, and insist on me letting them into my house so they can demo it on a patch of carpeting. Oh my god they will just not go away and will stand their insisting they be let in forever until I slam the door in their face. Had one couple who even after that stood their ringing the bell and knocking for another ten minutes before finally loving off.

Castle Doctrine

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


My favorite thing about Bob Jones is the slave labor that is a requirement attached to the privilege of paying them five figures a year in tuition to attend there

you know, because it Builds Character and stuff

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Sydin posted:

There are apps that allow you to block all incoming calls that aren't from people on your contacts list, so if you have access to his phone you could always set that up and hope he doesn't notice.

You don't need an app for that on most smartphones, you can just set Do Not Disturb mode and there's usually an option to allow calls/texts from your contacts.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Parallelwoody posted:

I don't understand how American banks haven't been sued into Oblivion over identity theft at this point.

Just who do you think owns the American justice system, comrade?

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


My favorite part about lovely card readers is the clerk saying ďoh you have to slide it all the way inĒ and trying not to laugh because Iím apparently 14

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


The bit in Good Omens where Aziraphale accidentally possesses the televangelist is one of the funniest things I have ever read

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


For what it's worth I finally quit my first real job at a convenience store/gas station after 3 years because the day abruptly arrived when something clicked in my brain, like a key in a lock, and I realized with perfect clarity that I would never, ever, sell another lottery ticket as long as I live. I walked into the office and gave notice, spent two weeks calmly refusing to hear anything of being talked out of it, and fifteen years later I can still promise you that I will never, ever sell another lottery ticket as long as I live.

It's real bad.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


DizzyBum posted:

Oh hey, I missed printer ink chat? Well, allow me to share this great video from last year. The markup on printer ink is absolutely bonkers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHX6tHdQGiQ

Seriously, either buy a laser printer, or do your printing outside the home (office, library, Staples, etc).

I assume the video makes mention of this but printers are also programmed to pester the user (sometimes to the extent of refusing to operate) for new ink/toner long, long before it is actually necessary.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Counterpoint, donated organs do once in a while manage to make their way to someone who critically needs it and would die without it

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


I mean, you can just buy the cheapest coffin model ($2000) if Grandma didn't really mean anything to you

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Midjack posted:

That presupposes someone at the hospital has the job of identifying organ donors when they walk in and orchestrates the practitioners to provide care good enough to preserve the organs but just inept enough to kill the patient. Itís unclear if this is a full time job for somebody in management or just a side thing.

There's a national organ donor registry hospitals look up every patient on (if they don't already know from intake paperwork), it's actually pretty vital they know up front if the patient is an organ donor because every second counts for harvesting an organ and getting it on ice in time for it to be viable for transplant.

None of that means the 17 people involved in your care are all working together to make sure they get your precious precious organs though.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Tunicate posted:

Like hospitals do all sorts of dumb poo poo to meet metrics, like having ambulances circle the hospital because treatment times were based off of time after entering the doors, or assigning a "hello nurse" as an unofficial position whose only job is to greet people at the door, so they could check off that 100% of patients talked to a medical professional within the first five minutes..

Also handy because nursing has a high rate of workplace injury and itís something to do with nurses who are on light duty restrictions, which every hospital always has a few of.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


ToxicSlurpee posted:

There's also problems with dishonest customers replacing price stickers. If you say "the sticker price is the price, no exceptions, ever" you're guaranteed to get people figuring out what kind of stickers a place uses, getting a roll of them, and making everything in the store cost a penny.

This is true.

ToxicSlurpee posted:

Other times stuff is just misprinted or mislabeled; think about stores that put a flier out then have a paper on the entrance saying "sorry we printed something stupid this one price is actually this other price."
Equally true is that corporate overlords will happily do this on purpose if they think they can get away with it.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Yeah I saw that one a couple dozen times in the retail and bank teller days of my youth, a couple decades ago.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Probably won't actually get jail time, but you will (in addition to having your credit destroyed) get to enjoy the experience of sitting in a courtroom while your court-appointed attorney explains that "No, Your Honor, my client is not a crook, he's just extraordinarily stupid," and then calls you to testify under oath that, no I am not a crook, I'm just extraordinarily stupid.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


lol, it's the MLM version of that guy who sold Mystery Boxes on SA-Mart and unabashedly ripped off a bunch of too-trusting goons

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


oh good, I look forward to 117 new posts when I get up in 8 hours

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Tristesse posted:

Just wait until Microsoft starts pulling the monthly subscription poo poo for the OS itself.

yyyyyyup.

The dialup internet model of the late 90s is going to come back: you'll get the option to either pay $20/month to use your PC (big companies will of course get bulk discounts) or use a "free" version that relentlessly bombards you with advertising and locks you out if it doesn't have a live internet connection to refresh its ads with.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Serephina posted:

Sorry that's a huge derail, but yea OS's are not in a pretty place right now aren't they? iOS is a monster that will near-brick your device for daring to not upgrade yearly, Windows is still 50% wtf-cruft from yesteryear and a security nightmare, and Linux is always a few years away from being desktop-ready somehow. I swapped to linux since I thought I was too old to be pirating Windows 2000 still, but I cannot *imagine* paying money for any of these.

The problem with desktop Linux has always been that half the devs believe that if you're not a competent programmer capable of tweaking your own drivers from the command line then you're not worthy to be a Linux User, and the other half don't mind non-programmers using it but personally have 917 more interesting things to do with their time than UI coding. And no one involved is even slightly interested in maintaining documentation that muggles can decipher.

Sydin posted:

I'm absolutely convinced Windows 11 or whatever they call it will be SaaS. Or at a minimum, will have an annual/semi-annual big version update that you have to pay for, and if you don't upgrade poo poo starts breaking real fast while you're bombarded with pop-ups about being out of date.

And they're going to deprecate 10 pretty near instantly when they roll it out, too.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


The went with 'Nextdoor' after 'Nosyneighbor' didn't test well with the focus groups

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


A guy having everything he owns burned to ashes and all his kids slaughtered because God made a bet with Satan is pretty metal

e: Even more so when the guy says "Why" and God says "Who are you to ask me why son", over like 15 pages

e2: It's also funny that Satan was allowed to kill the guy's wife, but didn't, apparently because he thought his life would be worse with her alive

Eric the Mauve fucked around with this message at 01:19 on Jan 19, 2020

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Can't, debt collectors spoof just as much as scammers

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


bird with big dick posted:

Does that only work if you watched it live

You have to give him like $1000, but given the cost of healthcare in the U.S. thatís a great deal!

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Dave Barry posted:

MARCH 30 - In an illegal industrial waste dump somewhere in Louisiana, lightning strikes two adjacent putrid pools of festering corrosive toxic slime, setting off a bizarre chain of chemical reactions that cause the pools first to bubble, then slowly, horrifyingly, to solidify and pulsate upward, gradually forming themselves into shapes that, in the ghastly light of the flickering electrical storm, appear almost human. ''Hi!'' they shriek cheerfully, into the swampland emptiness. ''We`re Jim and Tammy Faye!''

He might not have been making this up.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Seanbaby is still alive??

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


I guess if you apply an extremely broad definition of 'scam'. The daycares (and lots of daycares are doing that) aren't being deceptive about it. They're just price gouging because they can, and telling customers in no uncertain terms that if you don't like it, go gently caress yourself.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Taking advantage of the male tendency to think with our balls is the oldest and most venerable of all scams

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Thursday Next posted:

Then my friend reminded me of the Wells Fargo incident. Seems that in order to meet "quotas", desperate managers were signing customers up for bullshit like this - so they could keep their jobs.

I'm not getting a lawyer because it's $600, which would be less than lawyer fees, and I strongly doubt a single private citizen could win this case, but, gently caress me running if that's not exactly what happened here. Guarantee someone at Chase was behind their bullshit-fee quota and signed me up for this garbage monthly- and yearly-fee crapfest. Explains why the card was never once used.

It's my fault for not remembering this 15-year-old account, or for checking on a canceled card from 15 years ago, sure, but... gently caress you Chase.

Good scam.

Pay a lawyer $200 to send them a letter, and they will almost certainly drop it.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


I just got a call from myself.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Couldn't say, I didn't leave a voicemail. I must have been in a hurry.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Not sure, but usually calls from a prison are collect-only at extortionate rates. There are a couple companies that rake in truckloads of cash from prisoners' families this way. I have a friend who worked in one of their call centers for a while.

IIRC the family member usually has to call the extortion-racket company and hand over credit card details to set up an account first, then the prisoner can call.

It isn't immediately obvious to me, but I'm sure there's some way someone has figured out to set up a scam playing off what is already highway robbery. Probably some variation of the ol' reliable "your grandson was arrested, please send $500 in Apple gift cards to this account or I can't vouch for his safety" scam.

Eric the Mauve fucked around with this message at 15:36 on May 12, 2020

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Dik Hz posted:

Are you posting this from prison? You seem to know a lot about being inside.

Suddenly my posts in BFC make so much more sense, right?

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


BiggerBoat posted:

Wtf would anyone reply?

Why the gently caress does this thread even need to exist? People are idiots.

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Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


When I worked a summer stint at JCPenney 20 years ago they paid $2 in cash for each credit app; you took it to the receptionist and she gave you $2 out of the petty cash.

I did another ~6 month extremely part-time stint there a little over 10 years ago and the bounty was up to $5 but went through your paycheck, and you had a monthly credit app goal that you could get fired for consistently missing. I was working there more or less as a personal favor to the shoe department manager since I had a lot of free time, and ignored the credit apps and never got called out on it by anyone, which made my co-workers jealous.

Eric the Mauve fucked around with this message at 00:14 on Jul 15, 2020

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