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I Hate Being Ripped Off

2005-03-10

Category: philosophies

There are few things I hate more than being ripped off. It?s not as bad when the thief is a mugger or burglar because you can easily get away with beating them till they know better. The problem comes in the case of fraud.

The first thing one notices about fraud is that you are not allowed to beat someone who is committing fraud. Supposedly such a person is not an immediate threat. This ignores the educational value of a good pounding, but I?m getting off topic.

There are several kinds of fraud. The most blatant is when someone goes out of his or her way to trick you in order to get your resources. These people are always shown to be crooks and can be prosecuted. It?s more of a problem when the fraud is due unintentional on the part of an intermediary.

Imagine that you hire a cleaning service. You give money to the service to have the cleaning done. The cleaning service sends one of its employees to your office to clean. Now, imagine that you return to your office and it is not sufficiently clean or if the cleaners have caused some other problem. Did the cleaning service intentionally defraud you or were they, in turn, defrauded by their employee? It doesn?t matter to you, your deal was with the service and so that?s where your complaint goes.

Now consider the case of higher education. When you take college classes you are paying for a service. You hand cash to the school and they teach you the things you need to know. What happens when you pay for a class but the professor does not teach the class? I?m not talking about the schools where teaching assistants do the teaching instead. I?m talking about a class where the assigned professor shows up in class and fails to teach.

I understand that everyone has subjects they cannot learn regardless of the skill of the professor. However, those cases tend to be the exception rather than the rule. What if none of the students are learning anything? Is the school failing to live up to its end of the agreement?

I have to say yes. If I pay money to the school in trade for the school teaching me needed skills, I have an expectation that the school will hire competent teachers to provide the service. If the teacher does not teach, then I am being ripped off.

So, what happens next? As with any other service, I should complain to the management of the business. Despite similar complaints from ALL my classmates, it is difficult to prove the poor service. What should we demand? Do we want our money back? I will have to see.


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