Archive for the ‘Cheating’ Category

Service of Pushing the Envelope: What Does it Take for a Bank to Get the Message?

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Photo: whats-thesayinganswers.com

Parents expect their kids to test them daily but is it natural for a bank, caught red-handed in one scandal, to again test a federal regulator with another cheat just a year later? I’m referring to Wells Fargo, once a stalwart bank with stellar reputation and the third largest in the US.

Last year staff, to gain bonuses, created as many as 3.5 million accounts, some fictitious, others without customer approval. In addition to the chink in its standing, this cost the bank a $35 million penalty, restitution to some customers and a freeze on executive golden parachutes. Plus the chairman was forced to resign.

What now? “A federal regulator has advised Wells Fargo & Co.’s board of directors that it is weighing a formal enforcement action against the bank over improprieties in its auto-insurance and mortgage operations,” according to Gretchen Morgenson and Emily Glazer in their Wall Street Journal article, “Wells Fargo Gets New Warning.” The regulator is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [OCC].

Photo: dialforloan.com

The reporters wrote: “This summer, the bank conceded in a news release that for years it had forced nearly 600,000 customers who financed their car purchases with Wells Fargo to pay for collision coverage they didn’t need. The bank said about 20,000 customers had their cars wrongly repossessed. Those customers failed to pay the improper insurance charges.”

Photo: fhmtg.com

In addition they reported: “The bank has also said it charged some customers improper fees to extend the interest-rate commitments they received from Wells Fargo on their mortgage applications. In October the bank said it is reaching out to around 110,000 customers who paid a total of $98 million in such fees, and expects refunds to be lower than that total because, the bank said, it ‘believes a substantial number of those fees were appropriately charged under its policy.’”

The OCC “gave the bank credit for identifying the irregularities in its insurance operations but characterized Wells Fargo’s management of compliance risk as ‘weak.’ The report also said the bank had underestimated the amount of restitution it owed to wronged customers.”

Does today’s business atmosphere, inspired by Washington, give signals to businesses to push the envelope and hope for the best? Recent indicators include loosening of climate regulations, and the appointment by the president of Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when Mulvaney doesn’t believe in restrictions. Do the small fries in this country feel sufficiently threatened yet? Why would a bank allow its reputation to take such a beating?

Photo: cardtrak.com

 

Service of Debt Collection

Monday, September 14th, 2015

where's my money

I read this on a Facebook posting on September 10: If you write for _______, please beware. I filed my invoice on June 1 and still have not been paid. The editor gave me the wrong info on who to send my invoice to–twice! I’ve sent numerous emails and it’s been so time consuming trying to collect my money.

“I got a few emails from their accounts payable dept. saying all my info was in and I should be getting a check soon. Today, I checked on it and was told that they do not have all of my paperwork. I finally heard back from the editor and she said, ‘I really hope you won’t tell people not to write for us because of $300.’ I’m not telling you not to write for them. I just–at this point–really dislike them. I just want you to beware.

Social mediaWriting about this kind of exploitation infuriates me as do people who either play games, working the float on small fry suppliers making them wait for months or worse—ordering work they know they can’t/won’t/don’t plan to pay for.

I’ve written before about a writer friend who was stiffed a fee in the middle five figures by people she knew in an industry in which she was well known, causing such havoc on her finances that she had to move precipitately to another/less expensive city where she didn’t know a soul. The company was going bankrupt and the owners took advantage of her. This was years ago and I still want to take a shower when I think of them.

I knew a flim-flamer who told a graphic designer he worked with for years, “You designed those logos on spec,” when nothing of the kind had been said. Contracts don’t protect you: They cost too much in time and/or lawyer’s fees to defend in court. I’ve not been immune nor have other honorable, hardworking colleagues in PR who provided topnotch counsel, creativity and results.

The typical victim is not too big to fail so who cares?

I used to see typed or handwritten names of people on bits of paper taped to grocery store cash registers representing customers whose checks the cashier was forbidden to accept. Because the honor system doesn’t work so well, instituting a similar online virtual list, by industry, of individuals and companies who have swindled others wouldn’t be viable. People who disliked or were jealous of someone could add a name that shouldn’t belong and anyway, nobody is guilty here without a trial.

taking candy from a babyWhat’s the difference between these perpetrators and youngsters who mug the elderly or adults who abuse children?

What do you think about resorting to social media to accelerate/stimulate/embarrass a company to pay? Before hiring someone, even for a project, smart employers check a person or company’s Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages where they’d see such postings. The writer in the intro was angry and rightly so, but would a reputation of blabbing to the world about a grievance frighten away future clients?

Exploitation

Service of Unicorns: It’s Nice to Believe

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Uncorn

One of my first eye-openers happened years ago with the now defunct Cue Magazine that covered going’s on in NYC and was a reliable guide for eons. After arriving late at the movies a few times because of inaccurate listings and event and restaurant recommendations turned from being editor picks to sponsored ones that weren’t  always so hot, the resource lost its usefulness.

Angie’s List may be following a similar model, according to Abby Haglage in thedailybeast.com, which is too bad: It sounded like such a good idea. The answer to the title of her piece, “Is Angie’s List Making Business List Owners Pay for Top Spots?” appears to be “yes,” and it’s only a part of the problem. Its well known mantra for its 3 million US subscribers, “Reviews you can trust,” should be tweaked to “Sponsored reviews to take at your own risk.”

Figures don’t lie and should be a big hint. Haglage reported that “76 percent of the company’s $315 million total revenue came from service providers” translated to advertisers; Membership accounted for 23 percent. She also wrote about Jeff Blyskal’s 2013 findings in Consumer Reports. He similarly debunked the influence of consumer opinions in determining the order of listings, starting with the best, noting they favor advertisers.  

One customer, Janell Moore, filed a class action suit this spring. The kitchen home remodelerremodeling contractor she found on the list left her project in the lurch and didn’t respond or return the $4,000 she’d paid. Wrote Haglage: “Moore claims it was only after leaving a negative review of the company that she was able to see other negative reviews, which led her to believe that the rating system wasn’t done fairly.”

Moore’s complaint contends that members are duped into thinking the lists are arranged according to quality of review. In reality they are determined according to who paid the most for the listing. And according to Haglage, there also were complaints from hundreds of Consumer Reports readers.

“Angie’s List falsely assures consumers that ‘service providers cannot influence their ratings on Angie’s List,’” reads an opening section of Moore’s 28-page complaint. “These and similar statements dupe potential and existing members into believing that Angie’s List reviews, ratings, and search results are valuable and trustworthy because they reflect unfiltered feedback of consumers, for consumers.”

home builderThe company has filed a motion to dismiss. Haglage explained: “In a section titled ‘How Angie’s List Works,’ the company says that it’s transparent about money being involved in its rating mode. ‘Members are expressly told that service providers may pay to offer such promotions and that as a result they may be placed ‘at the top’ of search results.’”

There’s another side to the story—that of taking advantage of small business people. It’s not unusual for advertising fees to be flexible and an example in the article shows how elastic. One Minneapolis-based landscape and construction business owner, Stanley Ganadek, had this experience Haglage reported: “After a few positive reviews on his page, reps called asking if he’d be willing to pay $33,000 to stay at the top of the page. Genadeck, who talked them down to $3,000, created a YouTube video to help protect other business owners from spending too much.” The landscape owner confirmed that you can’t pay to be on the list but sales reps—almost 2,000 of them–call when you’ve received two reviews and according to Haglag, they call and call and call.

Who hasn’t had a bad experience with a contractor, real estate agent, vendor, hair stylist or dentist that a friend, business colleague or relative recommended? Do you think Moore’s complaint and those of Consumer Reports’ readers have merit or does caveat emptor play here and that consumers should be punished for their naïveté? What about the model of picking on small business owners who might not be informed about how advertising works—all’s fair, right?

small business 1

 

Service of Apology III: Do You Need To Say “I’m Sorry?”

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Love means never having to say you're sorry

In “Love Story,” Eric Segal wrote “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I wonder if the co-CEOs of Whole Foods think that their customers love them. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

A friend gave us a gift card to Whole Foods and we enjoyed our purchases. They charge more than other supermarkets for some things and so what? There are those who think that if they pay a lot for something it must be good and while the grocer sells a far bigger range than meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, the store is known for its organic fare. Its regulars are not hurting anyone by spending their money there.

NYC dept consumer affairsCharging more is one thing; overpricing another. In “Whole Foods admits overcharging, blames employees and apologizes,” in The Washington Post, according to reporter Will Greenberg: “The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs [DCA] wrote: ‘New York City stores routinely overstated the weights of its pre-packaged products — including meats, dairy and baked goods — resulting in customers being overcharged.’”

Greenberg quoted Walter Robb and John Mackey, Whole Foods co-CEOs’ explanation about “the stores’ fresh products, including sandwiches, squeezed juices and hand-cut fruit, [that] were often weighed or labeled improperly, with store employees labeling their pre-packaged products at prices higher than they should have been. Mackey said there have been a ‘very, very small percentage’ of weighing errors.”

Small percentage? This weighing glitch happened on all 80 pre-packaged items that the inspectors tested in different stores around New York City. Quoting a statement by DCA commissioner Julie Menin, Greenberg wrote: “Our inspectors tell me this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers, which DCA and New Yorkers will not tolerate.”

weighing foodI asked a cashier at a different well known grocery operation about this. He said he’d been in retail all his life and had previously worked at Whole Foods. He noted that it’s easy to make a mistake on the tare weight, which measures the container/packaging that is subtracted in the pricing process. He said an employee might forget to change it from one item to another. If it was this simple, and represented such insignificant amounts of money, why didn’t the CEOs say so?

I twice listened to the video of the co-CEOs posted in Greenberg’s article and re-read the article. Three words were missing: I am sorry. Yet the word “apologizes” is in the article’s headline.

In the video, Robb and Mackey spoke to their customers. They said they’d ramp up training; have audits gauging progress made and give free any item that a customer questioned and was improperly priced in the store’s favor. They also thanked their customers for shopping there.

Will you continue to shop at Whole Foods and weigh what you buy? Does admitting improper weighing and labeling amount to an apology? If your customers love you, do you even need to apologize?  What do you think of bosses who take little blame themselves?

Thank you for shopping

Service of Shaggy Dog Stories

Monday, May 18th, 2015

shaggy dog 2

You may remember from a previous post the story my dad used to tell about a dog in a small French town who every time he visited the butcher would enjoy a pat and a toothsome bone. One day the butcher played a trick on the dog and he tucked the bone in the dog’s collar, on his back, where the pooch couldn’t reach it. According to Dad, the dog was insulted and never returned.

The rest of this post is also reminiscent of a recent one, “Service of False Advertising.” What’s in the air? It must either be the season or the economy.

30 percent offI fell for a “30 percent off winter coat dry cleaning” poster in the window of a place near my office that I frequented a lot last year. I was shocked when the bill was $17 to clean a simple no-frills jacket and asked about the discount. “That’s been factored in.”

Like the dog, I don’t plan to return. I don’t like being bamboozled. Arf. An upstate dry cleaner, Thims, whose prices have been comparable to this one’s charges $10-$12 [with no discount]. Previously the cost differential on any item was never more than a dollar or two. While rent and salaries are less in Dutchess County, a midtown Manhattan cleaner has a volume that far surpasses that of an upstate business.

And yet I keep falling for these things.

reams of paperI bought a few reams of paper at a major office supply store and sent in the rebate information [which I’ve done countless times before]. A few weeks later I got a postcard. It said that I hadn’t sent the correct receipt. [There was only one so it was impossible to make a mistake]. Perhaps they were counting on my not having a copy, which I didn’t. I was irritated about wasting my time, won’t be doing the rebate thing again and will also avoid buying that brand of paper.

Is the secret to not being taken to fall for zero promotions, rebates and special offers? Does a business that plays such games think it is following a clever strategy? Are there any legit ones?

Shaggy dog 1

Service of Art IV: Advantages of Buying Directly from the Artist

Monday, May 5th, 2014

 

"Liquid Sunshine" by Michael Alfano

“Liquid Sunshine” by Michael Alfano

Art collectors, whether casual or serious, all dream of finding that painting or sculpture at some flea market that turns out to be a masterpiece. It happens. Jennifer Maloney tracked the journey of one art collector, Douglas Himmelfarb, who has spent almost 30 years to determine whether a painting he bought for a bargain $300+ is a real Rothko worth $20 million.

On the same page as “Is this Rothko Real?” in The Wall Street Journal, Maloney wrote a sidebar “A Deep Freeze in Art Authentication.” In a litigious society like ours with collectors ready to pounce if someone makes a mistake, add outlandish prices for contemporary art to the news of noble names in the art world crashing and burning because they’ve cheated customers by selling them fakes and art authorities run for the hills. 

"Suzanna Bench" by Yarrow Mazzetti

“Suzanna Bench” by Yarrow Mazzetti

Whom can you trust these days? Recently Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz was arrested for selling fake paintings in what William K. Rashbaum described in The New York Times as “among the most stunning art market scandals of the last decade” as it involved “the marketing of the fake paintings, many of which were sold through the offices of what was once New York’s oldest gallery, Knoedler & Company.” 

In “Key Suspect in Art Scheme Is Under Arrest in Spain” Rashbaum wrote that collectors spent $80+ million on fakes by Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and others. 

"Judge" by Soyoung An

“Judge” by Soyoung An

So the knowledgeable art advisor/appraiser’s job is increasingly perilous — as treacherous as that of a facelift surgeon when the client doesn’t like the outcome. Many are increasingly hedging the opinions they render.

 One sure way to avoid both spending time and money on research, and concerns about authenticity, is to buy what you love from the artist. There will be some 100 of them this week at the Contemporary Art Fair NYC, May 8-11—at The Tunnel in Chelsea on 11th Avenue and 27th Street.  

“Cosmological Formations,” series IV, III by Kim Carlino

“Cosmological Formations,” series IV, III by Kim Carlino

My clients, Joanna and Richard Rothbard, have curated their art fair, in its fifth year, to focus on independent established and emerging artists. This distinguishes their art fair from Frieze NY, the biggie taking place during the same period, and the some 10 concurrent art events because galleries exhibit at these.

You also won’t find $million pieces at this art fair. The Rothbards estimate the offerings will fall in the $200-$10,000 range.

The Rothbards differentiate the art fair in another important way: They exhibit the work of both functional and fine artists in the tradition of museums worldwide. Along with painting, sculpture and photography visitors will also see the work of innovative furniture makers, master ceramists and art glassmakers and more. 

"The Nest" by Eric Tardif

“The Nest” by Eric Tardif

Two exhibiting artists have embraced New York, their adopted city: Norbert Waysberg’s watercolors are obsessed with the city’s “incessant beat, roughness, mix of old and new, volume and energy,” and Yarrow Mazzetti repurposes elements from New York City buildings, salvaging raw wood and steel beams as well as machine gears, industrial fixtures and tools, transforming them into handsome, graceful tables. Waysberg is originally from Paris, France and Mazzetti, Tonasket, Wash.

At the art fair you’ll meet artist Soyoung An from the Republic of Korea who has lived in Queens for just a year; Kim Carlino, a painter from Easthampton, Mass., who is interested in the contrasts of opposing forces in her pictures–rigidity and fluidity, structure and chaos, static and activated–and glassmaker Randi Solin whose work is in the White House’s collection.  

"Awaiting the Storm," photography by Jacquelyn Etling

“Awaiting the Storm,” photography by Jacquelyn Etling

The twists and turns of benches and tables of Kino Guerin from Kingsbury, Québec, Canada are worth a detour. Also from Québec sculptor Eric Tardif, who was first a naturalist in the nature reserve of Cape Tourmente on the shores of the majestic St Lawrence River, is inspired by the elegance of birds.

Another sculptor, Michael Alfano from Hopkinton, Mass. said: “When I dig into the clay, I pull out a vision that previously existed nowhere but inside my head, or some other place I don’t know but am in touch with.” Look carefully at the paint spilling out of “Liquid Sunshine,” [at the top of this post]. It is sculpted in clay, cast in resin. 

"Why Knot Bench" by Kino Guerin

“Why Knot Bench” by Kino Guerin

Jacquelyn Etling describes her haunting photographs as “shot through the eyes of a world traveler and art historian.” I look forward to seeing Herb Rosenberg’s sculptural glass wall hangings backed by flat aluminum and Calvin, W Va.-based artist Stacey Elder’s work. On canvas she layers acrylic, latex, pouring gel medium, spray paint, ink, fabric paint, and yarn.

Why does a prestigious gallery like Knoedler risk its reputation by selling fakes and putting itself out of business?  Have you researched and learned about some of the art you or a family member or friend owns? Do you feel a thrill when you see the work of an artist that speaks to you?

"Yellow Line Explosion" by Stacey Elder

“Yellow Line Explosion” by Stacey Elder

 

Service of Upside-Down

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

 

Upside down

 

Thanks for the Memories

Used to be that people with the best manners often came from the most advantaged homes but it seems that the privileged are no longer those who regularly write thank you notes, hold doors or act in thoughtful, courteous ways nor do their offspring. I’ll spare you the examples as no doubt you have many of your own.

No Thanks

I mentioned this topic to a colleague whose daughter just graduated from college. She agreed and added another twist: Many of the kids whose parents could cover college costs have no yen to go so they don’t.

You’re Strange; You’re Hired

Jack in the box

Odd behavior was the kiss of death for most careers but not for our politicians. Like Jack-in-the-boxes, they keep popping up and winning, the weirder the better.

 

Cheat and Win

People whose fraudulent mismanagement and insider trading garner headlines are rewarded. The former receive huge bonuses and the latter keep misbegotten gains and feel no more than a tap on the finger. Both garner front row seats at major charity events and photos in the society pages.

What’s the cause of these turns of events? What’s happened? Are we better off? Are these examples the new normal and those who aren’t comfortable are the ones who are upside down?

 what happened

 

 

Service of Finance: Seven of 11 Wall Street Journal Business Features in One Day Address Cheating

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Monopoly Go To Jail card

Yesterday morning NY metro area talk show host John Gambling directed the audience’s attention to The Wall Street Journal’s “Money & Investing” pages. His distress was over the sheer number of articles about banks given paltry penalties for cheating and stealing—and no punishment for the executives.

Insider tradingNot counting coverage in the “Heard on the Street” or “The Property Report” subsections, I counted 11 major articles, of which seven were about bank or hedge fund crime.

To a bank a fine becomes a cost of doing business noted Gambling on WOR 710 Radio. He added that it’s passed on to investors while executives sit securely in their chairs. “There’s no culpability for individuals who dip into shareholder’s pocketbooks,” said his guest, author William D. Cohan, whose most recent best-selling book was “Money & Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World,” [Doubleday, 2011]. Cohan underscored the “Symbiotic codependency between Washington and Wall Street.”

In case you missed and wanted to read them here are five of the 11 headlines:

Banks Sued Anew on Swaps Trading” by Katie Burne

 “J.P. Morgan Settles Electricity-Market Case Bank to Pay $410 Million Over Allegations of Manipulating Prices” by Ryan Tracy and Dan Fitzpatrick

Ex-Analyst Is Charged for Tipping Off SAC” by Michael Rothfeld and Jenny Strasburg

UBS to Pay Fine Over Mortgage-Bond Deal UBS Has Agreed to Pay Less Than $60 Million to Settle SEC Allegations” by Jean Eaglesham

Senate Panel Opens Probe of Banks’ Commodities Businesses Information Requested From J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan StanleyWSJ on tablet by Christian Berthelsen, Jamila Trindle and Dan Fitzpatrick

 

If you were whisking through the Journal on a tablet or smartphone I wonder whether you’d miss the quantity and impact of all these stories that become vividly evident on the print pages. Gambling, whose stand is pro-business, said he didn’t know what to do to stop this cheating other than to shed a spotlight on it. I’m glad he did. Do you have any suggestions? Is it worse than before or more of the same?

 WSJ in print

Service of Con Jobs: Pedicabs join list of scammers NYC tourists should avoid

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Con game

One of the foreign students I mentor—I’ll call her Daphne–shared her experience with me because she doesn’t want anyone else to fall for what happened to her. Read on and you’ll see she’s far from alone.

This young juggler with multiple internships in a graduate program was late for class. She was stranded three avenues and 19 blocks from where she had to be, in a part of NYC far from the subway, at a time there were no free taxis. A pedicab came along and she jumped in. In her country, pedicabs are cheap.

pedicab 1Arriving at school—having heard a song and dance throughout the ride about how the driver wished he could afford to go to the college she was attending [and where he was driving her]—she asked what she owed. His reply: $125. She questioned this [!] and he handed her a rate card that noted he charged $3/block; $4 an avenue, 20 percent sales tax along with some mumbo jumbo. “I was too shocked to do the math plus he had a calculator so I figured he was right,” said Daphne. After negotiation he gave her “a discount” and she paid $108.

On her return home that night after class she called the Consumer Affairs office—she shared his name and other information in his email as she’d paid by credit card and he’d sent her an electronic receipt.

How muchShe learned that he didn’t have a pedicab license and wasn’t authorized to drive one or pick up passengers. She was advised to tell her bank to cancel the charge but the bank clerk explained that because she signed off on the charge, he couldn’t do that. However, if she could present a letter of complaint written by Consumer Affairs about this driver and her experience she could file a claim which the bank would consider. [Someone suggested that she say that she had signed nothing. This lie was out of the question she said.]

Lessons learned: Always ask the price or for a rate card and before entering a pedicab in NYC, ask to see a NYC pedicab license and as of this week, a timer.

Mark SimoneIt could have been worse. On the Fourth of July talk show host Mark Simone [photo right] on WOR Radio reported that a pedicab charged $425 to a group of four. A website, commuteronline.com, noted more precisely that the amount was $442.54. Simone said that the driver falsely signed a document to get his license. He claimed that he had not received prior summonses when in fact there had been six. Simone declared that pedicabs should be forbidden in the city as they cause traffic tangles and the drivers are unscrupulous.

On July 5 WMAC Northeast Public Radio covered “How to Spend $442 on a 15-Minute Cab Ride.” Quoting a pedicab driver and president of the industry association, Laramie Flick about this incident: “Before the ride, [the driver] told them it was a dollar a block. After the ride, he told them it was a dollar a block, yes, but it was $100 minimum per person. Then he asked them for a tip.” The “them” were the passengers. The website commuteronline.com noted that doormen at major NYC hotels report trying to help frantic passengers who were similarly fleeced.

Pedicab 3Mayor Bloomberg signed a law at the end of last year in which pedicab drivers must charge by the minute and the timer must be in clear view. This is what Daphne wanted people to know. Nevertheless, according to commuteronline.com, the city isn’t bending over backwards to support the victims.

However WMAC noted: “New York City does not want tourists to leave town feeling like they got hosed by a pedicab driver. So the city worked with Flick and the pedicab drivers to come up with new rules, which are set to take effect next week. The drivers can still choose their own rates. But those rates have to be posted clearly, and they have to apply to all customers. Per minute. No matter what.”

According to Findlaw.com: “The pedicab driver shall provide passengers with a receipt  listing the amount of the charge for the use of the pedicab, the license number of the pedicab business and a telephone number of such business to which complaints by consumers shall be directed, the pedicab driver’s  license number  and  the  telephone number at the department where complaints by consumers can be reported.”

Eons ago I visited Daphne’s country. We’d spent too much on taxis so we opted for a pedicab on a route we knew. Like Daphne we didn’t ask the price but figured it had to be less than the taxi fare. When we arrived the driver charged precisely what the taxis had! We noted this but in the end, not wanting to be the ugly American, we paid.

When you’re overcharged in a foreign country, what do you do? What has your pedicab experience been anywhere in the world? Are you infuriated and ashamed as I am that these NYC conmen target young people like Daphne and countless tourists with such a scam?

 Tourists in NYC

Service of Lemon Laws

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Lemon

A friend’s mother loved apricot colored miniature poodles. She paid a premium for such puppies and the kennel would assure her that she could return the pet Apricot Miniature Poodleshould its adult coat turn out to be light brown. The kennel dealing with this woman was safe: It took some months for a pup’s true colors to emerge and by then, she and puppy had fallen for one another and there was no question of returning the furry love ball.

I thought of her and my dog Cassie when I read about the upgraded lemon law for pets in The New York Post. The Associated Press piece reported that the New York legislature upped the time a pet owner could detect and report problems from 14 days to six months.

Dog like CassieWe found Cassie at Bide-a-Wee in Manhattan. She had a long scar on the inside of her leg which we pointed out before taking her home and the staff assured us, “that’s a scratch, it’s nothing.” However, the scratch kept getting infected and long story short, when we returned her to Bide-a-Wee to be neutered [you sign a promise to have this done with their adoptions and the organization maintains a wonderful hospital], the vet looked at her leg and admitted that the “scratch” was as a result of a post inserted improperly after she must have been in an accident. The doctor took care of the post so it wouldn’t give her any more trouble and didn’t charge us for that part of the procedure. But even if they had, we loved her by then and we would have paid.

Over the years I’ve read horrible things about unscrupulous puppy mills and the pet stores that sell the poor injured and sick innocents. The law is perfect for these businesses that charge $thousands for a companion. One outcome may be for such mills to take better care of the animals in their care as they—or the shops that sell these pets– will be held responsible for treatment should they become extremely ill within the 180 days of purchase.

Give me my money backThe Post article, “‘Lemon’ aid for new pets,” reports only 20 states have lemon laws of any kind. Quoting New York state senator John Flanagan, one of the sponsors of the bill,  “‘“This legislation is aimed at helping provide these families with some reassurance that their new family member is healthy and, if that is not the case, provide them with an ability to recover their costs.”

Has any lemon law helped you with a grievance? Have you returned a pet because it was unmanageable or had a chronic disease that was too expensive to care for? Is there significance that members of two political parties got together in New York State to protect pet owners when, like most politicians these days, they can agree on little else?

 Lemonade

 

Get This Blog Emailed to You:
Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Clicky Web Analytics