Invest In Yourself – Do Not Let Businesses Take Advantage of You

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Money is powerful; everyone knows it. In light of this, business can be both wonderful and damaging; as organisations from all sectors constantly strive to find new and inventive ways to take our money from us. A nuisance at the best of times, the current state of the economy means more than ever, people want to keep a tight hold on the financial assets they still have. Knowing the techniques businesses employ to pilfer our hard earned cash and how best to go about avoiding such rogue techniques can be invaluable information.

Small Print

It was once said that education is what you get when you read the small print and experience is what you get if you do not. This refers to businesses technique of putting the terms and conditions – and often some of the most important information – into a tiny section of almost illegible text at the bottom of a contract or order form. This print, often missed or ignored can grant the company permission to do a whole host of things; from sending you mail advertisements to taking a monthly fee out of your bank account.

Tick Boxes

Small tick boxes seem to appear everywhere; be it online, on order forms or in catalogues. The problem is, many are either pre-ticked to sign buyers up to additional payments etc. or must be spotted and ticked in order to opt-out of receiving such charges. Again usually concealed at the very bottom of a form in a font which the eyes must strain to see, these are often missed and consumers find their letterboxes bombarded by advertisements and their accounts equally bombarded by charges.

Failure to Inform

If they can get away with it, some businesses will avoid giving away details their customers are likely to disapprove of as much as they possibly can.

One of the timeliest and most shocking examples of this comes with Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Last year, news broke globally that millions had been taken from unsuspecting consumers when banks mis-sold PPI to people who had no need for it, no desire for it and worst of all, no idea that they had been paying for it in the first place. Having been named and shamed, the guilty culprits are still liable for huge amounts in compensation to those they robbed of their cash. Victims can complain directly or employ the help of specialists who will take up the case and lodge the complaint on their behalf.

Third Parties

Have you ever received emails, letters and fliers from companies that you have never even contacted, let alone purchased anything from? Chances are you will have and this is likely because many organisations will sell peoples’ data on to other businesses, which they will then use to target them for direct advertising in attempts to hustle money out of them.

Not just a technique employed by rogue businessmen however, even governments and councils are doing it. Edited versions of the electoral role are sold to anyone who wishes to buy it and the data held within it can be employed for any purpose. Discussions were held to consider abolishing this act but they fell through; to this day information such as our names, ages, addresses and email accounts are being sold without our consent. It is consumers who must take action to request they are removed from the register; a need to once again opt-out rather than in.

With money being more precious to us than ever, businesses ruthlessly targeting their consumers in attempts to unwittingly make them part with their cash seems cold and unnecessary. Most businesses are honest and have integrity; it is the minority tarnishing their reputation.

Being diligent and thoroughly reading (and re-reading) contracts, order forms and information can often make the world of difference. It is better to avoid ending up in these situations than have to take action to get yourself out of them. After all, the best investment you can make is in yourself and your own future and the best way to do this is by protecting your finances.