Wednesday, June 3, 2015

“The Customer is Always Right” Ways Customers Protect and Exercise their Rights


Dr Abe V. Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

Homemade products - padas bagoong, puto seko, patupat, suman, tupig, and the like, are sold around Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine in Pangasinan. Typical "flea market" called talipapa or tiangge, most products - and services - come from the village.It is agribusiness and biotechnology at the grassroots.


Suki system, typically Oriental style, means mutual trust, an
enduring relationship between seller and buyer.


1. Save, save, save – primordial motto.
• There’s a rhyme built in the motto so that you are always reminded of it.
• What do you save? Money of course, and all things that money can buy, or measured, from electricity to food, dropping a habit like smoking and drinking, walking instead of taking the tricycle.
• When do you save? It is for the rainy day, as in Aesop’s fable. During periods of plenty, whenever possible.
• Where do you save? First, at home. In the office, school, while traveling, while in company of friends, at work.
• There is nothing so small to be unimportant in savings. Cents make pesos and pesos make a hundred, a thousand, a million. Savings grows like tree that bear fruits.

2. Distinguish what you need from what you want.
• You need a car; you want a Mercedes – that’s how you differentiate the two.
• Needs are based on necessity; want on luxury. Most often we go for things beyond necessity.
• What you want is more expensive in most cases than what you need. Needs are bare, wants are elaborate.
• Need is easier to satisfy; want satisfies appeal – and appeal is subjective; it is infinite.
• Classify which is need or want from a list of products and services. Make two vertical columns, and make a comparative list. If you do it accurate you will be amazed at how you saved yourself from unnecessary expenditures, how you unburdened yourself with obligations, avoided potential waste.

3. Promos and bargains – beware of the hitch.
• New products are aggressively introduced into the market. Slow moving items must go. Expired goods (or about to) are virtually useless, and they are dangerous to use or consume. And here you are - a fish ready to bite. Don’t.
• Promos may be habit forming. Imagine what happens next after the promo is over.
• Bargain, bargain! Sale, sale! Has there been a time or place without sale? Whether its really bargain or sale or not. It is a universal strategy.
• Larger container, added weight, improved taste, stronger formula – how can these products sell at bargain when their cost of production is higher?

4. Don't yield to Bilmoko syndrome.
• Ibili mo ako, Nay. And your kid tantrums if you don’t. Don’t give in. Never, because once you do, you parent is trapped for life. Your child becomes your master.
• Bilmoko is a syndrome created by our capitalistic world. It thrives on young people from kinder to teenagers. They are the agents of consumerism, and consumerism is the main pillar or capitalism.
• Spend an hour (sorry, a day) in a mall, visit a gift center, a book store, a coffee shop or bar (which used to be for adult males), gym, attend a fiesta – you will be feel you are out of place if you are a senior citizen. It’s a kingdom of young people, yearning for goods and commodities that appeal to them. Ours is indeed a world of the young.
• With increasing population on one hand and longevity on the other you will find two kinds of diapers, vitamins, china wares, and the like.

5. Impulse Buying: Don’t trust on impulse.
• Here is a guide to follow to avoid this trap.
a. What benefit do you get from it?
b. Can you do without it?
c. Do you have the budget?
d. Does it really fit well into your present situation?
e. Do you really need it?
f. Take time to decide. Time is the mother of change.
h. If these criteria pass, then you have decided well.

6. Don’t be mesmerized by the magic of computerization.
• “It is easier to plant rice and get a good yield on the computer than on the field.” Thus the saying goes. Which means, things look beautiful on the computer.
• We place high confidence on computers as if they are fail safe, they are accurate and up-to-date.
• Review your bills (Meralco, Manila Water, etc.). Here is a guide
a. Be sure you receive you bill on time.
b. Check on its genuineness and veracity.
c. Check your meter reading and compare with that in
your bill. Do this with Meralco and Manila Water.
d. Meter reading is easy to learn. If your meter is defective (or if
you suspect it is) report to the nearest branch or office concerned.
e. Don’t settle for average consumption, if your meter is defective
(or in its absence)
f. Be keen with hidden costs and possible errors. Check time and
length of call, origin and callers, in the case of PLDT.
g. Pay only to legitimate/authorized collectors offices.
• Check the price of each menu before or order in a restaurant, and list it down. Show to the waiter and be sure he understands it. This will be the basis of how much to pay after, and the basis of discounts (such as Senior Citizens’).
• Computerized receipts are supposed to be BIR registered. Demand of this kind of receipt. Conventional receipts should be likewise BIR registered.
• Computerized offers, estimates, briefings, are usually elaborated. Get the gist. Go Ask, “Ano nga ba, kuya?” (What is it really.)

7. Don’t fall victims of overpricing, underselling, fake goods, ghost sales.
• Don’t be too trusting. Don’t become unwilling victim of opportunists and rogues.
• Don’t be in a hurry to buy anything. This is where you are most vulnerable. My daughter Anna bought Buko Pie from a sidewalk vendor, P80 each, for pasabulong. She was not only cheated, she was embarrassed.
• Beware of budol-budol, a modus operandi of a gang operating on the unwary. You are supposed to be paid in huge amount for something you have – all through sweet talks.
• Underweighing of meat, fish etc.; kaing of fruits with inferior ones inside, diluted products – name it and the rogues have it. Beware.
• Two gives, three gives; installment plans – these in the long run are very expensive. Compare if you cash what you are buying. Or with other terms.

8. Keep out of spurious contracts, unilateral MOAs, down payments, initial deposits, payments-in-kind.
• Don’t enter into contract without proper advice. Get a second opinion or third. Look first into its legal aspect.
• Advance payments may have hidden motives. It ties you up. It reduces if not take out your bargaining power. Example: Divisoria traders advance payment of the crops you will produce. Such as cabbage but on condition that you sell your produce at a contracted price.
• Initial deposits may turn out unrefundable.
• Memorandum of Agreement must be bilateral. Don’t be an underdog.
• Utang, Puro Utang: Avoid Credit, cash it.
• Swaping is both art and luck. Good luck.

9. Ukay-ukay: people’s system of changing hands in ownership.
• Garage sale is in; it may be good to look around, but remember these are second hand goods.
• Plan a collective garage sale with your friends or neighbors, for variety and impact. You will be relieved of so many things you don’t need, converting them into money or investment.
• But be benevolent. There are possessions better to give as gifts or donations, than to convert them into cash. Remenber the victim of calamities, poor children in Christmas.
• Budget can be stretched longer with second hands. Leaving migrants will gladly do away with possessions they can’t take with them at bargain price. Second hand books are much cheaper.
• Antiques are priceless, yet you may find your luck in second hand stores.

10. The other side of Advertisements: part truth, more lies.
• They say only 10 percent is true in advertisement. This is over exaggerated. There are advertisements that are genuine and sincere. But a great many merely paints a rosy garden.
• Advertising appeals to the weakness of human nature – emotion. It thrives on conditioned learning (psychological thirst).
• Advertisement is applied aesthetics, you are captive of your own desires.
• Do not patronize the following ads and their kind:
a. Nakatikim ka ban g 15? (Napoleon Brandy, Limtuaco)
b. Family praying before meals, father and children and father disrespect.
(Mama Cita)
c. Sexy ads like Axe, White Horse, Nivea,
d. Dangerous ads – pain killers.

Make a list of three kinds of ads: Distasteful, Deceitful ads, Educational ads.

11. Remember the 8Rs in Resource Management
• Reserve
• Reduce
• Resort (alternatives)
• Reproduce
• Restore (repair)
• Recycle
• Rotate
• Revere

12. Planned Obsolescence: things are no more for keeps.
13. Distinguish Functional from Aesthetic design.
14. Maximize value of products and services.
15. Produce, rather than Buy.
16. Don’t allow yourself the guinea pig of new products and services.
17. Regulate your shopping. The less you do it, the better.
18. Live within your means; don’t keep up with the Joneses.
19. Austerity and frugality are time tested virtues of man and his society. 
20. Uphold the "Do it yourself culture." Set the example. Be a handyman at home. ~


Get the fresh or live thing. Tilapia caught from the La Mesa Dam, QC

Living with Nature, AVR

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