Friday 3 March 2006

A new way of doing business…

Yet again we’ve been inspired by the way in which some companies operate. So much so that we ourselves are going to change the way we do business to see if we can make as much money as they must be making.

Incidentally, yes we do actually do paid work as well as doing the Consumer Watchdog (which for all of you who have asked we do entirely for free). If you want to find out what we do to earn our keep then check our web site at

Anyway, that’s the free advertisement (Thanks Mmegi!), back to our new business approach. To all our existing and new customers - here’s how it’s going to work in future.

To begin with before we actually do any work we’re going to make you sign enormously complicated contracts that are written in exceptionally small letters that an eagle would have difficulty reading. They’ll be written in that special legal language with loads of “notwithstanding”s, “hereinafter”s and perhaps even the occasional “domicilium citandi et executandi”. There will be several Annexures, endless cross-references and quite a bit about how we don’t want any “delictual interference with contract or prospective business advantage”. In other words you won’t understand a word of it, we’ll sound very clever indeed and we can include all sorts of weird things that allow us to repossess your mother’s dining table if we feel like it.

We also plan to include a variety of special clauses that tie you into the contract so that you can never escape our clutches.

One will say that any work we do is automatically satisfactory or that if someone has to decide if we’ve performed well enough then it will be us, not you. After all we can’t have you judging our work, can we?

Another clause we like a lot is the one that says that simply signing the contract with us you have understood and accepted everything in the contract and that you promise never to say you didn’t, even though we know you didn’t understand a word of it.

Next thing we’ll do is to include in the charges for our work a hidden insurance scheme. If by any chance you find out that it exists we’ll just tell you that we’re insuring your life and well-being in case anything happens to you and that it will be for the benefit of your family. That sounds good doesn’t it? Sure it does. It not true though. In fact the insurance scheme will insure US against you dying, going bankrupt, being fired, going mad, being imprisoned or in any way getting between us and your money. The simple fact is that even though only a very small number of our customers are liars, cheats and crooks we’re going to assume that you all are. We simply don’t trust you to keep to our agreement so we’re going to make you pay to insure us. Of course it’s reasonable!

Oh and by the way, this is a VERY special form of insurance. It’s the Lamborghini of insurance schemes. It benefits the driver (us) hugely, shows contempt for pedestrians (you) and costs a HUGE amount of money. Which YOU pay for. Sure, most insurance premiums cost less than 1% of the payout each month at most. This one is better though. It’s going to cost you maybe as much as half of the cost of what you’re buying from us. If we happen to keep for ourselves the majority of the so-called premium you’re paying, well, that’s not a problem is it? So long as you don’t find out of course!

And if you DO find out? Well, do you remember that clause in the contract where you said you understood everything in the contract and accepted it all?

Oh yes, something else. We’re going to charge you for everything. We’ll charge you for the time it took to meet you and sign the contract although we’ll probably just call it a “handling charge” or an “arrangement fee”.

We’ll charge you extra money every time you’re just a day late paying us. You don’t remember agreeing that we could do that? Check the contract that you promised you understood fully. In between the sections on “Liability” and “Breach” you’ll find a clause that talks about “remedial pecuniary disadvantage recovery mechanisms” or some equivalent gibberish that allows us to punish you and earn even more money from you.

So are we going to be totally open about all of this? Of course not! If you get a hint that we do business this way you’re going to think that we’re somewhat less than honest and we can’t have that can we? We can’t have anything getting in the way of our inalienable right to make money at your expense, can we?

I suppose you could always deal with our competitors though. Maybe they’re not going to be quite as awful to deal with in which case we’ll just lose our customers to them. Mmmmm, didn’t think of that.

Maybe on reflection, honesty and openness are the best policies after all?

This week’s stars!

  • David from Mr Price Home at Riverwalk for being really friendly and helpful
  • Rose at Pick N Pay for always being so friendly
  • Calvin at Kudu Filling Station in the Main Mall for being cheerful and jolly

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