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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I understand Capitalism.  I embrace greed when it brings out innovation, excellence and a strive to beat the competition.  To make another buck, to finish in first place, or to win the trophy – I applaud how we are inspired and driven by these motives.

But it shouldn’t include cheating, deception or intentionally misleading people.

One example is how some companies send out invoice-looking statements to people for services they get for free.  Or postcards that offer to save the homeowner hundreds of dollars on their property taxes if they hire them, but all they do is file a homestead exception, which the homeowner can do themselves for free.  It just feels wrong, sneaky and cheaty.

I got another example in the mail this past week.  It’s a 4-page letter that consists of

  1. Mostly nothing on the first page (date, addressee, sender)
  2. Blank second page
  3. A third page containing a Notice of Privacy Policy that looks just like every other privacy policy notice you get from every possible company you do business with about what they collect, what they disclose, yada yada yada.  This same page also said in bold type “This Notice is for information only. No action on your part is required
  4. A fourth page, below the fold, letting me know that I may be entitled to a refund of unearned credit insurance if I paid off a loan early

Let me ask you — after the first three pages, would YOU have gone to the fourth page?  I almost threw this letter away, and I believe it was the intent of ANICO (American National Insurance Company) to craft this letter in such a way that most people DO throw it away.  They owe me money, and I bet they’re only required to send a notice of the refund, and if people don’t respond, the company keeps the money.

That?  is sneaky.

You know what else?  The website they list on the fourth page doesn’t work.  They point you to www.anico-cid.com/refund but that page doesn’t exist.  You have to go to http://www.anico-cid.com/refund.htm.  Yet another mark in the “sneaky” column.

When I called the number to tell them about the website, the person on the phone said “maybe you have to try to browse around the site to find it.”  Yeah, lady.  I’m sure that’s what I have to do.

In order to get the refund, I need to submit some paperwork, including the page that states “no action on your part is required.”

I’d like to find out how many of these notices result in a tidy profit for the company because they’re hiding them deep within privacy policies that people are already trained to throw away.

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