Bait and Switch Pricing Scam

Businesses rely on a steady flow of prospects, customers, and a profit. Unfortunately, some businesses utilize illegal strategies as an attempt to boost their profits. One illegal method some retail establishments use is known as 'bait and switch', which is regulated by the FTC - aka the Federal Trade Commission.

Some consumers may not be aware that bait and switch isn't limited to purchasing a product from a retail establishment, but it can also occur at a restaurant. Have you been a victim of bait and switch? The following example may help you to determine if you have.

Imagine a restaurant advertises on their menu that the individual one-serving meal is 'served with rice and salad'. However, when you pick up your meal the order doesn't match what their menu states is included! Two combo meals were ordered to go, both of which were to be 'served with rice and salad'. The individual one-serving salad is in a separate container from the hot food, but when two combination meals were ordered only one individual serving of salad was received.

You know how it is when you're in a hurry with to-go food; you may not be paying attention to what was put inside the to-go bag. But then upon returning home it's discovered you were only provided one salad, and it's obviously only one-serving.

The first time this occurred you may have thought the restaurant simply overlooked including two salads, but then imagine it happened a second time when returning many months later. However, when the cashier is questioned as to where the other salad is they replied that you only get one salad with the two meals! Say what?

Imagine you ordered two meals and their menu states (advertises), each meal is 'served with rice and salad', their pricing is for each individual meal and therefore it is bait and switch to only serve you one salad for two meals purchased! The exception would be if you requested to not have the second salad, which they should consider a price reduction for providing you less food, or perhaps offer an equivalent substitution.

How do you determine if it's bait and switch? Let's take a look at how the FTC determines if an ad is deceptive, and then we'll compare it to the advertised menu items in this example. The FTC states many guidelines to determine if an advertisement is deceptive, but this is the key point that is applicable to this situation:
The FTC looks at the ad from the point of view of the "reasonable consumer" - the typical person looking at the ad. Rather than focusing on certain words, the FTC looks at the ad in context - words, phrases, and pictures - to determine what it conveys to consumers.
It's fairly cut and dry to determine that the restaurant menu advertised each meal is 'served with rice and salad', but if you only received one salad for two meals, and they deliberately cheated the consumer out of the second salad that would be an example of bait and switch!

As per the FTC's description of deceptive advertising, if what is conveyed to the consumer is contradictory to what they actually receive for the price advertised, it's bait and switch! The next time you order a meal, or purchase an item advertised, pay attention to what you receive in exchange for what you paid. If you're in doubt and the establishment refused to provide a good explanation, review the FTC deceptive advertising guidelines to determine if you were a victim of the old bait and switch scam.

Left Handers Earn Less Income

Less Income?

It's International Left-Handers Day! So, what's the big deal about lefties? For starters, left-handers might earn 10 - 12% less annually than their right-handed counterparts! Yet, left-handers generally work harder! Why is that, and who says?
One study concluded it may be due to the fact that left-handers neurological wiring is different than right-handed people, resulting in left-handers bringing in less income. Sounds like left-handers may have less to celebrate, than more. On a positive side - they're supposed to be more creative. Hurray for left-handers!

Work from Home Top 100 Companies for Telecommuting Jobs

Telecommuting Jobs

  • Offer the ability to work from home.
  • An opportunity to gain more control over their life.
Working from home is not for everyone, and it requires discipline that some people simply don't have. For the independent soul telecommuting jobs provide greater freedom, but without being in business for themselves.

Is a telecommuting work from home job or career right for you? You'll need to make that decision for yourself, because you know if whether or not you have the right characteristics and personality to succeed in that direction.

If you're already well acquainted with the frustration of searching for a legitimate work from home opportunity, and tired of running into dead-ends with the work from home scams, this information will help.

Locating Telecommuting Opportunities

Here's two quick tips to get you started with finding a work from home solution:

1). Forbes completed an article featuring the top 100 companies offering work from home opportunities for this year. Just when you thought there might not be many places to search, you will probably be overwhelmed with so many work from home choices!

2). The list Forbes provided was generated from the site Flexjobs. If you don't want to limit your search to the top 100 companies, and want to search with more specific parameters for telecommuting opportunities, give Flexjobs a try.

There is one catch though - yeah, I'm sure you may have been wondering if there was a catch! If you find a job on their site you're interested in, you will need to register on their site, and the only way you can access the information for the company offering the position is by a paid subscription. However, if you're serious about finding a flexible telecommuting position with a legitimate company offering a real job and not a scam, it may be worth the subscription price to pursue it.

If I were able to make a suggestion to Flexjobs, it would be for them to offer one free month trial subscription.

If you're looking for a legitimate work at home job I hope that may send you in the right direction, and save you time. After all, time is money and the less you waste on unfruitful searches, the more you will save!

Employment Security Clearance Fees for Top Secret Clearance

Searching for Employment

  • Can be difficult, and especially during rough economic times.
  • The stress of being unemployed and needing to resolve that challenge can make us vulnerable to offers that are not legitimate offers of employment.
Some positions for the Government, Department of Defense, and for businesses that contract with the military may require Security or Top Secret clearance. Some companies and recruiting agencies may promise to complete the process of obtaining Security Clearance for you, but beware!

Job Search Cautions

  • Do your homework in regards to the position you are applying for!
  • Research - 'who' the the entity is that you submit your application to!
  • Be on the alert to potential bogus employment offers, including those that promise to obtain your Top Secret or DOD security clearance for a fee
  • A legitimate offer of employment, which requires a DOD and/or Top Secret clearance, will not ask you for a fee.

Online Banking Options

For some, banking is far easier thanks to the internet. For others, if they're technologically challenged, or dumb criminals, online banking options won't fix their problem:

 Image by:
Captions by:
Tammara Garland

Money in the Bible and the Prosperity Gospel

Scriptures Regarding Money

  • Within the Holy Bible there are many scriptures in regards to money.
  • Given the world we live in, it's easy to fall prey to what has become known as the 'prosperity gospel'.
The fact is, we all need money to survive, and there isn't anything wrong with money. However, when we become obsessed with money, and/or have the love of money, it then becomes a hindrance to everything else in our lives.

Trusting in Riches

  • The Bible makes it clear that we will have needs.
  • But, trusting in riches from money and possessions is not what the Bible is referring to when it speaks of riches.
  • Scriptures are often twisted, and in regards to money and prosperity, those scriptures that were twisted become an illusion, which clouds the truth.

Monetary Stewardship

  • God does not wish for anyone to suffer from lack.
  • He wants people to live a prosperous life, but prosperity comes in other means as well - not always relating to money.
  • God wants everyone to be a good steward of the money they have to work with, so stewardship is important, and it is taught in the Bible.
  • Lack of stewardship can contribute to lack of resources.

My hope is that each of us learns to focus on true riches, aside from those gained by monetary wealth.

Use a Lottery Simulator to Play the Lotto and Save a Dollar

Winning a Lottery

Wondering what your odds are of winning a lottery such as the the mega millions? The quick answer obviously, is to simply read the odds revealed in print, but reading the odds doesn't stop most people from playing, as they hope they just might be 'the lucky one'!

Compare Investing One Dollar a Day

  • Rather than playing the lotto, consider investing $1.00 a day - minimum.
  • If you save the $1.00 each day you would have normally played a $1.00 lottery ticket, and calculate how much that can add up over time. It may not seem like much, but the time value of money does add up as more time goes by!

Time Value of Money - How Much a Dollar a Day is Worth

  • Let's assume an interest rate of only 3% on the money (compounded interest), which is roughly that of the average inflation rate in the USA over the last 30 years.
  • Next, we'll do a calculation at a higher rate of return on $1.00 a day at 8% compounded interest. Let's also assume you saved $1.00 a day for 365 days of the year, rather than playing the lottery daily. Here's the results:

Saving $1.00 a Day with 3% Compounded Interest Rate

1 Year: $375.95
3 Years: $1,162.02
5 Years: $1,995.97
7 Years: $2,880.70
10 Years: $4,309.85
15 Years: $6,992.26
20 Years: $10,101.92
25 Years: $13,706.86
30 Years: $17,885.98
35 Years: $22,730.72

Saving $1.00 a Day with 8% Compounded Interest Rate

1 Year: $394.20
3 Years: $1,279.73
5 Years: $2,312.61
7 Years: $3,517.37
10 Years: $5,710.60
15 Years: $10,703.36
20 Years: $18,039.37
25 Years: $28,818.36
30 Years: $44,656.24
35 Years: $67,927.28

Potential Growth of Small Investment

  • The potential growth on only $1.00 a day, can you really afford to play the lottery when the odds are stacked so high against you?
  • Higher rates of return can be achieved by investing in the market, but don't overlook the higher risk as well.
The above calculations are assuming a lump sum of $365.00 invested the beginning of a year, rather than investing $1.00 a day. This article originally spoke of the MegaMillions Lottery Simulator, of which I later decided was not a good place to link to. I've edited the article to instead reflect your opportunity to invest a dollar a day!