Friday, October 4, 2019

Should Senior Citizens Trust Online Offers? Are We Gullible?

The lure of the Internet is always there. The web knows what I shop for, where I shop for it and how to get my attention.

I personally think that Facebook has the most enticing sidebar but even my gmail inbox is filled with "promotions" and "updates" too. Almost every senior that I know is on Facebook A LOT! It is sometimes hard for people like me to figure out what is true and what is not.

All of that plays into the Amazon business model. If I am not sure, I always check on Amazon to see if the offer is a good price and if I can have it delivered tomorrow. Should I be doing that?

Now, I have found that Amazon offers their own coffee pods at such a low price that it not even smart to buy anything else.

In all of this I am reminded of Ma Bell (AT&T), you know that phone company that had a monopoly on all things telephone. The phones were sacred property, never belonged to you and if the repair man came and saw that the phone had been opened, you would be in big trouble. The grip they had on our life was not good and turned out to be illegal. They were prosecuted for being a monopoly!

Amazon is almost there...our groceries, clothing, even the rock wool for the gas fireplace are all being ordered through them. We feel safe from those scammers that are in the sidebar of Facebook when we use Amazon.

But it seems to me that Amazon's reach might not be such a good thing either. Putting everyone out of business does not feel right and letting one online website take everything over is equally as scary.

 I really do like to have bricks and mortar stores in my neighborhood. The landscape without them would be very barren. But even some of the bigger stores are struggling to keep ahead of Amazon and their online buddies.

It could be that because seniors are not as suspicious as they could be they get caught up in what appears to be perfectly safe. The big warning sign that appears on your computer saying you have been hacked, the call from the people impersonating Social Security telling you that your account has been closed, the email from a friend in the Ukraine asking you to send money because they are in is all so confusing and easy to believe.

I have had all those things happen to me. I am so skeptical I do not bite. In fact, I probably have passed up some very good offers. I have always been a skeptic.

Now, I do not know if Amazon is safe but until you write me telling about the big scam, I am going to give them a little bit of my trust.

How about you...what has happened to you lately that scared you because you trusted the wrong person? Oh and believe me you are not alone.

I would like to hear from you.


I might add that I think that our political situation could even be laid at Facebook's door.


  1. I learned a long time ago not to take anything at face value. I get all those calls--back brace, my credit is so good they want to offer me a deal, thanks for staying at the Marriott (I've never been there). What really gets me, and I have learned to research for myself before falling prey. For example, I received a message on my email saying that my Paypal account was frozen due to questionable activity, that I should log into my account on the address they provided. Fortunately for me, I did not. I immediately went on the PayPal website and notified them. They informed me it was a scam.

    One place I will not do business with is EBay. I once ordered a dozen Yankee Candle votives which were supposed to be one of each scent. Well, when I got them, every one of them smelled the same including the one that was supposed to be pine.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I find out new things all the time but PayPal has not...yet. I have never used EBay but my husband has. It has been ok I think. Getting what you order from a third party with no guarantee has always seemed a bit of a rist.

    2. Just a quick note about PayPal. I use them quite a bit. It allows me to buy things from small vendors who I would otherwise not do. Using PayPal the vendor does not get any info about my credit card. PayPal was separated from eBay about four years ago, so they have not affiliation with them anymore.

  2. Hi Barbara! I like to keep in mind that Amazon and other retails are doing their best to SELL US SOMETHING...and of course Facebook is tied into that and is constantly showing us things that we search from. The big thing is not to get sucked into a "good deal" or to imagine something is without consequences. I got sucked in with a "wrinkle cream" for a $1 that was no obligation...yeah right...until I gave them my credit card and found out that they "subscribed" me to a monthly charge!!! Yikes! We are ALL susceptible and must be careful. I was able to cancel the subscription that I didn't remember signing up for but I had to be very proactive. Lesson learned. I also always use on amazon to check the reviews. It seems you can "buy" reviews to make a product look good so it is always wise to check the reviews first....Yes, in this day and age we need to be careful. ~Kathy

    1. I think we need to all take a very close look at the charges on our accounts. They can go unnoticed for month. Thank you for your comment Kathy.

  3. Hi Barb, I have some issues with your post that I think need to be straightened out.

    The first is about Ma Bell. I was fortunate enough to have been employed with them as a design engineer for thirty years. That period spanned the 1983 breakup. No, they weren't prosecuted for being a monopoly! They were a regulated monopoly which meant that the government decided what their profit level would be and basically how they did business. Universal service what the bedrock for it's operation. That meant that no matter where you lived you were guaranteed quality telephone service. Rural areas had the same service as the cities and at the same cost. Now, rural areas pay more than twice as much for an Internet connection than cities do and the rural connection is a speed of 1mp whereas cities typical get 50 - 100 mps. At the design level we very simply over-engineered our products! For instance, we made absolutely sure that no house would burn because a telephone line was struck by lightening. Now I'm not saying everything was better back then. I'm sure that competition speeded up cellular service and other innovations. But...

    About Amazon, yes they are in the business of selling us products and they do it at a service level unheard of in the "good old days". The variety of goods that are just a click away are astounding and they get to my door faster then any other company can deliver. They have taken the Walmart strategy and morphed it up to an almost unimaginable level. Whereas Walmart basically shut down small business who couldn't compete, Amazon is doing the same with national franchises. No company grows to such a level without providing service better than the competition.

    I think we are all getting pretty cynical about many things given our current political environment. I know I am. That cynicism seems very visible in your post today. I physically don't know if my sanity can stand another year plus in our current mode.

    Thanks for hearing me out.

  4. I do appreciate your input RJ. Getting myself taken to the woodshed is often a good thing. I even reminded myself of a conspiracy theorist in some ways. That is not good.

    As for Ma Bell, my experience with the technicians were not good. Maybe it was our fault but having someone come into your home and question you like you are a thief is upsetting. The mystery about the physical phone kept being a problem. We could never figure out what to do when we moved. I am sure that as an employee you would know but we lived in rural easter Oregon so we were not in the know.

    On the upside, I do know that AT&T took very good care of their employees. That was very unusual back in the day.

    I still believe that monopolies are not a good thing in community. Once they control the market they can do as they wish.

    Walmart basically shut down two different communities we lived in. The mall and all of the small businesses shut their doors. I am not in favor of their business model and I suppose that is why Amazon is beginning to frighten me.

    However, we do shop on Amazon a lot. I hear old people in the store saying things like, "I like that but I am going home and checking online to see if that is a good price." The reality is that everyone has to measure up to Amazon. People are not easily fooled. For those that are gullible, life can be very expensive.

    Thank you again RJ. I will take a look at my attitude. Like you, I cannot take much more of all the negative. And I do no want to live in a fantasy world. It is hard to balance it all.

    Take such good care of yourself. I love to hear from you.


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