Sunday, June 15, 2014

5 appalling violations of consumer rights

I've found a few links to some appalling examples of rising prices and failures of consumer protection; including one of the only places we're not supposed to worry about money: hospitals. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act will not fix matters.





5. Cable
Your cable bill--what else is new? But there is something you can do about it!
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/12/16/how-i-cut-my-comcast-cable-bill-by-33-without-losing-any-service/

4. Phone
Your phone bill--unless you're one of the growing number of people using a no-contract 'plan' with your smartphone.
http://froogalstoodent.blogspot.com/2014/05/how-to-ave-big-on-your-phone-bill.html

3. The rent. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHEitsYJnmw

2. Medical care
The article linked below discusses the hyperinflated prices of medical supplies, which runs rampant in hospitals across America, largely thanks to health insurance companies. Insurance companies pretty much never pay the full hospital bill, because they have so much clout. They say that they're only paying for what's 'medically necessary' (read: what they feel like paying--typically only the cheapest procedures for the most common ailments).
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-us-medical-billing-way-more-f2340ked-than-you-think/

Though the above article doesn't mention it, another reason for the high prices (and grounds for insurance refusing to pay for legitimate tests) is that doctors are afraid of getting sued if they misdiagnose somebody's ailment, so they order multiple tests as a method of CYA.

Medication is also way too expensive, for well-documented reasons like this, or this, or this.

Speaking of insurance companies...

1. College
Isn't it kind of ridiculous how people have to take out six-figure loans in order to pay for a college education, which is pretty much a requirement for a decent job--yet not a guarantee of getting a decent job in the first place?! 



...and an editorial from a University President: http://chronicle.com/article/Think-College-Costs-Too-Much-/146641/ 

You'd think we'd have learned our lesson by now about the effects of so much legislation. Guess not.