December 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Age of Ascension

The issue of integrity is exploding in the corporate/business world and it’s about time!   Why is this happening?  In part it is the energies of the times.  In part it is because we, the consumer, no longer will put up with corruption, dishonesty, and mistreatment by businesses at any level.

Integrity = adherence to moral and ethical principles;
soundness of moral character; honesty

I recently purchased an item from a website called Natural Solutions Foundation, and when I tried to cancel the order, I had a very hard time doing so.  The only way to contact this place was via email, as they showed no telephone number on the site and no way to cancel an order.  While not saying they didn’t have my credit card information, they kept asking me how I had paid for the order – even though I kept telling them how I had paid and they should have had a record of this anyway.  They also kept telling me how wonderful the product was and didn’t I still want it. 

When I tried to look at my account on the website, I got a message saying the account did not exist, but since it was based on my email address and the original order had generated a receipt to my email address, I knew this was untrue. 

Since the order was for $100, which they had charged to my credit card before actually shipping, and two weeks after I placed the order, they still were not ready to ship, I was determined to get a complete refund.  Sad to say, I had to contact my credit card company and begin a formal dispute to finally get refunded.  My credit card company had a phone number for them, but it was no longer in service.  So I let them know via email that my cc company was now involved, and they immediately issued a credit.

In a society where corporate greed, corruption, lies, and slight-of-hand are prevalent, we must stand up for integrity at all levels.  Corporations exist to benefit their stockholders, not those who purchase their products and services.  This includes drug companies and others that provide heath services.  Standing up for ourselves takes time, effort, and determination.  It is frustrating to have to do this.  Still, it can be done by being assertive and polite, being a “broken record” (repeating what you want over and over and over), and calling on other resources.

I purchased my current computer from Gateway two years ago.  During the first year and while still under warranty, I experienced a major series of problems which finally required that the motherboard and other hardware be replaced.  It took months of determination, frustration, and stick-to-itiveness on my part, but when everything was finally working, I took all my documented notes and sent a 16 page presentation outlining everything I had gone through to Gateway’s CEO.  I requested reimbursement, and although Gateway was not, at first, willing to reimburse anything, I did manage to get some compensation for things I had had to purchase from them to get my computer working.

Unfortunately, Gateway’s attitude was reminiscent of “let the buyer beware,” or in other words, “what can you expect from a computer?  Some work well and some don’t.”  Gateway, like the automakers, doesn’t want to take responsiblity for lemons.  I do hope they have at least taken my documentation and used it to improve their overall support for customers. 

To my great amazement, I learned this year that you can return nearly any item to Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Four years ago, I purchased a toaster oven that had the feature of a door that pulled out the rack when you opened it.  This system never worked very well, as the rack would always stick and it was a tug, tug, tug to get the door opened.  This summer, the door hinge finally broke due to all the tugging, and although the oven still worked, the door would not close completely. 

So back I went to BB&B to look at purchasing a new toaster oven.  While talking to the sales person for kitchen appliances, I told him my frustrations with the old toaster oven.  He immediately told me that if I had the receipt or even just the bar code from the original carton, I could return the broken oven for a FULL REFUND or exchange it at full value for a new toaster oven.  BB&B made good on this and I got a totally new oven for FREE!!  I’m still amazed and delighted by the integrity of this company.

This is what we need in all business today.  The old adage, “The customer is always right” is not on anyone’s lips today or even in their thoughts.  I propose that in the New Age, it is time to bring back this level of integrity, at the very least.