Tag Archives: purchasing

It’s so hard to say goodbye

7 Sep

So heads up – if you thought this was a soppy sentimental post, you can just move on right now. I’m not sentimental today, I’m mad!

Why, you ask? I’m discovering how difficult it is to exit my life. Not the leave-taking of friends and family, familiar places and the like, although I’m sure that will warrant its own post at some point. Right now, it’s the extraction of myself from services that is proving excruciating.

My cell phone provider sold me a plan – a bundled voice and data plan – at a single fixed rate. Imagine my shock and horror when I called to cancel my service and was told I’d be subject to not one, but TWO cancellation fees, one for voice and one for data!  Yup, $400 plus taxes, to NOT have something.  What made this even worse is that when I gave the guy on the other end a piece of my mind, he passed me on to a smooth-voiced calm Englishman (the irony was not lost on me) who was able to placate me with a completely different offer – a stripped-down minimum-charge plan for the remaining 10 months of my contract for $225 including taxes. What a difference a dude makes!

Now it’s not that I don’t expect to pay some sort of penalty to leave a contract early. I read the fine print, and I’m not unreasonable. What made me really annoyed was the completely different treatment and information I received, simply because I challenged the first offer.  What happens if you don’t, I wonder? If you are not savvy enough to push back and say, oh I don’t think so! I guess you get stuck with the hefty price tag, and the poor service.

It makes you wonder too, what else we are putting up with, simply through a failure or lack of inclination to speak out.  What else would we ask for, of whom?  What would get better if we demanded it?

There was some good news today – I can readily extract myself from health care coverage with a single phone call, and I can choose when coverage starts and stops.  Thank goodness some things are simpler than others.

Advertisements

Where did you buy that?

4 Jun

I need you to do me a favour.  Before you read any more of this post, get up and go look at your stuff. Open your closet, your pantry, your super-duper designer shoe cupboard.  Look at your stuff, take it in.  OK, come back now.

Do you know where your stuff comes from? Who made it, grew it, helped get it from wherever it started to you? If not, you should.  Here’s why:

  • According to the International Labour Organization, there are about 215 million child labourers at work across the globe.
  • Tobacco is one of the main agricultural industries employing children. Children are being poisoned by green tobacco sickness as a result.
  • Multi-generational poverty in some of the world’s poorest places is the main reason that children often need or are forced to work
  • Unless companies understand their supply chains, you could be purchasing items made by children.

The fact is, sometimes a bargain isn’t really a bargain. Does it really make sense that you can purchase a “hand-made” item for as little as $5? Made in some country thousands of kilometres away from your local mall? How far you could you get on $5?

So what to do? Get the facts. There are plenty of brands out there willing to share their supply chains with you. They audit the factories and locations where their goods are made, ensure proper conditions for workers, and work to prevent child labour.  Some of them, like Nike and Gap, made this shift when others exposed their secrets. Today, Nike is embracing transparency and sharing how it continues to work on managing its supply chain. Other companies like Patagonia and Timberland have always focused on producing high-quality items in ethical ways.

Even if you aren’t in the market for fancy shoes, you can still make a difference.  Pay attention. Question the “deal”. Get to know more about how goods are produced.  Get to know the Story of Stuff.

Buy less, but buy better.Your wallet has power. Use it wisely.