Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Does this happen to everyone or am I the only one taking crazy pills?

Life is not without it's ups and downs... but I have to say this year has been beyond rollercoaster. The only real highlights of the year thus far has been the birth of my youngest daughter and my wife surviving her sixth c-section.
We went to the police yesterday to report the bounced checks that the owner of the car dealership keeps giving us. We were advised to go to the police by a Brooklyn, NY Assistant D.A., who informed us about NY code 190 that states that if someone knowingly presents you with a check that clearly will not cash, it is known as a bad check and can be prosecuted. The police however told me the check has to be from either a closed account or from a third party trying to pull off a fraud. Two different interpretations of the same law from people that are suppose to uphold and protect us, the citizens. Amazing, isn't it! The police obviously saw our $2200 as not worth their time. We were told it's a civil matter. Great! We looked into small claims court as an option and we learned that it would be a waste of time for us. His lawyer would ask for a continance and even if we won, it's not a guarantee that he would pay in a timely manner. Realty states for us that we need money to pay our bills now... not years from now. The system I feel works for those that are in a position of power. Criminals are only caught when those in power feel that they have been the victim. Had this same car dealer bounced a check regarding payment of taxes or any other dues, the authorities in question would have sure used the same Police and prosecutors to get what was rightfully theirs. That I am learning is a law of economic evolution. Which beings me to one of my little personal life lesson rules:

"When one hand is not in a position to evenly wash the other hand, then that hand will remain unwashed."

Why not go to the media, in particular those shows that are designed to help people in such situations? Well, what these shows fail to tell you is that you have to get through the hundreds, possibly thousands of letters, calls, emails, and tapes of people who have problems just like you. Then you have interns, wannabees and the first lines of media defense that screen these things and if everyone agrees that it's a story that the producers should see, then it makes it to them. The producers have to take things into consideration such as timing of the story, if it will get ratings and what I feel is a hidden importance- whose toes politically will the airing of such a story step on. Anger the wrong people and that producer may be looking for a new job. Get the right people angered and change will happen. So I have been calling, emailing, writing, and sending in tapes. I'm just hoping that it will get through to the right hands. My family in the meantime can't wait for that hope. The day-to-day still goes on. I still have to place food on the table and try to pay the bills. I'm not a pessimist, more of a realist when it comes to economic survival. That brings me to my first economic tip. This has to do with buying cars, especially used ones. Many of us need cars and may not be able to afford one, so we'll look the web and papers over looking for the best deals. My advice to those looking at buying a used car is a simple one:

When buying a used car, if you know nothing about cars, go with someone who does. A family member, a friend, a co-worker. Anyone who will give you an honest opinion. Better yet, pay a mechanic to come with you to inspect the used car. Although there are lemon laws to protect the consumer, you don't want to pay one red cent for something that may give you problems sooner than you'd plan. A licensed mechanic will agree or refute anything a salesman says. Remember, there is a reason why someone is parting with a car. With the exception of an expanding family and the need for a bigger car, you must believe that everyone else has an alterior motive to sell. Even the need of cash can fool you into thinking the person is letting go of a good car. If the car was so good, they would still be using it. You don't want to be the poor fool who purchases someonelse's problem unless you're willing to tolerate it.

Now we're told by the dealer that we will be getting cash back on Thursday afternoon. He's said this four times already and hasn't been true anytime. My mother-in-law (she's another entire post for husbands who are trying to deal with meddling parents) believes we should give him a chance. Am I the only one taking crazy pills? That's like me believing that Mark Foley had the best interests of those pages he contacted in mind. This crook will do everything he can too put off giving us our money. His tactic is to make us frustrated to the point that we stop asking about the money. I've got news for him. I have got nothing to lose at this point and I will continue until my refund is given. I will make posts, file complaint after complaint, I will even sit out in protest to alert other customers that this individual is not who he says he is and his cars are not what he wants you to believe what they are. My wife and I will be down there on Thursday. What will happen... stay tuned.

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