Thursday, June 7, 2007

Too good to be true

Over at wisebread there's an article about the morally gray areas of frugality. The things that your average joe might partake and question if he or she is a dirty rotten thief. "Borrowing" wifi, "downloading" music, "getting" free cable... Or "stealing." Sometimes people call it that too.

DW's old apartment got cable. There was a jack in the wall, it was the world series and the bunny ears just weren't cutting it. I saw, I tried, I conquered. The one thing I didn't do is tell Time Warner. We assumed there was a great antenna on the roof. This is NY afterall, and the empire state building's antenna is barely a stone's throw away, so it would make sense. She didn't get HBO or anything fancy, so.... must just be a great antenna! ... a really, really, good antenna. Yup.

Morally gray issues are all around us. I returned some unused CFs to target, which I had bought with a coupon. I brought in the receipt, yet was refunded the original pre-coupon price. This seemed too good to be true possibly dishonest, but coupons had already been submitted. What was I to do? Let Target be the thief? I couldn't have that on my conscience.

The list is a good one, and food for thought. I come from a family of teachers, so frugality runs through my blood. My additions to the list, NYC style:

  • "Free" cable
  • Showing up late or leaving early from work
  • Mis-marked produce (ie. filet mignon with a sticker reading "ground beef")
  • Excessive pre-weight tasting. (I recently saw a woman nearly empty her sack of bulk granola before bringing it to the scale, mouth covered in oat bits.)
  • Purse snatching. Do people still consider that a crime? ;)

link: Frugal, or Just Plain Wrong


Mary Hilton said...

Wow. As someone concerned with her karma, this is a valuable list. Thanks for the info!

kitty said...

what a GREAT topic.

The opportunist part of us thrives here, since we don't live in a small town. The only thing keeping track of each of us is ourselves.

Sure, I did the 'free' cable thing for a while until they somehow figured it out. On the other hand, a coworker was told by the cable guy he could get free deluxe channels, for a small fee. My coworker forked over 60 bucks, only to find later that he'd been scammed.

We should consult whomever's keeping score. I'm hoping it probably all works out in the end.

Alex said...

That cable service is actually extremely basic and is free for everyone! No stealing there.