The Saturday Weekend Review #52: Should all computer pricing errors be honoured?

Pricing-ErrorsTO HONOUR A PRICE OR NOT

 

We’ve talked about pricing errors before here at Canadian Budget Binder which is essentially either a glitch in the system, human error or simply a price not being changed properly.

Earlier in November I talked about an online glitch for Wal-Mart but they did give back to the customers in question with a $10 gift card.

In Canada we call this the Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) which most stores follow such as Wal-Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart and No Frills just to name a few.

The short story is if a price scans higher than the shelf price you get the price free up to $10 or a $10 deduction from the price if it is over $10 in cost to you, provided the store participates in the program. Sounds great, and it is as long as you are aware of SCOP which sadly, many people are not.

I was reading a story on Yahoo this morning about a computer glitch for Delta Airlines apparently caused by a junior programmer. Prices for first class flights were being offered at prices that no one could refuse and they were being snatched up and fast.

Word broke on Facebook as people bragged about the extreme deals in no time at all. Deal seekers were flocking to book round-trip flights to Hawaii for cheaper than a dinner out on the town for two at a swanky restaurant which for us is under $100. It was quickly shut down but anyone who says word of mouth marketing doesn’t work is sadly mistaken.

Sure, I was jealous of the people who picked up the cheapo tickets but I thought for sure they would not be honoured. I was wrong because in the USA price glitches like this have to be honoured.

Interesting but in all honesty I think it’s good customer service when you honour an error that happened even if it was a glitch in the system. We are using computer technology for everything these days so in this case the consumers are being protected by this regulation.

New Department of Transportation regulations, aimed at truth in advertising, require airlines to honour any mistake fares offered.

 

System error

 

Just before Christmas we were shopping at Zehrs and we are involved in the new PC Plus program where you load specific deals and promos to your card once they send you an email.

We do this every week and while grocery shopping we noticed a gift card that we thought we had to drive out-of-town to get on a gift card rack. Needless to say we were thrilled and picked up a $100 gift card which finished off one more Christmas gift.

When we scanned in our order with the self-serve checkout we noticed that they gave us a bonus 20,000 points which meant we got $20 in points. At the time we had no idea why but it was when we went home and looked up on the PC website it was where we learned about the promo.

Like many people those we failed to read the full details but none the less their system let the points make their way through. We were thrilled and even the cashier said that it was a promo and that it was great that we were awarded the points.

I decided to try another gift card to see if it would give us the points again but it only seemed to be a one time deal which was fine with us.

I believe it was about a week later when we received an error message email from Presidents Choice telling us about the errors that had occurred and that they were correcting them and removing the points from said accounts that received them.

Apparently gift cards were not part of the promo but for some reason the computer allowed the system to award those who bought gift cards the promo deal of 20,000 points when you spend $100. Bummer.

It was a glitch on their end but it was not honoured. I guess we can’t have it all, so much for a discounted Christmas gift. I wondered why they wouldn’t honour is since they follow the scanning code of practice but I guess there are no laws and regulations that say they have to so the points were removed.

I’m curious to learn how business owners big and small are protecting themselves from any type of pricing errors whether they have disclaimers, honour pricing errors and how they deal with customers to keep them happy when an error happens.

Have you ever had any type of computer glitch that was not part of the scanning code of practice honoured? Should retailers in Canada have to honour such glitches or will it do more harm to the business if it’s not in a position to do so?

 

Canadian Budget Binder this week

 

If you missed any of my posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

CBB at home and the blog

 

Sick, Sick and more sick that has been the extent of our Christmas holidays if you haven’t heard me whine about it as of yet. I’ve been so ill the past 2 weeks and now my wife is sick with the exact same thing. Needless to say our holidays have been filled with Halls and lots of cough medicine and rest.

Other than that we’ve enjoyed our time with our family for the holidays and plan on celebrating New Years with them as well. We have to make up for lost time eating food because we haven’t been eating too much and just staring at all the food makes us drool but when you can’ t taste it, there’s no point eating it.

Getting back home we will be in full force in our home gym and getting back on track with our running and working out every single day. In 2014 it will be all about fitness, eating healthy and sticking to that budget.

 

Fan deals and inspirations

 

 new-leather-boots

Submit your Brag or Inspiration

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

Hi Mr.CBB and fans,

I thought I would send you a quick email with a photo of the new boots I went and bought the other day after reading your Friday Grab a Brew post. Thanks for answering my email so fast to tell me where your wife bought her boots.

I too have size 10 feet and when I read the deals your wife got on boots at Sears Canada I went out to find me a pair. Once I got there I was shocked at the rock bottom prices but when I asked the sales lady she told me they needed to make room for the new line that was coming in plus it was Boxing week sales.

The boots in the picture are a light brown leather high heel boot which retails at Sears Canada for $249.00. The day I purchased them they were reduced with a red sticker to $149.00.

The boxing week deal scored me the boots a final price of 50% only because I found a couple of scratches on the boots. I remember a blog post where you talked about if you see a defect not to be shy to ask for a discount, so I did. So, instead of the 40% off they gave me 50% off costing me $75 plus tax for these boots.

Thanks for such an awesome blog Mr.CBB

-Kristen

Making a difference

 

Making a difference is a part of this post where I share a personal finance blog that I interact with daily and has made a difference in my life.

I have asked the blogger to introduce themselves, their blog and how they want to make a difference with their blog for the fans and for themselves.

Today, I bring you my dear friend Kelly from “Staying on Budget” who, like us enjoys using a budget and wants to keep debt at bay because she understands that spending less than you earn is critical to the success of any budget. Check out her blog as she shares their major home improvement DIY projects for the world.

staying on budget home renovations

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans!

My name is Kelly and I run the blog “Staying on Budget”. Thank-you for having me stop in to participate in the “Making a Difference” feature of the week.

Staying on Budget was started to share my journey of getting out of debt and diy-ing a house. My goal is to share how to balance saving money, getting out of debt, and home improvement projects.

I hope the blog is making a difference by sharing how it is possible to tackle both large and small budget items…and how it takes time but anything can be done.

Some of the topics the blog covers include the grocery budget, starting a side hustle, and managing time. The blog’s goal is to share the process of making extra money through side projects and how to maximize the budget. It’s possible to live a full life while getting out of debt and tackling other projects or expenses.

I started the blog to share the journey a lot of people are facing right now. Student loan debt is a huge problem and I hope my story inspires others to pay off the debt quickly or not go into debt at all for school.

In addition to paying off the debt, I wanted to share the process of fixing up a house on a budget. It’s not easy and I didn’t see a lot of blogs that were quite as extreme as my situation with well into six figures of student loan debt and a house that needs a complete makeover.

I hope people are inspired to take on projects by reading Staying on Budget whether it’s a new side hustle or a home improvement project or just save some money by making laundry soap!

-Kelly

 

Blog post sharing

 

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website.

Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

Since it is the Christmas holidays many personal finance bloggers have been taking a break from blogging so not too much link love for Canadian Budget Binder this week.

Let’s see what the new year has in store for CBB and all the blogs we follow and share with all of you.

 

What is a blog carnival?

 

Some fans have asked me just what is a blog carnival so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

 

Carnival Glory

 

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals………..

 

Google-web-search-terms

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Canadian Quickies- Hmm, I think this goes back to when I used to hold my Quickie Contests although I’m pretty sure that’s not what they were searching for. :)
  • Why are there no good Boxing Day sales anymore?-  Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed
  • Money isn’t everything, Love is much better- That is correct!
  • No Christmas bonus or even a thank-you- Well, sometimes that’s the way life goes even though out of respect it would be nice to have your employer thank-you for being a valued employee and Happy Holidays.
  • Skype to Heaven- It is that time of year you know.. so make sure you tell the people you love, that you love them while they are here.

That’s all for this weeks edition of The Saturday Weekend Review.

-Mr.CBB

 

Money-quote

 

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

 

Related articles

PF Weekly grab a brew #38: Leading the CBB team plus a new blog design and move

Grab A Brew

When You Have A Team In Your Corner Lead Them

It will be 2 years January 2014 when I will celebrate the beginning of Canadian Budget Binder on a whim in my kitchen with a piece of paper, a pencil and a wild brainstorming session. Little did I know that in a short time I would have so many fans and other bloggers that are my rock and keep me going every single day.

If you don’t already know my wife is going for a major surgery next week and I’ve been very busy behind the scenes with her as she is more important than anything to me and is very nervous. I haven’t been around to comment much although I’m checking in at all my favourite blog hot spots to read and share with my fans.

A big thank-you to my good friend John from Frugal Rules and Karen at Lil Suburban Homestead and of course my in-house superstar mom and passionate lover of writing and helping others Katrina for accepting my call for help for guest posts while I tend to my wife in the next week.

I know you will love what you read and if you still want to guest post certainly get in touch with me. When I told my fans in my What’s for Dinner thread on Facebook what was going on they were more than supportive.

In fact I think the Canadian Budget Binder What’s For Dinner thread is so popular that my fans are coming together every night and becoming good friends. The thread is for my fans and they certainly all make me proud every night with all the chatting and sharing going on. You all know who you are, so thank-you.

When I logged into my personal Facebook page I noticed a comment on my wall from Michelle M and when I read it It brought a tear to my eye. I’ve run myself ragged the past 2 months with the surgery, doctors appointments and trying to role out the new blog design that she really made me feel like it was all worth it especially when it came to the blog.

Blogging is not what I thought it would because blogging is labour intensive and requires a passion for writing from the heart and a passion for the people. I have that passion and drive so I’m not going anywhere soon.

I do my best to interact every single day with all my fans and make a point to do all I can to help someone or lead them in the right direction towards someone who might be able to help them. The best part is they often lead me because like everyone else sometimes I need support and I need help and they share their knowledge with me.

I’ve also noticed my fans coming together to help each other even when I am not there and some fans tell me to take the day off (with brownie pay of course) and say that they will manage the Facebook page. My fans greet new fans who LIKE my Facebook page just as a welcoming committee would and you know, I couldn’t be happier to have them all on my side, on my team as we are all leaders when it comes to personal finance.

We all have unique stories sometimes fun sometimes sad but there always is a lesson to be learned from someone. We are a family here at Canadian Budget Binder and I am proud to be the owner of this blog and I’m proud to have a team of fans who support me through thick and thin, so thank-you. xo Mr.CBB

Below is the original message on my wall with some comments as well as a couple of comments from a new post I just put out on my Facebook page last evening. One of my fans Tammy posted something this morning that really is true about success and drive when you want something so bad. She is well on her way to being successful with her business and it’s because of her vibrancy and willingness to give it all she’s got.

Committed means you are willing to give your full energy, effort, focus and time. No one has ever been successful that has not been fully committed. Nothing runs itself, by itself … well.-Tammy B

Original Wall Post

Michelle M

I just wanted to say thanks…firstly for the Canadian budget binder page.I now have a few friends on my page who are truly and I mean truly are fantastic women. Secondly there would have been no way I would have found them by myself….I’m one blessed woman. Thanks so very much!!!

Michelle M: I should have tagged myself …so these women know this on my wall..

Mary C: And it’s such a pleasure to be a FB friend of yours Michelle!

Christine W: Thank you too!!!!

Cdn Budget Binder; Thank you so much Michelle for the lovely words. Ever since I started CBB there are have been a handful of fans that have always been there for me, the page, the blog and for each other and I’m am blessed to have such great fans sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with the kindness. I’m happy you are happy. Mr.CBB

Mary D; Happy to have become connected with you dear Michelle. Group hug for CBB & FB.

Michelle M: ThAnks Mary Davies…you all are so wonderful….it’s hard to find great friends online..I’m truly blessed

Michelle M: That’s what I like…you all have great positive attitudes and we all are supportive of each other instead of bringing people down.

Donna P: Canadian Budget Binder has connected us all to some great friends. They seem more like family then friends. We share our daily meals.Sometimes our health, our budgets, our accomplishments and anything you would talk to your friend about. We love Mr.CBB for giving us the chance to make such great friends.If we have a question we throw it out there & we all work to answer it. Michelle it has been my pleasure to have you for a friend . You make me laugh till I have tears I’m my eyes. You are a neat person I enjoy. I love all my CBB family.

Christine W: Donna, having Mr CBB and his site is like sitting around the table coffee cup in Hand with a bunch of very good friends….. We are here for each other and together we have ourselves one heck of a support group going here. I love it and all my friends here!!!!

Cdn Budget Binder: Wow, I’m overwhelmed right now reading this. You all make me tear up when you say these kind words. I started CBB not thinking anyone wanted to listen but I’ve been proven wrong and now have a second family, my passion…. all of you. We learn together, it’s amazing… I’m proud of each and every one of you. I wish you could see me now….. I’m smiling.

Donna P: Mr.Cbb don’t ever think what you are doing is not appreciated & needed. You have connected hearts across the world. We may live all over the world but we really aren’t that different. We go through the same things in life. Now we get to share our ideas & ways. Heck !!! I get to go to Canada every night & sit at the table with my friends. Share our day & our meals.

Tammy B:  I know I have been absent a lot lately, but don’t think for a minute that I don’t often check in quickly. Mr. CBB we have created a bond, a friendship that I adore and the same goes for so many friends I have gained through this page You are a true inspiration to me and always will be

Trisha J: We stick around cause u guys rock tis fun and informative teachers should teach more this way I may have payed attention more in school lol

Donna P:  I stick around because you & the people who follow you are so down to earth & real. I’ve never felt like I was talking to strangers. You may be in Canada but you open your arms to the world. We share our recipes ,our days,our ups our downs . It’s as we have all said. It’s like the Walton’s. Gathered around a big table shooting the breeze. All the way down to our Goodnight Johnboy !!! Lol. Love ya & our family & look forward everyday to putting my feet under your table. Sharing our lives & our love for food. Goodnight Mr. Cbb . See you Friday night .Want to see how those new cookies turned out !

New blog design

Well, I know it’s been just about one year since I said  I was going to get this site re-designed as I had to hire a new designer but we are finally here to unveil the finished product. I worked hard with Greg from Engine 1 Media to create what I was looking for so I hope when the day comes (very soon) that you will enjoy the new blog as much as I do.

I’ll talk more about that re-design when it goes live. When it goes live that means I will be going self-hosted with Blue Host as my hosting company and will no longer blog here at wordpress.com. My site will be transferred over so you have nothing to worry about. You will keep on getting my daily email if you subscribed via email.

NOTE: If you are a WordPress subscriber (meaning you own a WordPress blog and just clicked Follow you will no longer receive my daily emails. You MUST sign up via email which you can do on my home page. I urge you to do that and I will do the same for all the WordPress blogs I follow so I don’t miss sharing your posts.

PF weekly reading line-Up

If you missed any of the posts from the week you can check them out right here.

Weekly reads

Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read over the past week with all of you.

Top Read: Do you know your real hourly wage- Critical Finance

Top recipe

Maple Pumpkin Crisp

Since we are practically rolling in the Fall weather I wanted to start showcasing some Fall recipes like this one today for Maple Pumpkin Crisp from Erica’s Recipes which she posted earlier this week on my Free Recipe Depot Facebook page. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do. Every day Food Bloggers from around the world pass by my other love the Free Recipe Depot Facebook page to share a daily recipe which I share with my fans.

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #38: My CBB fans are my rock and new blog design and move.

Join me again next Friday when I do it all over again.

Money-quote

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

 

PF Weekly Grab A Brew #28: Protect yourself when buying and selling online

Grab A Brew Reading Line-Up

I don’t know how many times I’ve read about people getting injured, robbed or sadly killed through buying and selling through online ads. Shopping online for a second-hand bargain is great but not if it comes at the expense of either the seller or the buyer, which for some could end in a not so nice fashion. Car scams keep popping up in the news and it’s about time we took action against these people who just don’t know how to make an honest living without ripping people off.

I’m one who enjoys shopping on Kijiji Canada but I’ve never bought from Craigslist although I’m sure they are one in the same. You can even surf Facebook Marketplace and local online for sale ads in your community on Facebook to buy, sell and/or auction off items you no longer want. That’s great right? You’re making extra money that you can use to put towards your budget or to grow your savings account. So what’s the problem?

The problem isn’t so much what we are doing; the buying or selling, it’s the crazy people out there that are willing to stop at nothing to make a few bucks with these scams. Even if that means to hurt you or rob you of your money when you come to buy. When I was reading an article on Yahoo this morning about a car buyer being robbed of $3200 in Edmonton this past Wednesday when he went to purchase a car it really, fired me off.

On-line Fraud

It just goes to show you that we MUST protect ourselves and even though some of you may think it’s common sense, not everyone has that. We are a trusting society. We can easily be manipulated by someone who is friendly, open and polite when they may just be trying to lure you into a trap. If you ever suspect online fraud you must stay away and contact the website that you are dealing with.

Email fraud and credit card fraud seems to be one of the worst forms of fraud. I get daily emails from fraudsters wanting my personal information or pretending to be someone or a site that they are not asking me to update accounts and credit card information. It’s sad really, but this is what we are dealing with in terms of technology and it’s only bound to get worse. On-line or off-line we must take precautions in all our personal dealings of buying and selling and identity theft.

I this case, the young man, clearly had good intentions to purchase a new vehicle was robbed at knife point, had his money and vehicle stolen after answering the fake ad on Kijiji. Times are getting rough for many and they will stop at nothing and apparently this incident just comes days after an Edmonton guy was robbed and kidnapped then later brought from Edmonton to Calgary after meeting up with buyers for his real online ad on Kijiji offering a vehicle for sale.

You may think I am being harsh when you read what I have to say below but there is nothing in this world that can bring you back once you are gone. Money comes and goes, life does not. There is nothing that can protect you, but you so be informed and drop the tough guy or girl act and be responsible when buying and selling online.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Whether you are buying from Kijiji Canada or any other online entity take the steps to protect yourself so everything goes as planned and you get the bargain you set out to purchase.

Selling online

I always proceed with caution when buying and selling on Kijiji. I talk about selling as well because you never know who will come to your home. Some people freely allow strangers into their homes that come to purchase something. They give out information about when they will be home, when they will be at work and they give their address.

You don’t know the buyer when they come to your house so DO NOT let them in your home unless you have more than one person with you in the home. I know there are instances where items are in the home to be viewed but never do it alone and hide any valuables that might be in plain sight. All it will take is for you to turn your back and it might just disappear on you. If you can get the items you want for sale close to the door, on a porch or even in the garage or back yard it’s better than allowing strangers in your home.

  • Don’t give out personal information
  • Don’t tell them where you work or when you work
  • Don’t tell them if you have kids in the house or their names
  • Don’t tell them anything you won’t tell another stranger you don’t know even if they are friendly to you
  • Set up a pick-up or viewing time and have a friend or family member with you when selling an item
  • Set up a meeting place in public if you can instead of your home if possible
  • Always keep a phone close to you if possible
  • Keep the lights on in your home or outside your home
  • Don’t turn your back
  • Only accept cash
  • Never give the item unless its paid in full
  • Never accept payment options
  • Trust no one

Buying online

If you are a buyer on your way to pick something up that you have scored online at Kijiji classifieds Canada for a great deal you have to take caution. If you think I’m being overly protective, maybe I am but when it comes to your life, nothing will bring you back if you are gone. No one will care how macho or responsible you thought you were.

  • Never go alone
  • Don’t turn your back
  • Don’t give out personal information including banking, credit card, social insurance information … NOTHING!
  • Only pay in cash
  • Refrain from going in a home if you don’t need to especially if you are alone
  • If it’s a huge amount of money, leave it in the car locked up, at home or wait to go to the bank. If they want to sell the item they will wait to get your money. Never carry it on you.
  • Never bring your wallet or any expensive items with you when you go to meet.
  • Never flash your money until the deal is done if you must carry it on you
  • You don’t need to give them your personal information unless it’s necessary for the purchase
  • If you have a cell phone bring it with you and keep it on you
  • Never meet in a dark alley, meet in public areas if you must pick up in a different location rather than a home
  • If they aren’t willing to cooperate, forget the purchase and move on
  • Trust no one

If in doubt simply contact Kijiji Canada and ask their customer service for more information or you can read, “How do I stay safe while using Kijiji” provided by Kijiji Canada. Protect yourself when buying and selling online; it’s the smart thing to do.

What other tips can you add for buyers and sellers of online Kijiji ads?

Top Recipe

chocolate-mint-cupcakes

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my new Facebook page The Free Recipe Depot please come around and Like my page. It’s a place where I share recipes and only recipes from blogs and websites from around the web. Each week I will feature my favourite recipe from The Free Recipe Depot out of all those recipes submitted to the Facebook page during the week.

Today the top recipe goes to Life Currants for their Mint n’ Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. We grow loads of mint in our back garden and use it for all sorts of recipes. It’s also great in a cucumber radish salad that we make. It really does bring out the flavour. Although this recipe does not use fresh mint I would certainly give it a try and see what happens.

PF weekly reading line-Up

Here are a few blog posts that I thought were worth mentioning this week from around the web.

Top story: Why I no longer eat cheeseburgers- The Great Jollyhoombah

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #28. Join me again next Friday when we do it all over again.

Money-quote

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

PF Weekly Grab A Brew #27: Wedding money gift was not enough

Grab A Brew Reading Line-Up

Celebrate Your Love With No Expectations 

You might need to grab a brew or two for this one because weddings are meant to celebrate not be used as a money-making venture to pay for the day. I read a recent article online about a bride who was upset because a guest and her date only left a $100 wedding gift.

It made me wonder how many newlyweds think that they should get more than they do as gifts from their guests? The article was originally featured on the Huffington Post and I hope that other brides and grooms who think that their guests need to give them a certain amount of money come back down to earth.

Wedding gifts

Wedding gift etiquette for most is given as a gesture of appreciation to the bride and groom for the invitation. Expectations should not exist because not everyone on your wedding list is made of money. I don’t know many people who are these days to be honest with you.

I fail to understand why people invite guests to weddings, parties, baby showers, birthdays etc, if they hardly know someone or have not talked in many years. I’d rather not go at all, buy a case of beer and make homemade pizza with my wife and friends. Best part, I don’t expect them to bring anything to be in our presence and I’d pay for the pizza and beer because I invited them to the party. If they do bring something that’s great, and if they don’t that’s still great.

Below is the Facebook message left by the bride to her guest Tanya who gifted her $100 as a wedding gift which clearly upset her. Best of it is the guest is fresh out of University and having to pay down $40,000 in school loans and only working part-time. You don’t even want to know what I’d say to the bride for sending me this message. Yes you do, I’d tell her to take a hike and let her talk behind your back all she wants because that’s where she belongs. I would just shut the door and move on if I were Tanya. Don’t waste your time, it’s worth money after all and you don’t want to waste another cent on her. Below is the exact quote.

Hi Tanya, how are you? I just want to know is there any reason or dissatisfaction of Mike’s and I wedding that both you and Phil gave 50$ each? In terms of the amount we got from you both was very unexpected as a result we were very much short on paying off the reception because just for the cocktail + reception alone the plate per person is 200$ (as per a normal wedding range with open bar is about) and Mike and I both have already paid for everything else including decor, photography, attire etc and didn’t expect we had to cover that huge amount for reception as well. As I know you both live together and work, so I did not see any reason for that amount, when it comes to your wedding hopefully you’ll know what I mean. I hope for the best as from what we receive is what we will give back. Anyways, good luck on everything.

Budget wedding

Weddings happen all year-long and for some reason we hear of couples like the above who believe they are entitled to lavish affairs that they can’t even afford. Sure mom and dad might offer some cash to pay all or a portion of the bill but if you can’t afford it yourselves, don’t have it.

At our wedding all we worried about was having the people we love celebrate our wedding day with us. If you are counting the money in the envelopes in your head instead of enjoying your first moments as husband and wife you clearly have your priorities mixed up. When we got engaged we knew we weren’t going to have a big wedding so we created a wedding budget and spent the money accordingly. We still had a fairy tale wedding because the two most important people were there, us. If the plan was to have a lavish wedding there would have been no rush and we could have waited and saved more money. I wasn’t going to run away because we didn’t have a piece of paper saying we were married.

Too many people who don’t have the funds available put too big an emphasis on the wedding, honeymoon and rings including the engagement ring but it doesn’t have to be that way. Going into debt for love is not a good way to start a relationship, so take your time and do it right. That’s my opinion, maybe not yours and that’s fine because we are all entitled to our own financial dealings in life. Not everyone can have a royal wedding so stop pretending you are a Prince and Princess spending more than you can afford unless you have the funds to back up your role-playing dream all the way to the altar. (unless of course you actually are a Prince and Princess)

Life is precious

I don’t know how much more it will take to teach people you can’t spend more than you earn, although I don’t plan to stop now. If you still think that money grows on trees please tell me when you find that tree because my green thumb is itching to get planting.Then again, we are still struggling for those to grasp that speeding in your vehicle and/or talking on a cell phone while driving can cause an accident and can kill. That’s not all either. What about the people who think it’s fine leaving a child or any other person and/or pet in a hot car with the windows up. You shouldn’t have to question it, just don’t do it, ever. If we can’t even take a moment to protect our own lives how will we ever protect our finances?

What would you do if all your guests bought you a toaster and towels instead of an envelope stuffed with $100 bills? No one should judge you if you don’t have the best of the best at your wedding, heck I could care less if my mates didn’t have seat covers or fine china. All I care about is that they are happy.

This was a comment I read when Yahoo ran the post yesterday and the commenter does get to the point. With over 506 thumbs up at my time of reading I can only assume the masses agree. Below is the exact quote.

First of all Brides and Grooms out there. It is YOUR wedding, not your guests, and it is not your guests responsibility to cover the cost of it. Just because you decide to spend $40,000 on decor and food etc…to make YOUR day special, do not expect your guests to foot the bill for it. That is the first thing people need to know when having a wedding. Second of all, chances are I don’t even WANT to come to your wedding, but have been made to feel obligated in some way (friends, family etc…), I can get drunk for cheap at home, and my fridge has lots of food in it, so I don’t need your dried out chicken breast supreme and cheap champagne. If you want to party, you pay for it. I give what I can afford to help the couple get a good start in their marriage, but if I can only afford $50 bucks, well then, that’s it. If YOU can’t afford a $40,000 wedding, DON’T HAVE ONE. These people are so freakin selfish and it is disturbing to see this kind of reaction, YOU invited ME, I did not ask for a “ticket” to your “show”, my gift is a “gift” not a “fee for admission”. Get it right folks

Take time to investigate what is right for the both of you and what you know you can handle financially. I’d be happy with my wife, a bucket of popcorn, beer and a DJ spinning some tunes after the ceremony to celebrate our union as husband and wife with our guests. Clearly, I’m being sarcastic but my point is to keep it simple if simple is all you can afford. We’ve been to a few simple weddings and had a blast.

After a few years couples in major debt they can’t handle may start to blame each other, blame others, fight about money and then potentially get divorced. Not always the case but buckle up if you think money and life is easy because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. There are so many ways to cut costs for a wedding or better yet, just budget the money. Live the life you want by making smart financial decisions first.

How did you pay for your wedding? Did you have expectations of your guests for a wedding gift? Has anything like this happened to you before? Share your comments below.

Top Recipe

Lemon-poppyseed-pound-cake-recipe

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my new Facebook page The Free Recipe Depot please come around and Like my page. It’s a place where I share recipes and only recipes from blogs and websites from around the web.

Today the top recipe goes to A Cup of Mascarpone for sharing this gorgeous Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake with a Lemon Lavender Glaze. You have to go and check out the photos and recipe as there are no words to describe the beauty of this cake.

Don’t forget to pass by my Canadian Budget Binder Facebook Page every Sunday for Frugal Food Sunday to share a blog recipe so I can share it with my over 5900 fans. We get closer to the 6000 fan goal every day.

PF weekly reading line-Up

Here are a few blog posts that I thought were worth mentioning this week from around the web. I didn’t get a chance to read and comment much this past week as I took a couple of days off from the blog.

Top story: Why you should take care of your stuff- 2 Copper Coins

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #27.

Money-quote

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

PF Weekly Reading List #17-Customer Service, Business Suicide And Social Media

bill pad

 

Customer service and business dealings have changed over the years where many now turn to social media such as Twitter and Facebook to vent frustrations both from a business and customers perspective. From a consumer’s perspective I know it’s likely only going to get worse instead of better, especially for those that feel their voice is much more powerful via social media.

The Good Old Days

There used to be a time where we filled out a “customer satisfaction” card at a restaurant or business, talk to a manager or simply make a phone call but these tactics are not as common any more. Now you can read the back of your receipt or bill and go on-line to leave and fill out a survey to leave the good, the bad and the ugly comments about the service you received.

Some people go as far as to Tweet a business that is not giving them the service they were  promised or the answers they need in a timely fashion. If a customer doesn’t receive the service they expected it’s important for business owners to know so they can improve.

Without this information it’s difficult to know what direction to take to make customer service better for the customers. How far is too far when it comes to getting your point across? Should business owners take social media call outs seriously? I’m going to answer that with a yes.

The Present

It seems like calling out a business is the way to get what you want these days, even if you aren’t in the right. Organizations scramble to save face, deal with issue that might have been overlooked or potentially give in to the individual to sort the matter privately.

Some have to go as far as to post a public statement to respond to these matters. Maybe it’s a wake up call for an organization that their customer service solutions centre isn’t quite working as well as expected and may need to be monitored more accurately or investigated for further improvements.

I don’t think we are ever going to stop people from using social media as hard as we try. We’ve created this monster, now we have to live with it. I’m a big fan of Marketplace and even they go as far as to bust businesses and get them to own up to their faults publicly so why not let the customers do the same if it gets their message heard.

The Business vs The Customer

No customers means no money for any business, it’s as simple as that. Where it gets a bit tricky is when business owners start fighting back and calling out their customers.

A Yahoo post I read yesterday cemented my feelings on this topic when a restaurant manager from the Padi restaurant in Delaware apparently took aim at Twitter to call out 3 customers. He created offensive postings and racist hash tags towards those 3 that left little or no tip.

I talked a bit about tips and restaurants a week or so back and I believe ultimately it’s up to the customer what they want to leave, if anything at all.

Business Suicide

Where I get confused is when someone who pours their money into a business would risk potential customers NOT wanting to do business with them for fear of reprisal via social media. I know it goes both ways and you are thinking, if the customer can do it why can’t we do the same?

Business owners have everything to lose a customer can go home and go on with their day as if nothing ever happened. One person who commented on the Yahoo article  posted, “this guy just committed business suicide” an interesting way to look at it, but very well may be true.

The restaurant has since offered an apology to their customers.

“We sincerely apologize for those actions, and want the community to know that those actions and opinions are not consistent   with our beliefs and values, nor are they welcome at our restaurant,” Teoh says in an open letter for customers.

“Those responsible for insulting our customers and members of the community will be held accountable, and that we are taking steps to insure that this type of behaviour never happens again”.

Why did they do this? Well my guess is because they have a vested interest in their business, and it may be their livelihood and it’s the professional thing to do. When owners sink their life savings into a business or have built credibility up over the years the last thing they want to see happen is the business die on its arse for having a bad rap.

As much as customers want to complain there are always the customers that are happy customers but certainly don’t want to get caught in the cross fire. Tipping is NOT a reason to upset customers either, it’s pointless, move on.

Sure, customers have nothing to lose when they complain but the reason they take to social media in the first place is likely for their money back, better service or an apology etc. When business owners, team members, management or employees start talking about their current or past customers on a social platform such as Twitter or even Facebook others may slowly turn around and walk the other way.

Customer service to me isn’t great unless, it’s so great you are willing to go the extra mile to let someone know you really appreciate them!- Laurie Linn (CBB Facebook Fan)

Customer Service

My parents owned a business  for years when I was a child and I don’t ever remember them going outside with a billboard (no computers then) saying, “Johnny x didn’t pay his bill” or “Jane x didn’t leave a tip” because customers expect you to protect their privacy as paying or in some cases non-paying customers.

Sure, they had customers that pissed them off, never paid what they owed or simply argued the toss about bills but they also knew that if they wanted to grow they would do whatever it takes to make things right. They didn’t need to be the big bad wolf  in these situations.

If all else fails you put their bill into the credit bureau, let them deal with it professionally and move on. Hatred, is a waste of energy.

They also knew that there are customers that you can’t do enough for them to make them happy. They certainly didn’t take the bad situations and turn everything upside down as there were far more positive reasons then negative.

If you have 1000 excellent customers and 3 bad customers why risk 1000 customers leaving because you get upset and call  out the 3 bad customers. Certainly the masses here outweigh the negative which any business owner should be able to handle professionally if they are a leader in their game.

Maybe customer service response cards are a thing of the past for some organizations and are now left to deal with social media, customer service and the present.

Are business owners committing business suicide by calling out their past or present customers via social media or other public means?

As a customer what do you expect from businesses and would you call them out via social media?

PF WEEKLY READING LIST

Here is this weeks reading list which includes some of the best blog posts from many blogs that I interact and comment on and who also have a common interest in CBB. I hope you all enjoy this weeks round-up. There are a few more than normal that I really enjoyed so I hope you enjoy them as well! -Mr.CBB

Recipes/Frugal Blog Posts of the Week

Homemade Panna Cotta

Top Recipe: My mate who blogs at Nurse Frugal won top score in the kitchen with her creamy Homemade Panna Cotta topped with Strawberries. Yes that is the lovely photo above of what she made and if you head to her blog you can see even more amazing photos of this dessert. You have to check out how easy this recipe is and how you too can Wow, your guests!!

The Frugal Farmer- I’m a big banana bread lover and often make my own but when Nana’s Banana Bread recipe was posted I knew I had to share it with my fans.

Inspirational/Funniest/Scariest/Motivational Post of the Week

Inspirational: The Daily Money Shot- 20 Inexpensive Ways To Be Kinder sometimes a little reminder is all we need.

Funniest/Scariest: A Magical Moment In The Life Of A Bee Keeper- Lil Suburban Homestead- Two words, Not me!

Quote-Budget and Money

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Mr.CBB on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest
  • Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder>> Everyone else has, why wait!
  • Do You Have A Question For Mr. CBB? The best way to get in touch with me is on Facebook

Photo Courtesy of: (Bill Pad) Felixco Inc /freedigitalphotos. net