• Back to School Scamming?

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    June 28th, 2010Musings

    I know it’s a bit early for people in most parts of the US to be thinking about back to school shopping, but an email I received from my son’s school got me thinking, as it irked me a bit.

    Parents are busy people, especially as back to school time rolls around. There are clothes and shoes to buy,  lists of (sometimes inane-seeming) school supplies to locate, lunch boxes and backpacks to choose, and more things to take up anyone’s time (and budget). What bugs me is when someone tries to take advantage of people, especially when they think they might not be paying attention. What has drawn my ire today, you might ask? People scamming others about the price of school supplies.

    In recent years, I’ve been able to buy ALL of my son’s school supplies at Target, Office Depot, and similar places for maybe $20-25 total – and often for far less. Target is a madhouse when they put notebook paper on sale for 50¢ and crayons for 20¢, but it’s worth it (and a bit fun, I think). Today, I got an email from my sons school advertising a “service” one of the parents in the school is offering, wherein you can place a order and she will do all of the school supply shopping for you. While this sounds nice – who wouldn’t like to simply show up and have a bag of all the supplies handed to them? – it’s a total rip-off.

    Fourth grade supplies (the list I’m concerned with this year) will run me about $15, I’m betting, given that I already have some of the items on hand. This woman, however, will do my shopping for me for the low, low price of $69.74.  This is what ticks me off. At a time when people are really watching their wallets and doing their best to get what they need for their kids, it bugs me that my son’s school is helping to publicize this scam of a “service.” (Did I mention this is the second time they’ve hyped it?) Now, I know we are all trying to make a living and support our families – that’s not the issue here (those nice little ads you see on the sides of this page are there for a reason, after all, so, support your local blogger, if you’re so inclined, LOL) – it’s just that this is such a brazen abuse of people’s trust that bothers me. I just hope some frazzled parent doesn’t fall into the trap of paying these exorbitant prices.

    Why am I rambling at you about this? I suppose it’s just because it seems like the school’s PTA shouldn’t be giving this woman and her scammy “service” the publicity and I need to vent – it’s summer, after all, so there’s no one to complain to but myself (and you, readers)!  Okay, rant over, but man, I do feel better!

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