The “net” scam

Chances are you are getting a lot less than you pay for

by Richard @ Flexible Reality – Sep. 26th, 2018


You have seen it in the grocery store already  – right? The imprinted notice that says 12oz net weight on a package, and when you get home and cook the item, you end up with a silver dollar sized morsel, like this package of fish showing a net weight of 12 ounces, or .75 pounds. Say the cost of the fish was $6.49 for the 12 oz package, but when you prepare the fish the pre-cooked weight is about 9 oz, and the finished cooking weight is 8 ounces. Thus instead of paying $8.66 per pound for the fish, you actually paid $12.98 per pound.

Then we move on to items like chicken thighs, packaged nicely in a 2 pound package, priced at $4.35 per pound. Then when you get home you discover the butcher left on the skin of the chicken for miles around the thigh, and that the liner under the chicken, containing moisture, et al,  weighing in at 4oz and 3oz respectively, so you cook the chicken and weigh the edible portion which amounts to 1.125 pounds, so instead of a pound of chicken costing a little over $4 per pound, the actual cost is over $8 per pound.

Then we move on to prepackaged items, like one of my wife’s favorite, that comes in a pretty wrapper, and costs $6.49 for 5oz. Fine, the net weight of edible morsels is close to, but almost never exactly 5oz…just slightly less. Then being mathematically inclined you decide to see what this stuff sells for per pound…which turns into $20.77 per pound which puts it above the typical cost of Filet Mignon.

Beer drinkers see this too, when they recall a can of beer for decades has been 12 fluid ounces or 355 ml, but is now becoming 11.2 oz or 330ml…same price, same size can, same composition can, just 7% less product.

Moving on to the big kahuna: medical care and insurance, where what you get is less every year, but for which you pay more. Look at your homeowner’s insurance coverage for example…have you noticed the exemptions that have crept into the policy over the years: limited or no coverage for mold, for hail, for weather related issues, or for shoddily performed construction or maintenance issues. With health insurance, the deductibles decline while the co-pays increase, and more exemptions creep into the policies.

But alas, the buzzer goes off when you decide to vent on any of these considerations…say you want to speak to a “customer service” agent…fine, welcome to Siren who speaks passable English but is empowered only to listen to your comment or complaint, and “pass it on” to management for action.  And you come to realize that CSR’s with the shortest connect times receive a modest bonus for getting callers off the line the quickest. Corporations, especially those in a monopoly position in the market don’t give a fig for you or your satisfaction…they have you by the short hairs and know you have no place else to go other than to them for service.

Lastly, we have the Government who one might expect works in the public interest; that is unless the lobbyists and special interests got there first. We are now in the position where just four corporations control over 80% of many markets, from broadband internet, to cereal brands, to beer, and over 50% of the labor force works for large corporations which employ more than 500 people. The percentage of all nonfarm workers in manufacturing declined from 24 percent in March 1973 to 10 percent in March 2007, and workers in the service sectors went from 70 percent to 83 percent, so the notion we are selling hamburgers to each other is not far off the mark.

All of these trends will continue, and increase the separation between what one believes they are getting, and what actually shows up on their plates.




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