How My Dry Cleaners and Volkswagen Are Alike

I picked up shirts at the dry cleaners today. I had turned in a competitor's coupon for $1.89, so the total for 14 shirts should have been less than $29. I paid the bill of $32 but kept running the numbers through my head and went back. The clerk called the owner and the next thing you know we are dividing and adding with a pocket calculator, trying to figure out where the missing $3.00 is. He is checking with the back office and will get back to me. No he did not admit a mistake and give me $3.00. He is "checking on it."

I think I already know the answer. They "honor" competitors' coupons, but only to the tune of $2.19. It is in the fine print somewhere. And now that I think about it, I have noticed for years that the bills from that cleaners seems a bit high every time.

I feel duped. I already have my response to what I suspect I will hear from him. "Are you comfortable with this business practice? Who made a conscious decision to deceive your customers?"

Some engineer or executive at Volkswagen made a conscious decision to dupe regulators several years ago. This deception will cost the company billions of dollars and will threaten the company's very existence. Perhaps no lie will ever be so punished financially as this terrible decision by a well-respected company. They cheated, and it will cost billions.

No one likes to be manipulated or duped. No one.

There is no room for spin or half truths in fund raising. Tell the truth. Be above board all the time, not just when it is convenient. Don't tell people what they want to hear. Don't "cook the books." Never deliberately attempt to deceive. 

As consultants we owe it to our clients to tell the truth and our clients bear a responsibility to be honest with their church members and donors. 

That cleaners is right around the corner. It is so convenient. But I am not going back. They pulled a fast one on me and I don't appreciate it. 

It really is simple. Tell the truth.