Lessons From A Meat Truck

Basashi (raw horsemeat) from Towada.

Image via Wikipedia

One year ago I bought truck meat.

You heard me.

Not one but two cute dudes drove into my driveway offering me steaks, chicken breasts and shellfish. Initially, I was skeptical. But then I saw the meat had come from a reputable company, a name I recognized. I considered 36 pieces of filet mignon and 12 marinated chicken breasts. The guys wanted $400.

I looked at the guys again.

I wanted that meat.

“It’s guaranteed for freshness for 24 months,” they insisted all cute and muscle-y.

I hesitated.

They offered to drop the price by $50.

I hesitated some more and batted my eyelashes a little.

They added an extra carton of filet thus confirming I still had my magical powers at 40-something.

The meat dudes did not accept credit cards, so I gladly wrote one guy a check as the other more muscle-y guy concentrated on stacking the bags of meat into our garage freezer.

I was elated.

The two men screeched backed carefully out of my driveway and zoomed off down the street.

Eventually Hubby saw the charge in our checkbook and asked about it.

“I got 48 pieces of fillet and 24 chicken breasts for $318!” I exclaimed.

“Have we had any yet?” he asked.

“No!” I said, “I’m saving it for something special. Maybe New Year’s Eve or something.”

“Open it up!” Hubby practically shouted.

I didn’t know what he was so worked up about. I mean the guys were so honest and I had a 24-month guarantee for freshness. Sheesh.

The meat defrosted on our kitchen countertop and, eventually, we cut open its clear plastic wrapper.

I’m not sure if it was the color or the smell that tipped us off first.

“I don’t think that’s from a cow,” Hubby declared as he plugged his nose and plopped the meat into a trash-bag.

I pictured cats, dogs, gerbils, nutria — and I knew I had done a bad thing.

An organized person, I quickly found the 24-month freshness warranty and dialed the 1-800 number.

Doo doo doo. We’re sorry, the number you have reached is no longer in service.

I called the local distributor.

Doo doo doo. We’re sorry the number you have reached is no longer in service.

I knew I had been scammed.

Few things set me off more than being lied to.

Furious, I called the Better Business Bureau where I learned the company I had done business with had over 300 complaints filed against it. I didn’t care. I would not be a number.

Long story short: It took a few months, but I got our money back.

All of it.

Why?

Because I am relentless.

Were you not paying attention the first time around?

Cross me and this twit will make you wish you had Harry Potter on speed dial so you could ask to borrow his invisibility cloak.

If this were a fable by Aesop, the lesson might be something like this: If your stuff is good, you don’t have to brag about it. Or sell it door to door. So if some guys come around bragging about their meat, just say no because — chances are — their junk is already spoiled.

 Have you ever been scammed? What happened? What weird lessons has life been teaching you lately?

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46 responses to “Lessons From A Meat Truck

  1. I have had to excellent door to door experiences. The first is my Kirby vacuum cleaner. I’ve had one for 25 years and I swear by it. The other is when Girl Scouts use to sell.cookies door to door. Yum.

  2. Oh, Renee! I’m so glad you got your meat money back! We have a meat wagon (tee hee) that comes around here every few months. Luckily, instead of gorgeous guys trying to sell their premium meat (tee hee, again), it’s two skanky looking women who seem like they could whip ass in a bar fight. I always politely tell them that I’m a vegetarian and send them on their way. I’m not at all a vegetarian. I can throw down a filet like Bobby Flay!
    I applaud your relentlessness!! I’ve only been scammed once, for a $20 t-shirt that I ordered from a bogus online company. I, too, am relentless and got my money back! You rock!🙂

    • Sprinkles: You rock for not shrugging your shoulders and just allowing scammers to just keep on doing their thang. I’m glad you got your $20 back. I bet they promised you the coolest tee shirt ever. Darn those tee shirt phonies. Do you think caught scammers learn their lesson or do they just keep scamming? In other states? In other industries? Did your tee shirt scammers become my meat men? *sigh*

  3. My husband ordered a couple products online that were free trials, all you had to pay was shipping and handling. Unfortunately, I was unaware he had done this. I am the fine print reader. A month later our account was in the negative because they automatically ship you more if not cancelled by a certain time. (we are talking hundreds of dollars here) That is when he told me what he had done. I was like for the love of god! I straightened it out and got the bank to not charge us a fee, which took much leg work and a wee bit of yelling at the companies to get our money back. Hubby is under strict orders to never ever do anything like that again or I am not responsible for my actions! Just sayin’😉

    • I was just talking to a friend about the whole “must call to cancel before a certain time fine print thing.” She is in the process of trying to get her money back.

      There are all kinds of scammers out there. They must have tried the ole “But it was right there in the fine print” routine, right?😉

      Glad you got it resolved. A+.

  4. OK, now gotta look out for next post because I (and others I am sure) are hooked. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR $$$ ?

    • First of all because I had documentation. Second, because I caught them in a bait and switch operation. Also because I called the Better Business Bureau. And last — and did I forget to mention this part — because one of the meat dudes wrote his real name on one of the documents. He also gave me his real life email address asking if I would consider helping him edit an essay he was working on. I never followed up. Until necessary.

      (Criminals is stupid.)

      Seriously.

  5. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been scammed. Oh wait, yes I have. I was scammed out of $325 for an air filter which may or may not have actually worked. It was one of those Pyramid schemes where no one actually wins except for the chump at the top. I paid $325 for the thing, which I could then sell for $500. Problem is, no one wants a $500 air filter when they can do some research and find out that a $200 air filter will do just as good a job. I ended up using it for a couple of years then giving it to some friends. No idea if they still have it or not. I consider it a learning experience, and a valuable lesson. It’s one I’ve actually learned from believe it or not. I had a client of mine bugging me for about a year and a half now to join him in selling Monavie Juice. I’ve been politely ignoring him for that long. I have heard that it works, but I’m still not interested. I’m a terrible salesman.

    Glad you got your money back.

  6. Renee,
    So glad that you got your money back–those SOB’s!! I can’t recall being scammed but some scam operation in a N. Carolina hotel room conned my young daughter out of $30 over the phone by tricking her to give personal info when she was ordering something. She may or may not get it back, but it taught her a lesson.
    Wouldn’t you like to slap those meat guys?

  7. I’ve never been scammed that way, though I suppose I’ve bought a few things over the years that weren’t nearly as good as advertised. Not having any money to spend usually saves me from being scammed for more than a few bucks here and there😉

    But once I was convinced that I’d been scammed. A friend and I were in Grand Central and ended up buying a promotion for a hair salon. It was something like a haircut for 50% off and then the woman threw in a second haircut for free. So we paid and the coupons were good for a year. We checked it out on the internet and it seemed legit, but we were definitely expecting a real dive of a salon. A few months later, we went for our cuts and from the street, the salon didn’t look like much at all. It was a lot better inside and we both got surprisingly great haircuts (mine from a guy named Frankie who was about 6’3″, bleached streaks in his hair, and a belly big enough that it kept pushing me while I was in the chair).

    It surprised the hell out of me that we hadn’t been scammed, but even though that turned out much better than we’d expected, I still don’t think I’d ever take that chance again.

    • Limr: How lucky you were! See I would never have gone for that because I am too loyal to my hair people. I could never slink into some unknown salon. I need a rapport with the people who touch my locks.

      Glad you had great results.😉

  8. Very impressive.
    Scammers may spray a special symbol on your mailbox to warn each other not to waste their time on you.
    I was offered free (initially free – then the price rose a little bit) hifi kit from the back of a van that stopped to ask for directions. Funnily enough I didn’t bite on their generous offer.

    • I have often heard that men get offered stereo speakers out of the backs of trucks. I thought it was the stuff of urban lore. And there you are.

      Also, I seriously hope the scammer-grapevine sprayed invisible wolf’s blood on my driveway so they never come back this way again. (Honesty, I lose all perspective when guys get to flatterin’. It’s embarrassing.)

  9. Oh man!!! I almost bought meat from these cute meat sellers myself! Thanks for the heads up AND good job getting your money back!

  10. I’m with Carl. How did you get your money back? That’s impressive.

    I was once scammed by Bally Total Fitness. The young woman who signed me up said that I could cancel the contract if I moved out of the area. But I should have read the fine print, which said that I could cancel only if I moved off the planet. The oversight and blind trust cost me more than just money.

  11. LOVE! Love this so much!

    A recent infraction by my rental company was brought to their attention promptly. They failed to respond quite so promptly, leading me to engage in behaviors that earned me the title “one-woman Anonymous.”

    I’m pleased to see it’s not just me.😉

    • So not just you. And if you look into it, you’ll probably find there are a lot of yous. Sorry to say. Hope you didn’t try to rent something too extravagant — like that time we went for the sixteen hot air balloons. That was ridiculous!😉

      • Definitely did not! I was amused at the “you’re-scary” implications of the title, but thought naught on it till I read this entry. And now, I’m almost certainly going to forget about the incident again. I would like very much to have my persistence go toward writing endeavors or skiing or some such, y’know?😀

  12. You spin a great yarn! I’m glad you got your money back–you should do a blog about how to do it for the many who have been scammed and aren’t as relentless as you are.

    I haven’t been scammed, but I tend to stay inside, out of scammers’ view. But I would be a good mark. I trust people as my default mode. Scammers who might be reading this, just ignore that last little bit…(I trust you will do the right thing.)

  13. Well at least you didn’t buy from those guys that want to throw dirt all over your carpet and then sell you a vacuum or floor cleaner. Glad you got your money back!

    • Hey Brown Road:

      No offense but you look a lot like Meat Dude #1? I’m serious. You are cute and you are from Illinois. What’s up with that? I am not kidding. Do you go on the internet and search for “meat scams”? What brought you to me today? Because I’m FREAKING out right now.

      You’d better talk me down, man.

      • Brown Road Chronicles

        As exciting as that sounds to be called Meat Dude, I can promise you that I have never sold meat from a truck! My wife and I did buy a 1/2 a cow one time from a farm. Yes it was all cut up and packaged… and fresh! I’m actually from Michigan, did WP say I’m from Illinois? We live in southwest MI so pretty close to Illinois. I tripped over your blog the other day reading comments somewhere, checked it out and it looked like fun, so I subscribed. That’s how I ended up here. You can get off the ledge now!😉

      • So funny you don’t think I was already over at your blog, checking things out. Why you are just the cutest l’il ole cowboy ever. And ya’ll, he sings James Taylor like… like James Taylor. Good stuffins over at The Brown Road. Check him out.

        But I can’t be certain about the whole meat thing.

        You are like the doppelganger of the meat guy. Weird.

  14. That would have driven me crazy. Good on you for getting your money back. It makes me so angry when people do things like that. Have they no conscience?
    I bought two boxes of fruit last year that looked and smelled gorgeous. But it was only the top row that looked gorgeous – the bottom rows were all black and mouldy. I should’ve known better. It’s a shame but you can’t trust most door-to-door sellers these days.

    • Selma:

      I’m telling you, I don’t trust the Girl Scouts anymore. Their cookies were never that good in the first place. Who are we kidding? Just because a cute little girl is selling it doesn’t mean it isn’t a scam: seriously — $6 for a box of 15 lousy cookies. I say never again!😉

      Sorry about the fruit thing.

  15. At least u thought u were getting something out of it! I’ve been scammed cos I thought I was doing the right thing. Seriously, just because a guy is really old, Asian (like me) and has his equally old wife with him, it may not necessarily mean that he has lost his wallet and run out of money and needs like £100 to get home from London to Newcastle. He even gave me his name and address and showed me his passport – I mean who carries their passport around with them. All I got was an unnecessary overdraft.

    • Pravinjeya:

      How do you know he didn’t really lose his wallet? It is my understanding that he really lost his wallet. Of course, it seems like they elderly Asian couple could have found another method to get to Newcastle rather than sending out an enormous bulk email. Perhaps called a friend or something? Asked that friend to wire some money?

      You are kidding, right?😉

  16. Didn’t you post the meat truck story before? I didn’t remember hearing that you got your money back, though. I am quite impressed. You are very persistent. Just like Baka chewing and clawing until he finally destroys the “indestructable chew toy”, you destroyed the meat-truck scammers. Yes, I just compared you to my dog, but I love you both!🙂

    And I believe my comment before was: “EWWW I can’t believe you bought meat from a truck!”

    • I posted about it last year on Facebook. You probably remember everyone’s horror.

      What can I say? I am slow to get around to realizing good material. Even when it is staring at me in an oozy puddle from the bottom of my garbage can.😉

  17. When I was about 19 I dropped my ticket heading into a packed Steve Miller show. A couple minutes later I found it in some guys hand. He was selling it. He was also bigger than me. I told him to give it back. He said it was his. I looked at my friend, not a tough guy either. Then I paid for it. I wish I could go back in time now that I’m 60 pounds heavier. Then that guy would be the one to pay.

  18. I’ve been scammed. Everyone probably gets scammed at one point or another.

    I’ve learned to ask myself “how bad will your life be if you walk away from this?” When I look at it this way, it is so easy to say no because what they are selling is never, ever, anything you just can’t survive without.

    If they come to me with this story to entice me to part with my money, how can it be right? It’s 30 pounds of meat “left over from a big delivery” and the boss says they’ve got to move it by peddling it door to door at bargain prices? Or, I’ve just had my purse stolen and I need to get home to my meds. I think not. If you want to push the issue, I’ll just invite a third party like the police department.

    The bigger the “story behind the deal”, the bigger the scam.
    Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

    • No no, Brian! Don’t get down. You were lookin’ good up there on that soapbox. All tall and cute and muscle-y. Did you say you had some Cracker Jack to sell? How much is it again?😉

      • Sorry, no Cracker Jacks, Renee.
        But I do have a sweet piece of oceanfront property in Arizona that a hermit left me in his will but I can’t go back to Arizona because of a little misunderstanding with a parole officer so…

  19. “Their junk is already spoiled…” hee hee.

    I’m really am 42. I swear.

    I’ve never fallen for bad meat (snicker) but ten years ago I did buy $200.00 worth of magazine subscriptions from a guy who made me feel SOOOO guilty, I couldn’t say no.

    (big sucker. yes.)

    The worst part of the story is that I stupidly used a check from our brand new home equity line…

    My husband still hasn’t let me live that one down.

    Unfortunately, the magazines are still coming. (not really, but they should be for all the money I spent.)

    I know. It’s hard to believe I’m really 42.
    But at the time I was in my thirties.

    And still so very dumb.

    • Two hundred bucks worth in magazines? I hope you purchased Real Simple and “O” magazine. At least those have some quality writing.

      So “cute” works on me and “guilt” works on you.

      When we do meet (not to be confused with “meat”) in real life, it’s good to know the other’s buttons.

      We should probably also have a safe word.😉

  20. I bought meat from the same sort of business. Part of mine was bad as well! And I had a similar problem getting my money back. So annoying. Glad you got your money back! Persistence pays off.

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