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W.H. a University of Wisconsin presents the second of four programs drawn from a special week of broadcasting focusing on the problems of Milwaukee's inner core city within a city. The materials for these programs came from the comments and writings of Milwaukee NS. However the issues they raise have significance and meaning for us all. The National Better Business Bureau has established a list of the 10 most widespread consumer Gyp's in the country ranging from number one bait advertising to number 10. Work at Home gimmicks and surprisingly the continued success of these gyps indicates that in today's world millions of people are duped and fleeced in strict accordance with P.T. Barnum as old adage A sucker is born every minute.
We come up to us people representing firms. That. Have no regard as to your ability to repay us how much they can make up you know as to how much they hurt you. All we're interested in is selling and he was selling these John F. Kennedy pictures door to door and a picture of him is the right for $33. He will in the face of filth are not worth that. But like he thieves you paid for the cream in the way. Nice collected money all the way until his tie is going to people collecting money this is what you paid for the Kennedy picture that they purchase is something he sells Can any pictures pictures of Jesus will have lightbulbs and tiles and and cords that are too short to plug in. He's got. Hundreds of people paying two three dollars a week doing for this jump.
The anatomy of a gym. A program taken from interviews made in Milwaukee. The problems of the consumer are not limited to the ghetto but their magnified their. Gyp's operate everywhere. But in the ghetto they tend to knock at your door every day. They get all residents because of his low income may find it difficult if not impossible to receive credit from the legitimate merchants. And so when he wants to purchase a product he turns to other sources of credit and thereby makes himself pray TO THE GYPSY. A few of us can afford to be gypped. None enjoy it but to the people of the ghetto being gypped has become a part of their lives you know afforded and enjoyed but to an extent accepted in the next hour we'll examine some aspects of this problem. First we'll hear the stories of Gyp's from the initial contact with the customer to the salesman's pitch. From the moment of hesitation to the signing of the
contract a common need for credit to a cause for garnishments. These stories are told by people who claim they've been gypped. Following their comments and next door to door salesman we examine some of the techniques used to swindle a customer. First two stories one recorded in Milwaukee's inner core the other outside the ghetto. Neither are unique but both illustrates what it's like to be taken for a ride on this particular merry go round. This man approached me and I. At the time I was not particular about the place I told him no he was he was one of my friends once and they had just bought one and it was beautiful and it was worth the money.
So I says I'd like to have one but I can't afford it. He says you want one I says No I says because I don't want to get into it. It's too much money for me. So he came to deliver her appliance and bring some papers or something back and I own he asked me did I want it. Then I said No my husband says no he says well talk to your husband. I'll call him so when he comes back I says man who said I could have it he says are I forget it. So within the next day or so he showed up back. To sell me one. He said it found the greatest deal for me a floor model use combination and he could give it to me for a much lower price much better payments and he would even make a downpayment. He says that he would sell me one for on my own
for $250. He was paid a downpayment. I will pay Levon dollars a month for the sick. And I wouldn't have to make a payment until September 25 for school. I asked. Every time he would say make a statement I would break it down so I understood it perfectly it was understood that it would be the exact set that my neighbor had only used for a month. He on he says are do you want to share do you want to shoot. I says No I don't want any added things on it because I don't want to pay me to go any higher than the hour. He says Alright we won't put insurance on which was on the counter and we want to put insurance on you with this company for a certain amount of money. And I says I don't want to because I hit something.
While my final payment after I got to concentrate was 13 hours and forty three cents a month which was supposed $11. The final amount of a half I was three hundred twenty two dollars and thirty two and he said that there was nothing you could do about the payments because I was as low as it would go. And he says that would be too hard on me. Two extra dollars. Art I went along with that. Finally he gave me he brought a half I hear it wasn't the kind that I wanted. It wasn't complete and it is kind of fallen apart like. And he says that was a manufacturer's defect. The buttons do not work correctly he says. There's nothing they can do about it.
Why he was so mean to us by he says I says I cannot buy a car because my husband will not sign for it. He told me you do not need your husband to sign for it you can sign for just so just sign your name a little different. So I signed it in front of witnesses. I caught myself breaking down everything he said so I would understand it perfectly clearly and that was the deal. And told me that if the finance company called me to tell them that I had bought the house prior I had already got the deal through and everything and that I was perfectly satisfied with the half time with a deal. He asked me did I have the highest I will when he said did I have the half hour. I said
yes I do have a lot of fun and I am very satisfied with it and I was first buy with the deal. He meant that I have the Hi-Fi in my home at the present time had I seen a half I use a hash I was satisfied but I was on the impression that he meant that I make the deal that I completed when I finished it wasn't to my satisfaction and I said yes. And I had told the people that I had received the Have they bought the contract from me because I had already had the Hi-Fi in my home. I didn't see the house until two days later after the car came by then I had a contract from the critic. If they can sell someone else a record player
TV or any of plants from his store. In other words if I make up if I make a sale for him he will give me $20 on my hi fi which is the first payment. That is how I so my brother does the same thing I got at a higher price. There is also supposed to be along with a deal a supply of records that comes in. Records were not delivered. They were not delivered to the other customers. The pole lamp that you suppose gets free was not delivered. They still haven't gotten there and the bed he was selling me did not come in. Also is a bit involved in this.
Well there was about 10 pieces of cookware with it and it included the covers and there was then and then they gave them an order if the kids wouldn't sign up without a lot of sales talk they put through the deal and play. But otherwise they have offered them a lot of just plain cheap side gifts like a set of stainless steel or toaster and mixer and maybe some glassware and some Melnyk Ware stuff that just didn't amount to anything you could buy cheap. They would keep adding to those things that those kids would sayan the contract and it just that's all these kids were all gullible and you know how they are. So it was five of them that sign in one night.
They've been a look but working around down here to Master Lock. Getting these girls when they come out there's a lot of teenage girls you know working there coming out on payday. Their car pull up to the curb and when they see a couple of girls coming along they'll jump out of the car in a costume right on the street. How this happened to this one now this one girl that had already been involved in the deal. And our grand daughter was married to the grandson. That was the second time they were approached down there of course whoever this was it was a different salesman he didn't know that they had already gone through the mill and they just turned around and shoved him up but a girl jumped out of the car and accosted him on the sidewalk and then the man rolled down the window and he started in on him and I am online and I just turned their backs on him and had left. Now I don't know how many poor kids have been sucked in on that but now we have another friend of ours who had a girl 17 years old and the mother works. She has the head of this girl and she works too and I don't know
how the man contact her but he came to her house in the absence of a mother and this girl was only 17 years old and she signed it. And when her mother came. Holeman Linda told her mother what she done why her mother just went through the ceiling and she called the company and she but she warned them about them coming their way it was when she wasn't home sending the salesman in there and she warned them not to send the stuff out. There and they'd Graham these kids on the street or they'd go to the drive and they got these five kids at that at a drive in and then they make the appointment of they come to the house. And if I could sign that night now my grandson and when he wasn't there but his wife was there and she paid $30 for $35. Our granddaughter paid 35. Another girl paid 35 and the other one
only had a dollar so he just took that and he claimed that he put the rest of this money from his own pocket to make the rest of the downpayment. But she didn't get any gifts but he just got the dollar hoping that they could turn all these contracts and collect on them. And the price for this stuff which is just jumped us 290 650 and what it amounts to was a couple of kettles and a Dutch oven and a couple frying pans and the covers are on. What up with that why but if you could just hold the stuff in your arms. Two hundred ninety six dollars and fifty cents they they get these kids with. Well at the time our granddaughter was working so was the intended granddaughter and the Son and our grandsons. And so was this other girl that paid 35 the one the one that paid the one dollar was always only 17. So what they did they had our granddaughter a cosign this contract for this 17 year old girl and they were trying to hold her for both deals.
And now just very recently I had Atlas whispering now this stuff all happened last August and September and all this time we've been fighting this thing. And another thing this one girl that I'm telling you the work of the most. The Master Lock. One of them got a got her. She paid $40 down. But before the stuff was delivered she happened to talk to my granddaughter who also worked there and got the story and so she got panicky and she went to the company attorney and he wrote he warned her not to accept the stuff when it came not even to accept it. And I guess he wrote them a letter. So they didn't so I guess they didn't send it out I don't know just what the setup was there. But anyhow they couldn't get her money back and she paid $40. So the money that they're collecting as a downpayment is worth is way more than the stuff is worth.
Well we were advised that those contracts were not legal and that they did not have to be paid because they were all minors that they didn't have to be paid. But in order to get that money back those kids would have had to get an attorney and so when Who's got that kind of money $20 an hour for an attorney I just couldn't do it. But I didn't know about it. Until about November I think it was or December. I didn't know anything about this stuff. And I tell our grandson came to us just stare or to death just petrified because this finance company were sending him letters and threatening them over the telephone with down to she and he was working and his wife was working and they were just scared to death. So he borrowed the money and he paid it up because those kids that they said they couldn't sleep at night they were sick. And
you see there is plenty of them that will perhaps pay up and that's where the company is gaining. What chance does some plain ordinary people like us send and for instance like these kids want how much of a chance do they have new you know what it's teaching these kids. Well if they can be dishonest I can too. And that's exactly what my grandson said he said voices when you see all this crooked stuff going on in the world and they're getting by with it. Why does it pay to be honest. Ladies and gentlemen as you know all. I am somewhat familiar with. The home improvement field I have been in at what they call the soft Suede Shoes and also what the legitimate companies in Milwaukee like Sears and game laws. And the other ones that are here already to give any kind of service that you want in home improvements.
One of the first things we have in some home improvements is that demand that these companies choose salesmen of the best agreed are the highest and finest most polished salesmen that you have in other words to be what they call a store a shoe a lawyer which is one of them and comes around to your. Stars and as such just sells roofing and siding any kind of home improvement. This is a man that has been polished for new job. Training for it and educated into personnel psychology and people that he's going to be confronting most of the stuff that we do as salesmen First of all. We are so alike that according to our ability is. One required for the job. We are we are required to take a test. That shows whether we have the ability to push people that have a lot of resistance for discussion of a field because most other people are on the defensive when we come in to sell
any kind of a home improvement. The home improvement field is the most. Lucrative field for any type of a salesman to be and because by this selling. We come up to you as people representing firms that. And no regard as to your ability to repay or how much they can make up for you as to how much they hurt you. All we're interested in is selling. As a salesman and then a company on its own. Sets up two forms of media to get advertising out for the benefit of the company. One of the advertising that we have is naturally the paper. That is distributed throughout. Throughout the cities along that reaches most that are people not two of the ads that we had.
And a paper appears most of the time is this is Starman screens of course this is Windows for $8 an 88 cents. The other one is an ad that they will complete the cider house aluminum siding for 3:49. Now this is what we call a gimmick ad that people call love. Well naturally one dish will want something for nothing as we call it. As soon as we get these people to call in our girls will automatically take down the names telephone number and a date that the salesman can get in to the house. After we get into the home. We bring along samples of DC. Components that we have year as far as aluminum siding and windows and they are by far the cheapest you can get. In other words anybody that is not completely insane won't even
look at them the second time but this is the gimmick that gets us into the house once we get into the house. The Chivas window that we'll probably sell to you at that time would be about 20 to 95. That's what we call the track and the days dwindle now. From $8 to 88. It's a heck of a long run. But you'd be surprised how many people are gullible to fall for this to get us into the house. You've got to be a real gullible person to think that you can put up any kind of a window for $8. So all. Right knowing that type of individual that is calling us we know that once we get our foot into the dark we have half the sale made because these people are gullible. The cheapest window that you can get that is of any value today on the market would be about 1795. This is a cheap window. Now. Most of the people that call us naturally are financially squeezed or people want to kind of.
Weedy ochre credit can it go to a lot of different stars that are directly but reputable dealers in Milwaukee so they will listen to us. Sighting what you have here for 3:49. Is just a piece of 10 Put on your house absolutely nothing else. It has no value whatsoever. Will wear out. It will give you no kind of insulation at 3:49. People think well that's better than a paint job. Call a man because of the paint job on a house today costs about $500 on the average home. So once we get entered in into the door of a person who is asking for it is we again or that this person is looking for something for nothing. They will listen the Nuer listen hard while we explain to him. Why dish is a cheap product. The cheapest house that you can. Cite today we figured out by a square is the average home is about 14 squares with
a 1 square equals hundred by a hundred square feet. So by figuring it out on today's market the average home would cost about $900. The cheapest insulation that you can get siding aluminum siding to rebut on a home. But when we go out into the field we have this in front of us. I am as a representative on a company. Given on a $22 window I get that window. For $14. Anything I sell that window to you. Over and above that is my commission on deciding which we sell today sells on a market for about ninety four dollars a square. Now I will get that from the company for about $55. Anything I get over and above it is mine. So if I have a job on a house is going to cost a thousand dollars.
And I get the stuff for 400 I make myself $600. But because the people that call us to us are mooches as we call them to answer ads like this we will automatically start. At about twenty four hundred dollars for a job. Because they don't know they want to call us if they knew anything about this kind of a product. They know that they can't get it done for us so they right away set set up for us as a salesman for anything we can get over what we pay for the price of their product ourself and company. I will start at about twenty five hundred dollars. Looking at the people analyzing how much they'll grow for our. Freedom Ring out their character is the How has to go down. But I know now that the average person or jump in at about fifteen hundred thinks he's getting a bargain. If he were gone anybody else he would have got it for a thousand years.
So you can see. That we prey on the people that think that they're preying on us. Judy this is what we're hoping for. The only ones that answer dead are ones they're trying to get something for nothing. Most studies people like I say people that are just borderline credit cases and being borderline credit cases we have automatically set up Tryon and sing with people in other words when we get to it. Even if they have been rejected by the better companies in town. Private financing will take care of it. They pay something like 15 18 percent. On their loan. Which dado know which they sometimes don't even care because all they know all that we give them up the price of $15 a month for so many years as long as they want. They wanted longer we give it to him for. Maybe $10 a month. We're set up financially to handle any kind of a prepayment
payment that people want to get because this is our own financing. The other kind of advertising that the salesman has is what we call a boiler shop. Every company that is end Home Improvement field has what we call a boiler shop. A boiler shop consists of girls like you who are good talkers good telephone operators good conversationalists who will sit in a room like this at a California all day. They will call a certain lock that the salesman gives them. They'll call every house on that block. Every person that they can they will make a certain amount of appointments for us. When a gimmick at liked is they will say well you want outside your house for $500 we have a special on now you'd be surprised how many names those girls get. I'm going to girl then what Marna room what we call them are in their room is a telephone
operator that just calls out people all day to get orders. Get paid about one hundred twenty five. Plus they get 10 percent of what I make on a sale. So they work real hard and they make a lot of money. Great salespeople and there is something that every owner improvement company needs. If you ever get a girl calling in a telephone. And saying that they have outsailed on lumen I'm citing any kind of home improvements. She's what we call border shop girl. She's operating from a larger room. This is what we call it this is a nickname that we have for. Some companies or Malky have as much as 8 10 girls on a telephone all day long. Now when you get these calls and I read a lot today and a girl is on her phone says Would you like aluminum siding. She is we're operating out of a martyr room out of somebody's company day don't usually identify who are. The sender salesman to you if you make an appointment with him.
The inner core: City within a city
Part 2 of 4
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Edited re-release of Series 68-34, concerning urban area of inner Milwaukee and its problems.
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-Sp.2-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:37
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Chicago: “The inner core: City within a city; Part 2 of 4,” 1968-09-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
MLA: “The inner core: City within a city; Part 2 of 4.” 1968-09-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <>.
APA: The inner core: City within a city; Part 2 of 4. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from