Friday, July 31, 2009

Lying for "profit"

Consumerist had a post today about parents who lie to get discounts for their kids.

Well, not exactly. They also teach their kids to lie to get the discounts (saying they're younger or older than their actual age).

I found this troubling in several ways, not the least of which being that from a purely practical standpoint, none of the examples mentioned was exactly the sort that would collapse your finances otherwise. The article made it sound more like a game: where can we and Junior "save" a buck today?

One of the first comments captured my feelings about the article pretty well: "Terrible parenting. She advocates lying and dodging responsibility. The few bucks saved now are meaningless when your child grows up with poor morals."

The rest of the comments break out fairly evenly into shock (what are you teaching your child?), approval (my parents used to blah blah blah), and apathy (who cares about anything). To be honest, I was surprised there were so many who disagreed with the practice. I figured more people on the innernets would be willing to trade honesty for a few bucks, like in the post they had a couple of days ago about how to use your student ID and save. Completely different, of course. (My Purdue ID looks nothing like me. at all. and is also clearly not modern. Plus my PSU ID doesn't have a picture on it because, you know, I haven't been to campus. Although that I should probably change at some point. It's always nice to have another picture ID if you need one.)

Don't teach your child to lie.


  1. I am confused as to why you wouldn't use your student ID to your advantage?

    I am on the fence on this topic as I regularly see my family members play the age game with the children. This usually revolves around the amount of food received for the child and not necessarily the cost of the item. Does a 13 year old really need an adult meal when a children's meal is enough food. There are other ways to get around the age thing, such as when I want to consume a small portion of food I ask if I can order the children's meal. Usually, they say yes.

    But anyway you look at it teaching your child to lie is a bad thing.

  2. Well, that depends ... if you mean me personally, it's really because I am rarely in a place that offers student discounts, and of course it's not a picture ID, so who's to say it's a real ID? I'd guess I'll never meet anyone here who's ever seen a real PSU ID.

  3. I don't think using your student ID for discounts is a bad thing. I used my Butler ID until it literally fell apart. And now? I can't whip my IUPUI ID out fast enough when I see that student discounts are offered.

    Children lying about their age. I don't think I ever did it....and I can't think of an instance where I've seen it done. Um, I can't say I'm completely opposed to it. Have you SEEN the cost of raising a child lately?

  4. I am aware that seeking discounts rarely poses a moral dilemma for you.

  5. no, no it does not. You can't tell me that those companies aren't overcharging. If you can get a deal, I think you should go for it.

    PS. If a company is ethical, you don't see me screwing them. I've never purchased those Starbucks coupons on ebay....

  6. There are those who would disagree that Starbucks is an example of an ethical company.


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