Last week we had our obligatory monthly monitoring meeting for Bryan live at his apartment – the first time since the pandemic began. Yes, we have been there at Bryan’s place in the past two years, but the blinds to the deck area have always been drawn. At the meeting, the blinds were open, revealing what you see above.
Each month I pick up the receipts from Bryan’s monthly expenditures since I am the Representative Payee for him. I noticed amongst the stacks of receipts a letter stating how the rates for his water cooler rental and individual jugs was going to go up in the near future.
How did this water cooler come to be installed in the first place? I had thought that the new roommate or the agency that had hired him had put it in. “No”, he said, “I thought you guys got it for Bryan. He really likes it.”
Trying to get a straight answer from Bryan on how this came to be, we discovered at our meeting that Bryan set this all up by himself. Apparently, someone came door to door during the height of the pandemic, and Bryan let them in, gave them his credit card, and set up the whole operation.
Disturbing on many levels. First, that Bryan opened the door to a total stranger and gave him his credit card information. Second, that the sales rep had the moxy to take advantage of someone who was not in a position to make that kind of a long-range, expensive purchase. After the initial setup, Bryan has been charged almost $50 a month for four five-gallon jugs of water a month which only he drinks. Really? Bryan can realistically drink twenty gallons of water a month? This sales person was obviously out to make a quick buck, regardless of how he came by it.
When we asked Bryan how this came about at the meeting, he parroted back the smooth speech of the salesperson – how it would save him from having to go out and purchase water in the stores where it was unsafe; how it would ensure that he had plenty of healthy water with which to hydrate, making him better able to fend off a Covid infection, etc. Bryan swallowed it all – hook, line and sinker. He just wanted to stay healthy and Covid-free and this was the answer he was looking for. We couldn’t fault him for it.
We called the company responsible for this sale. Eight of the eleven bottles were credited to Bryan’s account. An apology was offered. They wanted to know if Bryan enjoyed the product. However, there was no offer to follow up and reprimand the rep for taking advantage of someone whose judgement isn’t always reliable. We talked to the apartment complex manager who said there was no solicitation allowed, but it was hard to enforce as it is an “open community.”
So, there you have it. After discussion with Bryan and his roommate, we decided that it is an unnecessary expense that should discontinue. What to do about the eleven full five-gallon jugs still on the deck? They will have to be emptied before pick up. Such a waste of 55 gallons of pure water. They cannot accept back already delivered full bottles even though they are unopened.
I wish I could reach out to find this salesperson and explain how wrong it is to take advantage of someone like Bryan – an innocent who just wants to be healthy and do the right thing. The company managed to get around $550+ of Bryan’s money so far. Somehow, I hope that the seller has a prick of conscious when all of the paraphernalia is returned to the company.
Unconscionable means not right or reasonable. What they did was NOT OK!