Over the last twenty four hours, I have seen a lot of discussions about victims, scammers and who is really at fault. It is unfortunate to say but there are dishonest people in nearly every profession and dishonest clients that seek out services as well. In the world of counselling (including therapeutic, spiritual and psychic) there is a high level of trust needed on both sides. For the honest pratictioner, they need to know that the client they are working with is giving them legitimate information to work with and is seeking advice that will actually be implemented in thier lives. For the client, they need to know that the counsellor they are working with has their highest good in mind and are giving them practical advice to help them grow.
When this trust breaks down, someone inevitably gets hurt. In such a monetary based system as ours, this hurt is most often felt in the bank account. In the news we hear stories from all over about professionals bilking clients for huge sums of money. Overcharging for common services, “milking the clock” on time based fees, promising results that will happen with just a little more money… We’ve heard it all. But it happens on the other side too. If you have ever worked in a service based business, you have probably come across a customer that is playing your companies refund policies to their advantage or scamming for free stuff.
So who is the victim? It can be the professional or the client, it just depends on who got scammed. The real question is at what point do they become a victim and is that status ever un-warranted?
Let’s take a look at that…
Let’s say you come to me as a psychic advisor and are given great advice. It all hits home for you and you can tell that I have a gift. Then the bomb drops and I tell you that there is a curse on your family, your land, your dog, your hat, whatever… For an additional fee, this curse can be removed but it will take money and personal goods. You reluctantly fork over the fee and the ”spell” is cast. Nothing changes in your life except the balance of your bank account. Have you been vicitmized? Yep!
You now have a few options, you can walk away and chalk it up to a life lesson. You can report me for suspected fraud. You can go back and seek a refund. Or, you can go back to find out that the money wasn’t enough and the curse is stronger than originally thought and it will take even more to lift it and probabaly regular sessions over a great length of time. All of these options are products of your free will, yet the last one starts to blur the line between victim and willing participant. Yes, there are vulnerable people out there that are being taken advantage of. But, how many times does the same scenario have to play out in the media before the dots are connected for people. The scams we hear about are all using the same basic techniques that have been used for ages. Yet there are still those that buy into it. If I willingly give you huge sums of cash repeatedly for a service that doesn’t yield results, I forfiet my victim status.
Now let’s look at it from the professional’s side:
I am a psychic reader that just gave you a consultation that you scheduled with me. Our price was agreed upon and throughout the session you confirmed the messages that were coming through. Upon coompletion of the appointment, you deamnd a refund saying that you did not feel it was worth your time or money and that you were just “playing along”. Though I have provided my services to the best of my ability and tried to work it out with you, I give you your refund and you leave. Was I vicitimized? Yep!
Once again, there are options. I can note your name and politely refuse to book future appointments with you. I can notify other readers of my experience with you and see if they are aware of your tactics. Or, I can take your next call and try to do better this time only to have a refund demanded again. Once again with the last option, the line between victim and willing participant becomes blurred.
Just as every customer has the right to not work a specific professional, every professional has the right to refuse service to specifc individuals as well. A simple “I can see that my services are not to your needs. Rather than continue to have these concerns, I recommend that you find another professional who can better serve you. I apologize for any inconvinence.” will quickly and efficiently send difficult clients out your door and let you get back to your business.
There will be times in all of our lives when we feel like we have been vicitimized. It is at those times when we must choose whether we wish to stay in that feeling or shift our perspecitve and take our power back.
I don’t know about you, but I’m all about keeping my own power.