In today’s world of day to day living, one has a lot of responsibility acting and reacting to what others do. With reference to dealing with various business owners and operators, on a regular basis, there are some who operate their business carefully with a code of fair, and honorable values, and others who operate differently.
On the other hand, some who operate with a dog-eat-dog system of values, with no qualms about ripping one off that attempts to do business with them. And settling any dispute can result in hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth. Despite all efforts to avoid it, I periodically run into time-consuming, aggravating differences in the course of everyday living  and the requirements of today’s lifestyle.
To avoid stress, I avoid using credit cards and buying anything on credit, live very well within my means on a company annuity, but still run into difficulties from time to time, particularly with insurance companies.
Several years ago, I received a notice from an insurance company, advertising a policy for final expenses, costing $58.00 a month. I enrolled and made one payment, when I decided to pay myself $58.00 to save for final expenses and did just that, and cancelled giving that company $58.00 a month, which amounts to $592.00 a year.
Maintaining an internet service and copier requires a monthly expense which I did not have early on in life. And one of the requirements is monthly or annual payments to a company to protect the internet service from the evil acts of others, whose lot is destruction or manipulation.
I had a company I was happy with, until a technician came and arbitrarily decided to place me with a company, McAffee, which
he said did not charge. But soon a bill came to pay $89.99 for a year and I paid it. Then decided to cancel and return to my original company, Norton, that I was pleased with. And called to cancel McAffee.
Last Friday, a notice of withdrawal of $89.99 payment to McAfee for a protection policy I cancelled over six months ago. I stewed about it over the weekend, then called McAfee first thing this Monday morning. First thing I confirmed, I had paid for their service up to the 27th of April this year. Despite the fact I had cancelled over 6 months ago. 
The clerk answering began explaining their policy, when I interruped and said let me tell you what my policy is. I’m ticked off you did not cancel when I notified six months ago, and now out of the blue you have withdrawn $89.99 from my account for another year. You must return immediately and send me an email that you have cancelled and are refunding my money. She began filibusting further about their policy when I interrupted and said, I am going to hang up, call my bank, LifeLock and my attorney. Have you sent me an email notification of a refund yet? Her response was that she was in the proces and I received it right away. She said it would be 5 days before a refund. I said that will be next Monday and I expect a return of the 89.99 plus the six months prior charge after I cancelled.
I hung up and thanked my mother for teaching me “plain english is easy understood.” Before I called, I decided precisely how I would handle it, anticipating the hem-hawing rhetoric from the company. 
I never bluff when handling a dispute over money, and I will follow through precisely as I related to the company. And I write this article this morning, because I listen to others upset over the mis-handling of their affairs by some companies.
And the bottom line is, Freedom is self-responsibility and self-control of one’s life and affairs in everyday living. Unless one assumes and acts on that notion of self-control, there are plenty of others we deal with who will assume that role instead.
To assume responsibility for one’s every day responsibilities takes the first step of a decision, before an issue arises, not during nor after. 
Because in today’s world, there is periodic and on-going situations in most lives, relative to control and money, cropping up from time to time. I personally view the disputes as a “battle” and one needs to have a battle plan for handling anytime they crop up. The case I relate this morning is about a company I paid for  “protection,” then canceled the service but they continued to charge. I consider that no less than an act of stealing, i.e., taking my money without my consent, nor notification, just took out of my bank account. Consequently I had no qualms about my demands for return, and steps I would take if they did not.
In this connection, there’s one quote from the military strategist Sun Tzu, always quite helpful to me to recall in a dispute or battle: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every  victory gained you will suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb to every battle.”
I hope relating one of my experiences will help any of my readers who encounter problems or disagreements over everyday living experiences. I have written a book titled “The Battle Plan,”  but have delayed publishing it.
Let Freedom Ring 
Just me AC
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