Should Christians Automatically Trust Christian Businesses?

I know I might catch some grief for this post. However, I want to put it out there and just give people something to think about because I hear so many stories as the one below. A listener sent this into me.

Should Christians Automatically Trust Christian Businesses?

I know I might catch some grief for this post. However, I want to put it out there and just give people something to think about because I hear so many stories as the one below. A listener sent this into me.

Hi Bob,

This past summer, I was unemployed, had hardly any money, and my A/C was going out (worked about 3-4 hours every other day or so). I only had enough for a service call for diagnosis $95, and was quoted $500 additional to replace the fan motor - in my attic - for my one bedroom condo. I found this company through a Christian Publication that promotes Christian companies. Towards the end of the summer, when unemployment came in, I had enough to fix the problem. At the beginning of the summer, I signed up for assistance with Dallas Co. to help pay my electric bills. They sent a service tech to check out my A/C unit. The technician told me that the "Christian" company overcharged me by 300%. The day AFTER I paid these people to replace my fan motor, the Dallas County contracted A/C service company called me to schedule my FREE unit check up, AND told me that if they would have found ANYTHING wrong with my unit, they would have fixed/replaced the entire unit!!

"Oh, my gosh! What timing," I thought!! When I realized I had been knowingly deceived by these "Christian" business people, needless to say, I was upset! They knew that I had been unemployed, had very little extra money, AND had an illness that caused me to have to give up my job of nine years! On the service ticket, they didn't put how long they were at my house or the part number or price of the replaced fan motor - only the bottom amount of $500+. There's no question I was taken advantage of by people I thought I could trust! Yes, I called the magazine and they asked me to fax or mail an account of the story. The only thing they offered was, "Well, they signed a confession to do an honest job." What are your suggestions? I am going to ask for some of my money back!! Thank you for your time, and God bless your ministry!

There are companies that honor God through the profession of Faith through their businesses. They have something that signifies Christianity in their business name or marketing. I really don't have any problem with that at all. Then there are companies that use God as a marketing tool.

I just want to make one point. Christianity is no reason to automatically grant blanket trust to ANYONE. Trust is earned. You still need to do your research rather than just trust. "Trust, but verify" as Ronald Reagan once famously said.

In every business, there are people who have your best interest at heart and then there are people who have their best interest at heart over yourbest interest. A Christian business will show you their relationship with Christ through the way they deal with you.

Please keep that in the back of your mind.

A "Christian Owned" business does not mean that all its employees are Christian and will abide by Christian principles. Nevertheless, as a Christian Business Owner I have had many BAD Christian customers and so the boat floats both ways. I get that the woman is in dire circumstances, yet a business is a business and not a Charity. It's very hard to tell whom is right in this, as the Dallas company that said she paid way too much may have been correct, since they might get taxpayer dollars to help offset the REAL COSTS associated with the repairs. Oncor used to have a program where they sent out people to do checks on homes for airtightness and also to do insulation and other items for a very reduced fee. Maybe this is something the Dallas based business was doing. So, you're not really comparing apples to apples when this is in effect. Last but not least, somebody calling themselves Christians are not always very nice people. We see that everyday. Some may actually try to make you think they are, just so they can get the business. Any business out there, Christian or otherwise HAS to make money (profit) for them to pay their employees, taxes, rent, and more - or they won't be in business very long. I think Bob can agree with me on this, that every person should get a minimum of 2-3 estimates for repair to see if they are all in the same ballpark. Picking the cheapest will not always be the cheapest in the long run. Find a middle ground or if there are services offered like the one the Dallas based business said they worked under - then look at that as they are subsidized by someone to off-set their costs to people who are in a bind or have any number of reasons for needing the benefits of that program.

@tlswift All good points - and yes you should always get estimates. I only wrote the article to point out that regardless who you are working with don't give full trust until that trust is earned. Interesting I never thought of it from the standpoint that it goes both ways. Thanks again for your perspective.

More to read in Stewardship
false