Opinion / 首页Blog

Cheating and dishonest people damage China’s reputation

By MichaelM ( Updated: 2014-12-11 16:48

Since coming to China I've met some very kind, nice and honest people. However, there are those who will cheat you with little or no concern for their own reputation or the fact that they are acting like common, low-life thieves.

I moved into a new building about a month ago. One of the first things the management wanted me to do (after paying rent in advance for a year) was to pay for heat for the winter. I paid 2,300 yuan. The heat is normally turned on around November 15 and we got our first cold spell about that time. However, there was no heat.

My assistant and I went daily to the management office to let them know. They said it needed to be repaired and that it would be working soon. We waited several days. No heat. We went back repeatedly and nearly every time they had new and different stories to tell. But still no heat.

One day we got no less than five different stories, most them contradicting the others. The management was very arrogant and unconcerned. We told them we wanted our money back. They said they'd already given the money to the 'heating company'. We don't have 'heating companies' in the US, so I have no clue what that is.

The man telling us several of these stories was smoking a cigarette and blowing smoke in our faces. I let him know I wasn't enjoying this while we had the discussion, and he slowly walked over and put it out. They told us one lie after another.

We later discovered they had refunded money to some residents even though the man told me they'd already passed the money to the 'heating company'. When we told him that I knew the mayor of the city and would contact him about his management company stealing residents' money and providing nothing in return, he became nervous and began apologizing. He said he had a small grand-daughter and that she too lived in the building and was very cold at night.

To be fair, most people in China are good, honest and hard-working. They treat others right and are quite kind. This management company is the exception. They aren't the first that I've come across who will cheat others.

My assistant and several other Chinese people told me this is common. They wanted to know if people in the US would do this. I told them that it would be quite rare for someone to try such a thing. In China it is apparently the norm.

What really makes me angry is that there are a lot of older people living in my building. Chinese friends and associates said they are so used to being treated this way that they have learned to live with it. They feel powerless in such situations.

If I remain in this building next winter, I won't give them any money. I could save the 2,300 yuan and run my electric heater and stay warm. In the meantime, I will contact friends at city hall and also the local television station who I have a great relationship with. I will do all I can in order to rectify the situation.

I should never have let my guard down. I meet nice people and think that everyone in China is nice and will treat people well. Then, I run into a situation like this. I'm learning more and more about China every day through such situations. I should assume that everyone will be dishonest and arm myself accordingly.

The original blog is:

Most Viewed Today's Top News
Considering money as the end is the tragedy