Monday, August 14, 2006

Gouge, George

I'm not entirely sure, but I think America is one of the few places in the world where you have to pay for things you don't use.

As I was talking recently about my cell phone situation, I realized that these companies are signing you up for 1 and 2 YEARS, and charging you a monthly rate even if you never use your phone. Then, if you desire to turn the phone off during that "contract" period, you are charged a hefty cancellation fee.

Same thing with tanning beds, gyms, etc. Their scam is to sign you up and charge your credit card every month, even if you haven't been in for weeks... or, in my case with the gym, months. Cancellation is possible, but you have to write a letter and mail it to the company. Then, probably about 30 percent of the time (according to friends who have done it) they "lose" the letter or claim to have never received it.

The problem is, we allow it. We sign up, we pay, and we don't complain. If we were smart, we'd draw the line and tell companies to shove it deep. As soon as my cell contracts are up, I think I will do pay-as-you-go. Likewise with my gym, I'd like to find a place that allows you to pay as you use it... even if, you know, you hardly ever use it. (Dr. Mike, you bastard, we need to get back to the gym. Stop making lame excuses like "my wife just had a baby.")

Are companies allowed to do this sort of thing in Europe? Asia? I'd like to know.

Something does my heart good to see Boy George cleaning the streets of Manhattan. I'm not sure why I enjoyed this story - he seems to be an OK sort of person. I just guess it's human nature to find enjoyment in the misfortune of the famous. Especially when they have a british accent.*

Why do we get particular amusement out of seeing a famous person arrested? (Martha Stewart is a great example) I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that they are so often treated differently because of their fame or notoriety. I'll bet Letterman gets out of more traffic tickets than I ever dreamed of. I am SURE Paris Hilton never has to wait in line to get into a night club. I'm positive Rosie O'Donnell gets extra butter on her popcorn at the theater. (at least it appears she does)

So when any of these types have to pay some sort of price for something they've done, we revel in it. We celebrate it, if in no other way than to get a warm feeling seeing Boy George holding a plastic garbage bag.

*Why is it more satisfying when they have the british accent? Because they always sound just a bit condescending? Also, (and I don't mean this the way it will inevitably sound) does anyone else find it freaky to listen to a black person with a british accent? It just totally throws me off.


phoenix said...

Trust me, you DO NOT want to go to pre-paid!!! 35 cents per minute or more! You are paying for in and out going calls. It will cost you more in the long run... trust me... been there!

here is a better perspective on it. A 100.00 pre-paid card is approx. 286 minutes of usage, or not quite 5 hours of talk time. Most anyone I know can barely stay under 1000 minutes a month.

❉ pixie ❉ said...

At least he's not wearing that freakish "makeup" shit he puts all over his head and face.

paula said...

Dave, I agree with the gym thing. Every Monday and Wednesday, Mike says I'm going to call Dave and go to the gym.....I still haven't seen him go but once.

Call him, get motivated....I'm going to reach my goal before you two....wanna make a bet???

Lee Ann said...

Dave, you have me laughing as usual.
So, that is boy George? Wow, he looks different than I remember.

word ver: bichkbjd
seems we might have a sentence here....bichkickboyjorgdown

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

The first story I read today was the Boy George story. What an astute observation you make about why we enjoy these stories. I agree!

Anonymous said...

What about voice guys who bill radio stations every month even when the stations don't send in any liners?

Dave Morris said...

Hahaha! Great question, "anonymous," so here's your answer.

On an average client station, my voice airs every 10 to 15 minutes. Even conservatively, my voice airs 2,880 times per month, per client station. Most of what my clients pay for is clearance. What a bargain!

So thanks for asking, you wisenheimer.

Amandarama said...

Boy George is skeevy and icky no matter what he's hauling.

Kimmy said...

I don''t even want to tell you how much money I gave LA Weight Loss up front. How many times did I show up there? Uh....twice?

Blogarita said...

I think advance payments and contracts may have began as a way to reserve a service that had limited availability. Then business owner's saw the financial advantage and began requiring it, regardless of availability. And like you said, we let them do it.

Mishka said...

I don't do cell phones but if I did, I would go prepaid because I guarantee you that I would not talk on it much at all....I don't need anywhere close to 1000 minutes...I don't even talk on my home phone that much.

We have gym membership at one of the hardest gyms to get out of...our contract ends in October. I have not really been there as much as I would like but the husband uses it pretty faithfully. We kind of need to renew for one more year but I don't know if they do that or if they will try to get two years out of us...I won't do the two years because we won't be here that long.

I hate the contract thing, and I think some places are starting to move away from it because they know that people are avoiding the contracts now...I like that at least the cell phone companies are giving people 30 days to change their minds...

ned Wilkinson said...

Schadenfreude! It was a vocabulary word on Avenue Q! :)

mcBlogger said...

Pay as you go sucks ass in Canada, you have to use it or lose it, thus, you end up putting money on it every month regardless.

Personally, I take enjoyment is seeing famous people arrested or suffering misfortune, not because I want to see another human suffer, but because the media idolizes them, making them iconic, like they've single-handedly created world peace, or saved lives on 9/11 or saved someone on an operating table, when really all they do is play sports/sing/act or in some cases act-out. Seeing them arrested for example (Martha S) shows the world that they are indeed just like everyone else, they are not infallable nor are they above the laws of moral society even though we perceive them to have so many liberties that the rest of normal folk don't have.

CP said...

I go pay as you go on my cellphone. I dont know who Phoenix has their plan with, but mine is a flat rate of $48 a month for all the talking both locally and long distance that I can possibly do!

I think as far as the gym goes, people get the "if I am paying for it, I am more likely to go" mentality.

My love for food beats out my need for a work out no matter what the I don't care. That kind of psychology is lost on me.


Violet said...

Listen - if you and Mike actually worked out with half as much effort as the two of you use to find excuses not to have to work out, you'd both be ready to run a marathon next weekend.