What I Learned From Dry January
What Is Relationship “Popcorning” And Am I Guilty?
The Fifty-First Official Friday Night BeerBlog
The Seventy-Fourth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
What’s With The Friday Night BeerBlog (FNBB) Anyway?
The Seventy-Second Official Friday Night BeerBlog
Married 26 Years Last Month – The McShane Secrets To A Successful (ish) Marriage.
You’re a Savage. Classy. Bougie. Ratchet.
The Eighty-Third Official Friday Night BeerBlog
The Eighth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
I Can See Clearly Now The Dirt Is Gone
The Twenty-Third Official Friday Night BeerBlog
Another Year. 52 Blogs.
October 23, 2020 – The Eighteenth Blog of the RestorationAge
Here’s the thing about automatic renewals, you forget about them until you get a receipt in your inbox. Then it’s too late to decide if you are going to continue whatever service it is that you paid for the month or for the year. My cha-ching, year-upping for this site happened yesterday and it’s the reason why you are reading this now.
Do you remember the service of your first automated yearly or monthly fee? I’m not talking about having HBO added to your cable bill that you paid with the rest of your utilities back in the day; I’m talking about when signed up online, gave your credit card information and allowed a company to automatically bill you whether you were using the service or not.
As far as I can remember for us, it was Netflix. It started out as a $7/mo. charge to watch all the movies, except that most of the movies sucked. B side movies mostly, but the kids had to have it. This yearly/monthly fee was genius because it was cheap enough that people didn’t notice they were paying it and then Netflix went on to kick HBO and their compatriots in the ass by amassing an amazing amount of revenue to start creating their own television shows and produce their own movies to capture even a wider audience. And now they own Hollywood. The End.
I venture to say that automatically charging the general public’s credit card every month is a lucrative business and everybody is doing it. Companies have taken a page out of the Columbia House playbook without having to actually ship out any product. How many offers have your gotten to receive the first month free and when you don’t cancel, the company assumes you want to continue and move to monthly automated payments? I’ve been caught in that trap a few times myself – I’m looking at you Audible.
Mike even signed up and paid for Amazon Prime was unaware of it for 18 months. He just happened to be reviewing the credit card statement and was surprised by a $100 Amazon charge when he hadn’t purchased anything. He was convinced that it was me, but after being on the phone with customer support for quite some minutes, they informed him that he had signed up for free Prime and never canceled. Sucker. But then we kept it of course.
Since then, we have gone on a yearly/monthly fee diet. It’s very interesting once you start looking into what you are actually paying for vs. what you are actually using. In our latest fee dump, we got rid of Sirius XM in my car. Now, I loved it and used it every time I was in the car, but they were charging almost $300 for one car for a year. And they wouldn’t let us use the same account in Mike’s car. So it seemed a natural to eliminate. Let me tell you that after paying over $300 a year for 8 years, they kept coming back until they were offering the same service for $60 a year. The nerve to make us feel stupid for paying so much for so long! We still said no. They had made enough money on us. So now we use good ole FM or the free version of Pandora to stream in the car. Who cares if they have a couple commercials every half hour. I refuse to add any services to my official monthly total if I can use them for free.
I’m due a new computer. Mine died a couple of years ago and I’ve been banging on an old discarded Mac from my workplace. It’s logic board is going, but it has all of the software and storage I need. When I get a new personal computer, it’s going to be a lot like buying a new refrigerator – they just don’t make them like they used to. I also have a newer Mac dedicated to work and it fails more frequently than the old banger. Plus I know when I get a new computer, everything is an auxiliary attachment AND all of the tried and true software is now only offered for a monthly fee. You can’t just buy the software and install it; you have to pay for it over and over and over. What a racket!
Don’t get me wrong, the McShanes pay both yearly and monthly fees. You can’t not these days. We partake in the Amazon prime, YouTube TV, Netflix, Strava, Headspace, Celtx software, BOD stream, and this…My WordPress domain, where this blog lives. And they just charged me for another year. We feel fortunate that we are able to handle and pay for a stack of fees for individual services, unlike many people, but if you didn’t get the drift above, I’m thrifty by choice, and if I don’t really need it, I don’t get it, and if I’ve paid for it, it’s being used.
Therefore I’m warning you that you’ll be getting weekly blogs, at least till next October.
I apologize in advance. 🙂