Thatís how they get ya

 

Terry and I have a few inside jokes. One of them involves a wide range of possibilities, from shipping fees and extra costs to enticing offers and twists designed to get you in the door (but often delivering very little once the mysteries behind the curtain are exposed).

Itís a bit of a catch all for us. Offered up as a funny positive and a cranky negative. Itís a summary in humor. A note of being tempted, followed with a realization of being trapped.

ďThatís how they get ya.Ē

But is it? Is that how they get you?

I suppose it depends.

Over on Amazon, even when you have free-two-day-shipping-Prime, you donít always get two-day-shipping and you donít always get free. I understand why this works as it does. Not everyone selling items on Amazon these days is actually Amazon. There are outside vendors listing things. Some products are heavy. Some products have to be prepared and shipped from further away than you might be expecting.

So, yeah.

And yet, while the unexpected sets off the rolling of eyes when a surprise fee pops up as youíre checking out, I donít know if that qualifies as getting you. (Then againÖ)

Have you bought a new computer lately?

Good luck finding one with a disc drive.

No, really, best wishes. Youíre almost likelier to find a car with a cassette deck thatís part of the dashboard entertainment layout than you are a computer with a built-in disc drive. (I said almost.)

But there you are, with a ton of pictures backed up on discs, trying to figure out if they still have any use. AndÖ of course they do. All you need to do is purchase that new computer, and pick up that optional extra external disc drive when you do. No worries. Right?

Right. But that optional external drive? Yeah. Add on cost. (Thatís how they get ya.)

Do you use apps? Chances are good that you do. On tablets and phones, and now all over our computers as well. Washing machines and refrigerators connect with us via apps if we so desire. So, do you use apps? Iím guessing you do.

Everything, and I donít think saying everything is exaggerating by too much, involves an app. Iíve actually gone to web sites only to find out I canít use anything on the site without an app. Canít post here without using the app to post it. Canít register there without downloading the app and creating an account with it.

Weíve almost reached a point where everything is outdated within seconds of its release. Seriously, how can supporters of movie theaters even make the argument that people have to experience things in theaters when so many people arenít even experiencing things on screens larger than a standard playing card?

I love movies on a theaterís big screen. I love popcorn. But it seems that more and more people are happy placing a small screen on their lap with ear buds in place to watch a film these days. And when businesses need to consider business, you go where the customer is found.

A few years ago, Terry and I were setting up a new television set. I ran into the lovely dilemma of how to incorporate everything, since naturally there werenít nearly enough ports of the correct style for the devices I was looking to incorporate. (How can you possibly add a DVD player, video game console and television provider with two HDMI ports? (DonítÖ just donítÖ donít answer that. I already know. Thereís an app for it. Thereís streaming for it. Fine. I know. But Iím really just trying to make a point. Which isÖ))

We had an old video game system I was looking to include. Problem though. It used RCA cables. (Those are the olden days cables with red, white and yellow connecting ends.) No such place for incorporating that type of connectivity on this television. But there was a solutionÖ

A VCR.

Yup. A VCR. (A VCR isÖ never mind.) The television did have a spot to connect one item using a coaxial cable. So, I plugged the red and white and yellow from the video game console into the VCR, then ran the coaxial cable from the VCR to the television. (Take that smart technology and app stores!)

Look. Iím actually not mad. Iím not opposed to technology. This is offered up almost completely in fun. But I do have issues with things when they donít actually do what they are supposedly designed to do.

Remember that external disc drive fun I mentioned a short time ago? One of the solutions for your new computer is to purchase one. Butóbecause, of courseóeven if it is supposedly capable of playing a DVD, thereís a really good chance that it wonít. That is, unless you download an app.

Recently, a friend got a computer, bought the external disc drive, and was in the process of setting things up. He decided he wanted to have the drive ready to play DVDs, even though he wasnít certain when he might ever need it to play them. Best to be ready in case you do instead of sad because you canít. But it wouldnít play them. The DVD playing disc drive wouldnít play DVDs out of the box and plugged in. Not without adding an app. Guess what he found when he went looking for one?

There was an app he could pay for. That seemed a bit of a waste. He was more likely to watch a DVD on his television using an actual DVD player. Or, if in real trouble, his video game system would do it as well, since that already had an app for playing them. Pointless to pay for it if all it happened to be was a safety net.

So, he looked at the next app, which was supposedly free. But it wasnít. Neither was the one after that. Or after that. They all said they were free, but all turned out to be free trial versions of DVD apps, each with specific limitations that prevented you from really using them as anything but samples. If you downloaded any of them for free hoping to watch a movie, you were going to need to download another app or break out the credit card in order to see it.

Apps and trial versions. Nothing is what it appears to be. And thatís how they get ya.

 

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com