The Anti-Virus Shell Game

I continue to be tormented by the Anti-Virus shell game.

Anti-virus software in stores (or on Amazon for that matter) is always on sale. Norton continues to do this, and when you “register” you are asked for a Credit Card. You can’t get updates without giving them a credit card, and that means they have got you. You must keep getting updates to keep the software working to specification.

In a year when your “subscription” is to be renewed, the renewal price is at least twice as much as you paid the previous year.

You do have a way out, you can go on line, and turn off Auto-Renew on your subscription. This is where it gets interesting.

  1. You click the Auto-Renew to “No
  2. Suddenly it asks for a reason why? I answered, “Too expensive
  3. Next the web site says, “What if we give you an Amazon $30 Gift Card?”
    • Where was this perk? This kind of bate and switch silliness I expect from Rogers or Bell. with this “perk” suddenly the cost of renewing isn’t as bad.
  4. If you just don’t like this, keep saying No, maybe you’ll get other “perks”? A set of Ginsu Knives?

I really despise this kind of product silliness, but it looks like the Anti-Virus world is becoming like other Tech Firms (e.g. Internet Provider, Cell Phone Provider, etc.,).

Conclusions

Is the Anti-Virus worth having? Maybe, I am sure folks will argue you don’t need it, or worse, they don’t work, but I will continue to play along (for now).

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FUD Financial Messages

What is FUD Financial messages? FUD is a technical term from the world of politics where you try to create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt with your message. FUD is usually a strategy to influence perception by spreading negative and dubious or false information leading to fear-mongering and concerns by the public. Naturally, you do this to create an advantage for yourself, or cast aspersions on an opponent.

It is easy to see the power of FUD in the last few elections, but politics is not the only arena where FUD works well.

FUD financial messages are out there. Usually to cause you to wonder whether you are using the right bank, insurance company or you are missing out on a great deal. All Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) messages are in this genre.

Fear Uncertainty and Doubt

Some might argue this blog is a FUD financial message, however, getting out of debt is not really FUD in my book.

The message continues to be confusing to most folks. The Truth in finances is not clear to many folks (if any), and there are few places where consumers can get clear and truthful financial information.

Investing FUD

I find the entire investment industry seems to be a FUD Factory.

  • Cryptocurrency seems to be the leader in FUD. You will miss out on untold riches unless you buy one of the over 200 cryptocurrencies (even though you have no idea what it is).
  • In Canada there is tons of FUD swirling around legalized Marijuana, even though most of the companies seem to spend a great deal more than they are making currently.
  • Actively managed funds want you to be unsure that you are not making the huge growth they can offer, however, Index Funds point out that actively managed funds can’t keep up their claims (and thus are part of the financial FUD game).

Get the tools you need to comprehend truth from fear-mongering, and create Financial Firewalls to filter out the disinformation.

Remember that sometimes FUD is a good thing, and the sales person you are dealing with is trying to allay your personal FUD, with any lie that will cause you to buy their product.

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Rampant Upselling

After sitting through another rampant upselling session from my local “Quick Oil Change” place, I have sworn I will not return, it is just too much. All I want is an Oil Change, I do not want:

  • An air filter changed
  • A cabin air filter changed
  • The engine “power flushed”
  • My radiator flushed
  • Differential checked  nor my transmission flushed
  • New tires

Nor any of the hundreds of other things they are trying to upsell. Interesting that they were giving away free wiper blades (with a coupon) and no one asked me about that.

Why is every time I want to buy anything larger than a package of gum someone attempts to upsell services or products to me? Can I not be trusted to know what I want? Am I a dullard who doesn’t  understand the complicated  world I live in? Do I look like I want a $7 warranty on $20 worth of light bulbs? I suppose I must, because I am being offered that exact “deal”.


It is even worse if I visit a bank or talk to a financial service. No, I don’t need another credit card, in fact I’d  love to be able to  walk into a bank and close a credit card account (can’t be done). I do not wish to buy your balanced arbitrage forex enhanced Scandinavian backpack futures hedge fund (if such a thing exists, don’t buy it). Michael James tells a story of one of his loved ones (over 60 years old) being sold leveraged mutual funds, luckily MJ cleared that mess up for  them.

Upselling financially

You want fries with your GIC?

I know why this upsell is prevalent; most of the folks pushing it are getting financial reimbursement in some fashion for each customer they ensnare. Best Buy claims they don’t work on commissions, but if you buy their warranty you better bet someone is making a chunk of change on that. If you simply follow the money you will know why someone is trying to sell you something.

Does Any Deserve Rampant Upselling ?

If I walked in and said, “I have no idea what I’d like, please sell me something”, I would be fair game for being naïve enough to walk into any retail or service establishment making that statement. If you appear at my Mother’s front door, however, and bamboozle her into taking a service you know she doesn’t need, I hope to one day cross paths with you. There is a special place in Dante’s 17th Inferno, is my hope.

Let me be clear, “No I do not wish to BIGGY that!“. Let me have the service I asked for without being harangued into buying life insurance from you.

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Farewell Rogers My Old Friend

As I have said before, if you threaten that you are going to leave a service provider, you must be ready to follow through. With that in mind, my association with Rogers Cable, has now concluded after 32 years of association. During that time, I have seen my monthly TV cable fee go from $18 a month to an astronomical $123.60, which is the final charge I paid this month. Farewell Rogers my old friend, but you wouldn’t give me a better deal.

Why am I Leaving ?

I have regularly called and asked for a lower rate and many times Rogers complied (I even followed my own script once or twice). The last time I asked for a cheaper rate, I was told that was as good as it gets for me, and I was going to have to continue to pay this for the foreseeable future.

Was Rogers service terrible? Not really, it had its moments when things went down for no apparent reason, and such.  The cost was the reason I left this service provider.

I now have put all my eggs in one basket with Bell Fibe (and I even have my Cell Phone with Bell). This means for the next little while I will have very little leverage to get better deals (as I am locked in for a while as well). Am I confident that the Bell Services will be better than Rogers? I doubt it, although the Internet speed seems a little faster, the TV has a lag in channel changing that I forgot would be there (in an Video over IP model it is inherent), but the price is about $100 cheaper a month, so I really had no choice but to leave Rogers.

Farewell rogers my old friend

Good Bye

I am tired of having to beg. When I have shown that I am a loyal customer, I should not have to beg. I am tired of seeing new clients get great deals, while I continue to have to pay much more for the same darn service. The whole process makes me weary, and hope that Bell has not “horn swoggled me” in some fashion with this “great new deal” that I have.

Was this a Bluff ?

Sometimes you can’t bluff, you must follow through with your threat. In the new year, I believe it will be time to talk to my Bank again, as I am looking at Tangerine and thinking, maybe it is time to exit the TD treadmill of service fees as well, but that is for the new year.

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Your Rogers VIP Points will be Worthless Soon

Not that they were worth that much to begin with, but a while back Rogers pointed out that they will be shuttering their Rogers First Rewards program in June 2016. It is pretty sad when the program will have a life of less than 3 years, but so be it, maybe they will come up with something much better? 😂

Customer Retention

With no Reward System?

For folks like me who have their Internet and TV with Rogers (for the moment, once I get a hold of the customer retention team I will need to get a better deal or leave) have a fair amount of points built up over the past while, so we should make sure that we spend the darn things, so me and the Mrs. will be watching the movie network for free for a few months (since we don’t have enough points to get a cash back reward on our bills).

I am confident that Rogers will come up with a much better and much more exciting rewards system (sarcasm) for their valued customers.

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