A few of my (least) favorite marketing tricks:
1. Hidden Fees and Charges. Your carrier will sell you the latest, greatest cell phone plan for only $29.99 per month. But when you get the bill, you’ll soon discover that all sorts of fees, connection charges, usage charges, surcharges, upcharges, downcharges, and charges-for-the-heckuvit also apply. Didn’t you read the fine print in your contract? And speaking of contracts…
2. Impossible-to-Escape Contracts. Want out of your contract, which has another eleven months left on it? No problem, just pay the cancellation fee of $250, which – by chance – happens to be more than if you stick with the contract.
3. Insurance/Damage “Coverage” – What a dilemma! Pay extra money to get “coverage” for your new tech product or get absolutely no service from your vendor when it stops working only six months from now.
4. Late Fees – Miss your payment by a single day on some services and you may end up paying a late fee of as much as $30 or $40. The same applies, on a smaller scale, to video rentals. This one is especially effective when you combine it with…
5. Mid-Month Billing Cycles. Send out your bill after the first of the month and make sure it is due before the end of the month. Then, sit back and collect the late fees from everyone who only pays bills once a month. This one is downright insidious – it ought to be outlawed.
What did I miss? How are the powers that be in the McCulutre surreptitiously finding their way into your wallet?