If you’re expecting something about the latest Transformer movie, I’m sorry to disappoint. This venting of my spleen concerns or societies move towards a deception-ocracy. I’m coining a new word o describe a system where the market protects those producers who do the best job of deceiving their customers. The credit card companies have been doing this ever since they discovered that they make more money from customers who cannot pay of their bills. There entire business model now is to deceive people into getting in so deep that they can’t pay off their balances. They live fat and happy on the finance charges. It used to be that credit card companies were happy to make money from yearly fees they charged consumers and the convenience fee that they charged merchants. But that changed when they started offering consumers cards with no annual fee as a means of boostin customer retention. It wasn’t long before Jack Welch famously called the people who paid off their GE platinum cards in full each month “Dead Beats” because they didn’t make any money for the GE. The financial analysis is spot on but I can’t help but think that Jack’s got something wrong there.
I’m currently dealing with a PC from eMachines. If you know me you know that as far as windows recovery goes I’m with Ripley, Hudson, and Cpl Hicks on the recovery of Windows machines that have been hit with viruses: “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.” In a normal world when you spend $400.00 on a PC the manufacturer includes recovery media at a cost to him of about $2.00. Apparently, eMachines is so starved for cash that the extra $2.00 is the difference between staying in business and not. It’s too bad considering that the overwhelming majority of Windows boxes would benefit from a periodic re-install even if there were no viruses. And that re-install process changes the recovery media from a luxury item into a must have. Or, perhaps Acer/eMachines has found a way to turn the $2.00 recovery media into a profit center generating $18.00 in “handling fees”.