Friday, May 09, 2003

Sounds so familiar

Randy Nieland reported today in his tech specialist newsletter about this article on

Best Buy has been doing this for awhile now. When my wife and I purchased our Sony VAIO from them, the sales clerk feverishly attempted to coerce me into trying out MSN for three months. I briefly tried to explain that I had a cable internet access and had no use for dial-up connection whether it be three months or three years worth of free service, but he cut me off and started telling me that I could use it as a back up in case the cable access was down. My wife then asked him if we would incurr any charges at the end of the three month period, to which he turned around, acted like he was grabbing a bag, and said yes. I wondered to myself if they were trained in this technique, but despite my curiosity, I did not ask. The clerk then explained that all we had to do was cancel before three month's time had passed and no charges would be processed to our credit card. I finally ended the sales pitch by asking him these questions:

1) Why would I want a back up internet plan that I will have to pay for before I ever get a chance to use it free?
2) Why would we want to hassle with cancelling it when we don't want the trial in the first place?
3? Why would I want you to scan it on to our credit card when, whether I install the software or not, if we don't cancel the trial, we will be charged?

The word "free" does not make sense to me here, but I guess the clerks make a certain commission off of every free trial handed out and charged. This does not make me stop buy at Best Buy, but I do not buy any extra protection or get anything the advertise as "free".

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