Copyright Notice

All images, photos, and video excluding advertising and google generated content, or unless otherwise labeled, are Copyright Jephyr (Jeff Curtis). All Rights Reserved.

These images are not in the public domain. Contact me for licensing terms and pricing.

Unauthorized or unlicensed use for all commercial and personal applications is prohibited.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Adjustable rate EVERYTHING!!!! I admit my recent posts on this blog have turned somewhat curmudgeonly. In my defense...there IS a lot going on in this old world that could turn even the most ebullient among us into ill tempered puddles of goo.

Case in point: I opened the mail the other day and saw a flyer with the headline, "Satellite TV - $9.95 a month!"

I've prided myself on only having broadcast television for most all of my life. And now with 30 plus HD broadcast would take a lot to tempt me to pay for something I get for free.

But this package promised 150 digital and all the local channels, plus a complete Cinemax package, free dual channel recorder, and free set up and activation.

So, they had my attention.

Then I turned to the fine print.

You had to sign a 24 month contract to get this price and package. And the clincher: After 6 months the prices revert to the "Current Price Structure" of said package.

Translation (for anyone not already there): At the end of 6 months you will have NO idea what your TV package will cost, until it switches over.

It could be $20 a month...but what if they decide the "current value" of the package is $100.00 a month? $200.00 a month? A thousand a month? could cancel...for a price!!! I didn't even bother finding out what that fee would be. But other companies charge hundreds for the privilege.

So it got me to thinking...why would anyone sign a contract where payments are a moving target?

Why would anyone agree to obligate themselves to make payments that might...probably will go up...and not have any idea as you sign how much that might be.

So why sign THAT contract? Why have credit cards that can change the percentage and minimum payment you owe at ANY time? Why have a Home Loan with an adjustable rate?

I had a girl fiend in California 20 years ago. She had an adjustable rate mortgage on her home that could only be raised a certain percent per year. The bank told her it also could have been adjusted down as well. They must've had to stifle their laughter when they said that.

So what happened? Every year the bank raised her rate to the highest interest rate it could...and in a few years she was struggling to pay her increasing larger loan and eventually walked away from her home...and a sizable down payment.


Will $9.95 seem like a good deal when you get your first bill with the new rate 6 months from now?

If a company cannot agree to a set payment for a set service...and has an option to change the rate at a given time...RUN!!!!!!!!!!!

And while you're at it...take some sissors to all your credit cards.

You'll thank me later.

: )


  1. corporations are always like that, putting out the bait and switch on every thing they can. take Cox for example (or any high speed internet service provider, for that matter): you're promised download speeds of 3.5Mbp/s, which is pretty nice... except it's *up to* 3.5Mbp/s, and they ensure that you absolutely never reach that ceiling for an extended period of time. after all, they promise the same nice service to everybody, while implementing only incremental upgrades to their systems; thus it'd be impossible for everybody under their service to get the max without killing the whole thing.

    and the best part? if you have certain routers, you can flash their BIOS, install a linux variation, and make it only request the highest speeds and get every bit of speed that you pay for... but Cox explicitly says in the contract that you sign that they can terminate your service for any reason that they deem satisfactory, including getting the most out of what *you* are paying for.

    try telling Cox that you'll be paying *up to* the full bill that they send you and see how they like their own type of underhanded service.

  2. that IS interesting!! ie: Canceling your service for insuring you get the full benefit of your service. (??) (at my parents house I did notice ow slow COX could be...depending on the time of day)

    Your last line is hilarious!!! Please someone try that!!! : )

    Isn't modern corporate America great (or should I say those few multi-nationals...because that most all companies are today anyway)!!

    And yet I think much of it all goes back to most of us, signing contracts without reading the fine print...or in reading it...accepting terms that tie us into contracts that completely favor THEM and give us no rights what-so-ever.

    Two more examples: Many companies now add a "NO litigation" clause to your contract stipulating that you cannot sue them in court..but must take any disputes to by THEM!!! hahaha! < shaking head]

    A few years back Qwest called and asked me to switch to to their long distance service. The guy on the phone said there would be no monthly service fee and I would be billed long distance time at 5 cents a minute.

    It was better than the deal I had at the time so I switched.

    Two months later I noticed a $2.99 monthly long distance service fee on my bill and called them.

    YUP!! They'd begun adding a service fee about a month AFTER I'd made the switch...expecting them to honor a commitment to service without a fee.

    They cheerfully added that if I wanted to switch to another long distance service...there could e be related fees to any changes to your long distance service.

    SHESH!! : )

    Thanks for commenting Josh!