I am deeply concerned that millions of people may be victims of a discreet but widespread rip-off in the e-world.
I am referring to mugs – like myself – who have purchased digital books and music, and to people who buy data and other cellphone stuff which expires before they can use it.
This has come to me over time, but not before I have spent a lot of hard-stolen cash on limited-access e-shit.
Take an e-book. They are incredibly convenient. You can log on – as I have done on countless occasions – to a site like Amazon and purchase a book which can be accessed almost immediately on your Kindle or app. No postage and packing. It is there like magic.
But is I it there forever? Certainly, you can share it with a few friends and family who also have access to your Amazon account. But can you trade it in when you have finished? And what happens if you die? Will it accompany you to Hell?
The problem with e-books is that they are not like real books. You can’t lend them to friends, or sell them, or donate them to a charity shop. Their use is limited, restricted. They can cost a lot of money, but it is for short-term convenience, not for long-term value. I have similar concerns about digital music and other paid-for e-entertainment.
An even more immediate problem comes when you buy data, or SMSs, or call-time. Some providers do not let these expire, but the ones I have used do let them expire. Goodbye. No refunds available.
The customer purchases something which disappears at the end of the month. Great for the provider, not so great for the victim. Terms and conditions will screw you, and I have the financial scars to prove it.
Maybe I am just a sad old cynic who belongs in the Caxton age, but I do feel that the rules and regulations which we mildly accept when we do business with Amazon, or with a cell phone provider, are slanted dramatically against the interests of whoever is coughing up the cash.
Diamonds may be forever. Data? Not so much.
Tweet of the Day
Jewish Comedians (@JewishComedians): Rodney Dangerfield: I tell ya, my wife’s a lousy cook. After dinner, I don’t brush my teeth. I count them. | #Quotes
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