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Old 10-12-2009, 09:02 AM   #21
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On second thought, online purchasing does have its hero companies:

Virtuous Amazon Customer Uses Same Gift Certificate Twice, Fesses Up, Keeps Cash
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:12 AM   #22
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Money spent on shoes that fit is a necessity - and lots cheaper than the whole court/lawyer thing when you kill someone when they annoyed you on a day when the feet were hurting!

Gym - they were playing the alleged music much too loud for me today. So I left. I may go back later with my earplugs if I feel guilty. or not...

ta,
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Me too with our gym, Mew. Everyone who wants to hear music is already using an iPod, anyway.

DH has been tripping over a pair of shoes for a couple of years now--he will not give up wearing them. Idiot.

The subscription strategy I am most impressed with is cell phones, like the iPhones and Blackberries--$100 plus a month. Who would have thought some people would spend so much money without thinking on something that didn't even exist a fairly short time ago. And I wonder what the markup is for the cost of providing those services.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:26 AM   #23
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I count my membership to Sam's as a subscription. Every year I renew it and wonder if I should. I like certain items from Sam's but I know I don't get my money's worth.

I know from past experiences that I cannot join a gym....nope.

One of the great things about the Kindle, there is no monthly charge and there is a very crude internet connection on it. If Apple comes out with their tablet, I will be tempted to get one and there probably will be a monthly charge.

I used to enjoy magazine subscriptions...a real magazine junkie. Now, since retirement, no magazine subscriptions and I rarely buy one. Libraries are great for magazines.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:28 AM   #24
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Me too with our gym, Mew. Everyone who wants to hear music is already using an iPod, anyway.

DH has been tripping over a pair of shoes for a couple of years now--he will not give up wearing them. Idiot.

The subscription strategy I am most impressed with is cell phones, like the iPhones and Blackberries--$100 plus a month. Who would have thought some people would spend so much money without thinking on something that didn't even exist a fairly short time ago. And I wonder what the markup is for the cost of providing those services.
Thank goodness, my gym doesn't play loud music (just soft background music, and I like it because it is all oldies but goodies). Most of its members are older, which might explain the softer, less raucous music. I just bought my first mp3 player so that I can listen to podcasts while working out. I didn't get an iPod, though, since a cheaper one does everything I happen to want and more. There is something deeply satisfying about listening to a financial podcast while lifting! I also listen to some on the emotional adjustment to retirement.

People who spend that much on Blackberries are sometimes really into texting a lot. The person in the next cubicle to mine, at work, spends half her work day texting to various friends and family on her Blackberry. I want to be part of the 21st century, but so far I don't really know anybody that texts (except her). So, even if I got a Blackberry there isn't anybody for me to text. I don't even have texting turned on, on my cell phone.

Actually, I wonder if a lot of the popularity of Blackberries and iPhones is due to their entertainment value while at work or in classes. I could be wrong!
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I count my membership to Sam's as a subscription. Every year I renew it and wonder if I should. I like certain items from Sam's but I know I don't get my money's worth.
I bought a one year membership when I bought my house, which is just a few blocks from Sam's. I never used it, though, so didn't renew. I just don't buy that much stuff (or gas) anywhere, much less at Sam's, for it to be worthwhile. I liked some of their frozen foods but their food selection wasn't broad enough to suit me (and I don't eat much all by myself) so I had to shop elsewhere for most of my food.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:04 AM   #25
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The subscription strategy I am most impressed with is cell phones, like the iPhones and Blackberries--$100 plus a month. Who would have thought some people would spend so much money without thinking on something that didn't even exist a fairly short time ago.
We are being forced (by the end of the month) to switch from Qwest's Sprint service to their Verizon version. (We have stayed with Qwest because of the absolute need for the "One Number" service they provided -- not the same as the Google app and if anyone is interested I can explain it further.)

Anyway, the Blackberry is one of the choice of phones available -- we are trying to decide whether to choose the 9630 ($149 for two) or the 9530 ($49 for two) model. The cost of the service, however, is the same regardless of which phone we choose -- Blackberry or any of the others -- $69 a month for 700 minutes and two phones. (Less $5.00 a month Bundle discount.) Apparently, the "add-ons" are where the $100 a month charges come from -- $30 for e-mail/Internet, for example. For various reasons, all we need is a telephone and all the other things are unwanted. Well, except for that (no cost) 3.2 MP camera, I guess.

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And I wonder what the markup is for the cost of providing those services.
My guess is the markup is 100%. Caller ID, for example, is actually part of the normal operating process for a telephone company -- that is how they can give you a detailed Long Distance bill -- and making it seem "seem" special is simply brilliant marketing.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:47 AM   #26
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As soon as the term ran out, my monthly cell phone charge was the first subscription I booted and went with a prepaid phone service. I'm kind of old fashioned in that all I wish for is a phone that rings and I answer it -- no need for all the add ons.

Back when w*rking, I'd automatically pay the cell phone charge knowing I did not even come close to the monthly minutes.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:05 AM   #27
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knowing I did not even come close to the monthly minutes.
Yeah, tell me about it. As you can see, over the past couple years, we have averaged 40˘ a minute for our cellphone usage because of the "monthly minutes" requirement. Unfortunately, the disposable phone solution is not viable in our case. (I did try hard to make it work.)

Wireless Minutes Evaluation.doc

I should have mentioned, in my earlier post, that the $30 in taxes and other foolishness does take the "basic" rate over a hundred dollars a month.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #28
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What I love (not) about cell phones is that a two-line plan has more minutes than DH and I could ever use, but it is still less expensive than two individual plans with less minutes.

DH is getting an iPhone in the near future (which requires the $30/mo "data" plan in addition to the regular costs) because he wants needs has earned deserves it but I'm thinking of the pay to play service for myself. The end cost will be not much higher than the total $90 we pay now for the two-line plan.

So the subscription theory is working well on us
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:39 AM   #29
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Oh and one more thing....I will NOT wear shoes that hurt my feet....
Those boots look comfy..
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:48 AM   #30
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So the subscription theory is working well on us
As it is for us (in this application) and I really resent that -- if only I could find some single issue to become really angry about. As it is, the "entry" level for "basic" communication nowadays is $50 to $100 a month and that is "normal." Back in the "good ol" days paying $20 monthly to that monopoly AT&T seems like heaven now.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:57 AM   #31
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As it is for us (in this application) and I really resent that -- if only I could find some single issue to become really angry about. As it is, the "entry" level for "basic" communication nowadays is $50 to $100 a month and that is "normal." Back in the "good ol" days paying $20 monthly to that monopoly AT&T seems like heaven now.
This does totally ignore massively increased functionality. An old land line was not a substitute for today's feature filled land line plus a cell phone, not to mention fast internet connection. I can talk to anyone in the US without consideration for time of time of day or time spent talking. It is funny when you talk to members of an older generation who are very nervous about spending more than a few minutes on a "long distance" call. Many of us are even now in the process of developing obsolete attitudes and habits which will cause or do cause our childrena and grandchildren to chuckle and wonder how we got so clueless.

Many of us want more and more of these enahnced services and capabilities; it is just a question of where to draw the line based on cost. An I-phone is a whole new level; but so far not one I can spring for. I know that I would appreciate it but just cannot afford it.

Ha
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:00 PM   #32
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As it is, the "entry" level for "basic" communication nowadays is $50 to $100 a month and that is "normal." Back in the "good ol" days paying $20 monthly to that monopoly AT&T seems like heaven now.
I agree completely! The price for a cell phone plan is sky high. Right now, I am paying $30/mo on an ancient regional plan (not nationwide), but when we move I will need to upgrade. I am thinking of Verizon's $39.99 basic nationwide plan (which will probably be $45 by the time they are done with taxes and fees and such). Or, I could LBYM and go for a Trac-phone (but then I like having a bigger choice of phone styles). Or, I could pay a lot and get an iPhone to see what that is like, but I doubt I need all the extras that an iPhone provides.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:12 PM   #33
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This does totally ignore massively increased functionality. An old land line was not a substitute for today's feature filled land line plus a cell phone, not to mention fast internet connection.

Many of us want more and more of this; it is just a question of where to draw the line based on cost. An I-phone is a whole new level; but so far not one I can spring for. I know that I would appreciate it but just cannot afford it.
That's why I was specific in saying "basic" telephone service -- to compare apples to apples. Currently, high Speed internet service costs me ~$50 a month for DSL and an additional ~$60 for the Verizon Aircard. A basic Internet connection via the cellphone would be an additional $30 a month. You are certainly correct; Where do you draw the line. More importantly, when you decide on that line, are you gonna get real, true value? That's the thing that I resent -- not knowing.

Don't even ask what it costs to watch television these days (and I don't even subscribe to satellite/cable) or the cost to connect my computer to the television. I resent that mess also.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:41 PM   #34
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Ron, I guess I don't really understand. Merchants and professionals and service providers have always tried to avoid apples to apples comparisons. That is the way to very low margins. Every 6 months my cable company raises my rates; every 6 months I call them and tell them why it really isn't going to work for me. And they rescind the raise.

Compare that with negotiating with your doctor or hospital or dentist or you kid's college or your taxes.

One can always just do without, and some people make a virtue out of this. If I didn't like football and baseball on TV, I would sell my nice widescreen set, but I do so I won't.

Same with a lot of other things that going without might make life cheaper, but for some of us at least, poorer.

Ha
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:50 PM   #35
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One can always just do without, and some people make a virtue out of this. If I didn't like football and baseball on TV, I would sell my nice widescreen set, but I do so I won't.

Same with a lot of other things that going without might make life cheaper, but for some of us at least, poorer.

Ha
IMHO, those who know what is most important to them (such as a nice widescreen TV for you), have got an advantage when it comes to LBYM because they know where it makes sense to cut back, and where it doesn't.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:26 PM   #36
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Ron, I guess I don't really understand. Merchants and professionals and service providers have always tried to avoid apples to apples comparisons. That is the way to very low margins. Every 6 months my cable company raises my rates; every 6 months I call them and tell them why it really isn't going to work for me. And they rescind the raise.

Compare that with negotiating with your doctor or hospital or dentist or you kid's college or your taxes.

One can always just do without, and some people make a virtue out of this. If I didn't like football and baseball on TV, I would sell my nice widescreen set, but I do so I won't.

Same with a lot of other things that going without might make life cheaper, but for some of us at least, poorer.
Yeah, it is just my frustrations showing through and I am (as usual) explaining it poorly. However, I suspect (after reading your posts for the past couple of years) that you and I have very similar LBYM habits. It is very difficult to threaten a phone company with non-use -- particularly with required 2-year contracts. (I was, btw, able to get our current cell phone service without such an agreement.) What if they called my bluff? Would I simply do without a phone? They seem to have fixed that loophole -- when was the last time you looked for a phone booth? (Yeah, there are disposable phones but the cost is still (IMHO) too high for the value.)

Yeah, we also have a wide-screen TV (home -- 42" -- and in the RV -- 25"). I resent that the least costly speakers for the home system was more than the price of the TV itself and that a separate Receiver is required... dvd/cd player, Sage unit, etc., etc. (And you know I purchased near the bottom-of-the-line after many hours of research.) All that for the couple hours a day it is used.

In addition, in spite all that whining, I seem to be digging myself into a hole here that I am gonna find difficult to climb out of.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:30 PM   #37
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Those boots look comfy..
Actually they are...as long as I don't have to stand in them long...which I usually don't.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:35 PM   #38
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they know where it makes sense to cut back, and where it doesn't.
Yeah, you don't (won't) hear me mentioning my computer (5) and Internet costs.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:39 PM   #39
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What I admire is marketing's ability to make us realize we want something that didn't even exist until fairly recently. We went from Dick Tracy's futuristic two-way wrist radio to mobile communications that are beyond sci fi ("From sci fi to wi fi"). You can indeed get a lot from what today are "new" phones and for many people they have become as much of a necessity as car insurance. Soon people will be dropping those old fashioned "land line" computers and cable tv service (and I remember when the first cable option was poohpoohed because no one would pay to watch television).

DH would like me to get a phone that includes a thigh-high boots app--bbbam, any idea where I can find that
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:07 PM   #40
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What I admire is marketing's ability to make us realize we want something that didn't even exist until fairly recently.
Giving Legs to Restless Legs: A Case Study of How the Media Helps Make People Sick
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