TigerDirect.com sold Chudacek a 2GB flash drive for $1.99, without warning that after thirty days, the price would skyrocket to an astounding $171.38. Included with the drive “[for] a limited-time only [the] opportunity to try [CA] Internet Security Suite 2007.” We have warned against rebates, but even we were caught off-guard by the note on TigerDirect’s packing slip. Limited-time, indeed.
At $2 (after rebates) for 2 GB, I thought it was a deal I couldn’t refuse. I would just format the flash drive to get rid of the pre-loaded software and I’d be in good shape.
Well, the drive came today and check out what was on the packing slip. A message telling me that the pre-loaded software was a 30-day trial and that my credit card would automatically be billed for $69.99 30 days after the shipping date.
Before rebates with taxes, shipping and handling, the flash drive is $101.39. After thirty days, the total price rises to an outrageous $171.38. For that price, you can have a 2GB iPod Nano.
Sure, some hardware comes bundled with software, but this is the first time we have seen it coupled as such an underhanded charge. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER