Brian begged and pleaded but Verizon simply wouldn’t tell him how much his DSL would cost after taxes and fees, unless he signed a one-year contract. The customer service representatives staffing Verizon’s operation centers claimed that it was too difficult to figure out all that math nonsense for every jurisdiction. When Brian pushed and insisted that surely they had to know how much their service cost, he was told that “there wasn’t anyone in Verizon that knew the answer.”
Reader Jeff is confused. He wants to purchase a laptop from Walmart. Upon Perusing his website from home, he saw a nice Acer Netbook for under $300. Of course, upon walking into the store, he was confronted with a slightly higher price. Luckily, he talked to the nice customer service representative and quickly price matched the in store item to the online price and Jeff walked out a happy customer.
It’s been a little over a year since Amazon released the Kindle, and now publishers are finally getting the chance to set their own pricing on ebook editions. The result has been a slow creep in pricing on some titles—in some cases to levels above the price of a paper edition of the same book—for a digital edition that you can’t resell, give away to someone else, or read on any other device. Kindle owners have started to notice, and now some of them are complaining that Amazon overpromised the $9.99 bookstore concept to move Kindles.
Shoppers are frequently haggling over prices, even at major chain stores, the AP reports. With retail stores suffering, “you’d have to be a moron not to ask for a discount.”
The Consumer Price Index, which measures how much Americans spend on consumer goods like groceries, clothing, entertainment and other goods and services, fell by 1 percent in October compared with prices in the previous month, says the NYT. “It was the steepest single-month drop in the 61-year history of the pricing survey.”
And let’s not forget the exorbitant booking fee for using miles for one of our tickets. The actual FLIGHT was only $280 round trip per ticket, but with the booking fee TO USE THE MILES TO PURCHASE A TICKET, we wound up paying over $500.
Reader Summer B. says that dollar stores are raising their prices. She visited a dollar store in PA where everything was a dollar… except this… and this… oh, and this…
Heating oil prices got you down? Thinking of burning some wood to stay warm this winter? You’re not the only one. In fact, Consumer Reports says that firewood prices are through the roof this fall. It’s gotten so bad that people are actually stealing wood.
Want to know where your fifties go when you fill up your car with gas? GOOD’s latest chart breaks down the assorted costs, and compares them with other places around the globe. You can grab a free printed copy at any Starbucks, or go here to check it out in bright RGB goodness.
A Walmart insider tells us that the price of cellphone chargers nearly doubled on orders from Walmart HQ in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Before the hurricane, chargers cost from $10-$15, but afterwards, they rose to a uniform $19.
Forbes magazine has put together a list of America’s most stressful cities and as a product of Chicago, the winner of the dubious distinction of being America’s most stressful city, I have this to say: “Yeah, so? Shut up and let me eat my hot dog in peace for once, goddamn it. No, I’m not yelling. Why are you always saying that I’m yelling? It’s not like you never yell! Pass the sport peppers before this gets ugly.”
Call it the welcome side of Christmas Creep; manufacturers are discounting LCD and plasma TVs ahead of the traditional year-end holiday sale cluster mess, but you won’t find the best deals in retail stores.
Update: Guitar Center has fixed the pricing error and offered refunds.
Quick, get out your throw-away cash and head to Guitar Center! Their website sells the iPod Classic and both sizes of the iPod Touch for $100 more than what you’ll find pretty much everywhere else. (We guess there’s extra rock-n-roll in them.) You know what makes us crazy? We bet people still buy them.
99 Cents Only, the L.A.-based chain of not-quite-a-dollar stores, has come up with a novel approach to the growing losses it faces as the economy worsens: they’re raising their top-priced items to 99.99 cents.
Foodmakers are planning to bombard you with advertising to keep you from ditching their carefully groomed brands for some blechy cheapo generics. Pay no attention as they try to re-brand their products as cheap and affordable. Here’s a small preview of what to expect…