For years, Philadelphia Phillies fans with DirecTV have found themselves unable to watch most of the team’s games because the satellite provider and Comcast refuse to come to a resolution over the channel that carries those contests. Now another annoying slap-fight between DirecTV and a broadcaster has left its Philadelphia-area subscribers completely in the dark for this upcoming baseball season.
Consumer watchdog George Gombossy this morning filed a 1st Amendment lawsuit against his former employer, Tribune-owned Hartford Courant. There’s some gangbusters stuff in the filing, like the part where he says the new owners told him to “be nice” to one of their key advertisers:
We intrinsically know comparison shopping saves money, but according to the Chicago Tribune, we don’t compare enough. Though we all think we compare prices, “research shows consumers, time and again, are most likely to buy from the first merchant they visit.”
“Prices for identical goods vary, and unless you actually do some comparison shopping, you’re not going to know that,” Lichtenstein said. “Consumers say, `Well, I may be paying a little bit more, but I don’t have time to shop around.’ But if they knew the degree to which prices may vary, they would find it’s well worth it.”
Our grandmother knows the price of grapes in every supermarket in at least five states. The Trib has helpful reminders to become more like her.
- Don’t overvalue your time: small savings add up over time to make a big difference.
- Take advantage of the internet: if you know what you’re looking for, plug it into “Froogle, MySimon, Shopzilla, DealTime and Shopping.com.”
- Take a test: search for the last few expensive items you bought and see if you could have saved more.
If that doesn’t help, remember that comparison shopping is the bedrock of our wonderful capitalist economy. If you won’t compare for yourself, compare for your country. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER