Archive for December 2008

INSURANCE

December 29, 2008

Every so often insurance companies go out of their way to prove that do not deserve our business. I have been keeping my eye on Geico. Not because they bear watching or that I have nothing better to do. No, I am bombarded by their annoying ads from all sides.

Ever since they introduced a talking lizard as a spokes person I have pretty much written them off as being run by the insane but recently they have reached a new low with their ad campaign.

The ad opens by showing someone who has hired guards to protect his inventory of recreational vehicles and equipment. A second person considers guards unneccessary because he has insurance.

This is a blatant and nasty misrepresentation of the purpose of insurance and what it can do.

Insurance does not provide protection from loss. It merely provides some compensation to those who suffer a loss. In most cases insurance provides only partial compensation which does not allow the insured to replace the items which were lost. Even that partial compensation may not be forthcoming if the insurance company decides to contest the claim.

Insurance providers giving customers the impression that they have nothing to fear if the have insurance are misleading people and exposing them to disaster.

Companies involved in such misleading propaganda should be prosecuted for fraud.

Sales

December 23, 2008

We frequently hear about sales all the time but they seem even more popular during Christmas.

We hear and see ads promising 50 percent and more off the regular price but they never even hint at what the regular price may be. Seems more than just a little risky to trust that the price you are asked to pay is indeed 50 percent off the ‘regular’ price. Especially when the item is of questionable need or utility.

Ever notice that the coupons you find in those ‘very valuable’ mailers are for items you can do without?

Then there are the three for one sales. These might do better if the individual prices per item were reduced to something more reasonable. Like say one third of the asking price for something you only need one of.

Then there are the rebates. Lately venders have gotten the message that customers do not like jumping through hoops to get a refund after paying exorbitant prices. You see more and more deals offering ‘instant’ rebates.

I am always amused by the ads offering the buyer $100 savings by pricing the item at $199. Usually its on things I can do without. I guess they don’t know I can save $299 by not buying the item at all.

iBook Backup

December 16, 2008

Finally and at long last i have a decent backup for the iBook.

My iBook is an old G3 with a 20gig hard drive that is almost full. Got maybe 3 gigs free on that drive. it has gotten so bad that I have had to offload photos to CDs.

Recently I got a VOX MN1 external hard drive enclosure. Cost about $25 at the Geeks.com. The VOX does NAS (via ethernet), USB 2.0, and IEEE 1394 (firewire). I installed an 80 gig 3.5 inch hard drive into the enclosure, hooked it up to the iBook and cloned the original 20 gig drive to the new 80 gig using Carbon Copy Cloner software.

Worked great! I now have an external 80 gig drive that is bootable. Should the internal hard drive fail, I now have a backup.

So now the iBook has the same backup protection as the two desktop PCs.

Be Wary of 'FREE SHIPPING'

December 2, 2008

Nothing is free, especially shipping. Now you can get free delivery to a local branch of a large chain store but you have to go to the store to pick it up.

My wife recently bought a new digital camera. A Canon one shot. Found one on the Amazon web site for $119 with free shipping.

She added it to her shopping basket and was redirected to a different website. These folk wanted $10 for shipping. They also priced the camera at $99. It did not take but a few seconds to realize that a final price of $109 was better than a final price of $119. We would much rather commit to spend $109 even though $10 of that went for shipping, than pay $10 more and get free shipping.

It was $109 total with $10 of that going for shipping.

The original deal was a total of $119 with free shipping. That ‘FREE’ shipping was going to cost us an additional $10.

We also looked into getting the 4gig memory card that was recommended. The card was advertized at a price of $2.50 but the shipping on that 4oz card was $7.00! No thanks! We can get the card locally for under $5.00 even with the sales tax.

I do not like venders blowing smoke up my rear about ‘FREE SHIPPING’, pulling bait and switch frauds, and generally trying to take unfair advantage of their customers to enhance their bottom line.

It is going to be a very cold day in hell before I ever consider ordering anything from Amazon again.