Showing posts from August, 2009

Ripping people off makes them angry

When will companies learn that ripping customers off is not a viable long-term business strategy? For instance, a bunch of cell phone companies have a little-known "must give 30-days notice" policy written into their terms. So if you call and cancel your service today, you have to pay them another 30 days for absolutely nothing . Seriously. Check the fine print. Meanwhile, banks keep adding random service fees that you never hear about until after they show up on your statement. Instead of retaining customers with reliable service, they lock people in with long-term contracts and insane cancellation fees. These companies dream up 15-page "terms of service" agreements specifically designed to trap folks into craftily-worded contracts, pay hidden fees, and provide no recourse when they fail to provide the product or service they're supposed to. Executives plot ripoff schemes and scams, then let their accountants loose to cook the books, spreading the mon

Finding a home half-way around the world

What did we do before the Internet? For all the spam, scams, and general junk out there, it still amazes me what you can do via the net. Moving half-way around the world is all of the sudden less daunting when you browse for house rentals as if you were there. Google Maps Street View (not yet available in Canada) also lets you zoom in and basically take a walk around the neighborhood to see what it's like. You have to admit -- the Internet is pretty cool sometimes.

The cat and the string

No matter what mood they're in, or what has happened in the previous 5 minutes, if you dangle string in front of a cat for long enough, it will chase it . Even the laziest, most stubborn cat in the world will eventually give in. They can't help it. It's hard-wired . We humans still have a bunch of behaviours that are hard-wired in a similar way. The difference is that we can consciously think about and modify them -- if we choose to. That's what separates people from animals -- the ability to override obsolete , deep-rooted instincts based on logic and learning. So next time you say to yourself, "I just can't help it," remember that you're not a cat -- you can make whatever choice you want.