2006-03-06

Newegg made my list

So you may know that I'm a computer geek I love me some hardware and software.

And you may know that I build systems for people, do upgrades and generally make computers run fast. Like marsupials.

And since the latter part of 2002 I have been ordering exclusively from newegg.com because, like marsupials, they're fast. And they're cheap, and they've got all the stuff I want, when I want it, with no bullshit.

Until now.

When I went to order a new hard drive today (a nice shiny 300gb SATA drive, all for me, thank you), on the order page, off to the side, was a little box with this information.

Yeah, if I do say so, that's pretty fucked up.

In essence, what they're saying, is since you're so nice to be our customer, and we know you so well, we're totally sure you want this $10 magazine subscription that the publisher says they're giving away that we've included it in the price of your item, as a convenience to you, our loyal customer.

So unless you're smart enough to notice, and unless you're paying attention and unless you're reading everything on this page and unless you're smart enough to uncheck this box and unless you're smart enough to notice you just got f'ed in the a, so to speak, for $9.97. US.

But when you realize this you can always request a refund for your subscription. But only twice. Because after we screw you a second time we hope you're smart enough to remember to uncheck this box. Or you're f'ed. In the A. For $9.97. US.

Now am I wrong here or is this totally deceptive and dishonest?

There's nothing worse than being overcharged for something in the guise of a free gift. Folks, nothing, and I mean nothing, is free. Prince gave away copies of his new album Musicology with a ticket purchase. Wow. How nice. But if you already had the CD, could you buy a ticket that was cheaper and NOT get the CD? Nope. Thanks. Some gift, eh? Being charged for something you either already have or don't want and not having a choice to not get charged, but get a refund, in six-to-eight weeks, if you do everything right and follow all the rules? That's rewarding your customers.

NOT.

But the best part of this does not checking the box on this website save you $9.97?

Nope.

Okay. Maybe I didn't earn my Bachelor's yet but I did pass College Math. Twice. And I do know that nobody gives anything away for free. That $9.97 is somewhere.

Is that legalese at its finest or what? Now I'm not an attorney ... but the way I read this the first graphic is the price includes $9.97 for this magazine subscription. The way this second one reads says to me if you sign up for the magazine and cancel you can get $9.97 refunded from Ziff Davis, but if you don't sign up you don't get $9.97 deducted from the price.

Yeah. Fucked up. Deceptive. Dishonest. And now they're on my list.

And now I'm checking my past orders to see if I was charged $9.97 for a subscription I don't want. And I'm going to request a refund of the $9.97 just to see if they did charge me.

Lying whores.

This has class-action lawsuit written all over it.

2 comments:

Selcuk said...

Well, nothing is for free. But, it's not necessarily always paid by the customer either.

Looks like you don't know how the publishing business works. Most magazines make money by accepting advertisements. It usually makes sense for them to give away the magazine for free to increase their circulation. However, they can't just distribute it on a corner. For the circulation counts to be valuable to the advertisers, it should go to the right people and they should read it. So, they get audited. One way to prove that you value your subscription and read it even though it was given to you for free, is to offer a refund. If you don't take the refund, you probably like the magazine and read it.

Eric said...

I spent years in the media business, including three publishing a minor league hockey magazine. Pardon me for being honest and upfront about my advertising and subscription policies, not bundling a subscription to my magazine in with a product you're buying, then offer you a refund if you DON'T like it ... regardless of the end cost to consumers.

This was a forced bundling of a third party product I didn't want, that I had to, in effect, 'return' to the third party WHOM I WAS NOT DOING BUSINESS WITH to avoid being charged for a product from said third party vendor I did not want and did not order.

If I wanted a subscription to that particular ZD Mag, I would have gone to the ZD website and ordered it.