Friday, December 10, 2010

What we've got here is... failure to communicate

Fido calls me up and says they want to reward me for being a loyal customer by locking me into a contract for another 24 months. Well they didn't use those words exactly...

I goes I says I don't want a contract. He says he goes, "It's not a contract it's an agreement."

n. 1. An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law.
So it's an agreement for 24 months. I axe the guy if there's any penalty for leaving Fido during that period. He tells me there's a "cancellation fee." So I repeat my desire to not be locked in. He goes he says, "You won't be locked in; you can change your service details any time you want." Confused, I axe if there is no cost for switching to another provider. He repeats that there is of course a cancellation fee.
Vendor lock-in

In economics, vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in, or customer lock-in, makes a customer dependent on a vendor for products and services, unable to use another vendor without substantial switching costs.
Thanks for nothing, but no thanks, please, thank-you.

It's funny how they will use semantics to make it seem that they're giving you a gift. The gift of an offer to buy something from them. Well, I get that they would use different words to try to make the sale more appealing. What I don't get is saying "It's not the old word, it's the new word that means the same thing as the old word."

Here's an offer I'd like to see:

Fido would like to offer you a 24-month complimentary gift of service. This cellular phone plan has no monthly charges! Instead you'll only receive the Fido Happiness Convenience Bonus invoice, which will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account once a month. And, you can cancel this offer at any time, with no penalties! Instead of penalties, you will be charged a one-time Loyal Customer Farewell Gift fee of $200.

You can steal this if you want to, you sneaky Fido bastards.

Source for definitions:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I can't hear ya. I say what's cooler than bein' cool?

Edmonton has now entered its period of polar night. We won't see the sun come up again until maybe February.

These days the temperature dips so low that our furnaces stop working. We try desperately to get them started again by shoving wads of newspapers into the coals, only to watch in desolation as the flames freeze into ice crystals right before our eyes, and turn to a cool dim blue light before fading out and falling from the air, shattering with a tinkle. Food is scarce as most of it has by now congealed into Bose–Einstein condensates, and has been rendered inedible.

Our only refuge is to crawl into the relative warmth and safety of our refrigerators, and try to balance shivering to stay warm, with staying completely still to conserve energy. Then we wait it out there until spring.