Greetings from Kansas City

While not all of these are related to credit and finance, here are a few fresh things from South of the border:

What’s with the ads for Canadian pricing on cars? Come on! I’d love to take some of these manufacturers down here and compare the EXACT models that we have in Canada…then explain to me what “Canadian pricing” is. Small wonder we’re now importing upwards of 200,000 cars into Canada.

Utility companies are light years ahead of us down here. There is something you can install called a time of use meter. You have to know that power has different values and pricing at different times of the day. Using air conditioning when the whole planet wants it, is more expensive than the middle of the night when demand is at its lowest. So these meters track when power is used and bills accordingly. Talk about having a huge impact on your utility bill!

Want to get a pair of prescription eyeglasses for $25? There’s a web site called zennioptical.com. You fill in your proper prescription from your optometrist and three weeks later you’ve got a great pair of eyeglasses direct from China! Even the Costcos of the world can’t match that. Not sure if they’ll ship to Canada but I’m going to be checking. I’ve seen them – they’re great!

When will Canadian cell phone companies stop ripping us off, compared to the U.S.? There can’t be anyone left in this country who pays long distance charges as almost all carriers have unlimited long distance plans. At most, it’s $50 a month and one even has a family plan for 4 phones – all unlimited – for $100! And we’re still stuck signing three year contracts and paying a fortune? Good thing Virgin Phones is now in Canada – hope that helps.

With the huge gas prices, according to the Americans’ standards, Chrysler now has a marketing gimmick: For 12,000 miles, they’ll let you have gas at $2.99 a gallon. Sounds great, but you always have to compare what you’re getting with what you’re giving up. Like taking that 2.9% financing but now it’s costing you a $2,000 rebate, for example. In this case, instead of the cash rebate, they’ll cover the difference in the gas price. But when you do the math – you might be getting cheaper gas but it’d have to go to over $6 a gallon to be better than taking the cash rebate! Good marketing gimmick and lots of people are taking it – but it’s totally tripping over a nickel to pick up a penny!

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