On my computers, I’m working with Microsoft Office 2007, and it was time to get current with an upgrade to Office 2016. The program can be purchased for a one-time price of $79 with licenses for three computers. Yet, buddy number one, who is actually in the computer business, suggested I should really do it as Office365 with monthly payments of seven bucks to also get the upgrades as they come out.
I have perfectly good nine-year old word, excel, powerpoint and outlook programs. $7 a month for the rest of my life on EACH of my computers? What can possibly be upgraded frequently enough to justify spending $1,260 over the next five years versus $79? No chance – that’s insane. But that’s EXACTLY how Microsoft and a ton of companies with monthly fees make their money.
Buddy number two wanted to get a newer iPhone. I just purchased an iPhone 6 for $240 two weeks ago. And for those, Apple will replace the battery for $35 to avoid a bunch of U.S. lawsuits. I offered him the name of the company in Winnipeg that sells these, as I’ve bought four phones from them.
He looked like I had three heads when I suggested that. But I can get one for free with my carrier! No, it’s not free. To which he responded, well, with a new two-year plan… Yes, a highly intelligent man really thought he was getting a brand new iPhone for free.
Intellectually, he knew it wasn’t really free. Yet all the marketing from his carrier and that part of our brain that tricks us had him convinced enough to block out the facts and the logical part of his brain. He’ll be trapped for another two years contract at close to double what he ought to pay to get this supposed “free” phone!