The Way Things Are Today

A mid winter grumble!

I think I must have missed something along the way. You can now get a computer printer for $29, with half full ink cartridges, and then pay about $45 plus in due course for replacement cartridges. The plumber charges $2 for the tap washer and $100 for the call. You can get a cheap flight anywhere but beware the endless add ons. You can get a great cheap Hidef TV set, but the sound is so bad that they offer an external sound bar for $450 or more.

The ugly face of capitalism is alive and well it seems.

Have you had any similar experiences?

3 thoughts on “The Way Things Are Today

  1. Some of the anomalies we note in charges today are not so absurd when you analyse and evaluate them.
    Doing your homework, showing due diligence, is the way to get a better value for money?
    With the printer, easy!
    Firstly, be thankful they are so inexpensive.
    The idea is to buy only one set of new cartridges.
    After that, buy a new printer.
    With the plumber, you are paying for someone to do a job you can’t do yourself.
    It is their time and labour which is significant, not the cost of materials.
    I am reminded of the farmer who could not start his tractor.
    He had to send to the city for a specialist mechanic to come and rectify the problem.
    The mechanic came, gave the engine one hit with a hammer, then said, it will start now.
    Cost was $1000.
    When the farmer queried the cost for so simple a repair, the mechanic said:
    Cost is $1 for hitting the engine, and $999 for knowing where to hit it.
    Not sure about add-ons for flights, but I have the idea that some charges are deliberately not mentioned.
    We do need to ASK sensible questions to avoid surprises!
    I note that some ‘excursions’ via train quote a price to travel to some distant place.
    No mention is made of how a person is supposed to get home from there.
    There are likely many bemused travellers standing on a distant platform somewhere, wondering what to do next?
    Tv’s are no longer bulky items. Not a big box with a screen on the front.
    So the inbuilt loudspeakers will perforce be small and low-performing units.
    However, quite cheap but effective external systems are available for less than $50.
    This should be factored in to the overall cost.
    Knowing all these things in advance is the key to getting satisfaction from your purchase.
    Society around us is changing, so we must change with it, and approach purchasing with a different set of strategies.
    We need to be ‘smarter’, and more informed, buyers.
    In evaluating value for money, we will become aware of those who charge excessively, and avoid those people.
    Education is the key to successful buying, and your subsequent satisfaction with the item purchased.
    Know what questions to ask, and make sure you get answers.
    Don’t be fobbed off by fast talking ‘order takers’, who have little knowledge of the product they are trying to sell.
    Try to find a REAL salesman.
    Don’t buy impulsively: take time to think about it.
    Don’t decide then and there. Come back later if you need to.
    When you do eventually buy something, ALWAYS get a receipt.

  2. The ugly face of ‘value added’!
    Had the ink cartridge trick for all my printers over the years. Once it was possible to get the ink refilled but the manufacturers fixed it so we could not. At the moment I can get a cheap alternative to suit my Canon which works brilliantly. To cut down on this cost I also just print ‘greyscale’ so I do not need the colours as well.
    With tradesman callouts I try to have several things to fix at the same time but may not work if something is urgent!

  3. I Was sorry to hear Dick Smith say today he is closing his Food business because of aldi.Dick Smith’s Food business, has provided employment for Farmers, labourers, the Cooks who cook the food & others, an example for instance,Dick Smith’s delicious Ozenuts Peanut butter. All foods used or made are of excellent quality. The company is Australian owned and all products produced in Australia. All profits given to charity.
    I once went to aldi as I was passing & needing a topping for a dish I was making, bought a packet of cornflakes I was surprised to notice on the packet, the cornflakes were grown in Germany! I think the cornflakes were also 10 cents cheaper than Australian Cornflakes.
    Dick Smith’s products may be more expensive than aldi,but the quality is excellent.

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