Jan 21, 2022

What's the Deal with Subscriptions?


 I'll be honest. I know that the "deal" with subscriptions is guaranteed income for the entities that sell them. But if I were to organize a revolt, it would likely be due to rage against that particular machine. 

In the last week, I tried to buy two different online products that claim to be environmentally advantageous: laundry detergent that comes in dissolving sheets rather than bottles, and toothpaste in the form of pellets, so there's no tube. When I got to the checkout, both required that I sign up for a subscription to the product, so I never have to "worry" again about running out.

Really? I wasn't that worried about running out of toothpaste.

We face the subscription thing in many places.My printer company wants to automatically send new ink cartridges when they estimate that I'm about to run out. The photo sites I use to create book covers won't let me buy a single photo. I have to subscribe and pay a fee every month, even though I only need one or two photos a year. The company that sends my newsletters charges a monthly subscription fee, despite the fact that I only send one when I have a new book coming out.

Cable TV subscriptions offer a hundred channels, though we may only watch three of them. Audio book sites charge a monthly fee, even if you didn't have time to read a single book this month. Greeting card companies charge for the year, even if you forgot you'd signed up and don't send a single e-card.

What ever happened to buying something when you need it and paying for it at that time?

I passed up the environmentally friendly soap and toothpaste. I switch photo providers or freeze my account status when possible. In general, I avoid the whole "Big Brother" attitude that someone else should decide for me how often I need a product or service. 

If you agree...subscribe to my newsletter. I might as well try to get my money's worth out of that one.

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