View Full Version : You're just a cashflow

20th Sep 2016, 01:01
A rant about costs - I must be getting old.
Notice how many people selling products of all types now are attempting to turn said product into a service - and create a constant revenue stream via monthly, semi-annual or yearly subscriptions or renewals?
Particularly in the software space - increasingly no more buying outright and paying for upgrades - rather ongoing subscriptions.
But it's a trend that extends from virtual world into real world as well.
Personally am getting sick of being treated as a cash-flow by all sorts of businesses who seek to dip their hand into my pocket on a monthly basis and seeking to cancel wherever possible, and avoid like the plague anything with ongoing charges.
Just sell me the damn thing, sell it to me once only and build it to last.

20th Sep 2016, 03:54
The greatest rort is in "loyalty" payments - the up-front payment the retailer asks you to make to become a "loyal" customer, and to become one of the retailers "special clients", who gets offered "special" deals.

I have never yet found where the up-front payment is returned in savings. In nearly all cases, you can generally find the retailers "special-price" item, cheaper elsewhere!

These "loyalty" deals are the biggest scam out, and none more so, than those connected to FF points schemes.

As regards the corporate world, I have no loyalty to any one of them, as they rarely have any ethics, and you're just treated as constant source of steady income by bleeding you slowly.
Banks and financial institutions are past masters of the technique, but there's a lot of other operators not far behind, as they see the huge successes of the banks and finance vultures.

20th Sep 2016, 10:11
I'm seeing an interesting trend in the music world.
I dabble in writing music on the Mac I write these posts on.
Hunting for a digital reverb recently.
Lexicon and Eventide require a subscription, or an expensive dongle.
But there are some open source guys who charge you US$50 up front - that's it, and their product is as good.
I'm rapidly losing complete and utter faith in capitalism.
Every bastard is just trying to make a buck.
It's not improving anything.
I hate unions, and the left, can't stand political correctness, love guns, jets and the military - yet think the whole financial services industry is predatory and utterly f*cked.
Help - where is my tribe - where do I go?
Where are my meds...

20th Sep 2016, 10:24
'Free to play' games (blush) are another in this category. I'd be happy to pay a buck or two for a few hours diversion, but these guys want your first born child to even allow you to finish the game.

In game purchases should be banned. (Or at least these games should be put in a separate category on the app store)

(Yes I know the app store owner get's 30% of your spend)

Sue VÍtements
20th Sep 2016, 15:10
At one point I had USD 30,000 dollars of credit card debt :eek:

However if you looked at it closely you would have seen it was all at 0% interest for 18 months :ok:

I made sure I had enough to deal with things when the 18 months were over - not that it mattered because they kept offering the deal, so all I had to do was restart it after a year or so. I saved a TON on the mortgage by doing this.

Eventually they must have got tired of me and the very few (I'm sure) people like me as they no longer offer these. Well what they offer now is maybe a 0% interest, but with a 4% buy in :hmm: wtf? why don't they call it a > 4% interest then :=

I also use credit cards frequently and pay them off every month so I'm just basically using other people's money for free all the time, PLUS they're giving me a nice receipt to show where I spent it all. If I ever miss a payment (maybe twice a year) I just call them and get the late fee reversed.

So actually THEY are a cashflow for ME!

Agreed with the FF points that are becoming a sort of pseudo currency that I'm surprised that governments aren't cracking down on. It's mostly bullsh1t really and who knows how much cheaper the flights would be if they didn't have to pay for the FF department? Bullsh1t because you can get DOUBLE POINT ON DINING! - riiiiiiiight, so how much fukcing dining do I have to do to get a free ticket?

The ONLY way to win with Frequesnt Flyer points is to wait for the good offers, then open up a credit card, get 30,000, or 50,000 (once I got 100,000) miles, with free membership for 12 months, then close it and open the next one.

Either that or engage in the corruption that is reserving your work trips on a specific airline regardless of the cost and keeping the points.

20th Sep 2016, 16:39
The one I find tricky (not really dishonest though) is "x months free upgrade".
Amazon Premium was up to it, don't know if they still do. My antivirus tries it on all the time.
I suppose their hope is we'll forget to cancel when the time comes. Plus they never make that part very easy.

20th Sep 2016, 16:50
so how much fukcing dining do I have to do to get a free ticket?

Enough that you would probably need to buy a second ticket to accommodate the weight you have put on.

20th Sep 2016, 16:59
Just a cash flow ? Yes, ask my ex :-)

20th Sep 2016, 17:13
In terms of software its simply that the companies cannot any more make money from people buying new versions, and no company can survive when customers buy a version of the software and then use it unchanged for the next 10+ years.

Take Intuit in the UK - once purveyors of one of the best personal finance software around: Quicken.
First they found the above problem.
Then they tired sunset clauses such that the software would refuse to download the updated finance info after a certain period as a way of forcing people to upgrade and buy the next version.
That brought forward howls of outrage.
Then not surprisingly they decided the UK market was not large enough to make money from just with new purchasers - so they quit in 2004 - which brought forth more howls of outrage - and still does from people who say they don't understand why Intuit quit.

Long term I can see the computer world going full circle - back in effect to to dumb cheap terminals locally and the program run over the internet from a mainframe mega computer on a subscription basis for everything.

Rwy in Sight
20th Sep 2016, 17:20
I am with SV here. I have a card which awards points per Euro spend. More on some business but no less than one point per Euro in every transaction. I use it to pay taxes and fees (so I get the points for money I have to spend). Also when I want to buy anything (currently a phone charger) I check the stores offering 4 points per Euro and if it is cheaper I buy it there and get the points. A point here - I often see there is an inflation in point redemption: one need more and more points to obtain a product or a service.

So if I can get points for an expense I have to incur why not? Regarding subscriptions and royalty cards no-way I would pay something like that.

Sue VÍtements
20th Sep 2016, 19:12
Actually I said the opposite :}

I said that they may offer points, but that you would have to buy so much to get any kind of award that you'd probably die of old age first.

They say Get Points or Miles and I think people see that and forget exactly how worthless points/miles are, then people start buying service or product X instead of service of Product Y because points are involved and they forget to compare the X with the Y for either price or quality. (or maybe if they even WANT the service or product).

The only real way to get anything with points or miles is with the initial account opening OR if you travel a lot for work, then 'stealing' them from your employer.

Plus try cashing in your Aadvantage miles now and you'll get the ticket allright, then you'll see a 'Carrier Imposed fee' of several hundred dollars anyway, so what's the ...

... wait for it ...

...point? :}

Rwy in Sight
20th Sep 2016, 21:44
Sue VÍtements,

I was referring to 0% for 18 months. If I have to make an expenditure and I can get points/rewards for the purchase I go for it. If I can find it cheaper and not use the credit card I buy it there. For instance the closest super market started participating at a reward program few years ago involving using the cards of a bank I use. So instead of paying cash I started using the charge card.

Or just like the laptop I currently use was bought from a store participating on the program I described on my previous message. A friend of mine spotted the computer on that store, I was getting 10 points for each € (instead of the usual four), no other similar bargain was available and I needed a new computer - the previous one was running on an unsupported program - so I did the purchase.

Pontius Navigator
20th Sep 2016, 22:06
Not just software. Had a new garage door fitted - my 10 year old motor powers it. After a year the company made me an offer to service it -10% the original cost.

I guess a lot of time people are cash rich time poor so get someone to do the work. Eventually when they become time rich they don't know how to do simple jobs.

21st Sep 2016, 00:36
You just need to learn how to play the game - in most cases it's not that hard.
Years ago I had a Discover card - it was the only credit card accepted at Costco. Then Costco switched (to AmEx) and I quit using the Discover card. So I called up to cancel it - 'oh please, don't do that - how about a zero interest cash advance?' Zero interest for how long? 'Until it's paid off, but you'll need to use the card at least once a month, and the zero interest will pay off first while your purchases accumulate interest.' How much? 'up to your credit limit (which was $16k)'. I was in the process of buying a van at the time - coincidentally with tax and license, about $16k. 'OK, I'll take a $16,000 cash advance'. I then set up a small (~$20/month) re-occurring payment to autopay from Discover and effectively financed my van through Discover for free...:ok:
I agree frequent flyer miles are not as lucrative as they used to be, but again you need to know how to play. I've focused on my Delta miles - use a Delta AmEx card whenever I can. Yes it has a fee, but it also has a free companion ticket each year (and I always use that). I need to go to Jakarta or Medan every couple years to make the wife happy - over the last 20 years I've flown to Jakarta - always business class - 11 times and to Zurich twice (also business class) - all with miles :ok:
For places that don't take AmEx, I got a new Costco Visa - 4% cashback on gas, 3% cashback on restaurants, 2% on all non-gas Costco purchases, 1% on everything else - and no fees :ok:
I'm going to retiring from Boeing soon, and they're going to want their laptop back. So I just picked up a nice HP laptop at Costco and wanted to put Office on it. No problem, Office was loaded, only $85/year :eek:. Went on Amazon, purchased a permanent copy of Office 2010 for $145 (and I like 2010 better than the new Office anyway :E)

21st Sep 2016, 09:13
Another satisfied Office 10 user here. Why spend money subscribing for 'updates' that only add frills I will never use?

And of course Adobe are onto this scam too. I purchased the last version of Photoshop before it went to subscription. I might have bought an upgrade in a year or two. But now I'll stick with what I've got. Goodbye Adobe.

Microsoft have already got Windows onto a constant-update model. I expect they have already planned a date to start charging.

21st Sep 2016, 10:23
Exactly Sallyann.
Adobe CC - what a rort!
All power to the Open Source people like GIMP who can pretty much replicate the functionality.
I find myself sitting here thinking, "large corporations, guess what... the game's up. The vast majority of moderately intelligent people are starting to cotton onto you. That's why no-one is spending anything and OECD economies are stagnant. You've fundamentally breached trust."
Look at those idiots at Wells Fargo for example.
All of this will persist until our generation has retired and there is no memory of the GFC or the great recession.

21st Sep 2016, 10:35
One thing we in my line of business learnt years ago, selling you a product will make you a little profit, selling you a warranty or a service contract that ties you to me supporting the product is long term profit...

One of my hobbies is digital photography, the processing software I use is all open source and free for download. Works just as well as the expensive stuff, well for the photos I take!

Sue VÍtements
21st Sep 2016, 23:48
I need to go to Jakarta or Medan every couple years to make the wife happy . . . happy because she DOESN'T go :}

For Microsoft office, you could look into the HUP - Home Use Program. You get Word, Excel, Access etc etc for about $14

22nd Sep 2016, 02:29
. . . happy because she DOESN'T go :}

For Microsoft office, you could look into the HUP - Home Use Program. You get Word, Excel, Access etc etc for about $14
Actually the wife is originally from Indonesia and still has family there - I'd just as soon stay home - I don't care much for the place (I lived there for a year - that was long enough).
Problem with "HUP" is you're supposed to give it back when you leave the company - which is what I'll be doing next month...