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Added: Friday, January 17th 2020 at 3:40pm by epiphanettes

I’m tired of being nickel-and-dimed to death. This small financial weariness started many years ago and I suspect it has always existed, but I am finding, as I grow older and my earning capacity lessens, that I am increasingly nonplussed—nay, pissed off.

Why, when my car lease ends, do I have to pay a $400 return fee?

Why does the Avalon management company of my rental apartment charge me a once-a-year amenities fee of $500. Is it for the Foosball table in the recreation room, or the non-working treadmills in the gym? Is it to partially reimburse the local firehouse which sends its firefighters two or three times a month in response to alarms set off by the kitchen fires in the street level bar?

Recently, Avalon decided, unbidden, to install wireless locks and thermostats in all units of my building. The installation of course was problematic and for two days, my unit’s temperature was in the high 80s. This happened to other apartments, and I wondered: Wouldn’t this be harmful to pets left unattended from morning to evening. Or, for that fact, wouldn’t it be life-threatening to older people if, while they were asleep, the temperature rose as it did in my place? Did I mention that my kitchen and hallway lights—now answering to an app—didn’t function. Oh, and I didn’t tell you that this will cost us $40 a month. Nowhere was this mentioned, by the way. And, to add insult to injury, information garnered from the motion detectors installed with the locks, will be sold to marketing companies..

And what of cable television? When it was first proposed, back in the days of UHF, the promise was that cable would pay for itself through advertising. A world of entertainment and education would be available free of charge, making us all smarter and better informed. Somehow, we’ve now come to pay through the nose for cable. What happened?

I wonder why, when I pay gasoline tax every time I fill up and annual registration fees on my car, the once free highway near my home began charging outlandish tolls during rush hour. When this was first proposed, I wrote furious letters to the powers that be. This sort of expense would encourage the drivers of older, polluting cars, to spend more time on back roads and spew additional carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Why penalize those who cannot afford newer, cleaner cars? And why tolls in the first place?

While we’re on the subject of transportation, how did flying become such a rip-off? Smaller, narrower seats, higher fees for baggage, and internet charges. Are the airlines really that hard up?

 Another thing that drives me nuts is shipping costs. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen something online that is both affordable and useful. I fill out the purchase order and, just as I am on the verge of committing, the final price comes up, shipping costs—never mentioned until the end of the process—pop up, anywhere from seven to twelve dollars dearer than the original price. Invariably, I decide not to buy. I used to have a small eBay business and I can tell you with certainty that shipping a fountain does not cost nine bucks.  I get pleading emails, entreaties, arguments and appeals from the seller.  Here’s the thing: If I saw shipping costs right at the start of the process, I might actually shrug and accept them, even if I know I’m being gypped. What gets me is the sneakiness, the marketer’s assumption that I’m an idiot who’ll fall for this tired stratagem. Here's a hack: If you go through the buying process but close it down just before buying,there's a good chance you'll get an email from the seller offering free shipping. 

If I have a single New Year’s resolution, it is this one: I will no longer be nickel-and-dimed to death. So there.


User Comments

I miss the days of being able to buy a television, plug it into the wall socket, adjust the rabbit ears and BAM...that was it.  No monthly cost at all.  Now, yes, its a small fortune for us while the cable companies rake in the millions.

I do all my shopping mostly on Amazon as there is no shipping. Everything I need, I check there first instead of seeking out in the stores because with the 2 day shipping that it takes, I can work with that.

Everything is expensive.  There is hardly anything in life we do that doesn't cost money in some form or other.  Ita all pathetic, really.

I understand agree, but I put it right up there with prices that are 5.99, why not just be to the point and say 6.00....they act like somehow we are all going to swoon to buy something because the penny is left off...

{#friend.gif}You're preaching to the choir my boy, preaching to the choir. 

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