Recs

3

Buying What You Don't Want

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) wants to charge consumers for the data they download rather than the bandwidth they use, according to an article by Felix Salmon on seekingalpha.com.

Salmon also mentioned something I hadn't considered before:

It's worth remembering that companies in the telecoms and media space have historically made their enormous profits largely by getting their customers to pay a lot of money for stuff that they don't want and won't use.
Cell phone companies sell you minutes that you don't use, cable companies sell you channels that you don't watch, and ISPs sell you unlimited bandwidth and downloads, even if all you're doing is checking your email once in a while.

Wow. That's so true. I pay for many cable channels I never watch. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) sold me a computer with plenty of features and capacities I never use. Canon (NYSE: CAJ  ) included a fax feature that I never used on my fancy printer.

You might think insurance companies operate in a similar way -- you pay all that money and rarely need to file a claim -- but you'd be wrong. With insurance, you're buying protection, and even if you don't have to file a claim, you are protected.

So what?
Interesting, but does it have any implications for us? Absolutely. As consumers, we can reconsider some of the things we pay for.

If your cell phone is laden with features of no interest to you, next time you need to buy a cell phone, find out about a less fancy one -- if you can save money in the process. Look at your cable TV bill. If you only watch two or three of 100 channels you get in a bundle, ask yourself whether those two or three are really worth it.

For help improving your finances, read more to:


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 567253, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/28/2014 9:15:12 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Selena Maranjian
TMFSelena

Selena Maranjian has been writing for the Fool since 1996 and covers basic investing and personal finance topics. She also prepares the Fool's syndicated newspaper column and has written or co-written a number of Fool books. For more financial and non-financial fare (as well as silly things), follow her on Twitter...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,960.57 -123.23 0.00%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 0.00%
NASD 4,449.56 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

7/25/2014 4:01 PM
CAJ $33.63 Down -0.09 +0.00%
Canon, Inc. (ADR) CAPS Rating: ***
DELL.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Dell CAPS Rating: *
TWX $84.99 Up +0.98 +0.00%
Time Warner CAPS Rating: **

Advertisement