What Is An Acceptable Amount Of Money To Lose When You Buy A Product?

This morning I was looking over on the Amazon Web site for a small sink auger. We have dual sinks in our master bath and the drain on the side my wife uses has been running slowly. My side is nothing to write home about and is marginally slow. I usually don’t like to use those caustic drain cleaners [Drano, Mr. Plumber] since they damage the pipes and the environment, so I thought I would try an auger. There were about 10 different augers for sinks, so I decided to read some of the reviews. This is when I noticed this comment:

I was a little skeptical because the price was so low — but the reviews were so good I had to give it a shot. If it didn’t work out, it was an acceptable amount to lose.

But what made me think about the above statement was the way we perceive costs. Or, more important, at what price do we just throw something out, don’t return it, or just think that it isn’t worth the trouble?

The price for the sink auger was $14.33, which included shipping. Depending on why one would return the item, you could have to pay up to $5 or more to ship it back. The reason I mention the ‘why’ part is because some shippers will pay for return shipping for several reasons, like if the item is damaged upon your receiving it or if the item was not as described by the seller.

A few months ago my daughter was at a company picnic and they were giving away some prizes just to say thank you. One of the prizes she won was a spot light, which she gave me. Upon opening the spot light I discovered that it did not work. It cost me $8 to ship it back for a replacement. The replacement lasted about a month before it stopped working.

If this happened to you, would you:

  1. Return the spot light again for a replacement?
  2. Throw the spot light in the trash?
  3. Stop talking to the daughter because she gave you a piece of junk? LOL

I threw it in the trash. I wasn’t going to spend another $8 just to receive what, in my mind, was a defective product.

At what price point or expense will you not bother to send an item back?

Comments welcome.

Source – Amazon

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Google And Our Privacy – Threat Or Hype?

There is no doubt that Google has become the largest advertising company on the Internet. The majority of their revenue comes from targeting advertisements to specific consumer needs and this is basically done by collecting data on consumer surfing habits. The collection of this data has come under scrutiny and Google expands its operations after their acquisition of You Tube and its proposed purchase of Double Click. There is much being said on the Internet about privacy concerns and exactly what Google is doing with all of the data they collect about all of us. The main concern by privacy groups is that Google may know to much about us.

Which brings up the question is Google a real threat to our privacy or is this just hype?

Before the Internet it was Madison Avenue that controlled basically what advertisements we were bombarded with. Data was collected by ad agencies and was used to control what advertisements we saw in print or on television based on consumer preference. These advertisements were geared for a specific market. Even agencies such as Gallup or Nielsen collected data but we were not concerned since the database was limited compared to what Google collects.

Next we went through a phase where we became bombarded will telephone solicitations, junk postal mail, Internet spam and other annoyances that also relied on a collection of data about ourselves. Add to this the collection of data when we apply for credit via credit cards, home mortgages, auto loans and so forth and the thought of all these companies having this information is scary. Not a day goes by that some company somewhere doesn’t either lose a laptop computer or suffer a computer break in which data is compromised.

I personally believe that we lost control of data collection long before Google came around. This company has only been in existence for about 10 years. Yet personal data has been collected about all of us since we started climbing out of our cribs. For us to be concerned about a company collecting data about our surfing habits seems a bit absurd to me. Maybe we should direct our focus on companies that warehouse our personal data and make them increase their security procedures. Or wonder why Microsoft can access our computers at will to update files behind our backs. Or with the break in to Homeland Security recently in the news, what information may have been compromised.

Of course there is one other option. No one is forcing us to use Google search or You Tube. We can always opt out and use Yahoo, MSN or other search engine. I’m sure they don’t collect any information and it is only Google who does. :-)
What do you think? Does Google pose a REAL threat to us?

Comments welcome.

[tags]google, threat, data, mining, collection, threat, information, security, [/tags]