Ignorance Breeds Overspending

Once in a while, you notice a value proposition so absurd, you wonder how people would be so foolish to hand over their money.

Case in point:

Our town paper is the local reporting monopoly. It’s also deeply engrained in the habits of the local population, most of whom are elderly and like to “read” their paper, in print, every morning.

The paper’s latest invention is the “e-news” subscription. Quite simply, it’s their print paper, transcribed almost exactly into PDF format, which if you ask me makes it a nightmare to read efficiently. It also costs “pennies a day,” though conveniently the price is nowhere to be found online. More on that in a second…

It’s accessed through the same website where you can get up-to-the-minute local news. Coincidentally, as most of the savvy online world has figured out, this news will appear in tomorrow’s paper. But the e-news is not advertised online, at least not prominently.

No, the main ad push goes out through mailings to people’s homes, right alongside the pricing for the print version. Who do you think is the target audience? More importantly, do you think they would have the know-how to realize they’re being ripped off?

More likely than not, at least from where I sit, the people buying this are just trying to join the “cool” crowd in the online world. But their ties to tradition (exemplified by the virtualization of their print paper), and their ignorance, lead to money poorly spent.

The moral of the story: before you spend your money on something, do some research and make sure you’re getting the whole picture, not just the one the sales department wants you to see.

You never know what you’re ignorant of until you discover it…

Photo by ShironekoEuro

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4 thoughts on “Ignorance Breeds Overspending

  1. Your point is very well taken from the economic and practical standpoint. The older generation’s reliance on the printed page has much to do with routine and in some ways is even a form of stability and relaxation. After a hard days work come home, grab a cup of coffee, and sit back in the recliner with the daily news to read in a leisurely manner. The Sunday news has been expecially important in this tradition. And, it kept most people out of the malls. For that purpose it is still a good buy.

    1. Agree 100%; it’s an awesome pastime. Unfortunately, I think these newspaper tactics will only get worse as revenues dwindle.

      The world is changing…and it’s tough to say where we’ll get our news in 10 years!

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