Cluetrain-lessBroadband for Suckers

“In a shamelessly clever marketing gambit, Best Buy is selling shrink-wrapped AT&T Broadband digital cable kits for $10 a throw. The truth: There's no 'kit' inside, just a brochure with an 800 number and five pay-per-view movie coupons. Best Buy used to hand out the AT&T kits for free, but it found that customers were more likely to order service if they had financial incentive and something shiny to put in the shopping basket. Upon subscribing, they get their 10 bucks back, and Best Buy collects a handsome fee from AT&T. (When a customer doesn't sign up, the retailer keeps the $10.)

Savvy shoppers, however, note that all the information in and on the box can be had for free at 'Best Buy is about boxes – we've got people coming into the stores to purchase them,' explains Jeff Stratman, a senior buyer. 'The digital cable kit isn't the only product we sell that's essentially air….' ” [Wired]

I have a t-shirt I bought in San Francisco in 1997 that is old, ratty, and stained, but I will wear it until it disintegrates because I love it so much. It says “Waiting on the World Wide Web,” and it shows Dilbert sitting at a computer with cobwebs around it. The estimated download time of the file he's trying to access is “427 years. 28 secs.” The tagline is “the internet is full… go away.”

I find it interesting that the above situation is still the norm for most home internet users in the U.S. Deceptive practices like selling broadband in a box won't help.  [The Shifted Librarian]

Leave a comment