Modern life is consumption. Modern life is the internet. Modern life is choice. Choose everything. Get exactly what you want. When you want. At a cost.
This is where we are as consumers. If I can find something online, and it’s what I want, I can order it and it arrives at my door in a few days. As the type of person who is careful what he spends his money on, and who will research most purchases of any value so knows exactly what he wants, it’s a perfect storm.
To be clear, I do get a little obsessed when it comes to making purchases online. For example, I’ve even researched and bought a specific tin opener (made by OXO), and no I’m not ashamed! I know what I want and in the age of the internet, the age of the smartphone with a billion apps to cater to your every whim, why should I have to settle for less?
Now flip this view on to three different items, two of which are typically they most expensive ‘purchases’ anyone ever makes – buying a home, buying a car, and choosing a TV package.
I won’t comment on buying a house as I’ve not done that for a long time, and very few people are able to buy a house that is exactly as they want it (or Grand Designs would be out of business).
But the other two irk me.
I’ve been a customer of Sky, and as I have a NowTV box and subscription I technically am, but I’m currently with BT. I mostly watch things on the BT Sports channels (or rather I mostly watch things I’ve recorded from the BT Sports channels), and occasionally I delve into the ‘terrestial’ channels 1-5. Outside of that, I’d estimate that once a month I might watch something on, say, a Documentary channel, or Food channel. But, by and large, the actual number of channels I watch is no more than 10.
Number of channels I have in my TV package? About 80.
Given that I watch through a box, surely there is a way for BT to know this? Surely that then could be offered to me, at a cost which I’d happily pay, as a personalised TV package?
So rather than paying £30 a month for 80 odd channels when I only watch 10, charge me £1 per channel plus £5 for the ‘personalised’ package?
In fact, I’d argue that it’s not about the cost, it’s about the user experience. Whilst my logical brain says I wouldn’t pay the same money for fewer channels JUST to have all the extraneous guff hidden from MY tv guide, my emotional brain says HELL YES!! Charge me the same but only show the channels I want!!
And no, ‘Favourites’ is not a solution.
I’m currently pondering replacing my car. The term of the lease is up so I have a decision to make – keep it and pay the final lump sum, hand it back, or bump for something ‘new’ (new to me) – and as the car is starting to show signs of expensive bills on the horizon, I’m leaning towards something new(er).
My criteria for a car is simple enough. Have reasonable running costs, have bluetooth so I can play my music choices from my phone, don’t be that horrible pee yellow/green colour that Honda offered me the last time I looked.
That’s about it.
However, if money was no object what I’d really like is to choose my gadgets. Bluetooth, heated seats, keyless entry, remote boot opening, reversing cameras…
As for the rest of the car, sure it needs to look ok, but if it has an engine and goes then that’s the ‘car’ bit sorted.
But no, depending on which manufacturer you look at, the spec levels all differ, some offer ‘packs’ to upgrade that include some things, but not all, and no that pack can’t be installed with that other pack. Why?
Everywhere else we have choice. Some say too much choice, which frankly I think is bullshit, but if every other industry can get the hang of this changing world, why can’t these two? When oh when will the customer be put first?
Honestly, WHY IS LIFE SO UNFAIR ALL THE DAMN TIME!!!
Yours, a spoiled rotten perennial who likes moaning about things of absolutely no importance.