‘Price gouge' is an evocative term. Earlier this week a press release did the rounds explaining how O2 had just announced huge increases in its roaming costs outside the EU - naturally, we were meant to be outraged.
It was a G'Day for online retailer Kogan when it announced that it was levying a charge of nearly 7% on orders from customers using IE7.
An educational exercise par excellence you may agree. Hit the punter in the pocket and they learn rapidly. No argument with that and it's all true but c‘mon -the Oz company showed some remarkable marketing savvy as well.
I get asked a lot of curious questions from readers about their rights when they email the Consumeractive consumer rights inbox.
Often I can fully understand their frustration, have huge sympathy for their predicament, but what people believe that they can do, or what they think their legal rights are tend to be far removed from reality.
Take for example one of the latest queries I have just had to answer on the topical subject of the Game Group.
One of the things you quickly learn as a specialist journalist (in my case, as someone who writes largely about technology) is the woeful nature of the mainstream media coverage of your subject area.
It's well known that many journalists, trained in arts and humanities subjects, simply don't understand numbers, which is why so many science and medicine stories go awry (not to mention spurious surveys).
But it's not just maths and stats: coverage of almost any kind of specialist subject, in broadsheets or tabloids, on television or radio, is remarkably poor. We regularly see technology stories misrepresented, badly written or sometimes completely wrong. Talk to a science journalist and they'll tell you the same about science stories, and talk to a music journalist and they'll tell you the same thing about music news.
What brought this irritation to the fore was the announcement earlier this week that the country's four biggest internet service providers (ISPs) are to introduce new options for people to block pornography from their internet connections.
Unfortunately, nearly everyone who reported the story got it wrong.
There are a lot of people in the technology industry who talk a lot of nonsense, whether it's peddling products that are never going to work, or trying to convince your customers that a clearly failing business is "doing fine".
But one of the most pernicious words in technology (or in products in general) is one many of us hear every day: 'consumer'.
You might think that it's a harmless word, and in some senses it is, and you may think this is a small problem, and it is that too. There are bigger problems in the world, but that's no reason not to think about this one.
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