Penalties, traps and cancellation exploits

Consumers are overwhelmed with choices nowadays, so companies routinely use penalties, fees and traps to lock you in.  Backed up by long wait times to customer services, hidden addresses and a “you must call us to cancel” approach, the average customer just gives up and pays the ransom.

So how to avoid the traps?

  1. Before signing up for anything ask how
    1. do I cancel?
    2. How much does it cost to cancel?
    3. What is the postal address? Old school letters are still binding and more effectively than 20 mins waiting on the phone or arguing with 1st line customer services.
  2. Use a dedicated email address for subscriptions to you can ghost (delete the email account) them if things get tricky.
    1. Give only mandotory info about yourself.
  3. Ask for a list of penalty charges.  These are probably published in the terms and conditions that you never read.  So, ask them which clause to look for.

Sounds easy but many “busy” consumers never do this and end up paying over 2000 GBP for a mobile phone.

Exploit successfully executed

Next time you sign a contract

Hidden

Not feeling much about anything lately….

Hiding online is a task nowadays but achievable if you can bring yourself to the point of disabling your gadgets.  The problem is your connections’ social media ramblings.

Safer away from folk

28 Years ago, I should have known better

On reflection, I now crave the simplicity of my life in the 90’s.  The flow of data was slower, less widespread and simpler to secure as not many people knew it was there in the first place.

Today, we are swimming in data flows and everyone is their own system administrator.  iOS Beta 3 is now available, I can’t see the differences but no doubt the vendor is crunching an exabyte of test device data.  I’m still hooked on the Screen Time application.

I’m part of the generation that didn’t realise what it actually meant to push all end-users to be Network-centric and eventually dependent.  Now, turn off the Network and all hell breaks loose.  The option to live an offline digital life is now cumbersome, awkward and attracts suspicion as to why you are “not online”.

Data availability

28 years ago I knew users would have to be on the network to make data availability work, now I realise that helping to create that dependency was a mistake.  And like South Londoner, Michelle Wallen sang so wonderfully as Pica Paris “I Should’ve Known Better”.

Back in days of the BootLeg

Of course, it creates a nice arena for Data Privacy specialist like me.

Erase yourself

Probably inspired by GDPR, some Global vendors are following the tracks of social media giants by making it easy to download ALL your data.

It will take seven (7) days but I just put in my request for info to Apple hoping for some surprises.  There will be many of us who state that we have “nothing” to hide and don’t care what information is held.

You don’t know what you don’t know

https://privacy.apple.com

Self-discovery is always a healthy thing gives you the power to decide to delete ALL, correct or reset.

Basic discovery

App Store, iTunes Store, 
iBooks Store and Apple Music activity
Apple ID account and device information
Apple Online Store and Retail Store activity
AppleCare support history, repair requests and more
Game Center activity
iCloud Bookmarks and Reading List
iCloud Calendars and Reminders
iCloud Contacts
iCloud Drive files and documents
iCloud Mail
iCloud Notes
iCloud Photos
Maps Report an Issue
Marketing subscriptions, 
Marketing downloads

 

Leave the Party

Like so many tech trends, once something becomes mainstream it simply loses its appeal.  I started DIY mining years ago but quickly figured out that the cost of the hardware, maintenance and most importantly my electricity bill made it a potentially high overhead experiment.

With some many active serious investors hunting for crypto currency, the energy costs are ramping up.

BitCoin costs too much energy (report May 2018)

This report suggests that in a few short months it will no longer be feasible to mine cryptocurrency.  Hopefully, the masses will get the heads-up and go back to what they were doing before the media hype.

Cryptocurrency cost on the rise

 

Crypto Fool

My Omnia Cloud mining has yielded disappointing results so far but this is not surprising considering the massive drop in values.

After an initial investment of 500 USD
Current mining Earnings 0.72 USD per day
Means it will take a whopping 694 Days to break even,
...that's just under 2 years.

It seems Omnia makes more money from the Multi-Level Marketing aspect than the actual mining at the moment.  The Pay-out procedure is very rigid, ridiculously slow and non-transparent only allowing me to withdrawal my cryptocurrency once (1) a week on Thursdays.

With this scenario, it’s easy to see why Newbie Crypto investors would be sceptical but it all depends on your reasons for getting into Crypto.  For me, the opportunity to remain unseen by central banking is attractive.  Also,  sidestepping the technical hassle and cost of setting up mining servers is excellent.

Today’s Lesson: Define your Crypto goals whether it’s short-term profit to be transferred back to Central banks or leveraging the ability to buy or sell using Cryptocurrencies.

After all, Money is just one big Game anyway

Where’s my Hash Power? – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice