In this episode, Scott takes on a different kind of hidden fee: Fee-tardiculously high prices designed to gouge consumers for corporate fun and profit. Scott picked as his first example of this the high cost of tickets and concessions at movie theaters.
Show audio here.
Scott comparison shopped the prices of Popcorn, Soda and Candy at Walgreens and 7-Eleven stores (locally in Denver, Co., prices may vary across the U.S., but we believe they are similar), and then looked at prices for the equivalent sizes at movie theaters run by AMC and United Artists.
He covers the huge differences theaters gouge you for in all the huge categories and also on ticket prices, anywhere from 200-500% more than what you would spend if you shopped at Walgreens and 7-Eleven first for the SAME items. You can save even MORE by shopping at a thrift store like Dollar Tree instead. And then staying at home and watching the movie on Netflix, Amazon, or renting it at Redbox.
Also, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that some movie theaters in NYC are now charging $20 per person to see some movies! That's bad enough for 1 or 2 people, but imagine being a parent and having 2 or more kids! It could cost you well over $100 just for one night at the movies!
And further back on March 24, Barron's indicated there was a hike as follows:
A survey of 10 random theaters in major U.S. markets found a 4.1% 2D adult ticket price increase coming this weekend, with an average 8.3% rise for non-IMAX 3D movies, and a 9.9% hike for IMAX screens.
So if you love 3D, you better, because you're paying MORE for the privilege!
NO Wonder people either eat first before arriving at the theater, sneak food in from outside, or just avoid movies altogether these days! Not to mention dealing with screaming kids and cell phones! There is even violence when you ask other people to be quiet and courteous!
Movie theaters claim as justification for these prices that more people are watching movies at home and online, but can we blame them? I mean prices were increasing steadily way before people started renting and buying cd's through Blockbuster and Netflix and now Amazon and I-Tunes and countless other sites. Isn't it really these theater's fault for being greedy and driving people to avoid the skyrocketing costs?
Deals: Free Software!
In Deals News, Elaine covers FREE useful software. Do you pay for anti-virus software? If you do, you're paying too much! Why? AVG anti-viral software gives you the same protection that you can get with such companies as Norton or McAfee (those are the most popular).
Another FREE useful software is Threatfire. ThreatFire is dramatically different to traditional antivirus software. Normal antivirus products usually need to have first identified and seen a threat before they can provide adequate protection against it. The protection is then provided via a signature or fingerprint update, which must first be written by an antivirus researcher. This creates a large window of time where threats are undetected and can therefore infect your PC even when you have antivirus software installed.
Continuing on with useful anti-viral software is Malwarebytes which is a site dedicated to fighting malware. Malwarebytes has developed a variety of tools that can identify and remove malicious software from your computer. When your computer becomes infected, Malwarebytes can provide the needed assistance to remove the infection and restore the machine back to optimum performance. I use this with my anti-virus software.
Do you enjoy having your bookmarks available no matter what computer you are on? Try Symbaloo. This program gives you a nice grid of buttons what are easily placed as YOU want it. Check it out!
If you use Twitter, you may want to consider TweetDeck. With TweetDeck you can see your timeline feed as well as mentions, which is when someone mentions your twitter name. Many tweets have been lost or disregarded because you missed them on the traditional web-feed. TweetDeck is customizable to give you your Facebook feed as well. You may use it to follow the tweets all in one column for different hashtags as well.
Finally Scott also mentions two other great blogs for information on other free software: