I use mozy.com to store all my computer data “in the cloud”. At five bucks a month it’s a pretty good deal, and I never have to worry about upgrading technology, loss to fire or theft, etc. The main downside is that the first time you back up a new computer it takes about a week and 100 GB of upload (in my case) to get the job done. This means that I would quickly overrun my 40 GB monthly upload limit at my ISP (Videotron) and incur rather large data penalties (like $50-60).

My solution to this problem was to call Videotron and upgrade to the next higher data plan. “Good news”, the customer service rep told me, “It’s only a dollar more a month than your current plan”. “Are you absolutely sure?”, I asked, “It’s sounds too good to be true”. “Yes, Sir”, he replied, “It’s a promotion”.

The “deal” gnawed at me all month. It didn’t make sense. So this morning, while speaking to another Videotron customer service rep on a different issue, I asked her to verify the terms of the new service plan. “My assumption is that it’s only a dollar more per month, based on what the previous person told me”, I said. “No”, she replied, “It’s actually $11/month more”.

She and I went through both plans and here’s what the sneaky little first-bastard had done: He presented the price of the old plan as if it were a stand-alone service, without any rebates, and then compared it to the new plan as a bundled service (given that I already have internet, telephony, and TV with Videotron). Had he compared the old plan to the new plan as bundled plans, the difference would have been $11. This is no mistake, but a clear intent to deceive. I repeatedly questioned the figures, but he kept insisting the difference was only one dollar.

New plan canceled…back to the old plan.

As the pickpocket in Casablanca said to the man and wife in the cafe as he deftly removed the man’s wallet from his back-pocket: “Be careful Sir, this place is full of vultures, vultures everywhere”.

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