Picture this. It is 8 in the evening and your phone rings. You are a young mother with a toddler vying for your attention. As a post-doc you make an OK salary but you have to cut corners to make ends meet since you have a family. It doesn’t help that you are fully taxed on this salary despite being ineligible for benefits such as a pension, unemployment insurance, dental care etc. That is your situation as you pick up the phone. A representative from your Internet (and phone) provider is on the lone offering you a contract. For the past year and a half you have been avoiding contracts because you don’t want to get locked into a bum deal. But you know your student discount rate is ending soon, so you listen to the person on the phone. The person knows that you are on a student (or near student) income and that you have a toddler to support. This representative of the corporation tells you that if you agree to a 1-year contract you can keep your current service and price. This sounds like a good deal so you repeat the terms – same service, same price – and agree to the contract. The person on the phone informs you that there will be a $100 charge if you break the contract. OK.
Two weeks later you get your Internet bill and the charges have gone up nearly 30%! You are not pleased. This is not what you agreed to. You call the Internet (and phone) provider. You are armed with the confirmation number and the name of the person who first offered you the deal. The phone company tells you they are very very sorry for the inconvenience, but there is nothing they can do. Either you pay the extra 30%, or your bill goes up by a mere 10%, but you service is decreased by 40%. So less service for a higher price AND you are locked in for a year. You NEVER would have agreed to this, but you were blatantly lied to. Well this happened to me. A certain company with a 4 letter name starting with B and ending with L essentially phoned me at 8 pm and lied to me to lock me into a year long contract. This is worse than false advertising, its fraud. I don’t think large corporations should be able to treat clients this way. I told them on the phone that I intended to tell everyone I knew about this. I know as a single person I can’t do much. But at least I can warn you.