Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Are these deals good deals?

Everybody likes to save money. Well, maybe not everybody, because I don't know everybody. But I don't know anyone who doesn't like a good deal.

Sometimes, the deal is on something we've been thinking about anyway. Sometimes the deal is about something that never crossed our minds, but now they have our attention. Which was the idea, after all. So a deal will catch our eye.

However, since many of the people I know are older -- the ones that are still alive, that is -- have been around the block a time or two, when we squint our eyes and wonder what's really going on.

We know there's a reason for the deal, and it's probably not that they are just giving stuff away. There's a reason. They know it. We know. They know we know it. And we know they know we know it. It's a game. Well, kinda. And there will probably be a winner. Best outcome is both are winners. That doesn't always happen, as you know. And if you don't know, you'll eventually find out.

So, when this game is played, it usually involves some company offering a really good price on something. And some of us wonder what's really going on, and we squint our eyes.

There are actually two reasons for us squinting our eyes. First, it's a reaction to someone telling you something you're not sure you believe. You probably do it. And if you don't, you will. Trust me. (You that doubt me just squinted your eyes, didn't you? Told ya so.)

The second reason? To read the fine print. There's always fine print. And that's where this really good deal turns out to be for someone else. We don't quality for some reason. "Offer valid only days that do not end in 'Y'" or something like that.

Every now and then, though, there is no fine print that removes the offer from us. We "qualify" for the offer. So what then? Is this good deal, that actually is for us, a good deal? Well, yeah, sometimes. But sometimes not. And in streaming, you really have to be careful.

Of course, you should always be careful, but streaming is still relatively new. Ten years ago, I was a veteran streamer. But I was also part of a very small minority of people: streamers. Put it this way. When I started streaming, Netflix was primarily a DVD service. Think about that.

In the last few years, streaming has really taken off. But it's still a new landscape. Not a virgin landscape, but not a slutty one either. But there are people who will offer wonderful opportunities that aren't all that wonderful.

Here's one I saw recently, and I'll use it as an example. I'm not picking on them, but ... well, okay, maybe I am.

So, what's the problem? Well, this is from Amazon. It lets you subscribe to Epix from within the Amazon app, or on your Amazon Fire TV device.

Still not seeing the problem? Here's what you're not seeing. This subscription can only be used on an Amazon device or within the Amazon app.

So, why is that a problem? Well, it may not be. If you are only going to use your Amazon Fire TV device to watch Epix, then fine. Or if you are only going to use the Amazon app to watch Epix, then fine. But if you try to use the Epix app on your Roku, then you are out of luck. You're also unable to watch on Apple TV, on Google/Android TV, on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, Web browser, and so on. You are locked in to Amazon to use the subscription.

Now, if that's not a problem, then that's not a problem, and that means it's a very good deal.

Oh, and while I used Amazon and Epix in this example, this is also true for deals through Roku, to include the Roku Channel. This isn't directly solely against Amazon. This isn't actually directed against anyone. It's simply a reminder to look at all the details and thing it all through.

Sometimes these deals can indeed be great deals, and make your Streaming Life easier. But not always.

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