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A customer uses his cell phone to download a movie to his laptop for his child while traveling. He eventually gets his bill and finds that he was not charged for a single movie, but finds that he was charged per kb. And the charge?

A whopping $62,000.

Yes, you read that right. $62,000 US dollars.

$62,000 of which the customer says his phone company stated was ‘reasonable’ after the customer, ahem, complained.

At one point in time this unbelievable scenario would have been, ah, unbelievable. Not today.

Step in, Clark Howard of his self-titled show on the HLN/CNN networks and radio.
The show is steeped in common sense and money saving tips and advice.
It seems that it took a call from the show to get this $62,000, which had by then been reduced to a mere $17,000, to be completely removed from this callers bill.

This story particularly resonated because as I was watching the show, I was reading an article in MacWorld’s December issue regarding how “Performing-rights groups such as ASCAP and BMI want to charge retailers like Apple and Amazon for movie and television downloads, radio streaming and the 30-seconds of sampling (that's when you listen to a short snippet of a song prior to purchasing it or making sure it’s the song you want). Citing these ‘events’ as public performances.” What? Public performances?

Is the tail wagging the dog again? Shouldn't these people be going after a fairer share from the industry they sign the contracts with and not the retailers? Or better, us? Did they not pay attention as to why 'the artist formerly known as Prince' stop using the name 'Prince?' He was upset with his recording label's unfair practices.

We already know that there is no end to the greed, so I took a look online to find more unabridged examples of squeezing blood out of a turnip. To say the least, I was not disappointed, so to speak (actually, I was).

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SmartSpending/ConsumerActionGuide/The12MostOutrageousFees.aspx

What are some of the examples you've found of unabridged greed when it comes to not only the media industry, the financial industry, or anywhere else?

Oh, and the movie the caller downloaded?

Wall•E

Wall•E.

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  • Concert tickets through Ticketmaster are my pet peeve. They make it more efficient to buy tickets online, and then you get charged “processing fees.” 4.50 processing on a $12 ticket? It makes me want to take my chances and just buy them at the door.

  • Great article Chita, thanks for keeping us informed!

  • Paul Corsa

    Thanks for not adding a ‘consultant’s fee” to the article.

  • Chita Hunter

    Mark,
    I kid you not. I too am so miffed at the Ticket Master ‘convenience fee’s’ that upon preparing to purchase tickets to a concert this summer in Pontiac, I cancelled the order and thought “What a nice day for a drive.” Saved the $12 and used it on my pleasure; bought myself lunch and drove up to get the tickets myself.

  • Chita Hunter

    Paul,
    Hmmmmm….
    (Just kidding) 🙂