The death of true commerce

Remember when you could purchase a product, it contained all you required to use it and that was that?

Not very fair for the vendors of products though is it? One payment from you for a product? How are they going to make more profit each year if their product works and you don’t need a new one?

Enter built-in obsolescence and monthly subscriptions. In other words, when a business grows large enough, they can take either or both options of ‘who cares if the product you purchased is broken, we only care about new customers as there’s one born every minute’ and ‘we’re being paid monthly so we have no need to produce the best quality product, just a product and if you want a good product or the best, that’s a higher tier monthly fee’.

I often use a hammer as an example because, in keeping with most technology, it is a tool. It has several core uses and additional ones that it can be turned to.

Now, if you could manufacture that hammer so that the head or handle could be almost certain to break after a year or so of use (i.e. just out of standard warranty), you could improve the chances of more sales, so long as you have a large enough share of the hammer market to force retailers to stock only your hammer. You can also make the hammer from inferior materials, further boosting profits.

That’s not enough. Hmm, you could sell a warranty with the hammer that works out to the same as purchasing a new hammer every two years or so. If the hammer doesn’t break, you’re quids in, if it does, the warranty won’t cover the replacement thus likely ensuring another sale when that breaks.

That’s just not enough revenue for doing nothing though. What more can you offer that makes you more profit for doing even less? Ah-ha! Monthly subscriptions. “Subscribe to the Hammer Cloud and for just 50 pence per week you will never have to worry about replacing your hammer again!!” What a deal huh?

Hang on. So, in the olden days, one could purchase a hammer for £10 and that was that. Now, you pay £10 for the hammer, £4 per year for a warranty and then £26 per year to ensure you don’t have to ever purchase another hammer again. £40 outlay in the first year and £30 each year after. For a £10 hammer.

Strangely, the £6 hammer purchased in 1970 still works and those who know the newer hammers are made from poor quality materials by poorly skilled manufacturers, still use them.

Well this is what the great technology scam is all about and it applies to almost all areas of the technology, utility and media industries. Selling almost nothing for a monthly fee. Software vendors can make hardware obsolete, hardware vendors get to sell their new products that ‘only work with new software’ and all of them can get a cut of a monthly fee from you.

In the PAST, Sony allowed people with Playstations to play games over the internet with other people for free. Now, whilst Sony make even more profit than ever before, they have deemed multiplayer gaming as a revenue stream beyond the £50 base price (before add-ons) of a game. Now, when even richer than before, Sony have restricted access to services to be more like Microsoft and to take more money from children and their families, purely to increase their already ludicrous profits. What do they need the profits for? To invest in selling more to more children to ensure all people are enslaved to monthly fees? What justification is there when making massive mark-ups on all products to pretend a monthly fee is required to use the product fully? It certainly isn’t cost to Sony. Multiplayer gaming for FREE was available to PC users in the 1980s, so how is it that when home computers (even consoles) are hundreds of times faster and more capable, we are being forced to pay to do what technology allowed 40 years ago?

Even better, to use their products, you normally now have to ‘sign’ an agreement to abide by their rules of their game before you can even use their product. Ever remember having to sign an agreement with Stanley Tools before you could use their hammers?

No wonder big businesses expect to be allowed to now charge a 60-70% mark up as a baseline instead of the 10-25% that would be traditionally viewed as a reasonable profit. Then again nobody seems to ask the fundamental question. What do global organisations need such vast profits for? When one company eventually owns all money and all businesses, there won’t be any more commerce, just slavery. Not that far to go now.

The problem is, the modern world wasn’t built upon such detrimental profiteering that places more emphasis on fewer organisations controlling the majority of all money in existence. Distributed feudal systems were replaced by government control, now governments are controlled by the boards of businesses that can buy and sell them and whose members are purely interested in the application of their power to add to their own self-aggrandisement.

Still no fair and reasonable deal for the majority of people (no matter how many big businesses advertising depar.. I mean, Hollywood films portray the valiant humans overcoming faceless, soulless corporations to pretend and convince the people of the ‘first world’, living near or in poverty, that it could or does happen).

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