Showing posts with label fools and their money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fools and their money. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Oh. My. God.


Yep folks, your tax dollars at work. How's that hopenchange working for you. 40 miles of 'clean energy,' courtesy of electricity supplied from a local coal-fired plant. How environmentally...err..friendly.

When Iowahawk uploaded this video in December of 2008, little did he know how prescient he would be:

(h/t Legal In-sur-rec-tion)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Charter Scam, Parte Deux...***UPDATED***

I received the following communication today from Charter Communications:
Dear Leo

The Charter High-Speed for Life auction is ending in 48 hours! (Wed. 3/26, 12pm CDT)

The current high bid is only $37,429.36. There is still time to bid to win Charter High-Speed
for Life – but time is running out.

Go to the auction to submit your bid!

Complete auction and sweepstakes rules

Good luck!
Charter Communications®

©2008 Charter Communications.

This email was sent by Charter Communications
12405 Powerscourt Drive
St. Louis, MO 63131
My response was thus:

Dear people at Charter Communications:
Why, in all that is sacred, would I choose to spend $37,429.36 on "high speed internet" for life?

Let's break it down here, shall we?

At $54.99 per month, the current price for your highest internet speed, your currently-stated high bid of $37429.36 would buy nearly 681 months, or nearly 57 years of service.

Given that, note that I am:
  1. Currently 48 years old. Which means that I'll be at the young age of 105 before I even reach the "break even" point. Even if the high bidder was a wealthy 20-year old, that would mean that the bidder would need to reach the ripe old age of 77 years old before he or she started getting "free" internet.
  2. That is, of course, given that the price of internet will remain constant or go higher in the coming years. Moore's Law suggests otherwise. The cost of long-distance telephony over time is a good analogy.
  3. That is, of course, also given that high speed internet remains in the same form and infrastructure 57 years from today as it is today. This I highly doubt.
These considerations lead to a number of conclusions:
  1. I will not bid on this auction, given the fact that "my momma didn't raise no fool."
  2. I'm quite taken aback that a supposedly above-board organization like Charter Communications would actually pull a scam like this. If I could see through this ruse, then certainly anyone with half a brain, taking more than a minute to look at it, can figure it out as well. This cannot bode well, IMO, for public relations. There may have been a redeeming value if the proceeds of said auction were to go to charity; but since they are not, it is my assessment that there are truly nefarious, shady, con-man like intentions at play.
  3. Given your highly restrictive rules, specifically that heirs aren't able to take advantage of the spoils of "victory" should the high bidder meet an untimely demise, (not to mention that after three years, if you move out of range of Charter, you lose your $37k) stands as proof to me that you have less-than-honorable intentions in this matter.
  4. Given the above, as a current Charter customer, I wouldn't feel bad at all about discontinuing my long-standing relationship with Charter Cable, and Charter Cable High Speed Internet, specifically. I don't make it a practice to do business with con-men.

Leo Pusateri


I just got off the phone with a representative from Charter Communications, who agreed that the auction was getting out of hand, but stated that they couldn't call it off. After speaking with the marketing department, the representative told me that Charter Communications will issue a press release later today that they have decided to donate all the proceeds from this auction to Habitat for Humanity.

***UPDATE 3-26-08, 10:34pm******

The bloodletting has ended. Some poor schmuck from Lawrenceville, Georgia got left holding the bag for $71,540.... at that rate, he'll need to live for over 108 more years just to break even.

At any rate, yours truly was instrumental in convincing Charter that it would be good P.R. move to donate the proceeds of the auction... therefore, I'm responsible for $71,540 going to Habitat for Humanity.

Who says blogs don't make a difference? :-)

But that aside, my only remaining question is, how did someone that dumb come into so much money?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How much would you pay for internet for life? (updated and bumped)

That's the interesting question Charter Cable is asking, and acting upon.

Right now, Charter Cable/Internet is having an auction; with the highest bidder to receive high-speed internet service for life (at Charter's highest speed available).

Mind you that the highest speed available from Charter (10mps) is now 54.99 per month.

As of the time of this writing, (12:01am, CDT, 3-13-08) the high bid was $12,200; (and this amount is continuing to climb at a rapid rate--and the auction doesn't end til March 26th, 2008--another 13 days) That means that even if there are no more bids, given that the winning bidder had instead spent a like amount of money over time for premium high speed cable internet, such a price would command nearly 221 months of service. That means that the winning bidder at the current high bid as of this writing would have to wait over 18 1/2 years before the investment started paying off. This doesn't even take into account the amount of interest that could have been made on the same amount of money over time, which would be staggering, at the least.

Note also, that even if the high bidder dies the day after the auction ends, his or her heirs won't get a day of high speed internet. Charter will pocket the dough.

Also, bear in mind, that if the high bidder would happen to need to move to another location where Charter internet is not available, they may get a small portion of their bidded amount back if the move happens within a three-year time period of winning the auction. Otherwise, tough shit pal, you lose.

And yet more importantly, internet and even home computers 18 years from now will look very different, and "high speed cable" will by then have probably gone the way of the buggy whip.

Now if the proceeds were going toward a worthwhile charity, I may see a point in bidding $12,200+ for high speed internet for life. But there is no mention of any charity nor is there any mention of the direction of the proceeds from the auction. I contacted Charter via email and haven't yet received a response. At this point, it looks like a marketing gimmick that's going to result in a windfall for Charter and a financial raping of some poor dupe who didn't know when to quit bidding.

No doubt P.T. Barnum is alive and well, with a new place of employment at the headquarters of


As of 4:30pm CDT on March 13, 2008, the high bid is $13,351.00. Using the above formula, that amount, given that rates did not change (which, as JRoosh has noted in the comments, would be highly unlikely, as rates will most likely decrease) would buy a customer nearly 243 months, or 20 1/4 years of service before the "free service" would start.

Charter has yet to respond whether any proceeds will go to charity, and there is still nothing on Charter's site that suggests that any of it will.

Now I have no problem with Charter getting rich off the deal, I guess, but in the end there's bound to be one pissed-off bidder who's only response will be "Doh!" and a slap to the forehead when he/she realizes that they have been taken to the proverbial cleaners.


I was able to get in touch with a representative from the corporate offices of Charter Cable via phone, who confirmed that at this point none of the proceeds of the auction are going to charity; however, upon conferring with a marketing official, he stated that the marketing official thought it would be "a good idea."

As it sits now, 4:05pm CDT, March 14, the high bid for "internet for life" sits at $16,150.

At this point, all else being equal, and not figuring potential interest earned, the "break even" day if that were the winning bid, would come in 293 months, or nearly 24.5 years.

Geesh... this would be comical if it wasn't so tragic.

I should have re-titled this post, "Fools and their money."

****UPDATE Number 3******

As of 7:22 pm CDT, March 15th, the bidding is now $19,000. That works out to 345 months, or nearly 28-years, 10-months before the break-even point!!!

To put it in illegal immigrant lingo: Ay CARUMBA~~~

****UPDATE Number 4****

As of Saturday, 3-22-08, at 1:05pm, the high bid stands at $34,365.00 (with 4 days left). Using our heretofore formula, the current high bid as it stands would take 624 months, or 52 years, just to break even. Even if the high bidder happens to be a wealthy, albeit idiotic 20-year old, the person would be 72 years old before he or she started getting "free" high-speed internet!

Will we even have "internet" as we know it in another 52 years???