One of the things I harp on is the use of the word "free" and how it's used, especially by various commercial enterprises.
Last year, on my trip to Miami, I stayed in a hotel that offered:
- Complimentary high-speed internet
- Complimentary access to the fitness spa
- Complimentary use of pool towels and other pool accessories
...all for $12 a day.
This was called a "resort fee" on the bill. I'm not sure what was complimentary about it. Basically what that suggests is "Normally, we'd just charge you $12 for the hell of it and you'd get nothing, zero, zip, nada, zilch. But in our case, you actually get these items for your $12, so in effect, we're giving them to you for free!" Does that make sense? Can I get a resounding "NO!"
I went shopping for clothes. I spent around $130, but beneath that line it had another line item that said "You saved $124!" No I didn't! I spent $130. I didn't save a thing. If I wanted to save, I wouldn't have spent the $130 in the first place. Then they could've given me a receipt that said "You saved $130!" That would be true.
Bought a new washer/dryer combo from a store a month ago. The salesperson tried to entice me to upgrade my choice of models. I had chosen a package for $1,300 on sale (originally $1,700). He wanted to show me a combo worth $1,800 on sale (originally $2,700).
He started off by saying "...but if you choose this model over here, you save $900!"
I said to him: "No, I'm spending $500 more than the ones I've chosen."
He looked at me like he had me: "Yes, this is true, but you're not saving $900."
Me: "Based on your logic, I have to spend $500 more to save $900. Maybe I should spend $10,000 and you can save me $1,000. That would be the best, right?!"
He stopped talking.
General rule of thumb: If you have to spend money in order to save money, you didn't save a thing.
As I've said in the past: If you pay him enough, maybe he'll do it for free.