Friday, December 11, 2009

Nit quicks - console A/V cables and insulting promotions

Finishing up work today so I can't spend long on a post, but I came across two things that annoyed me today and felt like venting for a second.

First, does anyone remember when game consoles used to just have Red/White/Yellow A/V cables on the back of them? It was easy to plug in and you could use those cables for anything. Starting last generation (PS2/Gamecube/Xbox) everyone started having custom dongles for their systems. This was not only a cheap way to make an extra buck, but also meant that when I went to try to find A/V cables to today, everything I found had some proprietary piece of crap connector on the other end. Argh. (Granted, the 360 and PS3 do offer native HDMI support, at least in the later models, so that's a big win, but didn't exactly help me today).

Other quick rant: I got an email from e*trade telling me I could get $500 for opening up a new account with them. Ok, that's a little more than than the usual "$25 for opening an account" promotion, so I bit and read the details. Here's the fine print:

"To receive the cash credit, you must open a new Power E*TRADE account by January 15, 2010, and deposit funds or securities from an external bank or brokerage account within 45 days. Deposits of new funds or securities from existing E*TRADE Bank and E*TRADE Securities accounts are not eligible for this offer. Credits for deposits of cash or securities will be made as follows: Accounts depositing $250,000 or more receive $500; accounts depositing between $100,000 and $249,999 receive $250; accounts depositing between $25,000 and $99,999 receive $100; accounts depositing between $1,000 and $24,999 receive $1."

Wait, what? You want $250,000 to get the $500 bonus? And if I have less than $25,000 you're giving me...a freakin' dollar? A dollar. Really. I can find that in my couch if I need a dollar. That's supposed to convince me to convert to your service? And if I did have $250,000 to shuffle around, you think $500 (that's a whole 0.2% of what I'm putting into the account) is going to sway me away from my well-researched, high quality wealth management firm?

So uh, yeah - thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick with my bank that isn't insulting me with absurd offers. Oh, wait - my "interest bearing" checking account with my current bank is giving me about 0.1% annually. *sigh*

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