si-blog

Still more things that annoy me

Posted Nov 09, 2004 in Personal.

Back by popular demand! Here are a few more things that annoy me:

Misuse of the word “troops”
Fifty soldiers is not equivalent to fifty troops. Fifty troops implies a much greater number of soldiers. So when CNN refers to the death of six troops, it is actually referring to the death of six soldiers.
Phone bills
Why do I have to pay for incoming calls on my cell phone? That's a disgraceful bit of fleecing. I think it is a bit rich that I'm required to pay a monthly fee for the honor of owning a cellular phone, but paying for incoming calls is out of order.
Oil prices
It takes months to ship, refine, and deliver gasoline to the pump. When oil prices go down, the oil companies tell us it takes months for the savings to filter down to the price at the pump. Yet when prices go up, this fact is conveniently forgotten and the price shoots up.
Oil prices 2
Why is it that gasoline prices are always quoted as $2.03.9, or something like that? Why is there always nine-tenths of a cent tacked on the end? Why don't they just admit they are trying to pull a fast one on us and price it as $2.04. 10 gallons at $2.03.9 is $20.39 - almost 10 cents more than it appears to be.

Comments

  1. Gravatar

    About your Oil Prices 2 comment/question:

    Dispenser computers are not programmed to apply conventional rules for rounding. Any even half-cent amount not rounded to the nearest even cent introduces a one cent increase in price. For example, a 5.000 gallon purchase of gasoline priced at $1.249 = $6.245000 and should be priced as $6.24, however, all motor fuel dispensers are programmed to calculate the purchase as $6.25 - a 15:10 bias for rounding up.

    Kind of sounds like 'Office Space' ;-)

    Posted by Stephan Segraves on Nov 09, 2004.

  2. Gravatar

    The oil industry is obviously so starved of cash that it needs to find the money wherever it can get it, eh?

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Nov 09, 2004.

  3. Gravatar

    > Why do I have to pay for incoming calls on my cell phone?

    I assume you are living in the USA? When I am abroad (I live in the UK), I have to pay for incoming phone calls, simply because the dialling party would not necessarily know that I am abroad, and would therefore be unaware and not liable for the extra charges.

    Is something similar applicable in the USA? Would the dialling party always be aware of the costs involved in phoning a cell phone?

    Posted by Jim on Nov 09, 2004.

  4. Gravatar

    The cost of phoning a US cellular phone from within the US is the same as calling any other phone. This is quite different from the UK, where it costs more to call a UK mobile (been there, done that).

    The same applies to text messages. If I send someone a text message, it costs me $0.03 to send it, but it will also cost the person who receives it another $0.03. Sometimes these charges are swallowed up by plans that incorporate minutes and text messages, but you are still paying in the end.

    The whole cellphone industry is fucked-up, of course. They pissed away so much money on Third Generation licenses and technology so that they could provide services that nobody wants (unless you are Japanese), that they have to recoup the money by other means.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Nov 09, 2004.

  5. Gravatar

    Yeah, oil companies are really hurting. A quick Google News search will show you that Citgo's profits have doubled since last year. Just imagine if they'd used the opportunity to sell gasoline for $0.10 cheaper than everyone else....

    Posted by Chris on Nov 09, 2004.

  6. Gravatar

    "Why do I have to pay for incoming calls on my cell phone? That's a disgraceful bit of fleecing. I think it is a bit rich that I'm required to pay a monthly fee for the honor of owning a cellular phone, but paying for incoming calls is out of order."

    You pay for "airtime", not calls, at least in the US. Paying for incoming calls does have an upside though: because of that you can't be listed in telephone directories like cellphones in other countries are, thereby avoiding telemarketer calls (they're not allowed to call on cellphones).

    Posted by Vinnie Garcia on Nov 11, 2004.

  7. Gravatar

    "10 gallons at $2.03.9 is $20.39 - almost 10 cents more than it appears to be."
    Here in Sweden (north of Europe) 10 gallons (~38 liters) would cost ~$54 (380 sek), so $20 isnt that much in my opinion.

    Posted by Jonas on Nov 13, 2004.