Tag Archive for fine print


“Well, he’s out of surgery and is doing great.” The news hit Alyssa’s ears like a thousand trumpets from heaven.  She was so worried about Steven after he’d fell off the ladder, his arm bent up in ways she couldn’t stomach to think about.

“Oh my gosh. Thank you doctor! I was so worried.” Tears of joy began to stream down her face. She had thought for sure he might have been a goner.  And it was her fault. She had pestered and screamed at him to get up there and clean the gutters. Steve protested numerous times, saying he wasn’t fond of heights and maybe they should call in professionals.

The doctor looked at her inquisitively, not sure of what to make of her scrunched up face as she reminisced about the argument earlier in the day.

“Anyways-,” he continued, “He is awake and as I said the surgery went well. He should be right as rain in a few months with some rehab.”

“Awesome!” Alyssa couldn’t help but jump up and down.

“Yeah, I mean he’s happy and awake. For a guy who just lost his arm he’s-” Before the doctor could finish, Alyssa immediately lost her smile, a face of anger boiling up. Read more

Free Trials – NOT so Free

I had (finally) gotten around to sitting down for what was sure to be an hour long session of bank reconciliations. I  had my highlighter, my calculator and a high dose of caffeine readily available. After carefully putting my statements in order, I began my line by line perusal only to notice a recurring payment that I had no earthly recollection of authorizing.  I, semi-frantically, went through each statement.  Sure enough, there it was on every one.

$74.95 for three months straight. What the…? Read more

The Guilty Hour: How Scammy Sites Quietly Convince You to Buy

It’s kind of a generally understood rule among many internet marketers that most of their sales are going to come on weeknights right after dinner time. Some even call it the “guilty hour.”

Take Mindy, for example. She’s not too different from any other working woman in her 40s – her days are full of stress and staring at spreadsheets, and her evenings are chaotic, making sure kids are where they need to be and fed. Once it all calms down and she’s full, she plops down on the couch with a glass of wine and her iPad. And she looks for things to make it all better.

More than once this has led her to sites promising magic diet pills, EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS, and life-changing supplements. She’s drawn in by those big, promising headlines, but it’s the photos that seal the deal for her. She sees the beautiful women in bikinis, the stunning “before and after” shots, the doctor seemingly nodding his approval. The Dr. Oz screenshot is especially useful during the guilty hour.

Despite being educated and intelligent, Mindy has been taken for a ride every time. It’s because she’s walking into a system designed to hold her hand in a quick sprint toward a purchase. It isn’t a magic trick, but the way many e-Commerce sites get people like her to buy is a bit of sleight of hand. Read more