How do companies get away with it?

Just been reading this article on The Register about Dell’s advertising on television. A number of people complained that when they visited the link as advertised, they found that the price was actually £349, not £299, or was offered at £299 but went up to £349 when the item was selected. Dell say that that £349 price tag included their “upgraded service package” and could be easily unselected. But my question is should companies be allowed to select additional products/packages on their web sales platform automatically? I personally think that these sort of things should be “opt in” not “opt out”. Dell say that it’s standard practice, and for what I can see it is; many other big name companies use the same practice to dupe unsuspecting customers into buying extra products without realising it! PC World being one of them, every time you take a closer look at one of their PC’s Norton Internet Security is already selected under the tag line “We feel it is our duty to protect your PC and we have teamed up with the award wining Internet Security team from Symantec to bring you this fantastic bonus pack – includes Ghost 10.0 & Go Back 4.0”, What a lot of bollocks! Why the hell would you want to buy Norton (even if at half price) when you can download applications that do the same thing (and usually better) for free!

Last night I went out with Stuart and Peter to belatedly celebrate the birth of Peter’s daughter, but the night turned into a massive disappointment! Stuart in his infinite wisdom decided he was going to start drinking a noon and by the time myself and Peter arrived at 8pm, Stuart was on a completely different level (of incompetence) than we were as we were both stone cold sober upon arrival at the pub. After about 1 1/2 myself and Peter had to talk Stuart into going home, as he wasn’t in any sort of shape to drink anymore. I know I wasn’t really up for going out anyway, was still feeling a little off from the previous nights impromptu visit to Molesters, and I got the impression Peter wasn’t up for it either. We both had to agree to go out again on Friday for a few beers before Stuart would finally go home to sleep it off, but I already have plans to go out that night, so I said that I’d go out for a few beers before meeting my friends in the club! I don’t understand why Stuart does it, he just seems to drink for drinking sake, it seems that he does have a drinking problem, and there’s nothing we can say to persuade him to cut back and save money!

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