Funny About Money

Free-FM offers a text alert system for a one-time charge of .50.  It’s brand new.  You’ll get a text in case of severe weather or a major breaking story.  We’ll also text the morning’s top two headlines.

This service is not unique and those who run them encounter the same barrier:  people balk at the one-time .50 charge even though they pay more than that over and over for foam on a $3.00 latte.

I can’t argue with them.  I still poke my way past ads to play Words With Friends on my iPhone when for .99 I could eliminate those ads forever.  Why?  No one knows.  Perception, I guess.  I’ll pay $8.99 for a crappy DVD I might watch once but for a game I play every day, I won’t cough up a dollar? It doesn’t make sense.

Apparently it’s a very common thing, too, especially for women.  Guys and geeks seem to get it.  In the scheme of things, what’s worth more: a buck or all of the time spent waiting for the ads to appear and then clicking to get rid of them?  It’s silly, really, and still I do it.

The .50 charge isn’t exclusive to us.  It’s the way it works.  The tiny fee shows the person wants to get on board and from then on the service is free.  If you are local and want to know major developments as they happen you just text “free news” to 2 1 1 2 1 1. You’ll get a text back saying your bill will show the .50 charge and you’re in. If I wasn’t one of the people sending the texts I would still want them because I’m a news junkie.  But I wish I could get my mind around that dumb $1 charge for the word game.  Maybe I’ll do it … maybe….