Have you seen any of those commercials for products claiming they can speed up your computer? Or for search programs that let you know if an old girlfriend or boyfriend is searching for you?
Laptop Magazine says many people pay for these, and that they may work as advertised. But it says they are really "stupidity taxes."
People Search for a Fee
You may have seen ads for MyLife, and similar search services. Many of these suggest an old flame could be online right now, trying to find you. Are they?
Unfortunately, Laptop Magazine says the answer is probably "no." And it calls paying for this a "stupidity tax."
Other fees it calls "stupid."
Renting a desktop or notebook computer where you can pay $1,200 for a $350 PC that will be outdated in three years.
Speeding Up Your Computer
Downloading a free program to "clean up" or "speed up" your PC: Laptop mag says they will almost always find a problem that requires a fee to fix. And the report says in many cases you can do this cleanup yourself, by deleting unnecessary programs that run on startup.
Renting a Router or Phone
And renting a WiFi router from your cable company for your home. You can buy one for $50, but some people pay $6 a month.
The same applies for seniors who still pay $5 a month to rent a land line telephone.
Biggest Stupidity Tax
And from the "doesn't that stink" file, perhaps the biggest stupidity tax of all: International roaming and data fees, if you take your cell phone outside the country.
It can cost $20 a day just to have your smartphone on the network in Europe. Watch some YouTube videos, or worse, download a movie, and you could be charged hundreds of dollars. Doesn't that stink?
Speak with your carrier, and get exact details on fee, before you use your phone in Mexico, Canada or overseas.
Even some of their international plans are not a deal, the report says. It may be cheaper to rent a phone in Europe, for instance.
None of these offers are illegal. They are all legitimate businesses just trying to make a buck.
But Laptop Magazine says if you purchased some of these, you are paying a "stupidity tax" that is easily avoided.
And it says it may be a case of don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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