Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of 'stupidity taxes'
By John Matarese| May 30, 2012 at 4:53 PM EST - Updated June 27 at 5:36 AM
(Toledo News Now) - Many of us have bought something that later turned out to be really dumb. Wouldn't it be nice to know that in advance?
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 said many people pay for these, and they may work as advertised. However, it also said 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 said the answer is probably "no," and calls paying for the service 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Renting a desktop or notebook computer where you can pay $1,200 for a $350 PC that will be outdated in three years.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 Magazine said they will almost always find a problem that requires a fee to fix. The report said, in many cases, you can clean up your computer yourself by deleting unnecessary programs that run on startup.
Renting a Router or Phone
Renting a Wi-Fi 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 landline telephone.
Biggest Stupidity Tax
From the doesn't that stink file, perhaps the biggest stupidity tax of all is international roaming and data fees, if you take your cell phone outside the country.
It can cost $20 a day just to have your smart phone 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 fees before you use your phone in Mexico, Canada or overseas.
Even some of their international plans are not a deal, the report said. 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.
Still, Laptop Magazine said if you purchased some of these, you are paying a "stupidity tax" which could have easily been avoided.