Category: consumers


Believing the Hype

Last week, I was stunned to see Netflix and Marvel’s season 1 of Daredevil to buy on Blu-ray.

Being a fan of Marvel’s properties, and hearing how good the shows on Netflix were, I wanted to buy them for myself. But it seemed they would never see the light of day. After all, Netflix could just keep airing them or have them available for viewing, or whatever it is that people do to watch them. But I was never one to be forced to do, or in this case watch, shows the way someone else (IE: a former mail-order DVD rental corporation) wanted me to. After all, I’M the customer/ consumer. Shouldn’t I be the one dictating how I want my entertainment?

But I digress, because this isn’t what this blog is about.

As I said, I had been hearing great things about these shows. The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly would have regular articles in the Facebook feeds about how great the show was, how many people had watched it, behind-the-scenes stuff, and recaps of what happened on the whichever show was on the night before. In turn, Facebook friends would rave about certain shows, telling me I had to watch it, telling me what happened (which didn’t matter to me, even if they mentioned spoiler-worthy stuff, because by the time I would watch it, if ever, I’d probably forget it), and basically going on and on about how great the show was.

It wasn’t just the Marvel/ Netflix shows either. No matter where you went online or social media, you’d see something about Games of Thrones, or Westworld, or whatever the show-of-the-moment was.

So, going back to seeing Daredevil season 1 on Blu-ray, I snapped it up and looked forward to watching it, to see what all the hype and excitement was about.

“Hype” being the operative word here.

Yes, the show was good. Well-acted, well-written, connected to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, good stories and plot lines. It was a good show. Quite enjoyable.

But despite what social media, and the sheep that blindly follow what others like just because it’s cool, it wasn’t the second-coming of TV series.

Years ago, I had heard of this show, called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I heard of it from other people, floating around like a vague notion. There wasn’t social media, and entertainment magazines were just that, magazines. They weren’t flooding you with info every few seconds like they do on social media today. Those in the know raved about Buffy. Word-of-mouth spread, eventually getting to me. So I watched and I loved it.

Imagine if social media had been around back then. It would have been a Buffy overload. Knowing my taste, likes and dislikes, if I had been overwhelmed on social media about Buffy, I might have been turned off.

A few months back, I was talking to a former co-worker and he asked me if I liked Game of Thrones. I told him I hadn’t seen any of it. He told me he hadn’t seen it either, but he kept seeing things about it online, so he watched and kept watching it because other people told him it was good. He said he liked it now, but to me, that sounded like he was only watching so he could have something to talk to his GoT buddies. Talk about sheep mentality!

To me, it seems that hype over a show seems to be over-blown these days, thanks to social media and entertainment news feeds on social media. We are inundated with certain shows at certain times to boost clicks to a website, or to help keep the word-of-mouth going. It becomes a vicious circle of hype and builds until the next episode. It helps if the show is actually good, but I’m sure there are people, like the former co-worker, who are just caught up in the hype and watch because others watch.

There used to be a time when there was too much hype, aka “over-exposure”. People got sick of something because it was talked about so often. I know recently, with the return of the Gilmore Girls, which was a good show, I was getting a little sick of the hype, especially when the same talking point was mentioned more than a few times.

Maybe its just me. Maybe I have a low tolerance for hype, over-exposure, and trendiness. Or maybe today, people don’t acknowledge the idea of “too much”. With social media flooding our consciousness with so much info about popular shows, maybe “too much” has become the norm. Maybe people need to be reminded why they like something so they can feel like they belong to a larger group.

There are different reasons for liking a show, movie, music, etc. We are all different and have different tastes. But I believe that if you like a show, it shouldn’t because others tell you that you should, or social media says so. Being introduced to something is one thing, being goaded or pressured into by others is another.

Always look for what you like, whether it is popular or an unknown, and enjoy it because you like it, not because it’s trending.

After driving a 20-year-old car around, wondering if it was gonna die on me, I finally decided to buy a new car.

This blog isn’t about the car (which is cool!), it is about a device the sale representative tried to sell me; and I very nearly bought it.

The device is called an Electric Rust Inhibitor, or Electronic Corrosion Module. I’m sure there are other names, but I’ll stick with the first one, or ERI for short.

The idea is that this small device is hooked up to your vehicle’s battery and sends a mild electronic current throughout the metal structure of your vehicle. In doing so, it inhibits/ prevents rust from forming, and slows any current rust from getting worse.

When the sale rep told me about this, I had heard of it before and agreed to have it installed as part of my down-payment on the car. Now, I like to think I’m not a blind shopper, especially when it comes to large/ important purchases. I did some research on the kind of car I was looking at and saw the good reviews it got, so when I did take it for a test drive, I had a basic idea of what to expect and look for. Having heard of this ERI, and wanting to protect my new car, I agreed to the installation.

But once I got home, the idea of this device got me curious. So I looked it up.

First thing the next day, I called to make sure that the ERI was NOT installed.

When I Googled the device, the majority of the pages that came up didn’t speak favorably about it. An article from the Globe and Mail was particularly insightful…

“Electronic rust protectors (ERI) will eat a hole through your wallet and probably won’t protect your vehicle any more than it’s protected already, according to the Automobile Protection Association.

Dealers charge as much as $800 for the quickly-installed device, which normally retails for as low as $150. 

The consumer watchdog doesn’t recommend the devices, which are based on the concept of cathodic protection used on the submerged parts of bridges and boat motors. Those devices only work when the metal is submerged in water.”

The second page I read was from Canadian Tire, which had the same device the sales rep had told me cost over $800, on sale for $150.

Now that is some fucked up shit right there.

Of course, there are some people who will say the device works. One of the comments supporting the device mentions that the owner washes his vehicle twice a week. The next comment suggests the guy washing his vehicle that often is probably why corrosion on his vehicle is non-existent.

If people are willing to try this device, go right ahead! But I think it is probably better to pay a couple of hundred bucks than $800 or more.

As for the sales rep, he may believe the device works, or he may be just a sales guy trying to wring as much money out his customer. Either way, when buying a new vehicle, don’t just settle for what the people selling you the vehicle say. After all, they are trying to make money off you, and in some cases, they’ll do whatever they can to do so.

Do your research. Talk to a mechanic you trust. Do more research. Most importantly, never be afraid to say no. If you aren’t sure about something, and they keep pressuring you, get up and leave. If you have serious attitude, make sure you tell them, or better yet the manager, why you are leaving. This may be a hassle, especially if you found a vehicle you really like. But if they are treating you poorly now, when you haven’t even bought anything, imagine how bad they’ll treat you later on if you do.

As a consumer, you have the power. If they treat you or other customers poorly, word of mouth will get around, especially with social media.

Thankfully, my experience was good. After I mentioned I didn’t want the ERI, the sales rep was cool about it, and understood the negative feedback about the device. So it all turned out good and I got a new car.

All’s well that ends well.

But personally, don’t waste your money of an ERI. Give your vehicle an under-coating and wash it regularly and all should be good.

 

 

 

Chapter TK

Question Everything

AROUND and ABOUT

... I M O ...

Kate Heartfield

writer and editor

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