"Convenience" fees and debt.

Whilst I was wandering the aisles of my local Hollywood Video store this weekend, it struck me why their "MVP" subscription service is such a hit. Bascially, you pay $14.99 a month and certain DVDs are free if you're in the MVP club. "Certain" DVDs. Never the new ones, and almost never the popular ones. It's a clever trick because people will be gullible enough to think they're getting stuff for free after paying their membership. And once that membership is automatically going out once a month from their bank accounts, it will get forgotten about. In the consumer's eyes, "FREE" reigns supreme. So I did a little calculation. Over the last couple of weeks, I've rented a few movies - more than normal - and only one of them was in the MVP free movie category. Had I been in the MVP club, I'd have effectively paid $14.99 for one rental, and $2.99 for the rest. Clever. "FREE" is the lure, and then the bait-and-switch is that no popular movies and no videogames count.

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