Subscription Madness

netflix logo
netflix logo

It seems the world’s finally gone mad. No, I’m not talking about extremist Islam or Britain re-electing the Tories or Greece refusing to pay its creditors or FedEx putting up an annual prize of $10million for the winner of a golf tournament. I’m talking about subscription services.

It seems you can pay a monthly fee for everything from television shows to groceries, art and condoms. For people with kids there are subscription services for baby supplies, toys, clothes. You name it, there’s a subscription service for it.

I think this ‘business model’ began with Spotify for music and spread to Amazon with Kindle Unlimited. Television subscription services followed, with Netflix for movies and, more recently, TV series. Car dealers soon jumped on the bandwagon, with all sorts of monthly lease-purchase deals. Reminds me of the days when we all rented our TV sets, and then later when we hired our DVD films from Xtravision. In those days, you had to sneak into a bookmaker’s shop on the high street if you wanted to waste your money on some hair-brained wager. Now you subscribe to an online betting shop, effectively connecting the bookie directly into your arterial blood supply.

I don’t do subscription services. I’ve never even looked at Spotify – I buy my music from iTunes or from a bricks and mortar music store. Netflix looks like a waste of money to me. Where would I find the time to watch enough stuff to get my money’s worth? And the same goes for Kindle Unlimited. tells me there’s an ‘Amazon Subscribe’ for household items – in the US, presumably. Can you imagine buying your toilet paper that way? Ugh! Even with a 15% discount, I think I’ll pass.

I’m not even prepared to take a monthly package from a smart phone supplier. I can’t see the point of paying monthly for a set amount of traffic that I’ll probably never want or use. This created a problem when I tried to pay outright for the new Galaxy S6. The first two shops I tried had a limited supply of the new phones and they were all reserved for customers who were willing to pay by the month (about €40). I had to schlep my cash all over town in the rain until I found a dealer willing to take my miserable €600.