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Top 10 Worst Tech Rip-Offs You've Probably Bought - Gear UP

VO: Marc Saltzman

Script written by Marc Saltzman.

Tech can be expensive, and sometimes electronics are not worth the money. Some of the biggest tech rip-offs you’ve probably been tricked into buying include landlines, ringtones and pricey HDMI cables. And who among us hasn’t bought an extended warranty that we never even used? WatchMojo teams up with tech-spert Marc Saltzman to talk about ten of the biggest tech rip-offs and how to avoid them!

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Transcript
Script written by Marc Saltzman.

Top 10 Worst Tech Rip-Offs You've Probably Bought - Gear UP


If you believe the hype, you’d think every gadget was perfect. That’s the job of the marketing behind all of these tech toys. But the truth of the matter is…there’s some tech products and services that are a waste of money…but how do you know which ones? We’re here to help…

Hey everyone, welcome to Gear Up, the WatchMojo series that looks at the latest in gadgets, gear and games. I’m Marc Saltzman, and in this video, we’re going to look at 10 of the biggest tech rip-offs. We’ll cover why it’s best to avoid paying for these products and services.

OK, not listed in any particular order…

#1: Pricey HDMI Cables

Any home theater enthusiast will tell you to forget about expensive HDMI as they’re a waste of money. Some are $49 or even $99 at retail or online. They’re not worth it when you can get perfectly good HDMI cables at your local dollar store, believe it or not, with no discernable difference in quality. Sure, longer cables cost more money or those with extra shielding, and to slap a brand name on the packaging, but many stores have been ripping off customers for years who think they need pricey HDMI cables for sound and video. Don’t do it.

#2: Extended Warranties

Chances are if something is going to go wrong with your TV or laptop or smartphone, it’ll happen within the regular manufacturer’s warranty, usually it’s a year, but many stores sell expensive extended warranties – and in many cases there’s a lot a warranty DOESN’T cover anyway. This is often a quick cash grab by a big box retailer but as Consumer Reports confirms, extended warranties for tech items are usually a big waste of money. Speaking of electronics stores, also don’t bother with in-home calibration for your home theatre when there are many tools on DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and apps, like THX Optimizer, to calibrate picture and sound yourself, for free.

#3: In-Home Calibration

Speaking of big electronics stores, when you buy a TV or surround system wait for the salesperson to try to sell you on in-home calibration. Problem is, they’ll charge you a lot of cash to come to home and properly set up your home theatre’s picture and sound. Unless you’ve got money to burn, don’t bother with these in-home calibration services for your home theatre when there are many FREE and EASY TO USE tools on DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and apps, like THX Optimizer, to calibrate picture and sound yourself. Just follow the prompts to optimize your home theatre and save all that money you aren’t spending at the store.

#4: Rental Cable Modems

You might not even realize it unless you study your monthly statement from your Internet Service Provider, but you might be spending money every month to rent your high-speed modem or router, instead of just buying good one once for $80 and up, which will pay for itself quickly. There’s no good reason to RENT a modem or router, when you can just buy one outright. Your cable company wants you to use their modem so if you like, you can often get the monthly modem fee waived, or perhaps ask them to upgrade you to a new model with faster service.

#5: Buying a Phone Through Your Carrier

While it’s more appealing to only spend, say, $200 on a new smartphone when it’s subsidized through your carrier over two years -- instead of blowing $1000 outright for the device -- but if you add up how much you have to pay the carrier each month, for 2 years, you’re paying a LOT more for the phone instead of buying the phone outright. Do the math. And you could be paying up to 50% more for the same phone. Buying it in full and you also won’t be tied to your carrier and penalized for breaking a contract, should you want to leave.

#6: Internal Memory for Smartphones

When you buy a smartphone, the phone maker or your carrier will charge you usually about $100 for every bump up in storage, measured in gigabytes, which of course refers to how many files you can store on your phone. But you’re overpaying for the convenience of having that extra memory inside. Instead, stick to modest storage, such as 32 gigabytes and then pick up an external memory card on the cheap, like 64GB for under $20 or 128 gigs for under $40. Of course, micro SD cards only work with Android phones, and not iPhones.

#7: Configuring Your New Laptop with More RAM

Just like you’ll be taken advantage of by buying more internal storage for your smartphone from the phone maker or carrier, you also shouldn’t buy more RAM for your laptop or desktop when you’re ordering your computer -- as you can spend considerably less buying RAM on your own after the fact. And it’s a breeze to open up a computer and add more RAM as it just snaps into place, so why spend $100 for an extra 4GB of RAM when you can spend a THIRD of that by buying RAM on your own.

#8: Ringtones

You’d be surprised how many people are still paying their carrier for ringtones in 2017…there are many thousands of apps you can download and use to change up your ringtones and many of them will let you clip a part of your favorite song to create a ringtone out of it. Yes, ringtones and ringbacks might only be 99 cents, but there’s no need to pay for them when there’s plenty of free alternatives. On a related note, don’t ever pay your cell phone carrier for GPS navigation services, which can cost up to $10/month when there are free apps like Google Maps and Waze.

#9: Overseas Calls

Your carrier will charge you through the nose to roam on your smartphone while overseas. Instead, buy or rent a SIM card when you land in the country or order it online ahead of time, and you’ll find it’ll be much cheaper than the surprise you’ll come home to on your wireless bill after returning from your trip. Often airports will have these kiosks with SIM cards that also offer you unlimited data, along with talk and text plans, for dirt cheap. And here’s a pro tip: you can use a free app like MagicJack on your smartphone or tablet to make FREE outgoing calls over Wi-Fi to any 10-digit phone number in the U.S. or Canada. Your carrier doesn’t want you know about that.

#10: Landlines

Many of you have already cut the cord but there’s no reason to pay every month for a landline any longer. Your friends and family call you on your mobile phone anyway, since you already have it with you, so why bother spending money for a landline you don’t use. Even worse, you probably get telemarketing calls on your landline, for air duck cleaning and surveys, and such, and good luck trying to block those calls. A compromise is to buy landlines that have Bluetooth so it’ll sync with your smartphone when you’re at home, allowing you to use multiple cordless phones, but you don’t need to pay for a month landline service.

Hey, thanks for watching Gear Up; I'm Marc Saltzman. Let us know in the comments section what tech products you’d like us to review going forward on WatchMojo. And for more tech-tastic lists, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com. Ciao for now.
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