I’ve been getting a lot of renewal notices lately. There was a notice from PC World magazine, another from Computing Canada and another for my driver’s licence. Two of then require a fee while the other is free. You can probably guess which one is free.
The notice that I’ve received from Computing Canada was to inform me that my subscription was coming to an end. In order to continue to receive the newsletters, I would have to go online and fill out the necessary form. As I was filling out the form, I started to think about whether I needed to renew this subscription or not. The last few issues that I’ve received are still sitting there on my table. I don’t have any time to read it because I’m either working or sleeping. I read up on technology related issues online so I don’t really need a hard copy. Every time I receive a hard copy in the mail, I end up throwing it into the recycling bin after a day or two.
I think it is better to save the paper and discontinue my subscription with Computing Canada. Even though the issues are free, they’re just going to waste because I don’t have time to read any of it. Most of it is geared towards businesses which is not my forte. Maybe I’ll subscribe to it again once my company starts to pick up pace but for now, I can do without it.
PC World has been sending me renewal notices for the last five months. I had subscribed to them for two years and received twenty four issues. The last issue that I’ve received in the mail was the October 2006 issue. The cost of a year’s subscription to PC World is $34.97. That is the “professional rate” that they offered me. The regular cover price is $95.88 which means that I save $60.91, thanks to my professional rate.
For another year, I can add an addition $20 to the price and get a two year subscription for $54.97. That works out to be about $2.30 per issue. But when I took a closer look at the renewal notice, I saw that the prices were in US funds. Which meant that, I would be paying more for my subscription than I originally thought. If you were to convert that to Canadian funds, using today’s rate, that would come out to $63.67 for two years. But wait, there’s more. Since the issues are going to be shipped to Canada, there’s a $12 charge per year for postage and tax. That’s another $24 for the two year subscription which brings the total up to $87.67.
After conversion, shipping and taxes, I’ll end up paying a lot more than what was quoted. I decided not to renew this subscription since I am getting my tech news online anyway. Also, the main subjects that PC World talks about in their magazine are available on their website. You just have to wait about a couple of weeks and it’ll show up on the front page. After I found that out, I realized that I’m just wasting my money with subscription.
The last notice that I’ve received was a notice to renew my driver’s licence which is set to expire in January 2007. The last time I updated my licence was back in July 2003 when I passed my road test. I still remember that test as if it was yesterday. It was probably one of the easiest tests that I’ve ever taken. If anyone tells you that road tests are hard, don’t believe them. They’re just saying that because they failed. As long as you pay attention to the road, safe and signs, you’ll do fine.
In previous years, I’ve received notices from the Ministry of Transportation in an envelope. This year, they’ve decided to send me a postcard. I have to bring this postcard with me when I go to renew my license. I don’t even know where to go exactly. They didn’t bother to leave an address on the card. They left instructions on how to find the facility though but I think it would have made more sense if they had just provided an address rather than a paragraph on how to find the location. But then again, that’s how the government works. They like to give you the run around.
I think the price to renew the licence was increased as well. If I recall correctly, it used to be $70 but now, there’s a $75 fee to renew. Why is there a renewal fee in the first place? It’s just a piece of card with my picture and information on it. I can take my own picture and write my information out on a piece of paper and it will work just the same. Just because it’s from the government doesn’t mean it’s official. A lot of people are victims of identity theft so this piece of identification can be falsified.
Throughout the year, I barely even use my driver’s license. It’s just sitting there in my wallet. When I do use it as identification, the examiner thinks it’s a fake. One time, my friends and I went to a bar but they wouldn’t let me in because they thought my license was fake. All I wanted to do was go inside and eat chicken wings. It didn’t matter to the bouncer that I was of legal age or not but because he assumed it was fake, he wouldn’t let me in. Meanwhile there are girls sitting right by the door that looked like they were fifteen. They got in and were allowed to eat chicken wings but I’m not? That’s not right.
If I didn’t have to return my driver’s licence, I wouldn’t. It’s not worth the renewal fee. They should at least lower it to something more reasonable. If I’m going to pay $75 for a piece of plastic that I use once, maybe twice a year, it better have entertainment value included. Maybe they should make it so it’s like one of those 3D things where the picture changes as you’re tilting the card. Take a picture of me smiling and then one of me frowning. That way, when the bouncers card me, I can make either faces and he’ll know it’s me. Genius, I know.