cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Gary Denness

I did something dumb on the internet.

I should have known better.

I should not have clicked.

I should not have filled out the form.

But, I did.

The thing is, when you are cruising through the z-space, your 99.99% vigilance is not always quite good enough. Fortunately, the stakes are minuscule and the only thing damaged is my intuition.

Previously, I had written about discovering, enjoying the old book, Sands of the Kalahari, and I wondered that it sure seemed something ripe for hollywood treatment. In fact, it was made into a movie in 1965, but seems hard to locate a (legal) copy. Amazon had it listed for I guess a re-release on DVD, but it was not available until August… I want it now!

So… errr…. I clean googling the film title along with words like “online”, “free”

There is a large grey colored slice of google for watching movies online. I saw a few links clearly saying, “Watch Sands of the Kalahari Online for free”, and oddly curious, I clicked. There are a swatch of URLs, domains with the results, and if you dig through the muck, after a path of ad-laden pages, you end up more or less on a handful of sites that supposedly have the goods.

Curiosity got me.

I ended up at a site called Cineble.com which offers “The most convenient way to watch movies starts here. Watch the movies you love”“ from the newest releases to the all-time classics”“ anytime, anywhere.” (Note for web site creators, a link to an About page that just offers mailing adress is NOT A F*****ING ABOUTRPAGE — thats another rant)

And what they do is not in itself bad, and probably, it is one of a gabillion similar outfits trying to shake the money tree for the interest in streaming films.

It’s their sneaky way of getting you in the font door, before jumping out and saying “GOCTHYA” that I take issue with.

Cute doll is cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Shain Erin

The site told me for a trial account (not mentioning ow long the trial was, turns out, the judge is speedy), I needed to provide a credit card so they could verify my home was in the US, that I would not be charged for anything.

That’s a warning sign folks, don’t be a jackass like me- only use your credit card if you are actually intending to buy something.

But I jumped into the dark scary house anyhow.

It got worse, as once I got inside Cineble, the movie I thought would be able to see, was not even there!

Oh well, I thought lesson learned.

Until I got an email letting me know that my “trial” account would expire in 5 days:

Your free Premium trial will expire on May. 15, 2011. If you are happy with Cineble Premium, your membership will conveniently renew at $49.95 per month unless cancelled.

HOLY BAT SHIT! If I don’t cancel, these ghouls are going to ding my credit card 50 clams a month!

So of course I went back to the the Cineble Fun House online and followed the trails up the creaky staircase to cancel my account.

Get this.

Stand by.

TO CANCEL MY ACCOUNT ONLINE THEY WERE GOING TO CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD $0.99

To do it for free, I would have to call someone on the telephone. What do you think, if I call, will they complete the conversation in less than 60 second, or just might.. might… they try to up sell me?

Sure, I can spare $0.99 but there is a principle here. The main one is that it is clear where I live:


cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by raindog

But I was travelling, and had no interest in giving them a chance to steal more time from me. So I payed the $0.99

Yet.

I was not done.

I would exact my mico-revenge.

I contacted my credit card company and told them not to honor the payment. And to their credit, Chase probably spent $75 worth of effort to not pay me $0.99 fool fee. I’d like to think that they did not pay the demons at Cineble.com, but I guess they just took it as a loss.

Yep, I am a fool. I fell. A fool.

Just keep in mind, behind many lovely, seemingly sensible web fronts, there are people behind it like this


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Shain Erin

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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