PHOENIX - We love free. It’s human nature and it’s become the way of the Internet. For most of us, our e-mail service is free, our social media services are free and some of the best streaming music online is free. If it’s not free, many of us will turn our nose.
This week, free had a price, and it wasn’t pretty. It got me to thinking that free may not always be what it’s cracked up to be.
Earlier this week Google Talk (the chat service embedded in Gmail and G+) was out of service for a few hours . That same day, Twitter crashed for a few hours too . For many of us, these are services that we use all day for both personal and business uses.
As you can imagine, the complaints were pouring in across the web. They weren’t being tweeted (for obvious reasons) but many twitterers took to Facebook to voice their displeasure that their favorite Internet soapbox had been temporarily dismantled.
Do we really have a right to be mad? The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” kind of holds true here. If you’re not paying for a service, how much can you expect from that service?
Twitter may be a business tool for many people but for most of us, we can live without it for a few hours.
Google Talk, on the other hand, is mission critical for some. Many businesses now rely on it as a communication tool within the office or between offices. There are those who pay for Google’s high-end business services but the majority of users pay a monthly fee of zero dollars and zero cents.
My point is, we have to either lower our expectations or increase our monthly bill. When you pay nothing for something, the only response you can expect when that service goes down for half the day is, “sorry.” There is no accountability, there is no refund and there is no liability. Nor should there be.
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