Things we buy that used to be free

An 'unbundling' of services we could once take for granted (like access to our money or a gas-station fill-up) and newer markets for products like water and TV are costing customers.

By Liz Weston

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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

16Comments
Mar 30, 2012 7:51PM
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I remember when trash service was $3.00/month.  The trash guy came through the side gate and got the can,  dumped it,  then returned it to it's place.
Most gas stations gave great service.  I remember telling the attendant the tail lights were out.  He examined the fuses,  found the culprit,  installed a new fuse and charged me $1.00,  the price of the fuse.  Same thing for wipers.  Try that today and see how fast you are charged the 'minimum diagnostic fee'  of $95.00.


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I still can't believe I have to pay 75 cents to put air in my tires, geez!  A pack of gum was a nickle when I was a kid, in the grocery checkout the other day I saw that the same exact brand I bought as a kid is now two dollars and fifteen cents. 
Mar 30, 2012 7:08PM
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I hate paying for cable!  I just want basic tv.

Mar 30, 2012 9:52PM
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Another thing I remember was stores and gas stations that gave "blue chip" or "S&H Green" stamps. I would have so much fun pasting them in the little booklets and then going to the redemption stores and turing them in for a special item. I know you had to pay the sales tax, but it was sort of like getting something for free.
Mar 30, 2012 9:32PM
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When I needed quarters in to pump air into my car's tires I knew we were going down hill.
Mar 30, 2012 8:16PM
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water out of the tap isnt free actually, you pay a water bill for it.  and regardless of what people say, it does taste different to me than bottled water.    but it doesnt surprise me that we have to pay for everything nowadays.  its all about the almighty dollar
Mar 30, 2012 6:13PM
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Even something that is free really isn't if it has a string attached.

 

Mar 30, 2012 6:53PM
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the great ol' USA isnt free! there is a cost for everything ,even to live here when the people of this country go to war, the ultimate price for free is giving your life and thats our governments version it cost us citizens but if you defect or come illegal or visa visit, school visa thats what FREE is no tax and able to open a business as a visitor is crazy how many of you reading this has a mexican  or a chinese restaurant in your town or city on every block the average american citizen cant just open up a business like foreign people do so citizens of the US we are not free until we reach the upper room and even then u will have a death tax crazy american freedoms
Mar 30, 2012 5:35PM
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You forget the ubiquitous coffee pot with free coffee and refills, btw or the cracker barrel in the country stores.
Mar 30, 2012 9:52PM
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ALL TV SHOULD BE FREE BECAUSE THE ADD MEN CAN SHOW THERE WEARS ALSO THIS COMPUTER ACCESS  AND ANY OTHER MEDIA WHERE ADVETISMENTS EXIST.

YOU DONT HAVE TO BUY THAT OLD ENCYCLOPEDIA SET FROM THE DOOR TO DOOR SALESMAN ANYMORE.

IF IT CONTAINS ADDS IT MAKES A PROFET FOR TED TURNER AND THE THE BOYS

WAKE UP AMERICA  AND REALIZE YOUR ADDICTIONS.

 

Mar 30, 2012 10:04PM
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Greed, it's all due to greed. Folks cannot learn to live within their means - they have to have all the gadgets which are obsele the moment you pay your hard-earned money for it.  Greed starts at the very top and works its way down.

Mar 30, 2012 6:15PM
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We used to get free light bulbs in Michigan. You just turned in your burned out bulbs when you paid the light bill (in person, of course) and they gave out free exchanges.

Mar 31, 2012 2:48AM
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This is Linda Likens and I can remember when auto diagnostics was free, they gave that to you to earn your business, They charged me $270 to replace my car battery the other day, fotr a $100 battery.  Included both diagnostic and labor fees... a little salty for me! I said "honestly" and just shook my head and wrote the check. This was from a most trusted mechanic...perhaps time has come to shop around.  I told my brother Steve and he couldn't believe it.  He said Bradley would have changed it for free!

 Thank you, Linda Likens

Aug 3, 2012 10:45AM
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Thiings that are not free if you work if you don't then you get free stuff. THE only thing thats FREE is AIR because they have not figured out how to TAX you on it.
Mar 30, 2012 8:52PM
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When were things free?I don't remember and I'm older .
Mar 30, 2012 8:47PM
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it has never truly been free.  Service costs money.  It is MUCH better to pay for the services you use
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