The best way for you to deny yourself a service, especially in the US, but anywhere, is by reading the fine print associated with the contract.

All businesses are the same, all geographies are the same — no exceptions. But the two most common examples of outrageous fine prints I’d like to give is — airlines carriers and wireless carriers.

Airline carriers can reschedule the flight, cancel the flight, dump you totally, drop you from the air, offer to take you by a different flight, offer to take you by a bicycle instead of a flight and if they like, they’d give you a compensation that would never be higher than the price you paid for the airfare.

Wireless carriers on the other hand give you no guarantee for what you are paying for — wireless service. I have a network whose signals are weaker than the weakest person on earth. I have a carrier where even holding the phone in my hands is charged by the minute. I have a network that goes down as often as it rains in Seattle. All because I signed at the bottom of their fine print — which obviously I did not read. As if reading would have helped. You can’t quit them when you like. You have to pay hefty $$$ only to quit and later sign the fine print of another carrier. Wireless numbers can change, phones can change, carrier may go out of business, carriers may change badges, they may practically provide you no service with 100% legal protection to them.

I wonder if we all are at the mercy of giants like these, begging to be served, already having paid the price.