GORDON LIGHTFOOT | Culture
GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Queensgate Shopping Mall’s “free wifi” has left shoppers frustrated and resorting to desperate measures this weekend.
30-year-old Lower Hutt resident, Mark Johnson attempted to connect his phone to the mall’s wifi this afternoon, only to experience agonising connectivity speeds.
The man had naturally used his mobile data allocation for the month only days before it would renew. He foolishly thought he could get by with the free option.
As a savvy consumer, Johnson had a simple goal in mind when he entered the mall: use the free wifi to compare prices of electric razors he saw in store. Little did he know that his plans would be foiled by excruciatingly sluggish wifi that Queensgate Mall offers to shoppers for free.
“It was like trying to browse the internet on a potato battery,” Johnson said, his eyes filled with digital despair.
Despite numerous attempts to connect, Johnson’s phone stubbornly refused to load content. After wasting what felt like an eternity, he was finally forced to shell out for a data top-up, turning his shopping expedition into an unplanned expense spree.
Some shoppers have speculated that the mall’s management is secretly working with mobile providers, encouraging shoppers to use their own data and drive up profits for the telecom giants.
“It’s all a ploy, I tell you,” said one disgruntled shopper. “They lure you in with the promise of ‘free’ wifi, but in reality, it’s just a cunning scheme to make us use up our data and bleed us dry!”
Experts in the field of consumer psychology have noted that the old “get what you pay for” adage holds true here, as free products and services tend to be low quality.
“It’s a classic case of the ‘freebie trap’,” explained Dr. Laura Anderson, a behavioural economist. “Businesses attract customers with the promise of something free, but they end up compromising on quality to keep costs down. It’s a win-win for them, but a lose-lose for the customers.”
As for Johnson, he has vowed to never trust “free wifi” again, declaring that he would rather take a pilgrimage to the nearest public library for internet access than subject himself to the torturous speeds of Queensgate Mall’s wifi ever again.
More to come.
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