You know. That one. When you get off the phone with a customer service representative who hasn't helped you at all. You are stuck and feel helpless. Powerless. Hopeless. Yep. That's the way Rogers made me feel today (and pretty much makes me feel every time I interact with them). I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, either. I've lived back in Canada for just over a year and I've never seen mobile charges quite like I've experienced since my return. Every month I've called to find a better plan to help me get it under $400 and every month I get another doozy. This month was $520. Last month? $591. The month before $510. That's over $1600 worth of charges in three months. That's 2 months rent in Montreal. I'm not on my phone all day, either. Man. I hate to talk on the phone. I really do.

So screw it, I said. I want out of my contract. I can't do this for another 2 years (contracts in Canada are 3 years). What will that cost me? 30 days notice and $760. Ouch. And the alternative? None.

Sounds like an awesome deal for customers, eh?

If I leave Rogers, the other phone companies are the same kind of bad deal. Well, I can do SkypeIN...but I need wifi, so that means I won't have ways to get in touch or be gotten in touch with when I need to move around. And then there is the texting. And the fact that wifi is not so ubiquitous and mostly closed everywhere one goes (lots of irritating paid for plans).

Once again, bad deal for consumers. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

The worst part of this scenario is that it sounds all too familiar. I get this same feeling when I deal with my bank. I get this feeling when I deal with airlines. I get this feeling when I deal with almost any industry that I don't have much choice but to bend over for. I could live like a hermit with no phone, my money in my mattress and go nowhere, but then life is harder in other ways. Powerless. You feel that? Yep.

Why on earth does this happen? Why on earth do we continue to pay for stuff under these conditions? How did we get to the place in life that we collectively throw our hands up in the air, turn around and bend over in these situations? "Just get it over with," we mutter as we resign ourselves to the fact that we will look like raving loons and waste more time and energy than its worth to fight it.

And it keeps on keeping on this way. Is there really no solution? No alternative? Where is Adam Smith's Invisible Hand? If I find it, I'm fashioning it into a big fist and...

Well, you get the point. You understand my ire. You've been there too many times. And you feel powerless, too.

Ironically,  I feel better after this rant (and a wee one on Twitter, too). So I'll just let it go. I have bigger fish to fry, right? Or I suppose what I'm frying is this issue from another I'll go back to the task at hand. But I wanted to let you know I don't like it.

I don't like it one bit.

Carry on. Nothing here to see.