You Are Forgiven


Someone must know and it might as well be you. I was on an airplane and signed up for Boingo Wireless and I chose the recurring monthly plan because it was initially cheaper than a one time use plan (thrifty). But then I forgot to cancel it and it charged me $5 for two months and then $10 for one month before I noticed, and also, on that last charge my bank account balance was overdrawn so I got a $30 overdraft fee. I hate myself. —Megan


DEAR MEGAN, You paid $50 to access the internet during a flight, which is totally reasonable. Airports and airplanes are weird places where money has no value and mediocre bloody mary’s are $12 and that’s okay. If that $50 was frontended on the cost of your plane ticket, you’d hardly notice— totally negligible. This is fine. This is a sunk cost. Don’t worry about it. Bygones.

If you’d like to take some positive steps (though, I do think just forgetting this ever happened is as positive as you can get), perhaps you might try to make a small effort to remember in the future that you don’t like to deal with canceling things. Maybe think twice before you partake in deals that will involve later cancelation. If you forget this, that’s okay, too. Some lessons have to be learned many times and some lessons are never learned at all. Also if you’re feeling up for it, maybe call or email your bank and ask for them to refund for the overdraft fee. Some people do this all the time to great success. I’ve done it once and it worked but ultimately wasn’t worth the stress I felt talking myself into making the phonecall. Also I have been conditioned to think that the bank totally reasonable in charging me $30 each time someone wants to take a dollar out of my account, if that dollar isn’t there. Whichever path you choose, choose it happily. You’re great. We’re all going to be okay.


11 Comments / Post A Comment

orangezest (#317)

As a nonconfrontational person who hates calling to cancel, I’ll pay the extra for one-time use every time.

Also: “Airports and airplanes are weird places where money has no value.” Every time I go into an airport I somehow come out $30 poorer and have nothing to show for it (well, cheap paperbacks and overpriced candy, I guess).

@Emma Peel There has to be a long, German word for the special flavor of sadness experienced upon tasting the first bite of a $14 airport sandwich.

@stuffisthings I could probably make one up (Überteurteserstbisstraurigkeitsgefühl?), but there is a fantastic, real expression in German called “Preis-Leistungsverhältnis” (price-performance-relationship). It is, essentially, “bang for the buck.” I find myself constantly pissed off about the poor Preis-Leistungsverhältnis of many things, and it is a concept that runs through my brain on an almost daily basis, although I don’t speak German on a daily basis anymore.

It also explains why, at 2:30 pm, I still haven’t had lunch. I can’t bring myself to go out and spend money in this neighborhood, which is a wasteland for affordable lunch options. (And before someone yells at me to pack my lunch: why, for the first time in aeons, I planned on bringing lunch. It’s at home in my refrigerator right now.)

@angry little raincloud I nominate “Preis-Leistungsverhältnis” as the new post tag for stories like this.

@stuffisthings I’ll second that!
But, I should make a small correction: I just checked Duden (the arbiters of German spelling), and apparently there are 2 hyphens, so it’s spelled Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis.

kbn22 (#1,414)

Whenever I sign up for something I’m going to have to cancel later, I make a note on my calendar *right then* for some weeks or months in the future, reminding me to cancel. It doesn’t eliminate the hassle of actually calling, but at least I’m less likely to forget.

navigateher (#555)

I would love a Billfold confessional feature, where we all (and by all I mean me) could confess our money fuck-ups to Logan via e-mail and get a reassuring answer. I tend to beat myself up very hard about money, and my friends are all weird about this shit and never talk about money except for how much their houses cost.


honey cowl (#1,510)

@Logan Sachon noooooooooooooooooooo that’s why they’re SECRETS

@navigateher Funny you say that, because if I totaled up all my money fuck-ups over the years I could probably afford the down payment on a house.

navigateher (#555)

@stuffisthings I actually once owned an apartment and blew through the would-be-my-new-down-payment-money I got from selling it (a lot of champagne, a wardrobe full of clothes that I no longer fit in, many happy memories of wonderful meals in Michelin-starred restaurants in New York and Paris, Tiffany&Co, basically) because I don’t really know why except I am an idiot maybe. I now rent. So, yeah.

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