Tuesday archive: Wrong numbers

From the 15th April, 2006.

For nearly two months, a glossy magazine from my mobile phone company has been lying around the place. I took it with the intention of choosing a decent calling plan, but so far I’ve made little progress. Occasionally, I pick it up and thumb it listlessly but cannot get my mind around the different pricing options.

The permutations include on-peak, off-peak, in-network, out-of- network, joint accounts, “bundles” of this and that, and a variety of additional offers conditional on my signing some form of longer term contract. The choice is bewildering.

Usually, I have little sympathy with those who complain about the agony of choice. If the choice is important, such as when you buy a house, then it’s good to have the choice even between fine details. If the choice is not important, such as that between the 55,000 drinks alleged to be available at Starbucks, then few of us acquire grey hairs making it.

Continued at timharford.com.

Tim Harford’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.