Take One

Volume 2000, Number 1

Edition: 6/19/2000

weather for sale

by SCRVPVLVS, revised 6/19/2000 (previously published 10/23/1999)

An event planning tip from SCRVPVLVS: Did you know that you can schedule good weather for your next event up to six months in advance? Planning an outdoor wedding? Want fresh powder for that ski trip? (No, not that kind of powder.) How about a good soaker the day after you put in your new lawn?

It used to be that the best you could do was the three day forecast. Now, though, the miracle of the Internet brings you the weather half a year from now. Yahoo! Weather offers the five day outlook and the thirty day outlook for free. But if your event is further out, then this amazing offer is only a click away. For only $15 (or $9 for members) you can get the six month outlook, telling you whether each day's temperature will be normal, hot or cold, and whether the day will be sunny, stormy or snowy. And to ensure complete satisfaction, if it rains on your parade, your money will be cheerfully refunded!

Have you ever heard the weatherman predict storms so far in advance? Sound too good to be true? Maybe it is. Maybe it's the cleverest Internet based scam yet developed to liberate money from the gullible.

Suppose only 100 people per day of the millions who use Yahoo! buy six-month outlooks. The happy suckers whose events don't happen to be rained out will not know the difference. In fact they'll probably believe the good weather was courtesy of Yahoo! But some customers will get bad weather. Even if one in four events gets bad weather, and all of those disappointed suckers who deserve a refund complain and get one mailed to them, even adding a $1 burden for postage and handling of refunds, Yahoo! Weather would still earn $11 per customer per day, that is, $1100 per day. With that kind of dough they could easily hire an administrative assistant to make bogus daily predictions and process refunds, and still be able to line their pockets with daily profits of nearly $1000.


SCRVPVLVS is planning to go into the weather business.

Care to comment?

Copyright © 1999, 2000 SCRVPVLVS. All rights reserved. 1