AT&T, like many companies has jumped on the saving bandwagon. After all, saving is cool now, as is prudent spending. Opulence and excess will have to wait until the Dow gets back above 10,000 or more.
On first listen, AT&T's spot, one of a series that uses little orange ticking clocks to symbolize phone-plan minutes, seems to make great sense as a penny pinching mother admonishes her blazee son for trying to sell their unused minutes.
"You know, saving minutes saves money and we can't afford to be wasteful," she snipes, "Not every one gets to keep their unused minutes."
It makes sense until you start doing the math, anyway. In reality, you pay the same amount for your allotted minutes each month, so you can't save by using less of them. If you have unused minutes, it means that you essentially have unused goods that you've paid for. And since the cost of your minutes is fixed, the less you use of them, the more you're paying per minute. So, saving minutes doesn't save money. Saving minutes actually wastes money, and from a theoretical perspective makes every minute you do use more expensive. And if you're wondering, the bulk of Americans ends each month with plenty of minutes they neither used, nor needed.
So, kudos AT&T. You pulled a fast one that I'm sure that a great multitude of people will miss and get to pad your bottom line with their misunderstanding. Let's just hope education reform doesn't help out America's math skills and start skimming away your profits.