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So often, the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park ring true, where engineers and product managers are too preoccupied “with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.”

Someone asked “What was the biggest downgrade in recent memory that was pitched like it was an upgrade?” and people shared the worst examples. So get comfortable as you read through, upvote your favorites, and share your thoughts in the comments. If you want to see more terrible changes and updates, check out our article on bad redesigns

Image credits: Popular-Recover8880

#1

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Getting rid of headphone jacks on phones. Getting rid of external SD cards on phones. Getting rid of replaceable batteries on phones. Smartphones used to be a lot better in so many ways.

Outrageous_Tea_4597 , Lisa Fotios / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Denise Melek
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I only buy phones with headphone jacks. They exist. You don't have to buy an iPhone. If I travel a long time sitting, with cable you are on the better side.

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#2

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful
“Starting January 29, Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited advertisements. This will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time,”

F**K YOU AMAZON.

WhatevahIsClevah , Erik Mclean / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Denise Melek
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think with streaming services doing this and raising their prices, the old fashioned ways of streaming will increase again ;)

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#3

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful The change of some products, especially software, from a "you buy it, you own it" to subscription based models, where you lose access once the subscription ends.

TheBassMeister , Cliff Booth / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

While many of the ideas here were at least pitched as “improvements” it doesn’t take an expert to see just how many problems might arise. Indeed, the classic example of a subscription-based model over just owning the item was almost immediately bemoaned in its time. Now, for better or worse, it’s the norm. 

The truth is, when it comes to making money, companies can be pretty unscrupulous about worsening the products we have grown to love. In the past, they may have attempted to swing it using marketing and pitching it like a new feature. Now, some companies will instead hide the corners they have cut. This is most visible through what some economists call “shrinkflation".

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#4

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful All these smart appliances. I don’t see the use in these washers and refrigerators with touch screens and internet connectivity. They have so many points of failure. Just give me a bare bones fridge that will last longer than me.

Novapunk8675309 , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#5

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Touch buttons replacing physical buttons. Especially in cars.

snorens , Pixabay / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Milady Blue
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All the complaints about the dangers of distracted driving, and the manufacturers decide to put in a system that is inefficient and distracting. Touch screens and I do NOT get along.

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#6

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Tipping culture in US post-COVID. I can't even buy a coffee without being requested to tip. F**k off.

Pulp_Ficti0n , Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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SCamp
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hate this. Makes the customers pay for something that is THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GODAMN BUSINESS. Yep, this is my hill. Let me be clear, I am not blaming the staff, it is the 100% responsibility of the business to pay decent wages.

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While it might sound paradoxical, after all, to inflate literally means to expand, shrinkflation covers how inflation has caused many companies, primarily GMCG providers, to “shrink” their offerings. The real issue isn’t your money no longer going as far, that is a sad, yet “normal” part of inflation. Instead, unlike the supposed “upgrades” here, which at least had some marketing behind them, shrinkflation tends to be done in secret

#7

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful The use of QR codes at some restaurants instead of a physical menu.

Moon_Jewel90 , iMin Technology / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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#8

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Customer service and communication with companies and general. Everything is now an app, a faq or a robot. I've seen commercials presenting this as a good thing claiming it's so easy to get an answer to your questions where in reality if you don't have a standard question you're screwed as no one any longer lists their phone number. Most large companies are impossible to contact.

Funkytownn , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Molly Whuppie
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This. So much. I tried to contact a courier once, because my package wasn't delivered. Rang the phone number, got an automated message that told me to go to the website and fill in a form. I do that, and I get an email telling me to click a link and use the chat bot. Clicked the link which just too me back to the website but with a chat bot now active, then broke my brain trying to talk to it. I must have confused it because it ended in the bot telling me I had to ring the phone number to speak someone about my issue. It was the same number I rang to begin with.

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#9

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful The removal of disc drives in laptops. Sure, the laptop is thinner and lighter now, but I can't use any of my CDs or DVDs anymore.

Tranquilcobra , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Meyrin
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Honestly I was annoyed with this in the beginning now I actually don't use DVDs and I don't care. Also I have an external one for the once a year event that I actually need something from a DVD

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For better or worse, companies might have made the correct strategic choice. With higher production costs, they could either charge more or shrink the actual item. People tend to not like paying more for the same thing, so they will happily stop buying it. Unfortunately, this does mean that more often than not, the infuriating “half-empty chip bag” issue now applies to everything from chocolate to pasta. 

#10

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Streaming.

You buy a movie. Bu you don't own it. They can take it away from you at any time, but they charge you the same. Total rip off and should be illegal.

StationFar6396 , Nataliya Vaitkevich / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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#12

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Windows... F*****g... 11. It's not an upgrade, it's a side grade at best. 

iwantdatpuss , Esmihel Muhammad / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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ADJ
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wsh I could still use Windows 7. Used them all since Win 3.1, and Win7 was the best system of them all.

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The worst part about this is that an unwary consumer might end up spending money and getting a lot less than they bargained for. Your daily trip to the grocery store is probably where this is most apparent, but it can happen when renovating a home or just signing up for some software. The only solution, as hard as it can be to accept, is to vote with one’s wallet. 

#13

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Hewlett Packard added "anti-hacking safety features" to all their ink cartridges, to guard against the risk of people having their computers hacked by counterfeit ink cartridges (WTF?).

Of course, an unfortunate side effect of that new safety measure is that you can't use any ink cartridge from any supplier other than HP in your printer. But that's a sacrifice they had to make in the name of cyber security.

Like, seriously, I was getting YouTube ads for months in which HP were trying to sell this "feature" as a positive. I don't know how people can sleep at night selling such an outright and obvious lie.

iamplasma , George Milton / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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#14

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Removing the dislike button on Youtube

Puzzleheaded-Ear202 , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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ADJ
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is a plugin for browsers called "Return YouTube dislike" which is self explanatory I guess..

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#15

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful The privatization of public infrastructure in most countries.
Which is almost always pitched as "You will get a better service, and we will get more funding for schools and so on".
What actully happens? Some business owner takes over and runs the service into the ground, only to get bailed out by the government.

Orcasubmarine , anna-m. w. / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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James016
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Water companies in the UK, they have all spent less on improving the infrastructure and fixing leaks than they have on dividends. And thanks to the Tories, they are now allowed to dump raw sewage into our rivers. Beaches are getting hazardous as well because of it.

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#16

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Food delivery. Pre pandemic (and pre Just Eat/Uber Eats) restaurants and takeaways would routinely offer totally free delivery over a certain amount, unless you were a fair distance away, and major pizza chains especially never charged for delivery if you were in their catchment areas. Now you need to pay increasingly large delivery fees no matter the distance. My local Pizza Hut started charging £3 - £4 for delivery, stating on their website; "in order to enhance your experience, we are excited to announce deliveries will now cost blah blah blah" or some such marketing bollocks. In addition the roads and pavements are now plagued by s******l bike coureers who have no idea how roads work.

Megamoss , Mike Jones / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Zedrapazia
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I find this one a bit odd. At least where I'm from delivery was never free and always measured by how far the delivery driver that brought my food had to drive. Plus, bicycles make less CO2 than cars (if any at all) so it's good for the environment.

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#17

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Streaming platforms going subscription + ads, lets just combine the old with the new model and do em both worse! hooray

AliasAlien , Ketut Subiyanto / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#19

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Privatization of Rail, healthcare etc

future_lard , Paul IJsendoorn / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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SCamp
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

On most public services I 1000% agree, however, you only need look to Japan to see privatised rail done right

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#20

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Electric cars. They’re being marketed as a solution to the issue we face with fuel and they really aren’t. They simply open up a whole new bag of problems.

wellyboot97 , Mike Bird / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Hans Georg
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Electric cars are not the problem. Batteries are. Hydrogen fuel cells are the solution.

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#21

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Netflix ditching the star rating for a simple thumb up thumb down system. I stumbled across so many awesome things to watch purely because user rating was so high

TheCowardlyLion_ , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Zedrapazia
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I really don't understand why this feature got removed. Wouldn't it tell Netflix too what shows would be most profitable to continue with another season? ... Or were they seriously so super butthurt that some things were bad and got downvoted that they removed the whole thing?

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#22

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Has anyone mentioned wireless headphones yet? Bring back the plug-in ones, no batteries, and saved your phone when you dropped it.

AnyRepresentative432 , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Little Wonder
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep, I don't use a wireless mouse, keyboard or headphones because I don't want to worry about battery life.

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#23

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful I was promoted to a higher management position that happened to be in the night shift.

They DECREASED my salary, because the night bonus "would compensate the difference"...

Dicksperado , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#24

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Open office plans.

RonocNYC , Marc Mueller / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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nottheactualphoto
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate the "open" office. At my last job, I was in a cubicle farm trying to do programming, which involves paying attention. Meanwhile, my co-workers are yukking it up, hollering about football or whatever. Very unpleasant and counterproductive.

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#25

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful People remember the headphone jack removal, but I'm also pissed about laptop manufacturers removing so many ports and telling us to use port hubs. I'd rather carry a laptop that's thicker than carry a separate hub just to connect a mouse and a pendrive.

Also pissed off at how anti-repair laptops have become. The keyboards these days have to be repaired by opening up the whole a*s mobo. Before you could pop it out and swap.

Similar_Green_5838 , Anna Shvets / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Upstaged75
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I just started a new job and had to buy an external USB port because my laptop only came with ONE! So I can plug in my mouse, but absolutely nothing else. :( My last work laptop weighed a ton but at least had enough ports. And a CD/DVD player too.

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#26

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Getting notifications about suggested content. Facebook likes to send me notifications now like "Hey that guy who you had one class with in high school and never spoke to just posted something!" Reddit likes to notify me when there's posts on subreddits I don't follow. I wish notifications were just for things I actually give a s**t about like someone messaging me or replying to a comment I made.

reticulatedspline , Eren Li / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Zedrapazia
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If it's an app, the notifications can be changed in the settings menu of the app (usually not within the app tho). I find the email ones far more annoying. Occasionally Quora sends me random emails and I don't even know why I seem to have an account there, and no matter how many times I disable mails, they always come back

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#27

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful iphones getting rid of touch ID. It's faster than face id, it's easier to wave a stolen phone/police-snatched phone at your face than it is to drag your hand into position and other brands have shown there was no practical need for it.

je97 , Karolina Grabowska / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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cerinamroth
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm not a fan either because FaceID doesn't recognise me lying down in bed with no makeup, no glasses and a double chin, lol.

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#28

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Pretty much every sale these days. They jack the prices up and then discount to the same price they were before. It's pretty common here in Australia.

bazang_ , Pixabay / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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ADJ
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was a problem, true and very annoying. EU put a leash on sellers though, they have to put a "lowest price of the last 30 days" on price tag next to current price now, so it is easier to discover a scam..

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#29

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Google 5 years ago vs now.

Seems like its getting worse every day.

ResidentSheeper , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Molly Whuppie
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I remember when google first arrived on the scene, and their selling point was "no ads"

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#30

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Definitely streaming services. We were all fooled by Netflix's initial success. It had nearly everything at a low price and was super convenient, so convenient in fact that rental shops pretty much went out of business in a few years. But aside from those few years it has ultimately become a huge L for consumers. Other companies wised up, everyone and their mother were starting a streaming service, tons of movies stopped being available and to have decent availability you have to spend 50 bucks per month on streaming alone, packages became more expensive overall, tons of properties just fell in a dead zone where they're not available anywhere through legitimate means, ads started appearing in paid plans, and now it's pretty much just cable TV again.

In retrospect rental stores were not that inconvenient. They were everywhere and they had almost anything. They rarely didn't have a title at all, and at least for me the cost is more or less the same across the long term. Yeah if you were watching stuff constantly through rentals it would be more expensive, but it's been years since Netflix had more than one thing per month I bother watching.

PckMan , Anastasia Shuraeva / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Hans Georg
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And content getting worse is also a problem. I wished they had more of those good classics.

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#31

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Dish detergent/washing up liquid.  For the past few years, I was sure all the "New and Improved' and "Now with x More" was false.  Newer detergent doesn't seem to go half as far, or cut through grease as well.  I used to buy a bottle maybe once every 5-6 months; now, I'm buying a bottle every 2-3 months -- and I'm doing the same amount of washing up.    Fast forward to two weeks ago when I found a bottle of Tesco generic washing up liquid in an under stair cupboard from 7-8 years ago, unopened and still perfectly usable.  I popped that boy open and did a 1-to-1 comparison with the same liquid I bought last week.  I could immediately see a difference.  The liquid in the old version was thicker, and obviously much more concentrated. The old stuff took a single pass to clean greasy pans.  The same pans took at least three passes with the new stuff, and still didn't come away with that squeaky clean feel. Insult to injury, the new bottle had 60ml less, and I'm going to guess it cost more.   Tdrl: Newer dish detergent is junk, and I have the old stuff to prove it.

fulthrottlejazzhands , Karolina Grabowska / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Zedrapazia
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In the European Union, chemical things sometimes become less effective due to law changes that reduce how much a chemical can be concentrated or what chemicals can be sold in the first place. For example, to avoid poisoning the fish or making the water supplies unclean. However, that every once in a while ends in a bit of a nonsensical situation. For example, they outlawed a weed killer because it is toxic to nature - which is kind of the point of a week killer.

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#32

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Working and finding work with a college degree.

Practicalsparticle , Gül Işık / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Geoffrey Scott
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Those younger Panda's that may be reading this...trades (in the US anyway) will PAY for your training, for the most part, and start you at 45k/yr. No debt.

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#33

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful I work for 7-11. We used to sell burritos at 2 for 2.30. One day we had a "sale" at 2 for $3! When that sale ended the burritos were now 2 for 3.40. They raised the price twice but treated one like a sale.

Viruszero , Jimmy Liao / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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WonderWoman
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Lots of places employ this tactic to increase prices. They have a faux sale and when the sale ends, viola, new higher price. Walmart will do a 'roll-back' for a few weeks, then new higher price.

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#34

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful Adverts on Amazon Prime. I’m sure they are trying to make them so annoying that you pay extra to go ad free…

Confuscious-He-Say , Ron Lach / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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nancy
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you download the movie, and turn off your wifi, would it be ad free? I haven't tried it yet. I've just been shutting down the show and restarting (at the same point) to avoid the ads. I plan on getting rid of prime once I'm done watching a particular series if the ads are still there.

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#35

35 Things That Were Presented As Amazing Upgrades, But Were Downright Awful I hate that all 3 major consoles now require you to pay for a subscription to play online

Literally all the other features of ps+ are good enough for people to buy it why would you force people to buy it for online that used to be free

dishonoredfan69420 , JÉSHOOTS / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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StellaLehggs
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For me, it's the whole thing where you buy the game, but can't just pop in the disc and play. You have to f*****g download it onto the system first. Why?

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