Seriously, though, they're probably just sick of people trying to 'stretch' the definition of 15. I know I'm frustrated when someone jumps into the x items or less lane they have x+5 items with them and the checkout operator just puts up with it rather than argue.
What to say to audio engineers (sic) that prefer their copper cables and plugs and audio connectors to get treated with criogenic baths, to "reduce stress at atomic level", so the audio will be transmitted with less noise?
On similar thought, may be they should have used 2 hands and one foot to express the intended concept. That is the target audience is a 2nd grade level education and this individual needs the aid of all it's limb digits. ;-)
One of the many sad things in this commentary is that the data rate specs printed on the cable packaging likely had little or no relationship to the actual capabilities of the cable.
When I needed a couple of HDMI cables, I picked the cheapest one Best Buy had - $20.00 here in Oregon, USA. The only thing I recall the box saying in terms of specs was "Ethernet capable", which I didn't need. Any signal degradation issues this cable might have are far more subtle than my eyes or ears can detect.
Getting back to the original picture - that reminds me of an old joke.
In a grocery store situated in Cambridge, MA, between Harvard and MIT, a student-looking person stepped into the "10 items or less" line with 12 items. The checker looked at the customer and the 12 items and said: "Either you're from Harvard and can't count or you're from MIT and can't read."
I take your point, but for me the isssue is value for money- If I don't get decent service, I might as well opt for no service.
Also I got a better price for a cable at Apple- hardly a discount retailer! (and I am sure it is compatible).
One thing to remember is that shops make very little money on things like TVs, while "extras" like cables and "extended warranties" are almost all profit. You can view this in two ways - one is that buying cables in real-world shops will always be a rip-off compared to cheap on-line shops. But the other way to think is that if people don't buy such things, pretty soon there won't be any real-world shops to buy from. After all, if they are not making money then they will close down - and if they /are/ making money, it's because customers are paying more than the absolute minimum.
It's worth thinking about.
I once got into an argument with a journalist for a HiFi magazine, who was convinced there was a difference between "HiFi quality" spdif optical fibres and "normal" spdif optical fibres. With great difficulty, I had to diplomatically concede that there may be some differences, as we wanted him to write a nice review of our high-end HiFi amplifiers!