Mike used an Office Depot Visa card issued through Chase to take advantage of a pay-no-interest deal through 2008. He paid off the remaining balance a couple of days before the offer period ended, but Chase still slapped him with a nearly $40 interest charge. Why? Because they’ve been “having problems like that” with Office Depot cards.
Someone needs to explain to Stonyfield Farm that free usually means that you don’t have to pay any money for the item in question. Especially in a case like this, where you’re already having to send in multiple proofs of purchase to prove you’ve “earned” the “free” item. What you find when you peel back the foil lid is some fine print that explains you also have to pay $2 for this free offer. SLR, who sent in this tip, adds, “I wrote to them via their web site asking what part of free don’t they understand, but received no reply.”
Audible is offering a free download of “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People.” You’ll have to sign up for a free account to qualify. [Digital Inspiration] (Thanks to Hunt!)
Today we posted a Morning Deal for “free” LLC/corporation filing from MyCorporation, a company owned by Intuit (TurboTax, Quickbooks). A one-time “customer” from MyCorporation—he never actually went through with their free service, but filled out the initial forms—contacted us with his own story of how he’s been bugged by spam and free offers on a weekly basis ever since he dealt with them.
Remember that Norwegian site that was offering Beatles songs for legal download? Yeah, well, not anymore. It turns out their licensing agreement stipulates that the shows they put online have to have been aired within the past 4 weeks, and all the Beatles shows are from 2007. [Exclaim News] (Thanks to elc81!)
Kevin sent us this picture of a non-sale at Target with the following explanation: “I took the attached picture back in October and noticed today that their pricing still makes no sense (I brought this up to customer service back in October and was told that they will have a manager take a look at it).”
Our post last Friday gave people some great business ideas. We appreciate the offers, but we must insist that you do not try to purchase Consumerist with doodle currency that you have minted yourself, probably while drinking. You can, however, try to bail out the auto industry with it if you want.
Brett has now been the victim of two failed rebate attempts through Canon. They ignored the first one, and rejected the second one with a claim that he can clearly disprove. He’s trying again. Unfortunately, it looks like Brett’s experience with Canon isn’t unique.
Pizza Hut called Danielle a liar for trying to redeem a promotional coupon they emailed to her and displayed prominently on their website. In exchange for completing an offer from TrialPay, Danielle should have received two free medium pizzas, one with toppings, plus breadsticks. Instead, her favorite pizza place told her, “M’am, you’re lying about what the coupon promised.”
Is this Verizon promotional email being over-enthusiastic with its subject line, or is it actually misleading? A phrase like “you’ve earned a new ___” doesn’t usually get followed up with, “Just pay us anywhere between $100-$200 for it,” unless it comes from a scam vacation offer. Or Verizon. As Bryan notes in his email to us, “The subject line must mean something like when you tell Verizon, ‘You’ve earned my suspicion and contempt.'”
Tim was pretty sure he met all the conditions of Citibank’s offer to refund ATM fees—he opened his account online and he doesn’t live near a Citi Financial center. When he wasn’t credited, he contacted them to ask why, and was told he had to meet the conditions he’s already met. He had to contact them four times to finally get the $2.00 fee credited as per their advertising. You might be asking yourself, “All that trouble for two dollars?” Well, that’s why he ends his email with this: “Can someone point me in the direction of a better bank that actually provides ‘reimbursement of the fees other banks may charge you for using their ATMs’ without hassle?”
Blockbuster has offered to buy Circuit City for a little over $1 billion, with the goal of creating “a chain that could sell portable devices and entertainment for them, much like Apple Inc.’s stores.” [Chicago Tribune] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
First, we want to say thanks to TIME Magazine for naming us one of their top 25 blogs. Now that’s out of the way, and we can ask why they’re using such a misleading ad on the masthead of their site: “Subscribe to TIME Magazine for just $1.99” it says! Yes, but when you click through to the sign up form, you see that your “subscription” is for six issues—six weeks—and that the fine print indicates you also agree to an auto-renewed fee of $19.95 every six months. We don’t mind the $1.99 tryout period, but hiding the real subscription fee in fine print is sneaky. Any magazine with the good taste to recognize our blog should also respect its readers enough to be upfront on the details of its subscription offers.
Two days ago, Shawn bought a video card from Amazon and was surprised when the advertised “Instant Rebate” wasn’t applied to his shopping cart. Turns out, it’s a mail-in rebate, sorry for the confusion. Unfortunately Amazon still hasn’t corrected the error as of the timestamp on this post, despite assuring him two days ago that they’d remove the icon. Remember to always click the “Rebate” link to see the actual details of the offer—it’s not listed on the main product page, and mistakes happen.
Michael writes, ” I was just reserving a budget rental car, and for some reason decided to actually read some of the fine print.” Buried in the text was something called an “FTP Surcharge,” which basically amounts to a participation fee for any frequent flyer promotion they offer their customers.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote an article about JetBlue’s 1 year anniversary in Pittsburgh. In honor of that momentous occasion, JetBlue was offering a heck of a deal. TrueBlue members could “reserve a flight leaving Pittsburgh between June 26 and Nov. 15 and complete that reservation no later than June 30,” and by doing so earn a free flight.