Sneaky Snuggie

Posted by admin     Category: Outrageous

Across the country, customers who’ve ordered the popular Snuggie blanket are getting something else in the mail – an $8.50 check, with a catch.

“I thought it was a rebate on shipping,” said Marc Catalina, who received the check seven months after ordering a Snuggie.

The check – which comes in an envelope stamped with the Snuggie logo – is real but it’s not a rebate.

It’s from a group called “Great Fun” – a company that promises 2 percent back off credit card purchases. They piggy-back onto Snuggy and a number of products with a controversial advertising method.

On both the front and back of the check, in small print, is a notice that says cashing or depositing the check automatically signs you up for a $150 a year membership in their service.

“By cashing or depositing this check you are purchasing a membership in Great Fun,” it says in small print on the front. “When you cash or deposit the enclosed check, we will automatically charge the $149.99 annual fee to your credit card,” it explains on the back.

Deceptive or clever marketing?

Consumer experts say it’s not illegal but it can be deceptive.

“If it comes to me, I’m probably going to look at it and say $8.25? That’s worth my while to cash it,” said Travis Ford with the Missouri Division of Finance.

While some marketers defend the practice of sending so-called “activation checks” as a legitimate form of advertising – with everything spelled out in writing -Ford says it can catch unsuspecting consumers off-guard.

“It’s certainly not as clear as it could be,” said Ford. “Because normally there’s fine print on the back of a check where people don’t spend a lot of time reading anyway.”

Ford says this type of advertising has been challenged by consumers across the country, including here in Missouri. Last year, then-Attorney General Jay Nixon got a 26-state, $400,000 settlement in a lawsuit against a company that sent out similar checks.

“Any company that does this may run into trouble,” said Ford. “Either with unhappy customers or even law enforcement agencies.”

Not a rebate or refund

A representative from Great Fun told us, emphatically, what they’re doing is not deceptive.

“We view our terms as clear, inconspicuous and as up front as possible,” Mike Bush, a spokesman for Great Fun said by phone. “At no point do we claim there is a rebate or refund attached to this. It’s simply an opportunity to try our products.”

The $8.25 amount isn’t chosen randomly. It’s calculated, based on research, to get the greatest number of people to cash the check, according to Bush.

Still, he acknowledges people could “mistakenly opt into this program,” despite the fine print. He says a full refund will be offered to anyone who unknowingly signed up.

Less than 1500 people, a small amount of their customers, have recently cancelled their accounts, said Bush.

KRCG News tried to contact representatives from Snuggie but were unable to reach anyone.

What if George W. Bush…

Posted by admin     Category: Politics

What If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent “Austrian language,” would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the Fifth of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had misspelled the word advice would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potato as “proof” of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on “Earth Day”, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush’s administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually “get” what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how he is inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can’t think of anything? Don’t worry. He’s done all this in 10 weeks — so you’ll have three years and nine-and-a-half months to come up with an answer.