©06 The Media Desk
It comes in the newspaper with the rest of the ads. Or maybe in one of those Coupon Packs that show up now and then. Or there may be a stack of them at the check out at the convenience store.
It's a simple and very tempting offer.
It's even a local or toll free call, or if you wish, the flier is actually a business reply postage paid postcard.
You just answer a few questions and send it back and "Hey Presto" they send you a coupon for two cases of orange juice. You even get to tell them which brand you like best!
Wow. Free Juice!
"Let me get my pen so I can tell them I own my own home and have a '56 Packard Clipper automobile and am just dying to give them my opinions of new products."
Then you put down your name and address and a phone number for verification and sign it and send it in and wait.
Whether or not you'll ever get your juice is irrelevant. You might, you might not, who knows?
But you will get forty-eleven telemarketing calls from everybody and their cousin about everything under the sun because.... They have your permission to call you for a few months. And they will. No matter when you signed up on the Federal Do Not Call list.
That, and enough junk mail to .... yeah, you get the picture.
Whoever AWP is is still a mystery. The Desk tried to find and identify them with no luck whatsoever. While there are several AWP's, including the 'Association for Women in Psychology', none of them appear to be trying to give away orange juice, nobody answered the toll free number and the address on the postcard appears to be a mail drop. Most likely the name on the card is a cover organization for a marketing outfit that most likely offers a large number of 'market research' options to clients. One of those options being a mailing list of gullible citizens and their home phone numbers.
Or even cel numbers if you were silly enough to put that down.
And they have your number and signature to PROVE that you volunteered to accept the calls, so don't go crying to the Federal Trade Commission that you're getting telemarketing calls that you have to pay for.
It's like signing up for one of those 'Win a Cruise' sweepstakes. You know the little box you see at the checkout of a Chinese Take Out restaurant. Last month it was a cruise, this month itís a weekend in Vegas, and there used to be one for a ski trip. You sign up every time they put out a new box, but you never win, and nobody else you know that goes to that restaurant ever did either. But you did get a lot of calls about carpet cleaning and photo portraits and energy efficient windows and time shares and..... hhmmmm.
You established the vague 'business relationship' required by the Federal Law to allow the marketing outfit that is giving away the cruise to use your name and number for marketing calls.
"An established business relationship with a company also will be created if you make an inquiry to the company, or submit an application to it. This kind of established business relationship exists for three months after the inquiry or application. During this time, the company can call you."
the FTC Do Not Call info page https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx
And Heaven Help You if you buy anything from them. Then they can call you for eighteen months past the date of delivery or the final payment on the item.
Even if you actually do get a valid coupon for some juice, as we have seen, what the marketing company has gotten from you is worth far more than 48 ten ounce bottles of OJ.
So does it pay off for the companies that do this kind of thing? And there is more of it all the time, offers for free dinners and free nights in motels at the beach and everything else.
Well yes, it does. A LOT of people have signed up on the Do Not Call list. Which takes them out of the pool of potential customers for whatever the telemarketers are pushing this week. That's how they make their money. A lot of businesses primary sales tactic is direct sales via telephone. They have to have a way of legally getting your number so they can call you if you are one of the over one hundred and twenty five million Americans on the Do Not Call Registry.
Your number and signature indicating you CANNOT SUE if they call you is worth more than some OJ or a free dinner for two.
A LOT more.
And oh, by the way, if you never get your orange juice, that is a crime. But, who do you have arrested for Criminal Misrepresentation? Whoever picks up the mail in the storefront office and sends it on to wherever it's going? good luck
Image of the Orange Juice Card below.
phone numbers and other sensitive information removed by editor before posting.
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