Happy Birthday! You’ve won a “free” laptop!

free sign 150x150 Happy Birthday!  You’ve won a “free” laptop!

Is anything ever really "free"

Earlier this week my fiancé received a mailing that read, “Happy Birthday!”  Upon opening the letter, it stated that because of his birthday, he had gotten a complimentary netbook, and if he called within 72 hours he would get 2 roundtrip airline tickets.  Although his birthday is just a few short weeks away, I knew this was not as simple as a “free” laptop or airline tickets.  Let’s face it, is anything ever really free? 

I explained to him that if he called the number to respond to the mailing, he would be asked to attend a presentation for some kind for a travel club.  Once he attended the seminar, he would be told he can expect fantastic and extensive discounts on travel purchases and then he would be pressured to join the club. 

Your BBB issued a warning about these types of offers in our January “hot topics”.  As stated, in BBB experience, the upfront costs of enrollment or purchase in these programs are never recouped. Promised travel discounts rarely materialize and legitimate travel consolidators, lodgings, airlines and rental car agencies generally do not recognize credentials issued by these companies and groups.

Your BBB sees these mailings throughout the year.  The offers can range from airline tickets to a cruise or even “free” groceries. 

Bottom line – if it sounds too good to be true, it normally is.

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About Becky Maier

Pittsburgh BBB. Serving 28 Counties in Western Pennsylvania.