Direct Marketing

April 09, 2014

To assist in assessing the offer you have received, the BBB advises that every day, many consumers get excited because they have been informed by mail or telephone they are one of the lucky ones who have won some major prize, such as $10,000 or a new car. Some lucky consumers do not even know what they have won except that it is a big prize. All they have to do to receive their prize is PAY for it! This company is simply trying to sell you its product and you are under no obligation to send money. 

You may be asked to give your credit card number or your chequing account number for verification purposes. Or, you are asked for payment for shipping & handling, lawyer fees, etc. 

Some companies accept certified cheques or use delivery services. Some ask for receipts from the post office as proof of payment before they reveal what your prize is. You may be told about a new product to be sent along with the award. 

Some consumers report receiving nothing, while others report the merchandise they did receive was not worth the amount of money they paid to have it delivered. For example, instead of a new car, they received a vacation package, a cheap set of luggage, or an inexpensive watch. Consumers who had given out their credit card or cheque numbers for verification of information have reported charges their accounts. So, people have PAID hundreds of dollars for the prizes they have won.

BEWARE of ordering unseen merchandise. Such offers may contain misrepresentations regarding the true value of the goods. For example, you may receive an item of a different quality than you expected such as a plastic miniature model. IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT USUALLY IS.

TO BE REMOVED from the mailing, e-mailing and telephone calling lists of companies which belong to the Direct Marketing Association you may contact, IN CANADA: Canadian Marketing Association, P.O. Box 706, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T6. The telephone number is 1-416-391-2362 and the fax number is 1-416-441-4062. Its website is IN THE US: The Direct Marketing Association, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036-6700. Its telephone number is 1-212-768-7277, the fax number is 1-212-302-6714, and the website is

Businesses and consumers wishing to reduce the amount of unsolicited commercial e-mail received can sign up with the Direct Marketing Association (D.M.A.) e-Mail Preference Service. A special website,, has been created where consumers and business not wanting to receive such solicitations can register their e-mail addresses. Members of the D.M.A. using commercial e-mail are required to check the list and delete the addresses contained on it, except for their own customers or those who have requested information from those members. While the service does not eliminate all unsolicited e-mail, it can help become part of the overall solution to mailboxes crammed with unwanted e-offers.