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Think Liberally's picture

I'm going through old papers from the various BigCos I deal with, and I found little scam-tastic letters from all of them.

Netflix
Netflix allows you to go on "vacation" for a couple of months. For every full month you're on "vacation", you don't get service, but also don't have to pay. (You have to pay for the month you start the vacation, though.)

I did this for a while, to see if I would miss the service. In the middle of the "vacation", I got a letter:

To come back to Netflix, enter your Priority Code: XYXXYXYYY

Offer expires: {Date}

{My Name}, save time, money, and gas with Netflix!

Note the juxtaposition of "Priority Code" and "save...money". And there was an expiration date! As if I couldn't just call them up at any time and say, "Hey, I want to pay you money again." They had to make it sound like it would be some sort of special deal for me to do it right then.

AT&T
For a while there, once or twice a month I was getting a letter about a great offer they were extending to me as a valued customer. The offer? Phone service, of course, usually with more bells and whistles than I already had + some big service I didn't; wireless or TV cable service. But because it lacked something I did already have, Internet, the price listed was lower than my current bill. I'm sure if I tacked that on, it would be a lot more. So, y'know, great deal.

And since I have several month's worth of letters to compare, I realized: they sent them in all different shapes and sizes. So I would somehow think this was some great new deal each time?

PG&E
Good news! PG&E wanted to reward me for not using a lot of natural gas. So they gave me $25!

A check? A credit to my account? Of course not! They gave me a Citi-branded debit card. With a cardmember agreement and even its own privacy slip, where they tell me that they will collect information from me and from PG&E and from consumer reporting agencies. But never fear, because if you use the card to pay your PG&E bill, even though there's a standard transaction free, PG&E will waive it. Y'know, afterwards.

Just thought I'd share.

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Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on

Very amusing post. Thanks!

Submitted by PA_Lady on

I'm not sure how this is going to work out -- I'm here in Minnesota on my son's iPod, so forgive any spelling or formatting errors. (I'm ever so slowly joining the technology revolution.)

I really do love Netflix. I only do the streaming so I pay a still-low monthly fee, but I can add up to six devices. So, for less than $12/mo, I get unlimited streaming on my desktop, the oldest son's iPhone, the middle son's Xbox, my daughter's Blackberry; (all of which are still in PA) along with my laptop and the afore-mentioned iPod here in MN.

Two states, 6 devices, and four very happy people. I'm sure Netflix wouldn't be as pleased as I am, but.... *shrug*

Submitted by Anchard on

I opted to switch to streaming-only when they changed their plans, and figured the whole transition was badly handled on their part but inevitable given the absurdly good deal they were offering before.

I'm a lot less pleased with them these days. They mailed me a DVD from my queue a week or so ago, perhaps before the big cutoff date (I don't track these things so closely). Then this Wednesday I got an email threatening to charge me $14 for the DVD if I didn't mail it back within 7 business days, and all in a tone that implies I'm somehow stealing from them by having the disc.

It's a small thing, but telling in the tone and in the disdain for their own customers.