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"Free" promotions still in the news
Be careful with “free” promotions, seriously. If you read Furniture/Today’s e-daily yesterday morning, you probably saw that Carl’s Furniture City in Utica, N.Y. (not affiliated with Top 100 company Carls of Coconut Creek, Fla.) was investigated by the New York Attorney General’s office and was fined $15,000 in connection with a “free groceries” promotion and other practices.
Not to beat a dead horse, and I’m not sure the promotion is still being used by a broad swath of retailers, but this is a promotion you really need to do your homework on before running. It can be pretty shady.
We ran a short piece on the continuing saga of Tidewater Marketing and its “free” promotions offer this morning. They are being sued by a state appointed receiver in Florida for fraud.
You can read our stories about “free” voucher promotions here, here and here. Here is a column I wrote about the promotions. Don’t expect your furniture consumer to be lazy on this promotion. They will want their free stuff.
Make sure the voucher promotions company you’re working with is financially solid as a rock and that it has some fund to cover its liabilities.
This is the New York Attorney General’s complaint. Here’s what it said:
“The investigation also found that Carl’s Furniture City engaged in a deceptive marketing scheme by inducing customers to purchase $500 in furniture with ‘$500 in groceries’ and ‘free cruise’ vouchers that contained unreasonably restrictive exceptions and additional charges that negated the benefit of the promotion.”
“In order to obtain the $500 grocery voucher, a consumer had to start collecting $100 in grocery receipts from a pre-selected store each month in order to receive a $25 voucher. Therefore, a consumer would be required to spend at least $2,000 over a 20-month period to collect $500. If a consumer didn’t submit a receipt for $100 in any given month during the period, they would become ineligible for the promotion.”