One of our colleagues brought us a notice she had received in the mail from L.D. Goodman Co. in Largo, Fla. The card said she was guaranteed to receive one of the following prizes: a 1991 Chrysler LeBaron; Hawaiian vacation package; $2,500 cashier's check; Sony home rack stereo system and color TV or $1,500 cash.
To claim her premium she had to call the company within 48 hours of receiving the notice.We called the company, said that we were representing an action line column, and asked if we could go through the process of claiming the guaranteed prize. That way we could explain it to our readers.
The operator agreed to do that.
By listening to the presentation we were guaranteed one of the four awards.
As a major credit card holder, we had also been selected for membership in International Consumer Society, he said.
As a member of the International Consumer Society, we would be eligible for information on banks that charged 11.5 percent interest on Visa or Mastercard credit cards. We would be given five years of credit card protection. We would receive step-by-step instructions on how to save money on a mortgage. We would be able to participate in something called Quota Phone System which offers name-brand products at wholesale prices. And more.
Then came the punch line: Membership in the International Consumer Society costs $329.50 plus $10 for shipping and handling.
If we purchased a membership we would receive a bonus: two vouchers for round-trip air fare to Orlando, Fla.
We declined the membership. However, we were still eligible to receive our guaranteed prize, said the operator. All we needed to do was sign our name above the name and address on the notification and return it along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, to the company.
We will decline to do that, too.
I ordered a necklace and a pair of clip earrings from Signatures in Perris, Calif. I paid $24 for them.
I returned them because the earrings were for pierced ears and I don't have pierced ears.
The company sent me a check for $19 but I want my entire $24 back. I need the money. - O.S., Salt Lake City.
The company has sent you a check for $5. And we are returning your check for $19, which you must have mistakenly sent to us, instead of a copy, with your letter. Next time a copy of the check, not the original, please.