I guess that it’s because the holiday season is upon us that the number of TV “Infomercials” and suchlike are so prevalent, but there’s one thing I don’t understand…
You know the way these things go. There’s some sort of presentation on some product that you didn’t even know existed, and the next thing you know is that you are sitting on the sofa salivating and saying to yourself “How did I ever manage to survive the day without my very own left-handed walrus polishing kit?” (Or words to that effect)
And the best thing is that you aren’t going to pay $100…. or $80… or $60… In fact you aren’t even going to pay $40. NO! You are only going to pay $19.95 (“plus shipping and handling”).
BUT WAIT!!! If you order now, they will double the offer. You and your spouse can both be the proud possessors of your OWN left-handed walrus polishing kits (“just pay separate shipping and handling”).
Of course the fact that the “shipping and handling” is $9.99 means that if you do accept the “free” item you actually end up spending $19.95 + $9.99 + $9.99.
I once ordered some “History of Rock and Roll” CDs from Time Life on one of these special offers. The lady on the other end of the phone was very put out when I told her that in fact I only wanted one set of CDs, and I didn’t actually require the second set for free (“just pay separate shipping and handling”). We bandied words back and forth for ages, but that’s a story for another time…
The thing is that, over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve started to notice that they no longer say “just pay separate shipping and handling.” Now they say “just pay separate processing and handling”.
The reason this rings alarm bells in my brain ("ask not for whom the bells toll...") is that a lot of these little rascals also say “ask about free shipping.” So now I’m wondering what this is all about. If you call, do they tell you that the shipping is free, but you still have to pay $9.99 processing?
I would be really interested to hear from anyone who has called to order something from one of these new Infomercials… what’s the real story?
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