By Janet Walgren
I went to the grocery store and spent $87.50. The cashier told me I saved $6.75… You would have thought I had just made a deposit. Did she forget to thank me for spending money or did she think she was working in a bank?
I got an advertisement from an insurance company in the mail. The only BOLD ALL CAP TEXT in the advertisement told me that I could get a “FREE QUOTE” if I called a phone number. I’m not sure if they were going to tell me how much it would cost me to buy insurance, or if it was a poetry hot-line.
I passed an apartment complex on the way to the store. They had lots of colored flags out front and a humongous “Now Leasing” banner hanging on their building. I wonder what they did for the last thirty years they were in business… manufacture flags???
At least the apartment industry doesn’t disguise itself in camouflage. Have you ever wondered what ADP, USANA, BRG, or BILCO do? Rhino and Stallion are not in the animal business. Would you have guessed they are locksmiths? Rhino also sells flooring.
Perhaps the insurance company would get more business if they hung out a banner that read, “Now Selling Insurance.” Surely it would be more effective than FREE QUOTE.
I’ve been thinking about developing another stream of income in 2009 ~ perhaps I could start a consulting firm. I could advise businesses to advertise what they do and to be sure to charge their potential customers to find out the price… no more FREE QUOTES!
Or, perhaps I could become a consumer consultant and teach potential customers how to start a bidding war… AT&T said they would charge me $89.95. “Hi AT&T, I have a quote from Comcast for $63.95… What? You say I can have it for $55.00. Great! Would you put that in writing?”
I think that 2009 ought to be dubbed “The Year for Honest Advertising!” and we should all demand that businesses, especially BIG BUSINESSES, tells us exactly what they do and how much it will cost us. Then, if we decide to do business with them, we should demand a “thank you!”
To make this idea a success, I think we should all get together and target one big business to set a precedent. Let’s start with CONGRESS!!! It could be our New Year’s Resolution.