Monday, April 23, 2012

Companies That Enclose Advertisements Important Official Looking Envelops

I receive an envelop in the mail recently which said "United States Mail Code RB7349- Official Records".  Others things on the envelop were a control code and the words "Open Immediately: Response Required".

This gave me the impression that this was something more than it was.  I know that was the point of the envelop, but it seems shady and dishonest to me.  When I opened the envelop I found a full page color advertisement like one would find in the stack of newspapers.  The advertisement was for a furniture store that was supposedly going out of business.  Had I figured out that the envelop was junk mail I would've thrown it away and not opened it.  Again, I know that was the point of the envelop, but because they tricked me to open it just made me mad and it ensured that I would not be going to the sale.

If indeed the place is going out of business it is likely they don't care what people think of their methods.  Isn't there some laws about dishonest advertising?  If so, does this not fall into that category?

I have included the images of the envelop and the advertisement I found inside.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


A few months ago, before all the gyrations of Netflix spinning off their ship to your home DVD business into Quickster, I was seriously considering signing up for Netflix.

Previously I had skipped it because my family doesn't rent more than one or two movie per month, so $2 per month at Redbox was way less than Netflix.

I started thinking about movies that are not new releases that we might watch if they were at Redbox. That started to sound a little closer, but still would only be another movie or two per month, which I could probably just get from Amazon or Walmart steaming as needed and still be money ahead of Netflix.

As time went on I started thinking about old TV shows that I have tried to share with my kids that they really liked.  We have had trouble finding some of the seasons.  If Netflix had TV shows I thought it might be worth it.

My boss had a Netflix subscription, so I had him do three searches for me.  I picked Happy Days season 3, the movie Twister, and I can not remember the third thing.

They had Happy Days season 3, but only on DVDs that I would have to wait on to be shipped to me.  Maybe that wouldn't be a big deal to wait for the disks, since I don't have to send them back until I am done with them, but I also can't get anything else until I do and then I have to wait for the next thing.  Then I have to keep track of the disks and make sure they do get sent back before my kids lose them.

They had Twister, but only on DVD.  When my wife and I feel we are in the mood for and have time for a movie we want it that night.  Waiting to have a disk shipped to us is unacceptable.

The third one they did not have at all.  I don't remember what it was, but I seem to recall that it wasn't any more obscure than Twister and Happy Days.

Netflix had a customer ready to buy that day.  Since they had none of the things I was looking for via streaming I walked away and fell back to my previous position of disinterest in Netflix for my family.

I have heard that their pricing for streaming is lower now that they have spun off the DVD business, but if they don't have the things I want, then it is pointless even if it was the same as I would pay each month at Redbox.

J C Penney (JCP) New Fair Practices

Let me get this out of the way before I get to the main topic of this post.  It appears that J C Penney is beginning to try to get themselves to be know as JCP.  After all acronyms are what all the cool kids are doing, right?  I would be interested to know how much traction The International House of Pancakes gain by changing everything to IHOP.  Ever since I was a little kid I knew The International House of Pancakes and loved them. Maybe they didn't want to be pigeon holed to pancakes.

Now for the core of my issues with J C Penney, this new string of ads about being "fair and square".

What does this say about the company previous to now if before their practices were unfair and ridiculous?  Can we actually trust them that they have turned over a new leaf or is this just the latest in their scams on consumers?

Will everything be priced at an even dollar or is it just another game like Walmart does where they price things not as something.99, which everyone recognizes as a scam, but something.87 or some other random number?  Thus giving the illusion that they squeezed this price down to the last possible penny that they could.  From J C Penney's web site it appears as though they are going with even dollar amount prices.  I think that is easier for signage and even advertising in other places.  It is also clearer to the customer about what they are paying, so if that is the practice they are moving to, I give them a point for that.