THE FINE PRINT
The offers looked excellent as I went through the junk mail. The fine print made sure that the offers were too good to be true. How easy to see that the more fine print there is, the more the offer is not what it seems.
No matter what the promise, companies are out to make money. The fine print ensures this, and protects the company from being accountable for not keeping the promise. They make the fine print small and obscure to discourage people from reading it.
A car dealership advertised in big letters: 0% LEASE OR FINANCING. The fine print reads that this applies only to certain models. If you buy the certain model, then you can be sure the price of the car will be inflated to cover the money lost by offering 0%.
The dealership advertised: YOU PAY THE INVOICE PRICE. What? The dealership is not going to make any money on your purchase? You are going to pay what the dealership paid? The fine print says that the car’s price does not include dealer administration fees and that these fees may vary by dealer. Hmmmm. Also not included in the car’s price are destination and delivery charges, plus a full tank of gas. (Will the dealership charge you the same price it paid for the gas and not make a profit?)
Two common phrases in the fine print are, AT PARTICIPATING DEALERS/STORES ONLY and OFFER AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR CANCELLATION WITHOUT NOTICE. Both these phrases make sure that companies do not have to honor the offer. (“We’re not participating in that promotion.” “Sorry, but the promotion ended this morning.”)
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where companies really had your interests in their hearts? Wouldn’t it be nice if their advertisements really allowed you to get something for nothing?