Monday, April 9, 2012


As a consumer marketing geek, I have addressed in previous posts, marketing ploys (a.k.a. hooks) I have received – exclusivity, cool, freebies, etc. The latest one I just received was a bonus offer with credit card payment. Remember*

*Take time to read the fine print.

Read On:
Food & Wine just sent me a special offer, a six-issue subscription for only $6.00 ($23.94 savings discount off the cover price). Their marketing ploy? Bonus 3 extra issues with credit card payment. Now for the fine print: Plus, whichever option you choose, you’ll enjoy automatic renewal of your subscription annually at the then current rate, until you tell us to cancel. See back for details.

Three thoughts:

1.) I was reminded of an old post titled Speed. On Sale. I referenced Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational where he details how companies utilize “special promotions” to entice consumers into ownership. Food & Wine understands that there is a high probability once their offer expires, subscribers will not discontinue their subscriptions. Instead the emotions of ownership will cause people to rationalize subscribing to the magazine. Or maybe Food & Wine understands that people will get too crazy busy to call in and cancel their subscription or even look at the extra charge they are incurring on their credit card bills.

2.) I immediately tossed the Food & Wine offer.

3.) Thank you Food & Wine. You just reminded me that my special six-month Comcast offer is about to expire and that my cable bill is going to jump from $51.85 to $77.39 (a 49.3% increase). Time to reach out to Verizon.


*Take time to read the fine print.


  1. Jimmy, I bet Food & Wine doesn't intentionally hope to sell to astute marketers like yourself:)

    RE: Comcast...I gave it up months ago. I cancelled my landline, went with Clear for my Internet (fantastic, btw) and 'rabbit ears' from Radio Shack combined with my TV's gorgeous HD reception works great.

    OK, I hated it at first. It's tough to break the cable know, endless scrolling across 400 channels and still, there's nothing on.

    But I've come to look forward to several series on PBS, and I still enjoy some of my fave sitcoms, like Big Bang Theory. (Then, of course, there's Netflix, Hulu, etc. but that's for another discussion.)

    It's worth it to save $150 a month. I don't miss it. But I think Comcast misses me, along with 1000s of other customers who have "cut the cord". (Despite reports like this one:

  2. Hi there! I work for Comcast. I can reach out to my contacts to see if we can offer you a promotion that you are eligible for.

    Please feel free to contact me for help.

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations

  3. Hi Jimmy,
    I use to fall for these so many times, but now, I do read the fine print. Notice there are no specials for those loyal customers who have stuck with you for the long haul!

  4. Great reference to Predictably Irrational, that's exactly what I thought of too. Reading the fine print and taking a minute to think through what we're buying are important. Great catch!