Too much free stuff

Native Writes

One has to marvel at modern marketing ingenuity.
When I moved, almost a year ago, I began receiving a publication for which I was unsuited and didn’t want.
I canceled my subscription. Two weeks after I returned the latest copy with a terse note saying I would not pay, I received a letter warning me that the subscription was about to be canceled and it would take rapid action, my most recent bank statement and a filled-out form requiring varied personal information to keep it going.
What part of “no” didn’t they understand?
I have since been warned that this is a tactic used to scam people into providing personal information and senior citizens are especially gullible.
Whoever does this figures, I think, that older people will forget that they don’t have the service and pay up.
I am considered old, but I’m not buying a ticket to “Gullible’s Travels,” yet.
Another email advises me that, no kidding, I am the 100,000th visitor to a dating site for old folks.
Um... You sent me the message. I haven’t visited you.
Opening the message anyway, I was told I could win a $1,000 gift card; all I had to do was accept several of a long list of offers and refer 16 friends to the service. I deleted the message.
I am now on the contact list for at least three senior singles clubs. “Find out who has been looking for you.” I send the messages to “SPAM”
My crime? Checking a box devoted to marital status. Widowed does not mean “looking.”
If I were, it wouldn’t be on line.
My granddad used to bait his hook with a writhing worm and declare that the worm would catch a fish or die trying.
One site forwarded a message: “Women get it for free.”
I got a sample of Tide out of that one — and about 25 “chances” to get more freebies
I didn’t bite. The “bait” died trying.
Somewhere in the depths of merchandising land sit hundreds of minions whose sole job is to put people on lists based on age, marital status and hobbies, then thousands more who purchase the list and make phone calls and robo-calls.
One thing for sure, I am not taking that senior singles cruise to Bermuda that I won in a lottery I didn’t enter.
Even the dead apparently buy things.
A youthful-sounding woman who could barely speak English called just before I left for work out of town earlier this month to tell me I still owed a sitting fee for an all-expenses senior citizens’ cruise my long-deceased husband had won.
He never entered sweepstakes and gambled only when his hand was on a one-armed bandit and someone was circulating with free drinks and munchies.
“We will be suing him into court,” she warned. “Give me your address so he can be serviced.”
I told her he was deceased and had been for almost six years.
“Will he be back before Thursday?”
I don’t think she understood the word, deceased.
“Well, you take cruise, then. You pay sitting fee now so we don’t sue you into court.”
I told her I thought the cruise was all-expenses paid – free.
“It is. You need credit card for guarantee of seat. It a place to sleep. You pay extra for bed.”
I propose that someone, somewhere, pull the plug on all the free, no application needed, prizes for seniors.
Most of us are still in our right minds.


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