Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Look...Under There...Stuff!

It's easy to ignore the tremendous pile of virtual garbage that grows in one's email inbox. Every corporation that has your address in their craw will attempt to tell you that they should be paid attention to the hardest and the most.  To spend your money HERE!!! Even if its in the spam folder, I feel compelled to look to see if the over zealous spambots have thrown something I actually want away. Perks, rewards, deals, bargain, discounts just today (again), buzzwords all engineered to lure you to their website and get you to spend money or not leave.  Once in a while, though, its worth looking under the proverbial rock. 

For instance, I found a free-ish thing in my utility website that surprised and pleased me. Verizon Fios had sent me emails regarding perks.  Of course, I ignored it.  Mostly because I always forget my password and didn't have the energy to go through my archived emails to find the information.  It just didn't seem worth it to go read what seemed like someone's attempt to get me to buy something. Until I had to pay my bill.  And I hate jumping through the automated phone service bills and whistles.  Plus it was over due and I was going to pay it from an array of resources.  Spread the pain around. You know.  Poor people style.

Anyhoo, I found the information that I was looking for and decided to push the button that was entitled 'Perks.' I expected it to be something to do with Dunkin Donuts since I associate that word with that particular company (good job subliminal marketing department!). There were a couple of options listed and, amongst them,The Entertainment Savers Guide internet style.

The Entertainment Savers Guide is a book of coupons published for different cities throughout the country that I had been envying for many years.  In the bookstores it cost about $25.  And I never had $25 to spare enough to justify it.  Or I forgot about it when I did.  Besides I am relatively new to the concept that a coupon is not shunned by society for asking for something for free in lieu of bringing business where one would never have looked otherwise. But there it was.  Up to 10 free coupons a month for Verizon customers.  And it was not adhesed to one zipcode.  I am traveling to North Carolina next week and it had coupons for all sorts of restaurants, stores, hotels, and any number of things.  I could do one free shake at a North Carolina ice cream place, and two for one dinners at a restaurant that I loved in Beverly, MA (with an entree price maximum) all in the same shopping cart.  And, as a Verizon customer, I got the same coupons that would have cost me $25 in a book, right there for nada on my computer.  A real deal

My point is, when something that you are already paying for is offering you something as a deal, at least read it to see what it is. There is a corporate war going on out there.  I left one cable company that did not wish to bend over backward to accommodate me, over to a company that I initially had great mistrust for due to bad business experiences many many years ago. And they deserve my business.  Not only are there prices better....note to the other company: DUH!....they are giving the competition really something to worry about. Better customer service and perks.  Real perks. Like any company that wants to give the enemy a run for its money. Bribery is a beautiful thing.  And its out there.

So poke around those corporate websites.  See if there are "member benefits." Hell, even my unions have things hidden on their membership pages that I wouldn't know if I didn't think to go looking.  Any place that requires membership or customer enrollment will probably have something.  And what do you have to lose besides a little time and maybe hand cramp from typing.