My friend Graham gave me his Ramblers magazine yesterday, he passes them on to me when he has finished with them, saves me paying to join. I then pass them on to Paul, saves him paying to join also. This leaflet dropped out which caught my attention. I usually skim and chuck most leaflets, but this looked like a particularly good offer, worth further investigation, I thought. The complete Pictorial Guides by Alfred Wainwright, for only £14.95.
Wainwright is a legend, he spent twenty years walking the Lakeland Fells, writing up his guides. His books have inspired thousands of people to take up walking, and this collection would be welcome on any enthusiasts bookshelf. Right, I'll send off my cheque for £19.90, which includes P & P, and wait for my book set to arrive, along with the free gift of a compact Oxford Dictionary, a Thesaurus, and a Parker pen. Can't be bad, just look at the money I'll save over the normal price.
But hang on a minute, surely it can't be that simple. Surely there's a catch in it. Read on, yep, there is. In exchange for this wonderful offer you have to agree to buy four more books over the following four weeks, the cheapest being £17.95. OK, so what can you get for £17.95? I've been on the web site to check out the titles, and to find a book at that price is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Even if you did find four books, with titles that you might be interested in, 4 x £17.95 = £71.80 + I'm guessing £5 P & P for each book, gives a total of £91.80.
So, in total, the whole caboodle, boxed set, plus four books at £17.95, would cost £111.70. I suppose if you add in the free dictionary, and thesaurus, and pen, it might be an ok deal, if you had the money lying around waiting to be spent. But what if you don't need those two books and pen, and struggled to find any books of a subject you liked at £17.95? You would end up either buying books you didn't like or need, or paying a lot more for books that you would like. The £17.95 is a carrot to hook you in.
I don't know how they arrive at the figure of saving £212.35. What most people forget when they order online or through something like this, is the cost of P & P. I always add it to the price of the goods, because that's what it's going to cost me. Fair enough if you live in the sticks, paying the P & P would probably be cheaper than getting in your car to go and buy whatever you want. I am near enough to town to be able to go shopping.
Anyway, the moral of this story is to read the small print, then bin the leaflet. Don't get hooked into buying something which you will live to regret. I don't need the books anyway.
Please excuse me if I add a polite request here. I am getting over 100 spam comments daily. Most go straight into my 'spam' box as filtered by blogger, but quite a lot don't and end up in the 'comments pending' box. I have to sort these out, which takes time. All the spam comes from Anonymous, and are generated automatically by machines. I don't want to stop allowing Anon comments because I know there are a lot of genuine readers who use that facility. Could I ask that everyone who does use Anon, to start their comment with their name. Something like, Susan here, Carol here, etc. It would help me enormously to whiz through the checks a lot quicker, I don't want to zap genuine comments, and this would help me to spot them. If this works I won't have to disable the Anon option. Thanks very much.