Thanks for Nothing — Fall 2021

We continue our series of little annoyances about ads and offers that are often real head-scratchers and might make you chuckle.

Example #1 — $10 Off at Amazon

MrConsumer recently received an email from Amazon with a genuinely great-sounding offer that promised $10 off if you tried their delivery service that sends your order to a pick-up location rather than to your home.

Amazon $10 off

The email had a time-stamp of 6:21 p.m. Coincidentally, I was checking email when the offer came in and immediately clicked the “Claim $10 off now” button. The result:

Offer over

What? Offer over? It arrived in my mailbox less than a minute earlier.


Offer limited

So this was a speed test? I had to click even faster than less than a minute after receipt? Thanks for nothing, Amazon.

Example #2 — Pants Under $5 at Gap

It looked like such a great deal — a pair of Dockers slacks for less than $10 and with a coupon, the price came down to $4.97. Who could resist? The disclosure at the bottom of the ad killed the deal.


Gap pants deal

What? Order the pants in October but they won’t arrive until February … if you’re lucky? Thanks for nothing, Gap.

Example #3 — Advertorials Fool Google News

When searching Google News for consumer stories one expects to find legitimate consumer news. But, here’s an excerpt from one recent search.

Google News


All three of these “stories” appeared at local newspaper sites around the country but are really advertisements for keto and CBD pills masquerading as reviews of these products. They were able to fool Google’s algorithm that presumably tries to distinguish between bona fide news and advertisements. (And if you think Bing is any better, think again.) Thanks for nothing, Google (and Bing).

Example #4 — Proof Apple Products Are Overpriced

Apple products tend to be very expensive whether it is a new iPhone for over $1,000 or one of their new laptops just unveiled last week for about $2,500. Also introduced was this polishing cloth said to be good for cleaning all Apple display screens.

Apple cloth

Of course, you should only use genuine Apple accessories with your Apple products. And at “only $19,” imagine the profit that Apple is making on this schmatta (Yiddish for “little piece of cloth or rag”). Thanks for nothing, Apple.

Example #5 — Hanukkah, Passover, It’s All the Same

Speaking of Yiddish, for some people, it is hard to keep all the Jewish holidays straight in their mind. But those folks are the last ones who should design Jewish-themed products or advertise chazarai (Yiddish for “junk”) like this on a national website.

chazarai pillow

Thanks for nothing, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Designs Direct. But do enjoy Hanukkah in December, and Passover (“why is this night…”) in April.

If you find an example of an offer suitable for our “Thanks for Nothing” series, please email it to edgar (at symbol) . Thanks.

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5 thoughts on “Thanks for Nothing — Fall 2021”

  1. When I saw the headline “Proof Apple Products are Overpriced,” I expected to see actual proof that Apple products are overpriced. Instead, we see the $19 cleaning cloth with absolutely NO discussion on why that’s overpriced, and no discussion on why that means all Apple products are overpriced. Thanks for nothing, old man.

    • Billy,

      Sorry you seem to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I think Edgar’s post here was a bit more tongue in cheek in terms of the Apple products. The humor is that people complain that Apple products are overpriced and it is almost as if Apple is embracing that rumor by charging so much for as simple cloth.

      If you say a cleaning cloth (not solution, spray, or disposables, just a cloth) in the store without the Apple brand on it, you would surely say it was overpriced when you could buy the $7 one next to it.

  2. I have to cut Google a little slack over mistaking advertorials for real news stories and put a big chunk of the blame on the newspapers themselves which are often far from diligent in making those distinctions obvious.

    My local Gannett daily in Rochester, NY printed a canned chiropractor ad (just drop in the name of the local practitioner) whose text read “Our paper has teamed up with Dr. [name redacted] once again to help readers learn about new options for finding pain relief!” It appeared on page 3 in typeface similar to that of the paper’s news stories with a byline.

    To the editor’s credit, when I pointed this out, the ad was promptly modified, but then continued to run twice more without a disclaimer noting that it was indeed an advertisement, not news copy. Again, I wrote the editor, and that was corrected. Clearly, the paper’s advertising department is less than scrupulous when it comes to making sure that paid ad copy is not easily confused with the news.

    I’m not surprised that it could confuse the AI at Google or Bing.

    • I liked the ads that only use the doctor’s first name. “Dr. Jack says it has made a world of difference for his patients!”

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