Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Krispy Kreme: A Family Vacation for Life*

Krispy Kreme Vacation Sweepstakes t

Sweet. Krispy Kreme is holding a sweepstakes and the top prize is a family vacation for life.  Assuming a 35 year old husband and wife and two kids won, adding up airfare and hotels for the next 40 years would be quite expensive… so what a valuable prize this is.  Or is it?

*MOUSE PRINT: “Ownership one week timeshare at a nationally recognized vacation club based in Orlando, FL and $5000 …”  Alternatively, you can take $15,000 instead of the timeshare and $5000. [Newspaper insert April 2, 2006]

Who would have expected that the prize was really a timeshare? Also, note that airfare is not part of your vacation.  You will surely use up your $5000 pretty quickly on that, and on maintenance fees normally charged on timeshares.  And, unless you always want to vacation in Orlando, there may be extra charges to swap your week for a week in another location.

Sweet?

P.S.  You don’t have to buy a dozen donuts to get a game ticket. You can just ask for one with no purchase necessary.

Share this story:

 


ADV
Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Schwab: Just Say No Accounts*

Schwab say no t

Finally, a stock brokerage account where you don’t get charged a ton of fees or high commissions.

The claims: (1) Our commission prices start as low as $9.95  (2) Just say no to account service fees.

*MOUSE PRINT: (1) “$9.95 trade pricing is for clients who have $1 million in qualifying household assets or trade at least 30 times a quarter.”  (2) “Accounts exempt from account service fees are subject to a minimum balance charge of $30 per quarter for brokerage accounts … [if after notice] … assets remain below… $2500.” [US News, April 3, 2006]

I think Charles Schwab is just saying no to little accounts (under $1 million) with respect to the advertised commission rate, and does not consider a “minimum balance charge” to be an “account service fee.”

Share this story:

 


ADV
Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Napster to Go: Fill Your MP3 Player with Disappearing Songs*

Napster MP3 TNapster provides unlimited access to over 1.5 million songs online through their subscription service. Pay a monthly fee, and you can listen to all the songs you want, and “with Napster to Go, you can?fill and refill any compatible MP3 player with music without paying per song or album* “.

So it sounds like you can load up your iPod-like device with all the songs it can hold and listen to them all your want.? Well, not exactly, according to the foonote.

*MOUSE PRINT: “It is necessary to maintain a Napster subscription in order to continue access to songs downloaded through the Napster service.” [Website, March 23, 2006]

Translation: Unlike an audio tape onto which you have recorded music which can be played over and over forever, music transferred to smart electronic devices can in essence self-destruct if you do not continuing paying your monthly subscription fee.  The technology is called digital rights management.

To Napster’s credit, they disclose this limitation right on their homepage. Other music subscription services bury the self-destructing nature of conditional downloads in their terms and conditions in less than clear language, if they disclose it at all.

Share this story:

 


ADV