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The Scrivener: Amazing Conditions

ďAdvertisers get away with anything these days, donít they, with Conditions Apply in the very small print at the bottom?Öíí

Brian Barratt navigates his way through the muddy waters of Special Offers.

To read more of Brianís invariably worthwhile words click on The Scrivener in the menu on this page. For a cornucopia of stimulating activities visit also his web site The Brain Rummager www.alphalink.com.au/~umbidas


Ten percent off surf-wear for every $100 spent. That should appeal to the younger set who go in for those weird baggy shorts. Five hundred dollars credit with an estate agent. That will tempt a young couple setting up home. Letís hope they have a solicitor to explain the terms before they sign on the dotted line.

Weíre looking at a contemporary phenomenon ó Special Offers printed on the back of a supermarket cash docket. You know the sort of thing.

Have twenty digital prints made and thereís a rebate of $2.50. Thatís useful, if you have a digital camera. Ladies shampoo, cut and B/W, ten dollars off. Men get five dollars off but they donít get the B/W, whatever that is.

Join the local healthy exercise centre and, wow! $120 off, but in the tiny print there are the dreaded words ĎConditions Applyí. Advertisers get away with anything these days, donít they, with Conditions Apply in the very small print at the bottom?

This oneís interesting: five percent off vitamin tablets if you spend $100. That seems to be a rather small discount for so many vitamin tablets. Valid Only While Stocks Last. If youíre late, you wonít be revitaminised.

Hello, whatís this? Amazing Amazon offer ten percent off, too. Thatís helpful, but they donít say what theyíre selling. Thereís an address and a phone number. At least thatís better than the companies which donít tell you where they are. Who would trust someone who gives no more than a phone number or an e-mail address?

A trip down the Amazon would be rather nice. Especially at ten percent off. Well, if you have the stomach for that sort of thing. Poison arrows are probably off the menu now. However, what with anacondas and piraŮas, you canít be too careful ó you could be on the menu and finish up with a lot more than ten percent off.

Itís unlikely to be a river trip, though. Could it be that wonderful bookshop? They give such remarkable service, and are probably the only Internet-based company that actually responds to queries. Promptly, too. No, itís not them. They donít have a local branch.

Good gracious! It could be a trip to some exotic place near the Black Sea. Thatís where the Amazons lived, isnít it? You know, those nice ladies who had a way of mating with gentlemen from across the lake. They then disposed of the gentlemen and any male children who arrived nine months later. Strictly girls only, and fierce ones at that. Conditions definitely Applied.

Itís amazing what you find printed on the back of your supermarket docket, isnít it?

© Copyright 2006 Brian Barratt

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