Thank-you reward scam?
October 5, 2009 8:26 PM   Subscribe

We received a "Thank-you reward notice" bearing the logo of a retailer that we thought was legitimate. It offers a number of "valuable items" as a "reward" for being a good customer. But close inspection suggests otherwise.

The notice tells us that a "reward" of up to $167.00 is ours as a valued customer. A fancy brochure listing a number of products and their purported value is included.

The implication is that we are being offered these items free of charge, but close inspection of the 2-point type on the reverse discloses that ordering these items will result in a charge to the credit card on file with the retailer. The "reward" is the purported savings on the items.

Our question is not whether this is legitimate. We've figured that out. And it appears from the language that the offering company is not affiliated with the retailer, but rather is independent, although it apparently has access to its customer list.

Our question instead is whether this has been seen by others, and if this involves more than one retailer. The retailer in our case is the Tog Shop.
posted by megatherium to Shopping (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Educated guesses: it's been seen by others. It seems very unlikely that they only sent this thing to you. And if the company is independent, then they've probably got more than one client.
posted by box at 8:48 PM on October 5, 2009

May I recommend that you give it to the retailer whose logo is likely being used without permission? They may want to know that their good name is being abused.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:56 PM on October 5, 2009

Rather than anyone accessing their customer list without permission, I think it's more likely that they've decided 'to share your information with trusted third-party companies that provide support services,' as detailed in their privacy policy.
posted by box at 9:00 PM on October 5, 2009

I work for a large retailer and sometimes the first we hear of small, third-party companies offering 'discounts' or 'testimonials' about our own-brand products (or more usually, their products which are only available in our store) is when a customer comes into a store and says, 'hey I had this maildrop, is it real?'.

Then we gleefully pass the fakeries to the legal department who go to work.

My advice: Send it to the store's head office with a covering letter.
posted by citands at 4:41 AM on October 6, 2009

Yes, rewards marketing is commonly used by many retailers. So it has surely been seen by others with other retailers. Charging it to the credit card on file is a common practice as well (and, obviously, means this is almost certainly authorized by the retailer).
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:11 AM on October 6, 2009

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