After finishing an online political poll, I was directed to a window that offered a free 14-day trial of a savings club which included a free $100 gas voucher no matter if you elect to cancel your membership. The window suggested that my poll information may not be counted unless I agreed to be contacted by a shopping club representative. I agreed and entered my email address and phone number.
Within minutes, my phone rang. A very personable and enthusiastic middle-aged woman proceeded to elaborate on the details of the free 14-day trial offer. I repeatedly asked her about the gas voucher offer, to which she assured me it would continue to be valid even if I canceled my account within the 14 days. "It sounds too good to be true," I said, but she repeated that it's true.
The next day, I received emails for the two savings clubs (MaxSavingsClub and CouponTravelShop), whereupon I downloaded the Terms and Conditions sheet for the gas voucher. Clearly stated there it says: "Each certificate has a precise value of $10.00 and only one (1) certificate may be redeemed per week. Certificates may be redeemed by active members only, under the Terms and Conditions appearing on this page." Also, all certificates are to be sent through the mail, so in fact their $100 gas voucher is MAYBE worth $10, and that's if you mailed one gas receipt in within your first week of membership. Who knows if you would actually see the rebate, which they write would take 3-4 weeks for processing and delivery.
So, it's the old bait and switch. I immediately cancelled my membership today, asked them to refund the $3.90 activation fee (or whatever they called it) since they were not upfront and honest with me when I signed up. I was put on hold for 10 minutes then the line went dead. When I called right back, the new guy on the phone knew who I was before I said anything, had terrible feedback coming through the line, and gave me two cancellation confirmation numbers (#544 for the travel plan and #9245 for the savings club). I have no idea yet if these numbers are meaningful -- I will call them back to verify shortly. They said it would take TEN DAYS to refund my $3.90.